Synology RackStation RS2423RP+ review: Speedy rack-dense storage

A good value rack NAS with a high storage capacity, a fine performance and great data protection features

The Synology RS2423RP+ on the ITPro background
(Image: © Future)

IT Pro Verdict


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    Good value

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    Fast AMD Ryzen CPU

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    Good 10GbE performance

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    Feature-rich DSM 7.2 software

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    Synology WriteOnce


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    Maximum 32GB of memory

Presented as versatile network storage all-rounders, Synology's 12-bay RackStation RS2423+ and RS2423RP+ appliances aim to offer a fine combination of capacity and features for handling duties such as backup, file, and cloud serving. In keeping with Synology's two-year refresh cycle, they step up as replacements for the RS2421+/RP+ models and claim to offer a significant performance boost.

AMD keeps its job in the processing department with the embedded 2.1GHz Ryzen V1500B CPU in the older appliances replaced with a more powerful quad-core 3.35GHz Ryzen V1780B. Memory doesn't see any improvements as this is still pegged at a maximum of 32GB although the RS2423+/RP+ models get a doubling of base memory over their predecessors to 8GB.

Network port permutations see some useful changes as the four Gigabit ports in the previous models have been replaced with a combination of dual Gigabit and single copper 10GbE ports. We review the RS2423RP+ which adds 26mm to its chassis depth to make way for the pair of 370W hot-plug PSUs.

Synology RackStation RS2423RP+ review: Build quality and expansion

For a 12-bay rack appliance, the RS2423RP+ has a pleasingly short depth of 23 inches even with the pair of PSUs at the rear. It's well-constructed with a solid metal chassis and removable rear lid while three hot-plug cooling fans modules are located underneath a separate hatch.

Internally, the layout is very tidy with the AMD CPU mounted by a large passive heatsink. To one side are a pair of long DIMM slots with the base 8GB of memory supplied as a single DDR4 ECC UDIMM stick.

The rear view of the Synology RS2423RP+

(Image credit: Future)

Owners of the older RS2421+ models looking for a timely upgrade should note that Synology has changed the type of rear expansion port as the Infiniband version has been replaced with a mini-SAS HD port. The upshot is if you have a RX1217RP disk shelf you can't move it across as the RS2423+/RP+ only supports Synology's RX1223RP model. 

Further expansion is facilitated by a spare PCIe slot with the compatibility list restricted to Synology's 10GbE and 25GbE network adapters. The RS2423RP+ is also a member of Synology's enterprise family of appliances so its storage device compatibility list is restricted to Synology's own HDDs and SSDs – you can use other manufacturers' devices but warnings will be flagged in the web console and Synology will decline to provide product support.

Synology RackStation RS2423RP+ review: Apps of distinction

Look no further for the best backup apps as Synology's DSM 7.2 software is positively overflowing with them. The Snapshot Replication app manages on-demand and scheduled NAS share plus thin-provisioned iSCSI LUN snapshots and runs remote replication to other Synology appliances. 

The Hyper Backup app handles local, remote, Rsync, cloud, and iSCSI LUN backups and integrates with Synology's C2 Backup cloud service for off-site storage. You can create and manage your own private backup cloud as the Drive app provides Dropbox-like synchronization services for collaboration and file sharing with desktops and mobiles that have the Drive agent installed.

The user interface on the Synology RS2423RP+

(Image credit: Future)

The Active Backup for Business (ABB) app provides a superb range of data protection facilities for servers, workstations plus virtual environments and the best part is it's all free. It supports agent-less backup services for VMware and Hyper-V virtualization hosts along with application-consistent backups of virtual machines (VMs).

DSM 7.2 delivers valuable ransomware protection with immutable storage along with full volume encryption, it offers WORM (write once, read many) policies for NAS folders on Btrfs volumes. Called WriteOnce, you select it during shared folder creation and choose Enterprise or Compliance policies.  

Both options allow you to lock a file immediately, apply an auto-lock timer that stops changes being made after a custom period of inactivity, set a retention period in days, years, or forever, and decide whether files are immutable or can be appended with new data. The stronger Compliance mode stops the storage pool, volume, and shared folders from being deleted by anyone including administrators. 

Synology RackStation RS2423RP+ review: 10GbE performance

For performance testing, we loaded up Synology's HAT5300 HDDs and SAT5300 SSDs along with its E10G18-T2 dual-port copper 10GbE adapter and for host duties, called up the lab's Dell PowerEdge R760xs Gen4 Xeon Scalable rack server running Windows Server 2022. NAS speeds are excellent with a share mapped over 10GbE to the Dell server returning Iometer sequential read and write speeds of 9.3Gbits/sec and 9.2Gbits/sec – in our review of the RS2421RP+, we saw 9.2Gbits/sec and 8Gbits/sec.

Performance metrics on the Synology RS2423RP+

(Image credit: Future)

Numbers for our real-world tests looked good too, with drag-and-drop copies of a large 25GB file recording average read and write speeds of 5.6Gbits/sec and 5.8Gbits/sec– also faster than the RS2421RP+ by 11.2% and 17% respectively. Our backup test which secures a 22.4GB folder containing 10,500 small files to the share averaged 2.4Gbits/sec while copying the 25GB file to an encrypted folder returned a speedy 2.7Gbits/sec.

For IP SAN testing, we started with a single 10GbE link to a 500GB target on the appliance's HDDs and watched Iometer report sequential read and write speeds of 9.2Gbits/sec and 8.9Gbits/sec. Using the extra dual-port adapter we created a triple MPIO link to the target which returned impressive sequential read and write speeds of 27.6Gbits/sec and 13.7Gbits/sec.

SSD caching is well worth considering as it will boost random write operations substantially. After adding a RAID10 SSD cache to our RAID5 HDD pool, we saw random write speeds increase from 1.1Gbits/sec to 6.8Gbits/sec with IOPS going from 4,950 to 94,300.

Synology RackStation RS2423RP+ review: Is it worth it?

With a diskless unit costing a shade over £2,000, the RackStation RS2423RP+ is an affordable high-capacity network storage appliance for SMBs. The 32GB memory limit reduces its appeal as a virtualization host but it delivered an impressive turn of speed in our 10GbE performance tests while Synology's DSM 7.2 software presents a wealth of sophisticated data protection apps and introduces support for immutable storage.

Synology RackStation RS2423RP+ specifications 

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Chassis2U rack chassis
CPUQuad-core 3.35GHz AMD Ryzen V1780B
Memory8GB DDR4 ECC UDIMM (max 32GB)
Storage12 x SATA LFF/SFF
RAIDRAID0, 1, 10, 5, 6, JBOD, SHR, SHR2
Expansion1 x PCIe Gen 3 slot
Network2 x Gigabit, 1 x 10GBaseT
Other ports2 x USB 3.2, 1 x mini-SAS HD
Power2 x hot-plug 370W PSUs
ManagementWeb browser
Warranty3 year limited
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.