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Synology RackStation RS411 review

Regular readers of KitGuru may want to skip this page. We have covered the Diskmanager Operating System many times, but it is such an integral part of a Synology product that it would be remiss of us not to highlight the functionality and capabilities of this multitasking software platform.

The first thing in setting up a Synology NAS system is to load the ‘Synology Assistant’ software package, which is included on the software CD, or available from the Synology support site directly.

synology_88f6282_rs411_1354.pat – is the data file that configures the RS411 system. If you are moving from another NAS system, this methodology seems a little backwards, but we are getting used to it.

The software is directly controlled via a webbrowser (Firefox in this case) and it is very intuitive and responsive. Chrome 5, Internet Explorer 7 and 8 and Safari 4 and 5 (Macintosh) can also be used.

The first duty is to set up a volume, with one or multiple drive units. The RS411 supports Basic, JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 5+Spare, RAID 6.

The Diskmanager software offers drive monitoring panels as well as cache enabling for improved performance with specific hard drives. HDD hibernation, S.M.A.R.T. and Dynamic Bad Sector Mapping are supported.

Once a volume is in place, shared folders can be configured for access from a variety of platforms. The software supports a maximum user count of 2048 with 256 user groups and 256 shared folders. It also allows for up to 128 concurrent connections over CIFS, AFP or FTP.

Networking support is also comprehensive, Windows, Macintosh and NFS protocol can be enabled or disabled through various panels.

Link Aggregation support is available, either IEEE 802.3ad Dynamic Link Aggregation or Network Fault Tolerance only (non-802.3ad network environment). Jumbo frames can be adjusted from 1,500 to 9,000k.

Wireless dongles can be bought and used with the RS411, for a full list of models, visit the Synology support site. This is updated fairly regularly.

Much of the functionality is available through the admin panel, which is linked top left of the browser window. From here you can view all the subsections and head into the main control panel for system wide adjustments.

There is a plethora of media support available from DSM 3.0.

Photo Station

  • Supported Image Format: BMP, JPG (jpe, jpeg), GIF, RAW (arw, srf, sr2, dcr, k25, kdc, cr2, crw, nef, mrw, ptx, pef, raf, 3fr, erf, mef, mos, orf, rw2, dng, x3f)•
  • Supported Video Format : 3G2, 3GP, ASF, AVI, DAT, DivX, FLV, M4V, MOV, MP4, MPEG, MPG, QT, WMV, XviD, RM, RMVB, VOB, RV30, RV40, AC3, AMR, WMA3

Download Station

  • Supported Download Protocols: BT/HTTP/FTP/NZB/eMule
  • Custom BitTorrent Port Range
  • BitTorrent / eMule Bandwidth Control

Audio Station

  • Supported Audio Format: (USB Mode) AAC, FLAC, M4A, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, WMA, WMA VBR; (Streaming Mode) MP3, M4A, M4B
  • Supported Playlist Format: M3U, WPL
  • Internet Radio: SHOUTcast, Radioio

DLNA/UPnP Media Server

  • DLNA Certified
  • PS3/Xbox 360 Support
  • Supported Audio Format: AAC, FLAC, M4A, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, PCM, WAV, WMA, WMA VBR, WMA PRO, WMA Lossless
  • Supported Video Format: 3GP, 3G2, ASF, AVI, DAT, DivX, DVR-MS, ISO, M2T, M2TS, M4V, MKV, MP4, MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4, MTS, MOV, QT, SWF, TP, TRP, TS, VOB, WMV, XviD, RV30, RV40, AC3, AMR, WMA3
  • Supported Image Format: BMP, JPG (jpe, jpeg), GIF, ICO, PNG, PSD, TIF (tiff), UFO, RAW (arw, srf, sr2, dcr, k25, kdc, cr2, crw, nef, mrw, ptx, pef, raf, 3fr, erf, mef, mos, orf, rw2, dng, x3f)

IT staff and system administrators can configure messaging, by email or by SMS message. For those who seek maximum security and backup support, the system can also be hooked directly into a UPS device.

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