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Synology DiskStation DS1511+ Review

Rating: 9.5.

KitGuru has reviewed many NAS systems in the last year and we have covered most of the previous range from Synology. Today we are looking at the new flagship product aimed at the small and medium sized business market. With support for up to 15 drives via additional Synology DX510 units and class leading read and write performance this looks on paper to be an outstanding addition to their range …. but can it deliver?

Firstly to stop any confusion, lets address the Synology naming conventions as it can be rather confusing for a newcomer.

“+” series = performance range.
standard series (no digit) = mixture of performance and storage.
“j” series = entry level consumer, concerned about capacity but not performance.

DS = Diskstation
First Digit = number of bays
Second numbers = year for the release

Therefore we can see that the DS1511+ is a member of the performance series, it can support up to 15 drive bays and was created for the year 2011.

Product Highlights.

  • Windows® ADS and ACL support
  • iSCSI Support as Virtualization Solution
  • Scale up to 15 Drives with Synology DX5102
  • Expandable RAM Size (up to 3GB)
  • 2 LAN with Failover and Link Aggregation Support
  • Hot-swappable Hard Drive Design

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  • Ravi

    wozzers, thats outperforming my internal hard drive, over a network lol.

  • Gingerminger

    Its way out of my price range for home, but fantastic performance.

  • TechHead

    Our company bought two of the 1010’s last year and they are incredible. this is even better, didnt think it was possible, especially not for under 1000.

  • Roger

    I bought their 211 last year as well after reading reviews here, ive been very happy. This is lovely to look at, but my missus would hack my legs off If I bought it 🙂

  • Jimmy

    Its always embarassing when you buy a cheap SSD and a networked NAS system is faster :p

  • Ned

    nice indeed. bit expensive for me, but good for business

  • Raymond

    They seem to have a good update schedule on their products. especially on a software level.

  • Manny

    I never get it why they dont offer lockable drive bays on these business models. its the first thing the IT department will want.

  • Seth

    Their software is great, I bought an entry level model last january and its such a pleasure to use. my mates windows server system runs like a dog with the same hardware

  • Andre

    Actually the DS1511+ supports drive sizes up to 3TB and natively can house up to 15TB raw therefore and up to 45TB raw via the two optional expansion cabinets.

  • Andre, you are absolutely right, I just called Synology to confirm and ive appended the review.

  • Brian

    Just bought it, along with 2 3TB hard drives… a little afraid to tell the wife…

  • Mark

    These seem to be impressive numbers but realistically I would say that the majority of people run their NAS in RAID-5 mode not RAID-0 since the point of a NAS is to have high availability even if some performance is sacrificed as a result. It would be more interesting if you could show up the RAID-5 performance results.
    Also, it seems a bit unfair to compare a Synology NAS containing a D525 with Qnap NASes containing a D510 especially since the the D525 Qnap NASes have been available for several months already. Is there any reason to believe that the DS1511+ would out-perform the equivalent QNAP TS-559 Pro+ since they seem to contain very similar hardware?

  • Hi Mark,

    I wouldnt argue about Raid 5, but the problem is two fold. Firstly we only have a specific amount of time we can dedicate to each review, so we opt for Raid 0, as the lower end systems can handle this mode and therefore results are directly comparible across the ranges.

    Its not a matter of being ‘unfair’, we have only a specific amount of systems we have tested. We only can test what we get sent.

  • Henry

    Hi Zardon,

    How can you reach 199 MB/s read and 166 MB/s write? I can’t get that speed with link agregation, I always get no more than around 120MB/s read and write.
    Would you please share the setting you use for the network, is there any special setting? Or any setting to get 199 MB/s read and 166 MB/s write.

    Best Regards,


  • Henry

    Hi Zardon,

    How can you reach 199 MB/s read and 166 MB/s write? I can’t get that speed with Link Agregation, I always get no more than around
    120MB/s read and write.
    Would you please share the setting you use for the network, is there any special setting? Or any setting to get 199 MB/s read and 166 MB/s write.

    Best Regards,


  • Henry

    opps, I am really sorry for double post

  • William

    There are comments about the fact that the drive bay mounts are plastic and that they don’t offer the security of a lock.

    Considering the size of this NAS device I think this is a very minor quibble. A thief could just as easily pick up the whole thing. In a home / SOHO environment this would be a very likely scenario as opposed to a single drive being lifted. Given its cost (value) the NAS would likely be locked in a secure location. In a business environment it could easily find a home in a lockable rack mount case inside a secure server room.

    This is a very impressive unit I am hoping to acquire soon.

    Nice work Synology!

  • I agree William, it is a minor quibble. Their business models, released recently have metal bays and locking systems in place.

    Good luck with the purchase, I am positive you will be very happy. It is exceptional.

  • Zardon,
    One of the best reviews I’ve read ever!
    I am very advanced home user who is interested in such stuff. Currently, I own Drobo Pro (DAS) attached to my MAC. I was very pleased with everything (using iSCSI), but with a penalty when rebooting my iMAC, my other home users lose connectivity to my storage.

    I like the NAS solution, I am tempted to buy this box. My only question that I could not get any answer toward, if I buy this box with three HD and using RSH (synology RAID5), can i expand in the future online without impacting data? will Synology takes care of balancing data?
    I am used to this from my drobo pro, I expand by adding bigger disks as I go and Drobo will balance data for me.

    Thanks, Mo

  • Hi Mo,

    I haven’t tried it to be honest, but going on the data I received from Synology it should handle the addition of extra drives without impacting data and balancing out the content, yes.