New Home Lab Addition – Flash Powered Synology DS414slim

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.

[symple_box color=”yellow” fade_in=”false” float=”center” text_align=”left” width=””]Visit this other post for benchmarks on the DS414slim with iSCSI and NFS[/symple_box]

Questions and Answers

A few questions have rolled in.

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.

The slim does not support VAAI.

Unboxing

If you’re into the unboxing experience, I’ve recorded an HD video of the magical event.

Setup

Here’s a series of photos I took while setting up the DS414slim in the lab.

Rear view of the unit without any drive bays inserted
Rear view of the unit without any drive bays inserted
Close up of the guts inside of the DS414slim
Close up of the guts inside of the DS414slim
Screwing in four SSDs into the drive mounts
Screwing in four SSDs into the drive mounts
All SSDs are now mounted and inserted
All SSDs are now mounted and inserted
The underside showing voltage and amperage requirements
The underside showing voltage and amperage requirements
A test fitting of the power and network cables.
A test fitting of the power and network cables.
A staggered view of the bays showing the clearance needed to service the rear of the unit
A staggered view of the bays showing the clearance needed to service the rear of the unit
A top-down view of the drive bays as they are ejected
A top-down view of the drive bays as they are ejected
All cables attached, all drives inserted. Test fit complete!
All cables attached, all drives inserted. Test fit complete!
The DS414slim will sit on my DS2411+ ... for now.
The DS414slim will sit on my DS2411+ … for now.
Using a single, neon blue network cable for the initial load of DSM 5
Using a single, neon blue network cable for the initial load of DSM 5
Creating labels for the two network cables that will be bonded via LACP
Creating labels for the two network cables that will be bonded via LACP

[symple_box color=”red” fade_in=”true” float=”center” text_align=”left” width=””]
Looking for these ties? They are called Marker Cable Ties and are sold in 100 unit packs for cheap!
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Cables are plugged in, time to attach the other ends to the DS414slim
Cables are plugged in, time to attach the other ends to the DS414slim
Both LAN lights are green, everything looks good using the bonded interface
Both LAN lights are green, everything looks good using the bonded interface
DSM 5.0-4493u2 is loaded and ready to rock
DSM 5.0-4493u2 is loaded and ready to rock