Synology RackStation RS2211+ review

Synology gets serious about expansion as its new RS2211+ is the first to use an Infiniband connection and can scale to an impressive 66TB. Dave Mitchell finds out if it's a good choice as a rack mount NAS appliance for businesses.

Synology provides some of the best IP camera recording features with the Surveillance Station 5 improved to support IE, Firefox and Google Chrome. A search tool finds your IP cameras on the network and it supports scheduled recordings and motion detection too.

Backup features are reasonable, although the bundled Data Replicator 3 is now looking a bit dated. However, the appliance offers scheduled backups of local data to external USB devices, other Synology appliances or Rsync compatible servers and integrates with Amazon's S3 remote backup service.

Synology’s Time Backup provides a simple snapshot service that allows multiple file copies to be retained.

Synology's Time Backup provides a simple snapshot service that allows multiple file copies to be retained.

Snapshots are handled by the Time Backup add-on package which has finally come out of beta testing. This automates snapshots of selected folders to another volume on the appliance or external device. A file version history is viewed from the Timeline screen where you can select one and restore it to its original location or a new destination.

The RS2211+ scores highly over rival rack mount NAS appliances from Thecus, QNap and Netgear which don't have any worthwhile expansion capabilities. Synology's Infiniband link is a single point of failure but it clearly has no impact on performance and the high maximum capacity makes the RS2211+ a far better choice for SMBs.

So what's our verdict?


Synology’s RS2211+ is very good value when stacked up against similar rack appliances from Thecus, Qnap and Netgear. Its superior expansion potential makes it a better choice for businesses with big plans for the future and our tests show the Infiniband connection has no detrimental impact on performance. Synology also packs in plenty of features and offers some of the best IP SAN features in this class.

Chassis: 2U rack CPU: 1.8GHz Intel Atom D525 Memory: 1GB DDR2 expandable to 3GB Storage: 10 x 3.5in.or 2.5in SATA hard disk hot-swap bays RAID: Software managed Array support: RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, Hybrid, hot-spare and JBODs Network: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet Other ports: 4 x USB2, Infiniband Management: Web browser Software: Synology Assistant, Download Redirector and Data Replicator 3 Options: RX1211, £864; RS2211RP+, £1,514; RX1211RP, £1,328 (all ex VAT)

Dave Mitchell

Dave is an IT consultant and freelance journalist specialising in hands-on reviews of computer networking products covering all market sectors from small businesses to enterprises. Founder of Binary Testing Ltd – the UK’s premier independent network testing laboratory - Dave has over 45 years of experience in the IT industry.

Dave has produced many thousands of in-depth business networking product reviews from his lab which have been reproduced globally. Writing for ITPro and its sister title, PC Pro, he covers all areas of business IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, network security, data protection, cloud, infrastructure and services.