I’ve been running a vSphere lab of my since ESX 2.x. Over the years, I’ve used both local and NAS based storage with varying degrees of satisfaction with the results. In the case of NAS storage, which is required since I can’t afford a SAN, I looked at Synology devices over the last year trying to gain the motivation to make the investment.
Needless to say, I dove in with both feet, and maxed out a Synology DS1511+ with 3TB drives. I purchased my Synology DS1511+ from SimplyNas with the drives included, including their burn-in testing, and I haven’t looked back. The device has been up and running since October 2011.
This NAS, to put it plainly, is simply amazing. I haven’t gone through true performance testing as there are plenty of reviews out there that dive into the numbers, I’m just giving you my experience with the device.
Ordering from SimplyNas was quick and easy, I had the system in hand within a week’s time of placing the order, and up and running with VMs loaded. As a storage target for vSphere, I can say that the performance is great for a SOHO / SMB device, and I have yet to lose a connection. The link aggregation, which will require a minimum of a layer-2 switch that supports 802.3AD (Dynamic Link Aggregation – AKA Port Channeling), works as advertised, and I can say confidently that all of the other features of the device work as advertised.
I’m currently using the device as an iSCSI target for 3 ESXi hosts and have had no storage problems whatsoever. Even when upgrading the DS1511+, since Synology has released 2 DSM upgrades since I’ve had the device, I left the VMs running and they survived a reboot of the device. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, the device rebooted without the VMs (18 in total) crashing. That alone still shocks me to this day and I often think I’ve imagined it, but 3 reboots of the device due to OS upgrades and a power issue = no problemo. It’s rare to find something that just works, out-of-the-box, with no issue, but this is a product that in my experience can claim just that.
The Synology DS1511+ isn’t inexpensive, but isn’t the most expensive NAS in it’s class, and if time and worry = money, it’s paid for the difference in price easily over the last several months.
I can also say that I’m using it to stream media across my network, audio and video, provide file share services, often use the download manager, and a multitude of other functions, still no hiccups. I really like the DL manager since those items don’t need to be DL’d over my wifi, just to copy things back onto a wired share. It even integrates with AD, and allows the creation of user ‘home’ folders automatically. The slowest thing on it was rebuilding the raid array because I accidently made changes before putting it into my lab, even though SimplyNAS had it configured as I wanted it when it arrived.
No complaints whatsoever about the software and quality of the device. In fact, I’d honestly say that the device, as the title of this post says, is Rock Solid.
Thanks Synology for doing things right. Keep up the great work, and your customers definitely appreciate the DSM upgrades. I’ll post an update to this at the year mark, but if the last several months have been any indication, there will be no negative comments and likely another Fan Boy type post. By the way, I’ve noticed that they’ve released a newer version, the 1512+, and it’s supposed to perform even better. SOHO and SMB customers, need to take notice. Now it makes me wonder what some of the other competition is doing. Never hurts to look right?
If you want to check out the features: http://www.synology.com/us/products/DS1511+/index.php
DS1512+ (2012 model)