Synology DS712+ Network Application Server

Author
Aron Schatz
Posted
June 22, 2012
Manufacturer
Synology
Product Page
DS712+
Views
77653
Synology DS712+ Network Application Server
The Synology DS712+ is a giant leap in improvements over the DS2xx line and is targeted to the small and medium business market. The extra processing power and robustness make this a no brainer is you need a dedicated network file server and more.

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Page 1
Introduction

If you have read our »Synology DS211 review, you would know that we try to stay away from reviewing consumer products that differ only in speed and not in features. When we met Synology at CES 2012, we expressed interest in keeping up to date with their latest products since they are a company that treats the customer right. A few months ago, we were sent the DS712+, a huge upgrade in performance over the DS211. Sadly, the software loaded on it was still in the DSM 3.x branch and we already reviewed that generation. Fast forward a bit and we have the brand new DSM 4.0 software released.

Synology is the type of company that keeps its sold products supported well into their life-cycle. Even the »DS210j that we reviewed as well as the 2009 series of NAS units support the DSM 4.0 software. Right off the bat, you know that a purchase from this company goes a long way in terms of level of support in the future. Is your unit supported? Check the Synology website for details.

About Synology

Quote

Synology is dedicated to taking full advantage of the latest technologies to bring businesses and home users reliable and affordable ways to centralize data storage, simplify data backup, share and sync files across different platforms, and access data on-the-go. Synology aims to deliver products with forward-thinking features and the best in class customer services.

http://www.synology.com/company/index.php?lang=enu


Packaging

box.jpg


Synology has switched the retail packaging for the 2012 models of NAS devices. This new packaging is bathed in blue and has that "grab and go" type of feel. Notice the simple markings and icons. It is all geared to the "app" experience, it seems. Information on the box is pretty sparse for what the DS712+ can do.
Page 2
Specifications

Check all this out from the Synology DS712+ product page.

Hardware

  • CPU Frequency : 1.8GHz
  • Floating Point
  • Memory : DDR3 1GB
  • Internal HDD/SSD : 3.5" or 2.5" SATA(II) X 2 (Hard drive not included)
  • Max Internal Capacity : 8TB (2X 4TB HDD) (Capacity may vary by RAID types) (See All Supported HDD)
  • Hot Swappable HDD
  • External HDD Interface : USB 2.0 Port X 3, eSATA Port X 1
  • Size (HxWxD) : 157 X 103.5 X 232 mm
  • Weight : 1.69Kg
  • LAN : Gigabit X2
  • Link Aggregation
  • Wake on LAN/WAN
  • System Fan : 92x92mm x1
  • Wireless Support
  • Noise Level : 19.2 dB(A)
  • Power Recovery
  • AC Input Power Voltage : 100V to 240V AC
  • Power Frequency : 50 / 60Hz, Single Phase
  • Power Consumption : 27,5W (Access) ; 17,6W (HDD Hibernation)
  • Operating Temperature : 5°C ~ 35°C (40°F ~ 95°F)
  • Storage Temperature : 15 to 155°F (-10 to 70°C)
  • Relative Humidity : 5% to 95% RH
  • Maximum Operating Altitude : 10,000 feet
  • Certification : FCC Class B, CE Class B, BSMI Class B
  • Warranty : 3 Years


Applications

File Station
  • Virtual Drive
  • Remote Folder

Mail Server
  • Supported Protocols : POP3, SMTP, IMAP

FTP Server
  • Bandwidth Control, Custom FTP Passive Port Range, Anonymous FTP, Transfer Log

Web Station
  • Virtual Host (up to 30 websites)
  • PHP/MySQL
  • 3rd-Party Applications Support

Print Server
  • Max Printer # : 2
  • Printing Protocols : LPR, CIFS, IPP, Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Multi Functional Print Server (for Windows PC only)

iOS/Android Applications
  • DS photo+
  • DS audio
  • DS cam
  • DS file
  • DS finder
  • Windows Phone Applications
  • DS finder


