Although the NAS has a lot of integrated features and services to start with, the manufacturer offers even more. Besides the above-mentioned console access that provides full control over the integrated OS, there is a mechanism for installing ready-made expansion packs.
The manufacturer’s website offers the following modules for download: Mail Station, Squeezebox server, Webalizer, phpMyAdmin. Besides, there are a number of php systems that have been tested for compatibility with Synology products. You can refer to the manufacturer’s website for details about them.
It is all clear with phpMyAdmin and Webalizer. The former is used to manage the integrated MySQL server and the latter compiles pretty-looking reports about the usage of the NAS’s web services.
The Mail Station allows establishing an email server on the NAS to support SMTP, POP3(S) and IMAP4(S). Web-based access to the email is supported as well.
The Squeezebox server supports namesake devices from Logitech.
Such add-on modules may add their own setup pages into the NAS’s common web-interface, which is very handy.
We benchmarked the NAS using Intel NASPT 1.7.0 and a couple of Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AAL drives. We left the NAS’s settings at their defaults expect that we enabled Jumbo Frames.
The first diagram shows the results of different RAID configurations in comparison with a single HDD: single disk, two disks in RAID1 and two disks in RAID0.
So, the highest speed the DS210+ can deliver with two HDDs is about 90 MBps. This is very high indeed. For example, the entry-level DS210j could deliver a read speed of 80 MBps and a write speed of 55 MBps in our earlier tests. We can also note some progress, obviously due to software optimizations rather than hardware improvements, over the last-year top-end model DS509+ which used to deliver read and write speeds of 70 and 80 MBps with two-disk arrays.
By the way, Synology’s current product range includes a dual-disk model based on the x86 platform.
Considering the similarity to the DS209+II model, we performed additional tests using the streaming patterns to see the effect from the new encryption unit added to the processor. The second diagram shows the results for ordinary and encrypted shared folders (only one HDD is installed).
The results suggest that AES256 encryption is quite a burden for the NAS’s processor. Its software implementation leads to a performance hit of 80%. The hardware encryption unit of the DS210+ model lowers this number to 50% at reading and 70% at writing. Anyway, this is too high a performance hit to recommend encryption for all data.
The DS210+ proves the leading status of Synology on the NAS market. It is a well-made, high-performance, stable and reliable device with a rich selection of features. The latter aspect is ensured through ongoing optimization of the integrated software for new models as well as for Synology NASes that have been selling in the last few years. DSM 2.3 brings about further improvements for the various Stations that work with files, music, photos. Such features as operations with disk volumes, the system of local and LAN backup, secure data access, settings of wired and wireless connections and routers, status monitoring and support for add-on modules have all been improved as well.
Despite the dominance of Microsoft OSes, Synology cares about users of other platforms, particular Mac OS X. The DS210+ supports AFP and Bonjour and is compatible with the Time Machine utility. Mobile devices from Apple can also be integrated with the NAS’s services by means of free applications downloadable from AppStore so that you could use them to access your files, music and photos.
The Synology DS210+ can be recommended for demanding users who want a compact, off-the-shelf, high-performance solution for network storage of data with lots of useful extra functions.