Installation and Use
Now, our Synology DS-212+ arrived to us with two 1 TB Seagate hard drives already installed, but we pulled one out just enough to show where they are and how they go in.
The front cover is insecure, just like the DS-211+. It’s trivial to pull off the cover and slide out the drives. This virtually renders pointless the lock port on the rear of the unit. Sure, you may still have your NAS, but what if it’s your data a thief desires? What if you have small children with a knack for pulling on things they shouldn’t? Because of the lack of a lock or anything, I’d advise folks with a need for security of the drives to avoid this unit.
The control panel design continues to be the sexiest in the NAS industry. Its desktop paradigm makes it highly comfortable for any level of user. For a complete review of the control panel, check out the Synology control panel tour from the DS-211+ review. There hasn’t been a significant change since then.
I performed a business class benchmark simply comparing file transfer speeds from my desktop to the NAS and compared it with results of the same benchmarks against my QNAP TS-809. The DS-212+ has a Feroceon 2 GHz ARM processor with 512 MB of DDR3 RAM, and the TS-809 has a 2 GHz Core 2 Duo processor with 2 GB of RAM. Hard drive wise, the DS-212+ has two Seagate ST31000524AS 1 TB hard drives configured in a RAID0 array, while the TS-809 has four Seagate ST2000DL003-9VT1CC32 2 TB drives configured in a RAID5 array.
As with all of my network transfer tests, I use a RAM disk for benchmarks. I create a RAM disk, generally on a recent Linux system, and copy any testing files to that RAM disk. Using a RAM disk removes hard drive access from the equation, thereby showing the fastest speeds possible without trying to fit a several hundred megabyte file into the CPU’s ~4-12 MB L2 or L3 cache.
I used the ASRock Core 100HT nettop that ThinkComputers reviewed last summer. It sports a Core i3 and 4 GB of DDR3 — enough for my tastes for this business-class benchmark.
I’m expecting only slightly better performance than the DS-211+, mostly accounting for the faster processor and newer hard drives. I did get new hard drives for the TS-809, but they shouldn’t make too much of a difference. I’m expecting the DS-212+ to trounce the QNAP TS-809 on NFS performance, but fall short in SMB performance.
|Synology DS-212+||4.98 MB/s||41.38 MB/s|
|Qnap TS-809 Pro||5.09 MB/s||45.32 MB/s|
The QNAP triumphs, but not by much. The TS-809 is starting to show its age, but it could also be slowed down by RAID5 compared to the RAID0 running on the Synology DS-212+.
|Synology DS-212+||45.32 MB/s||135.96 MB/s|
|Qnap TS-809 Pro||50.09 MB/s||105.75 MB/s|
The Synology’s NFS read speed remains top notch, but the write speed took a hit. It’s ~10% slower.
For this test, I read directly from NFS to /dev/null and I write from /dev/urandom to a file on the share. The write isn’t very important here because /dev/urandom can only spit out ~6.2 MB/s on this computer.
|Synology DS-212+||6.1 MB/s||116 MB/s|
|Qnap TS-809 Pro||6.21 MB/s||101 MB/s|
As I expected, the DS-212+ NFS performance trounced the that of the venerable QNAP TS-809. To be fair, though, the QNAP is decidedly optimized for SMB performance. While they are of the same clock speed, the difference between the two processors is architecture: the DS-212+ uses an ARM chip while the TS-809 uses an Intel Core2Duo.
Colin Dean has been a writer for ThinkComputers since 2006.