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Synology RackStation RS411 review

Synology’s new RackStation RS411 is one of the lowest cost rack mounted NAS appliances on the market. It’s fast and feature packed, but there are some limitations so read this review to find out more.

Price
£472

Most small businesses with limited office space prefer desktop NAS appliances but Synology's new RackStation RS411 is aimed at those lucky enough to have a rack cabinet. It's a four-bay 1U appliance with ambitious performance claims and in this review we tell you whether it's a better bet than the current crop of desktop models.

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The RS411 is well-built with a solid metal chassis and the four hot-swap hard disk carriers have mounting holes for both 3.5in. and 2.5in disks. The intended audience will undoubtedly value their peace and quiet and we found the four cooling fans at the rear made very little noise.

The motherboard can be removed and inserted from the rear. The board looks similar to the one used by Synology's RS810RP+, but it doesn't have the extra SO-DIMM slot underneath so you can't upgrade the memory.

Along with pairs of USB2 and Gigabit Ethernet ports, the board also has an eSATA port but this has some limitations. The RS810RP+ accepts an RX410 four-bay expansion rack unit, but Synology confirmed that this is not supported by the RS411.

Installation is handled nicely by the Synology Assistant which spots the appliance on the network, prepares a partition on the hard disks and uploads the firmware. Synology's latest DSM 3.1 firmware provides a very slick web management interface and its desktop-like environment allows you to load multiple windows and move them around to suit.

The Storage Manager is used to create RAID arrays and for testing we fitted three 1TB WD GreenPower SATA hard disks. We opted for a standard RAID-5 array which took nearly six hours to build during which time we couldn't access the volume.

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