Few network-attached storage (NAS) manufacturers are as sharply focused on the field as Synology, and its current product line consists almost entirely of rack-mounted and standalone NAS arrays of uncountable sizes and capacities.
The DiskStation DS1515 is, relatively speaking, one of the Taiwanese firm's more modest offerings. Aimed at small and medium businesses, it's a five-bay machine with simple data backup and multifunction server capabilities in mind.
The DiskStation DS1515 is just about compact enough to sit on a desk at 157x248x233mm, although it's nowhere near matching the sheer portability of the DiskStation DS414slim. The internal fan is surprisingly quiet, and didn't disturb us even when working in the peace and quiet of home.
There are a wealth of ports on the rear to get to grips with. Four Ethernet ports provide ample load-sharing potential, as well as backups in case one of them stops working, while two USB 3.0 ports enable the connection of printers and scanners directly to the server. Two eSATA connectors allow for the addition of expansion units, although with room for up to five 3.5mm hard disk drives or 2.5mm solid state drives most small firms are likely to leave these unused.
The trays holding these drives in place are incredibly well designed. They pop out of the main case when pressed on the front, and grasp the drive with push-on clips instead of screws, but still feel very secure. Pushing the tray back in will almost effortlessly slide the drive onto a fixed SATA connector inside the case.
The whole process is simple and requires no tools, although each tray can be locked with an included key. Even the most technologically un-savvy should be able to handle the physical part of the setup process, but they will have to provide the storage drives themselves as they are not included in the price.
Next: Installation, setup and software