For the last few weeks I have been playing with the Synology DS1512+. The first unit that they sent me but the second one that they sent me was more of a wow factor about it. The DiskStation DS1512 is a network-attached storage (NAS) that is designed to provide shared storage for a small business or workgroup. It can do much more, however, such as built in mail server and web server functions.
It is comparable in size to a kitchen toaster, which can be fitted with up to five serial ATA hard drives (SATA). On the back there is two gigabit Ethernet ports, these allows for link aggregation and failover at the network level, and can also be expanded with USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports allowing for external storage devices to be connected.
As it is right now you can fit five 3TB drives inside it, which allows you to have a total of 15 TB inside the DS1512+. Users who has reached the maxim storage capacity can expande the storage up to 15 drives by using Synology DX510 expansion units that connects via one of the eSata port that the DS1512 also provides.
Setting up the DS1512 I found the process to be a straight forward process, business owners might feel that they need to have someone help them out with installing and setting it up so that users can access it from outside a firewall.
The web-based console for managing users and access to the different features is as easy as Synology could possibly have made. Though the only downside might be that users might find all the features overwhelming. One thing that is worth noting about the DS1512+ is that it does not include drives as a standard. Synology leaves this up to distributors and resellers.
Setting it up
When you setup the DS1512 for the first time it involves fitting the harddrives and one thing is certain, Synology has made this process really easy through the use of individual vertically mounted trays that are accessible from the front of the unit. If you want to remove these drives you simply pop them out. You can fit both 2.5 and 3.5 inch drives, tough the 2.5 inch drives require that you carefully align the drives. You can find a list of compatible drives at Synologys website.
Before you can start using the DS1512+ you must first install the DiskStation Manager software, network volumes setup on the drives and user accounts configured. Just like with other Synology kit, the DS1512 can be discovered on the network using the supplied Synology Assistant software, which is you also use to install the Diskstation Manager software.
The platform that the DS1512+ is built on allows the drives to be configured as a Raid array or accessed a separate disks. With Raid, you can choose which Raid level they wish to use (constrained by the number of disks fitted), or just use Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) mode, which automatically uses the optimal method.
I recommend that you install two drives, as if one drive fails you allow the system to continue working without trouble. You can always add drives at a later drive, provided of course there is a bay free by using the Storage Manager feature of DiskStation Manager to expand an existing volume.
DiskStation Manager allows for the DS1512 to act as a backup drive for a variety of different system, there is a Windows backup tool provided on the installation CD. The data that you store on the DS1512 you can backup to a USB storage device or Amazon S3 cloud storage service. Many of the applications that you use for this comes preinstalled, otherwise they are available to download from Synologys website.
One of my favorite software applications with the DSM 4.0 is Cloud Station, which allows users to sync files that they have stored on their DS1512 with a folder on their PC wherever in the world they might be.
The DS1512+ is a a professional product that provides a lot of functionality in a small box, and it provides both better performance and reliability when you compare it to earlier models. It is an amazing product and that’s just why I am loving the experience from the DS1512+.