Synology DS1621+ – An Awesome NAS! Even Better with VMware!

After taking a little break while moving and getting ramped up on some large project at work, I am excited to jump back in to the Blog. This time we are going to be taking a look at the Synology DS1621+ that was graciously sent over by Synology! I am beyond excited to be working with Synology and have been hard at work testing, evaluating and integrating this NAS into my Home VMware Environment. To get this out of the way, this device is awesome!

The DS1621+ is the latest revision of the Synology Diskstation and is classified as a “powerful, versatile and scalable” Network Attached Storage device according to Synology and I couldn’t agree more! For Starters, this is a 6 Bay Storage Device (Option to Expand to 16 Drives with 2 x Synology DX517) that is powered by a Quad Core AMD Ryzen Processor. The unit also comes with 4 x 1GB ports that can be used and configured for link aggregation. If you are looking for some additional connectivity (Maybe 10G) there is a single PCI Slot that can house an optional network card.

Along side of the 6 x Local Drive Bays, the DS1621+ also has two M.2 Slots inside that can be used for Caching Purposes using the builtin disk station software.

Photo Credit of Synology
https://www.synology.com/en-us/products/DS1621+

As you can see within the pictures, this is a pretty slick and compact unit. It is about the size of two Nintendo Switches. It fits as perfectly on a Rack Mount Shelf as it does on a standard desktop. My setup is as follows:

  • 1 x Synology DS1621+
  • 4 x Seagate IronWolf Pro 4TB Drives
  • 2 x Seagate IronWold Pro 2TB Drives
  • 2 x Synology SNV3400-800G Drives (NVMe Cache)
  • 1 x E10G21-F2 Network Expansion Card (2 x SFP+)

With this setup, while connected to VMware via ISCSI, I am able to get results (through Atto) that are exceeding 2GB/s with certain workloads/file sizes. This is of course on the volume that is fronted by the NVMe Cache but 900MB/s is still very impressive on Hard Drives. All of my testing has been with Dual 10G connections per device operating with MultiPathing enabled.

HDD Only (Left), HDD w/NVMe Cache (Right)

In future posts, we will be looking closer into the benchmarks using programs like IOMeter and iPerf3 which are both highly recognized in the industry for measuring IO operations.

Outside of Benchmarks, Synology packs a TON of capability into their systems though their DSM Software which is currently on the 7th version. Version 7.0 bring a lot of additional performance and management capabilities especially when using the device as a SAN. For the first time FibreChannel Storage will be supported on a handful of models (XS, SA and FS) and you can even manage/monitor your NAS through a VMWare Plugin! There are even additional secure identify options that can be implemented. Things like app-based login approval and hardware security keys.

Like with past versions, most of this capability is freely available through their Package Manager. Applications like Cloud Sync, HyperBackup and Virtual Machine Manager allow us to configure data replication to cloud providers, local endpoint backup and virtual machines. Yes! That is right! You can run virtual machines on your Synology! This sounds like a perfect use case for the vSAN or Hyperflex Witness Node!

Stay tuned for future posts as we will look at configuring all of this and much much more! If you are interested in learning more about the Synology DS1621+ check out the data sheet!

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