Add-on Packages

Surveillance Station
  • MAX IP cam # (Licenses required) : 16 (1 Free License) (See All Supported IP Cameras)
  • Total frame rate (FPS) : 160 FPS @ D1 (NTSC:720x480, PAL:720x576), 60 FPS @ WXGA (1280x800)

Directory Server
  • LDAP Directory Server
  • Backup and Restore LDAP Database

VPN Server
  • Maximum Connections : 20
  • VPN Method: PPTP, OpenVPN

DHCP Server
  • Independent DHCP Server on Different Network Interfaces
  • Multiple Subnets Support
  • Address Reservation

Syslog Server
  • SSL Connection
  • Log Rotation: 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years
  • Email Notificaiton

Mail Station
  • Webmail Interface for Mail Server
  • Receiving Mails from Multiple POP3 Mailboxes
  • Customizable SMTP Server

Antivirus Essential
  • Full System Scan
  • Scheduled Scan
  • White List Customization
  • Virus Definition Auto Update

Time Backup
  • Maximum Task Number : 8
  • Multiple File Versions Retained
  • Instant File Restoration

Cloud Station
  • Maximum User Accounts : 32
  • Retain Historical and Deleted File Versions
  • HiDrive Backup
  • Backup DiskStation data to STRATO HiDrive online storage

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
  • User can click and download the following video formats: RM, RMVB, VOB, RV30, RV40, AC3, AMR, WMA3, but not able to play it in Photo Station as compressed Flash video.

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

iTunes Server
  • Supported Audio Format : MP3, M4A, M4P, WAV, AIF, The music in WAV and AIF format can be streamed, but the metadata (ex: title, album) may not be indexed on the iTunes
  • Supported Video Format : M4V, MOV, MP4
  • Supported Playlist Format : M3U, WPL

DLNA/UPnP Media Server
  • PS3/Xbox 360 Support
  • Supported Audio Format : AAC, AIFF, APE, FLAC, M4A, Apple Lossless, 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, RMVB (The actual playback capabilities may vary depending on the DLNA/UPnP client)
  • Supported Image Format : BMP, JPG (jpe, jpeg), GIF, ICO, PNG, PSD, TIF (tiff), UFO

Download Station
  • Supported Download Protocols : BT/HTTP/FTP/NZB/eMule
  • Maximum Concurrent Download Tasks : 80

Packages by 3rd Party
  • HASP
  • phpMyAdmin
  • Webalizer
  • Logitech Media Server
  • WordPress
  • OpenERP


General

Networking Protocols
  • CIFS
  • AFP
  • NFS
  • FTP
  • WebDAV
  • iSCSI
  • Telnet
  • SSH
  • SNMP
  • VPN (PPTP, OpenVPN)

File System
  • EXT4
  • EXT3(External Disk Only)
  • FAT (External Disk Only)
  • NTFS (External Disk Only)

Storage Management
  • Max File System Size : 108TB
  • Max Internal Volume # : 512
  • Max iSCSI Target # : 32
  • Max iSCSI LUN # : 256
  • Supported RAID Type : Synology Hybrid RAID, Basic, JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1
  • RAID Migration : Basic to RAID 1
  • Volume Expansion with Larger HDDs : RAID 1
  • Synology Expansion Unit Support : DX510

File Sharing Capability
  • Max User Accounts : 2048
  • Max Groups : 256
  • Max Shared Folder : 256
  • Max Concurrent CIFS/AFP/FTP Connections : 512

Windows Access Control List (ACL)
Windows ADS Domain Integration
  • Domain Users login via Samba/AFP/FTP/File Station

Virtualization
  • Vmware vSphere 4
  • Microsoft Hyper-V
  • Citrix Ready

Backup Solutions
  • Network Backup
  • Local Backup
  • Desktop Backup (Window: Synology Data Replicator 3, Mac: Apple Time Machine backup application)
  • Shared Folder Sync - Max task number : 8
  • USBCopy
  • Configuraiton Backup

Security
  • FTP over SSL/TLS
  • IP Auto-Block
  • Firewall
  • Encrypted Network Backup over Rsync
  • HTTPS Connection

