The Synology RS2211+ is affordable, flexible and offers plenty of storage potential, especially for the SMB market. ISCSI SAN support is a plus but the lack of 6Gbit/s SATA support could be an issue.
Very scalable, 3.5in or 2.5in SATA disks, InfiniBand expansion unit, dual Gigabit LAN ports, easy to manage DSM operating system, redundant power option
Disks can't be locked in place, no support for SATA Rev 3 or USB 3.0, fans not hot-swappable
£ 1,075 + VAT
2U rack-mount NAS appliance, single power supply, 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Atom processor, 1GB of RAM (upgradeable to 3GB), 10 hot-plug drive bays with carriers for 3.5/2.5in SATA hard disks, maximum internal capacity 30TB (10 x 3TB disks), two Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, four USB 2.0 ports for external drive attachment, Infiniband interface for connection to RX1211+ 12-bay expansion unit, DSM 3.1 operating system, 3 year warranty
Synology has had a fair amount of success in the small business network-attached storage (NAS) market with a mix of fast and affordable desktop and rack-mount appliances. Now it's looking to up its profile even further with a highly scalable new RackStation RS2211+, sporting up to 66TB of storage space plus dual Gigabit LAN connectivity and a number of extra high availability features.
Housed in an all-metal 2U chassis, the new RackStation is a tidy and well-made product. The one we were sent had just one power supply but it can be bought with two redundant supplies if preferred. However, you do have to make up your mind about this right from the start as there's no way to upgrade. Rather you have to specify the RS2211RP+ when purchasing and pay an extra £350 + VAT to get the redundant power option. Bear in mind too that cooling fans aren't hot-swappable in either chassis.
Rack-mount rails are another extra and you don't get any disks in the base price either, although these are easy enough to source with a choice here of using either 3.5in or 2.5in drives. Special carriers are provided to accommodate this with screw holes ready to take either size, the carriers simply sliding into the bays provided at the front of the unit.
Again the carriers are well-made, not quite up to enterprise storage standards, but sturdy enough for small business applications and easy to use. You can also hot-swap disks without powering down, although we were a little surprised at the lack of any means to lock the disks in place to stop them being accidentally ejected.