Feeds

Is it a NAS? Is it a SAN? No. It's Synology's Rackstation 'NASSAN'

620k IOPs and 144TB in flash-ready package for $10k? There must be a catch here...

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Today Synology launches the RackStation RS3614xs+, the latest addition to their XS+ line of devices aimed at SMEs. What sticks out to me is the shift in marketing tone, pitching the RS3614xs+ as "a midpoint between NAS and SAN".

Synology pitches the XS+ line as "a storage solution that can grow with a business." The RS3614xs+ is designed for scalability; it comes with twelve bays, but can be expanded to thirty-six by attaching optional expansion modules. With the expansions, it has a storage capacity of up to 144TB.

This particular XS+ comes with a 6GB/s SATA III interface. It has four gigabit Ethernet ports, as well as two Gen3 x8 PCIe slots which can each support a 10GbE NIC. Synology claims that with both PCIe ports populated, throughput can exceed 3,200MB/s. If the entire device is also stuffed with SSDs, apparently benchmarks of 620,000 IOPS are possible.

The RS3614xs+ ships with DiskStation Manager (DSM) 4.3. The DSM is one of the most user-friendly storage interfaces currently available. It has a complete HTML-5 WIMP implementation and comes with its own app store. "Little things" are well thought out: for example, the device can e-mail, SMS or even Skype you when it notices a problem.

Synology units are certified to support VMware, Citrix, or Hyper-V. It can serve files over SMB, AFP and NFS or fling blocks using iSCSI.

Let's stop and consider this for a second. The RS3614xs+ is shipping globally with a MSRP of $4999.99, however, if you want to kit it out with two expansion modules and a tool-less rail kit for quick installation, expect to spend about $10,000. Modern Synology systems are capable of High Availability; block-level replication between two units.

This means for $10,000-ish you can pick up a storage pair that can scale to 144TB per unit, can exceed 620,000 IOPS and you could physically shoot one of the nodes and the whole thing would continue working just fine.

x86-based Synology systems – of which the RS3614xs+ is one – can run your standard spinning rust, use SSDs as a read cache to make a hybrid system or go all flash. Even if you bought the things with all the blue crystals, getting a redundant pair of these for $20,000 is still better "bang for the buck" than just about anything else on the market.

With the specs ekeing their way upwards and the marketing efforts now positioning the unit as "a midpoint between NAS and SAN" I strongly suspect that the next revision of the DSM is going to bring some changes at Synology. A real shot at a full-scale SAN with proper enterprise support is probably not far behind.

The RS3614xs+ looks to be an impressive bit of kit; a far cry from the prosumer NASes upon which Synology built its name. The Register will certainly be keeping an eye out to see how this next generation of microSANs fares in the viciously competitive midrange storage market.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Bitcasa bins $10-a-month Infinite storage offer
Firm cites 'low demand' plus 'abusers'
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.