Management
  • Auto DSM Upgrade
  • Administrator Group
  • Push Notification – MSN/Skype/Mobile Devices
  • Email/SMS Notification
  • Customized User Quota
  • Syslog Support
  • DDNS Support
  • IPv6 Support
  • VLAN support
  • PPPoE
  • Hotspot
  • Resource Monitor
  • Connection Manager
  • UPS Management
  • Scheduled Power On/Off
  • Custom Management UI HTTP/HTTPS Ports

HDD Management
  • HDD Hibernation
  • S.M.A.R.T.
  • Dynamic Bad Sector Mapping

Utilities
  • Synology Assistant
  • Synology Data Replicator

Supported Clients
  • Windows XP onward
  • Mac OS X 10.5 onward
  • Ubuntu 9.04 onward

Supported Browsers
  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Internet Explorer : 8, 9
  • Safari (MAC) : 5

Language
  • English, Deutsch, Français, Italiano, Español, Dansk, Norsk, Svensk, Nederlands, Русский, Polski, Magyar, Português do Brasil, Português Europeu, Türkçe, Český, 日本語, 한국어, 繁體中文, 简体中文


Environment and Packaging

Environment
  • RoHS Compliant

Package Content
  • Main Unit X 1
  • Installation Disk X 1
  • Welcome Note X 1
  • Assembling Kit X 1
  • AC Power Adapter X 1
  • AC Power Cord X 1
  • RJ-45 LAN Cable X 1

Optional Accessories
  • Remote
  • Camera License Pack
  • Expansion Unit : DX510 x 1
  • VS80
Page 3
Marketing Summary

Quote

DS712+
High-performance & Scalable 2-bay All-in-1 NAS Server for SMB Users

Synology DiskStation DS712+ offers a high-performance, scalable, and full-featured network attached storage solution that meets the needs of small and medium-sized businesses that require an efficient way to centralize data protection, simplify data management, and rapidly scale storage capacity with minimal time spent on setup and management. The Synology DS712+ is backed with Synology’s 3-year limited warranty.

http://www.synology.com/products/product.php?product_name=DS712%2B&lang=us


Package Contents

parts.jpg


Synology packages the standard accessories with the DS712+. You get the AC adapter and power plug, a welcome guide with software, a set of screws, two drive locking keys, and the DS712+.

iso.jpg


The DS712+ is a very different piece of technology than the DS2xx series reviewed in the past. Gone is the white plastic casing that feels very SOHO and in is the black metal external and smooth looking lines. This product is marketed for more than the small office / home office crowd, it has beefed up specs to put it more in-line with server room type of hardware for medium businesses. While it may not be a full desktop/workstation, as a server, it gets the job done well.

front.jpg


The front of the DS712+ contains the indicator LEDs, power button, USB copy button (more on that later) and USB 2.0 port, and the two drive bays with quick swapping cradles. They are hot swappable, but you should only swap them when a drive is bad or you are upgrading. While we go on removing drives for testing how the device handles failure, this is not something we recommend (obviously). To remove a drive, you simply press the bottom of the handle and it pops out allowing you to pull the drive out.

back.jpg


The back of the DS712+ has a larger 92mm fan to keep the device cool while performing network duties. This larger fan allows greater airflow with a lower noise profile. We only noticed a gentle hum out of the DS712+, but the drives were louder than the fan at certain times. The ports on the back include two gigabit Ethernet, two additional USB ports, an external SATA port, the DC power port, and a locking adapter (laptop style). The dual LAN ports allow for link aggregation, if your network supports it.

bottom.jpg


The bottom of the DS712+ has a bunch of screws and the rubber feet. These are quality and are screwed into the base. They aren't held in by glue that will eventually dry up and fall off. The screws holding the face plates can be removed to gain access to the internals of the DS712+.

drive.jpg


Our test device came loaded with 1TB Seagate Barracuda drives in RAID 1 (mirroring). They simply screw in to this drive caddy and get inserted into the DS712+, ready to work. The new software supports Synology's Hybrid RAID, in addition to the normal options. It allows you to add different size disks and still get the benefits of RAID (good and bad, if you want).

