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ioSafe SoloPRO and Synology DiskStation 212+ - Disaster-proof Networked Storage

Subject: Storage

Network Connectivity: The Synology DiskStation

The ioSafe is engineered more towards data protection than interface options, so if we want to get the most out of it in any form of networked capacity, we need something to bridge the gap. One of the best bridges I can think of is the DiskStation from Synology:

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The DiskStation comes equipped with multiple external connectivity options in addition to its own internal storage array. The DiskStation 212+ is an improvement on earlier models - shifting to a 2 GHz Marvell 88F6282 processor, eSATA, USB 3.0, and Gigabit Ethernet connectivity. It's basically a swiss army knife for NAS duties. There's even an SD card reader on the front.

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The DiskStation comes with power adapter + cord, and a 6 ft black ethernet cable. USB and eSATA cables are not included.

Popping the front off of the DiskStation reveals the drives, which are easily slid out. The trays are not screwless, but the screws are easily accessible and drive swaps should be quick and painless. Our sample came equipped with two Seagate 1TB drives:

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Mating the 212+ with the SoloPRO, well, they look like they were meant to be parked next to one another:

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Here are the back angles of both units, showing off rear connectivity:

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On the left: ioSafe SoloPro with USB and eSATA ports. On the right: Synology DiskStation 212+ with two USB 3.0 ports, one eSATA connector, and one Gigabit LAN port.

Now for some speed testing of the whole setup linked together...

June 7, 2012 | 01:05 PM - Posted by camberry

Woh, that is hardcore.

June 7, 2012 | 01:10 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

Indeed!

June 7, 2012 | 02:25 PM - Posted by Chaitanya Shukla (not verified)

I got DS212+ last week, and its a big improvement over my old DS112J. Software support on Synology products is great. Also thanks for the review.

June 7, 2012 | 11:21 PM - Posted by Peter (not verified)

Funny, as I was watching live the PCPer podcast recording on TWiT last week and Allyn alluded to an upcoming review of the Synology 212+, I quite literally was in mid-unboxing of the same unit. It hand me chuckling all night, but it also had me wondering if his considerable storage systems experience with a deep library of benchmarks would parallel to some degree my impressions from solely paper-born research and shallow, hands-on time with any NAS device.

After a week's worth of testing, playing, configuring, and exploring, the 212+ has so far met or exceeded my expectations and looks like a great choice to serve my usage scenario. With two enterprise drives and a voltage regulated UPS, I have high hopes it'll have the legs for a good, long, and uneventful marathon.

Now, having read Allyn's posted review, I'm glad my computer-fu intuition was in keeping with The Sensei's observations.

I, too, keep finding new stuff to do with Synology's firmware. It's highly polished, and nicely documented in clear English within the UI's Help screens -- their website extends it further. One peeve, however. For a product with so many features, here's a case where including a paper manual would have made learning, referencing, and tweaking so much easier and faster than relying on a screen. Weighing in at 168 pages in full 8.5" x 11" glory, that's a lot of screen-time for a PDF manual; or, a horribly expensive Color print job. I settled for black & white.

So hereto now, the missing paper manual for the NAS is for me, the only 'gotcha' in an otherwise excellent first week.

Thanks for the review Allyn. Great stuff.

ps - was kinda hoping you were gonna put the ioSafe through the PCPer paces, you know, give it a benchmark pounding -- by which I mean, dropping the drive on the bench and measuring the mark.

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