I’ve acquired my third Synology NAS for the home lab – the others being a DS2411+ and DS411. The new one is a DS414slim model (I wrote about it earlier here) with 4x
Kingston 240 GB SSDNow V300 SanDisk Ultra Plus SSDs. Note: The V300s are suffering horrible firmware issues and apparently got caught switching out good components for crappy ones.
Why all flash? While I certainly don’t expect the Marvell SoC to stress out the SSDs, it’s certainly much more convenient to push the bottleneck away from spinning disks and onto the NAS itself. And with the price of flash being relatively affordable these days (the Kingston drives were $99 a pop), I don’t see why anyone would go with HDDs unless large capacity was part of their requirements or a super-tight budget was one of their constraints.
This post will review the unboxing experience and the initial setup of the NAS. I’ll follow up with another post with benchmarks via iSCSI and NFS and overall impressions from working with the unit.
Questions and Answers
A few questions have rolled in.
@ChrisWahl I’m glad to see you color code your network cables like I do 🙂 What are you going to do w/ the < 600GB usable space?
— Josh Atwell (@Josh_Atwell) July 1, 2014
It’s about 700 GB of flash usable in RAID 5. This NAS will be used for virtual machines and general testing of various storage protocols for different software applications – sort of like a “non production” NAS in the lab. Additionally, I’ve found that my 2411+ is using just under 400 GB of space across 30ish virtual machines.
Yes, it’s very small. To give perspective, the length of the unit is about as long as a modern cell phone.
The issue with HDDs is IOPS. They can produce so few that a 3+1 RAID 5 set of spinning disk would not do much good for virtual machines. Flash eliminates this concern, although I understand that I’ll never stress out the SSDs with this config. It’s all about shifting the bottleneck.
@ChrisWahl Nice! Does the slim support VAAI then? I thought they only supported it on the “+” ranges?
— Alex Galbraith (@alexgalbraith) June 30, 2014
The slim does not support VAAI.
If you’re into the unboxing experience, I’ve recorded an HD video of the magical event.
Here’s a series of photos I took while setting up the DS414slim in the lab.