Synology DS1621xs+ SMB NAS Review

Anyone serious about storage will truly enjoy the Synology DS1621xs+ SMB NAS with its native 10GBe networking, but it isn't cheap.

Published Wed, Jan 20 2021 9:12 AM CST
Rating: 95%Manufacturer: Synology (DS1621xs+)

Introduction & Pricing, Availability, and Specifications

DS1621xs+ is quite an interesting platform for Synology that brings with it a couple of "firsts." The biggest is this platform being the first x86 platform from the vendor to offer native 10Gbe. A few years back, they had the DS1817 platform powered by the Annapurna SoC that also offered 10Gbe as part of their value series.

The DS1621xs+ lives in the XS/XS+ portfolio. Historically, these platforms have been rackmount solutions like the previous version RS1619xs+. Interestingly, Synology chose to change the entire form factor for this latest platform to give us the DS1621xs+. Internally, we have some solid hardware with the Broadwell Xeon-D 1527. This solution operates at a 2.2GHz base with a 2.7GHz boost clock. Synology has paired with 8GB of ECC DDR4 with the option for upgrades via two SO-DIMM slots.

Functionally, we have six drive bays with possible expansion to 16 using two DX517. 2.5" and 3.5" drives are supported with another two m.2 slots for SSD cache. Single volume support runs up to 108TB, or if you throw in 32GB of RAM, it can be pushed to 200TB in R5 or R6.

Connectivity includes 2x Gigabit LAN that supports aggregation and one 10Gbe port. A single PCIe Gen 3 x8 slot is available for additional expansion.

Pricing and Availability

The Synology DS1621XS+ is widely available at online retailers with an MSRP of $1599.99 with a five-year warranty.

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Synology DS1621xs+

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* Prices last scanned on 3/5/2021 at 3:40 pm CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

NAS Details

Synology DS1621xs+ NAS

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Despite being a business-oriented product, the 1621xs+ keeps the traditional consumer packaging with a mostly brown box and sticker place to the right. That sticker offers both features and specs of the machine.

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On the backside, you will get a list of contents at the bottom and hardware support above.

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Included in the box, we find two ethernet cables, a power cord, and bay keys.

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1621xs+ is a six-bay platform that uses the traditional Synology design. Along the top, we have LEDs for status, alerts, and LAN ports. Each of the six bays is lockable with the included keys.

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On the back, we find the large power input to the left, followed by two cooling fans. Down below, we have a Kensington lock, 2x USB 3.0, 10Gbe, and 2x 1Gbe. To the right are the two eSATA expansion slots for adding on DX517 expansion enclosures to reach the 16-drive mark, the model number alludes to.

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Drive trays are still tool-less for this platform, certainly welcome.

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Synology has made RAM very accessible by offering an outside panel with direct access.

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Internally, we have the PCIe slot available to the left in the image above, while the m.2 slots are to the right on a PCIe daughterboard.

Management GUI and Test System

Management GUI

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Like many past appliances, the Synology Assistant aids setup. This is found by using your web browser and or downloading the software to your machine.

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After setup is complete, we land in DSM with the same layout we have seen in the past. A quick looking at system health can be found to the right.

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The package center continues to improve, with apps available for nearly any task you want to accomplish.

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Control Panel gives access to all user account creation and group tasks. Connectivity allows you to configure the network and services available.

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Storage Manager offers an overview, access to storage pools, and volume creation along with SSD cache.

Tyler's Test System Specifications

Benchmarks - Storage Performance & Final Thoughts

Storage Performance

To get the most performance possible out of the DS1621xs+, I used 4x SKHynix S31 Gold SSDs for testing and 10Gbe.

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My first set of tests for the 1621 were straight SMB/CIFS connections to the NAS over 10Gbe. In this scenario, we found 1186 MB/s read and 1096 MB/s write in RAID 0.

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Moving to RAID 6, same testing scenario, we lost nearly no performance at all with the S31 drives; 1147 MB/s read, and 929 MB/s write.

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Getting into some more of our workload, our NASPT testing showed surprisingly good results from the 1621xs+. Peaks were in directory and file copy with video playback up near the top as well.

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Sequential performance outside of CDM was similar with 1181 MB/s read in RAID 0 and 1183 MB/s read in RAID 6.

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Advanced workloads using iSCSI showed a peak of 60K IOPS in workstation and Web Server, while Database hit 47K and File Server was right behind at 43K.

Final Thoughts

DS1621xs+ is an extremely powerful platform for any SMB wanting to take control of their own storage needs. Homelabbers will also appreciate the use of genuine "server" grade hardware and proper ECC memory for their high-capacity arrays, while the addition of 10Gbe really ties this together as a legit enthusiast platform.

The performance was on par with my expectations using the 10Gbe connection. We easily saw 1150 MB/s both read and write in RAID 0 while RAID 6 showed similar 1150 MB/s performance for read operations and just under 1K for write. NASPT workloads showed strong performance in Video playback along with file copy and directory copy.

Pricing puts this platform quite a bit above past platforms reviewed from Synology, but it does have some pretty serious hardware as it seems Synology pulled out all the stops for this new DS1621xs+. Competing solutions based on price are the QNAP 672XT or 672N, neither having native 10Gbe support.

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The Bottom Line

Synology finally gives us a proper 10GBe platform in the DS1621XS+!

TweakTown award

Synology DS1621xs+

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
* Prices last scanned on 3/5/2021 at 3:40 pm CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Growing up in a small farm town, tech wasn't around, unless it was in a tractor. At an early age, Tyler's parents brought home their first PC. Tyler was hooked and learned what it meant to format a HDD, spending many nights reinstalling Windows 95. Tyler's love and enthusiast nature always kept his PC nearby. Eager to get deeper into tech, he started reviewing.

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