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

Subject: Storage

Synology: NAS Speed Testing

With the two paired together, we did some quick configuration on the Synology box. The 212+ has a *lot* of features to choose from:

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For the moment we were only focused on getting an eSATA-connected SoloPRO to appear on the network. After a couple of clicks through the DiskStation's interface, voala:

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The Synology box appears no different than any other shareing host on your network, and the eSATA port appears as a shared folder. USB connected devices work in a similar fashion. With the connection made and the share mounted, it's time for some file copies. We used large file copies - ISO images of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. The drive sitting on the host side of the file copies was a 512GB Samsung 830 Series SSD connected via SATA 6Gb/sec (clearly not the bottleneck here). Now for the results:

Read (copy from ioSafe via NAS):

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Write (copy to ioSafe via NAS):

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These numbers, while good, seemed a bit on the low side, especially since I was seeing faster transfer rates when moving the same files to and from the DiskStation's internal storage. At first I thought this might just be the 212+ not handling eSATA as well as its own internal storage. Investigation revealed it was indeed an overhead related problem, but not one of hardware. The ioSafe was formatted NTFS in the above tests, and the DiskStation is not a Windows machine. This means the NAS had to do extra work to interface with the NT File System. Matching the ioSafe to the native (and preferred) format of the DiskStation required a reformat under the Linux EXT4 file system:

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With the ioSafe formatted EXT4, let's see how much nicer it plays with the DiskStation:

 

Read (copy from ioSafe via NAS):

 

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Write (copy to ioSafe via NAS):

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That's more like it. Big difference there. These speeds were nearly identical to what we saw when doing the same copies to and from the DiskStation's internal array, and while they were not the 90+ MB/sec rated you'd see on iSCSI over GigE (which is possible if you're willing to stick with a point-to-point link), they were certainly acceptable for a Samba-based share.

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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