inside.jpg


With the front face off, you can see what we're dealing with. You get a 1.8GHz Atom D425 CPU with Hyperthreading, meaning the processor can handle 2 threads at once. It is only a single core. The DS712+ comes with a 1GB DDR3 SODIMM. Like most network devices today, this is a whole computer on a board. It is also x86-64, not ARM... if that floats your boat.
Page 4
DiskStation Manager 4.0

To setup all the Synology NAS devices, you need to use the Synology Assistant software that is given with the welcome kit. You can also opt to download it. It supports all major operating systems, we're showing what it looks like on Kubuntu Linux.

setup.png


As you can see, the software works with any Synology device as it detects the older DS211 present on the network as well. This software is really only useful for the initial setup of the device (when it has no software). After you load any DSM software on the NAS, the software doesn't do much other than resource monitoring.

resourcemon.png


Here is what the resource monitoring looks like while copying a 7GB file over the network. Don't let the LAN1 transfer rate fool you, this is lower than we got as a maximum rate in testing. As you can see, the CPU isn't being pegged and still has enough power for the network tasks at hand. The DS712+ has plenty of memory for what it is designed to do.

After the initial setup, you'll want to jump into the web interface of the DS712+ to do everything. Navigate to the IP address you gave the device and the port is 5000. The webserver on the DS712+ will redirect you from port 80 if you have no webservices installed on the device.

welcome.png


One of the biggest changes with the DSM 4.0 software is the cleanliness of the interface. DSM 3.0 introduced the new look, but DSM 4.0 makes everything feel more streamlined. The initial welcome is a simple step by step wizard for getting common tasks done. Power users should close that and jump into the menu at the top left.

multiwindow.png


As with the DSM 3.x branch, the new software continues the use of a multi window system. You can open multiple views and control multiple aspects of the device all at once. It is the same principle as a desktop computer. You can see that we are looking at the storage screen in this.

guest.png


A number of networks that want to use a NAS don't want to bother with security. One of the easiest ways to get your file sharing up fast and easy is to enable the guest account which allows access without a user and password being setup.

storage.png


Let's take a look at the storage screen again. You can see very quickly what the status of the device is. In addition to this screen, if you have a volume that is degraded (like a drive went bad), the DS712+ will start to beep and notifications will pop up in the interface (as well as being able to send emails and other things) to get your attention to fix the problem.

quicklaunch.png


The DS712+ with the DSM 4.0 software has a bunch of different stations (applications) for the network to use. The common ones would be the media server and photo station. The download station is improved with the new software as well. All aspects of the DSM software are improved in subtle and apparent ways.

packages.png


Want more applications for your device? Simply go to the Package Center and install them. You can check here from time to time to see new additions and even install other third party applications from outside sources. And remember, this is a full Linux computer with shell access. You can do whatever you want to it from the terminal. The root password is the same as the admin password for the web UI.
Page 5
DiskStation Manager 4.0 Part 2

controlpanel.png


The good thing is that you don't need to go into the terminal to do everything you expect. Want to run a PHP enabled web server with MySQL? Simply enable the Web Services in the control panel and setup some websites. It is really that simple to get up and running.

filemanager.png


The file manager allows you to manage your files, obviously. Unlike doing the file management through a share, this allows you to do everything with one screen and to copy and manage as if you are on the device itself.

network.png


One of the first things you will probably do is make sure the network settings are correct for your network. The DS712+ supports gigabit Ethernet, but it also supports 802.3ad link aggregation to use two connections to get even faster speeds. If your network supports this, you're good to go. Like the older software, you can tunnel IPv6 over IPv4 connections.

sharing.png


Sharing is setup through the control panel. You will want to enable the Windows File Service (Samba/CIFS) and give it a workgroup name. The DS712+ supports Active Directory as well, if you have that setup. You can also enable the CIFS recycle bin to save people when they delete files off the share by accident. This is a good feature, really.

share.png


Creating a share is very simple. You tell the software what you want to name the share and the wizard guides you through the process of setting it up with the permissions. You can grant and restrict by user and by group. It also supports Windows ACLs.

