Synology Announces Business and Home NAS Devices

Synology might not be as well known in the U.S. as other network-attached storage (NAS) device manufactures such as Buffalo, Maxtor/Seagate, or QNAP; but with Synology's announcement today of a slew of new NAS devices for small businesses and home users, Synology NAS devices might be finding their way into many more U.S. companies and homes soon.

Leading off the pack of the new NAS devices is Synology's new "flagship" business-class device, the Disk Station DS509+. The DS509+ features five hot-swappable SATA-II drive bays with RAID 0/1/5/6 support. Synology claims that the DS509+ is "ideal for growing businesses looking for automated secure server backups, cross platform file sharing, mail server capabilities and a built-in surveillance system for under $1000."

Synology Disk Station DS509+
Synology also claims that the DS509+ is a "high-performance" NAS solution: Synology states that you can expect RAID 5 read performance at speeds greater than 55MB/Sec and RAID 5 write performance at 39MB/Sec or better. The DS509+ is powered by a 1.06GHz CPU and 1GB of RAM; it has two Gigabit Ethernet ports, two USB 2.0 ports, and 1 eSATA connection. The device supports up to a total of 7.5TB of storage space; includes CIFS, Samba, AFP 3.1, FTP, NFS, Telnet/SSH, and ADS support; it has iTunes server and UPnP multimedia streaming support; and it supports up to 2,048 user accounts, 256 user groups, 256 shared folders, and up to 512 concurrent connections.

There is no word on when the DS509+ will be available, but Synology has announced that a four-drive-bay version, the Disk Station DS409+ (pictured top right), will be available in April. The DS409+ has similar specs as the DS509+--it has the same speed CPU with half the on-board memory (512MB), but it has faster rated speeds at 57+MB/Sec RAID 5 read and 41+MB/Sec RAID 5 write. There will also be another four-bay version available in April, the Rack Station RS409+, which will come in a rack-mountable 1-U format, with redundant power supplies. A single-bay Disk Station DS109+ will be available in May, and a two-bay Disk Station DS209+ will be available later in the summer. Prices have not been announced yet for these models.

Also coming soon will be DX5 and RX4 eSATA-based expansion models. The DS409+, DS509+, and RS409+ all include built-in eSATA connections for simple scalability or dedicated backup. The five-bay DX5 is similar to the Desk Station's form factor and is meant to attach to the DS409+ or DS509+; while the four-bay RX4 comes in a rack-mountable chassis that is designed to connect to the RS409+. Synology states that connecting a DX5 or RX4 device is very simple: "One step eSATA plug-in allows the DX5/RX4 to connect to the Disk Station, and function almost immediately. No additional software installation is required." Unfortunately, Synology has not stated availability or pricing yet for these products either.

Synology also has a line of "entry-level" NAS devices for home and small workgroup environments, which it is adding to with the new single-bay Disk Station 109j and the two-bay Disk Station 209j--the DS109j will sell for less than $150, and both units will be available in April. Synology states that these devices represent "an economical solution to file sharing, managing photos, streaming media, website hosting and data backup." Synology's existing entry-level "j" series includes the single-bay IDE-based Disk Station DS106j and the single-bay SATA-II-based Disk Station DS108j. It is not certain yet what new features the DS109j will bring, but the 209j will be Synology's first dual-bay NAS device for the entry-level "j" series; although the company's existing dual-bay Disk Station DS207 does appear to cater to this same market segment.

Synology also recently announced the Disk Station 2.1 firmware update for its existing product lineup. The new firmware brings a number of new and improved features to existing devices, including an enhanced AJAX-based interface, mail server capabilities, support for up to two USB-connected printers, sub-folder privilege settings, and RAID migration. In addition to coming pre-installed on all new devices, the 2.1 firmware update is also available for free for existing supported models.

UPDATE: We were able to get some additional information about the new Synology NAS devices from Synology. It turns out that there are actually a lot more new Synology NAS devices coming out than we were originally led to understand; 15 new models to be exact. Expected street prices for all these new device are listed below. With the exception of the DS209+2, all the models should be avilable within the next month or so. The primary difference between the "+" models and the non-"+" models is that the "+" models have significantly faster throughput speeds (but the same feature set):
  • DS109j: $139.99
  • DS209j: $199.99
  • DS409j: $329.99
  • DS109: $229.99
  • DS209: $299.99
  • DS409: $499.99
  • DS109+: $399.99
  • DS209+2: $599.99
  • DS409+: $839.99
  • DS509+: $1,199.99
  • RS409: $799.99
  • RS409+: $1,299.99
  • RS409+ with redundant power: $1,799.99
  • DX5: $499.99
  • RX4: $499.99