audio.png


Moving on to the Audio Station, this is nearly the same as the previous version. It allows you to stream music from the internet as well as your own playlists on the device itself. The software uses flash to play audio, so if you have Flashblock installed, make sure it is disabled. One nice feature that Synology provides is the ability to attach USB speakers to the device and play music through them.

photos.png


The Photo Station is a really nice way to manage your photos. Sure, it may not be as easy to use as desktop tools, but for a multi user experience, this is a great thing to have. If you have multiple people uploading pictures, you can grant them access to different folders and even give public access to allow everyone to view them. The software manages the creation of thumbnails with the entire user interface. It is as simple as dropping files on a network share.

download.png


The Download Station seemed to only have a face lift on first glance, but there are some nice options added since the last version. One of my favorites is the ability to set a queue folder to drop .torrent files into and have the DS712+ grab those and start the download automatically. No more logging into the UI to start download tasks! You can also set limits for bandwidth and connections.

cameras.png


One of the best features of Synology products is the NVR (Network Video Recorder) aspect. The Surveillance Station has all the functions of the big NVR players in the market in an easy to use interface. There are smart phone applications to allow you to see what's going on when you want to from anywhere. The DSM software supports dynamic DNS servers, including one from Synology.

help.png


The help system had a good overhaul. The sections are laid out very well and information is given in a useful manner. You can drill down and get to what you need, quickly.

The DSM 4.0 software comes with Linux 2.6.32.12 (Linux ASEDS712p 2.6.32.12 #2228 SMP Thu May 10 02:29:45 CST 2012 x86_64 GNU/Linux synology_x86_712+). The 2.6.x branch of Linux is pretty old, but I'm pretty sure that Synology and team are backporting any needed changes to support the newer device. You can easily get shell access by granting terminal access in the control panel of the UI. This allows you full control over the entire Linux based system.
Page 6
Use

frontusbcopy.jpg


One of the best feature of of the Synology NAS devices is the ability to easily copy files from a USB mass storage device. Sadly, The DS712+ does not support USB 3. Hopefully that is coming in a future model since USB 2 can be painfully slow with larger transfers. As you can see, a USB thumb drive is detected and once the green light (above the drive) is on, you can press the green transfer button to copy everything. Once it is done, you can remove it.

The DS712+ supports tons of USB devices. You can share printers, even other USB mass storage devices. You can also hook up additional drives using eSATA for increased speed. Remember that this is a computer, you are free to expand it to whatever you need.

Moving to to the performance of the DS712+, our network doesn't support link aggregation, so we're looking at a single gigabit connection. Performance is rated on link aggregation, so Synology says 180MB/s on reads and 105MB/s on writes. This is with the best possible condition and RAID 0 (no safety).

Using RAID 1, we managed to get a maximum throughput of just about 80MB/s on both directions which is simply fantastic for a network device. The DS712+ can nearly saturate the bandwidth of gigabit and it is great to be able to transfer files at near disk speeds. Even at these speeds, the DS712+ was still very responsive and could handle multiple tasks. The drives were kept cool, even at these high load events. They never reached 100 degrees F thanks to the large and quiet fan in the back. Power draw was excellent as well, for x86-64. On boot, the highest draw was 40 watts. At normal load, it was about 25 watts.

Video Review



Conclusion

It has been a long time since the last Synology product was reviewed here. The Synology DS712+ is a high end device that fits in the small to medium business sector and it is priced to match at just below $500. It has enough storage to get you started on building out a corporate network and the features to continually support the users. A great feature that Synology gives is the ability to increase the storage at any time with expansion units, or even using USB mass storage devices. Future expandability means that you don't need to go out and buy a whole different device just to expand the storage.

The DSM 4.0 software is a step up in the line for Synology. There are constant improvements with the user interface and the fact that you can install the latest software on models that are four years old is proof that if you buy a Synology product, you will be taken care of well beyond the lifecycle of the device. We can easily recommend the DS712+ for small and medium businesses. It has the speed and capability to support larger networks without sweating.

ASE Publishing would like to thank Synology for making this review possible.

Comments

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