REVIEW Synology DS413 with DSM 4.2 beta Review

Discussion in 'Storage & Backup' started by Samuka, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. Samuka

    Samuka Member

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    Synology DS413 with DSM 4.2 beta Review

    I would like to thank Synology and Laney for the opportunity to be able to review this product. I have tried to make sure all information is correct but if there are mistakes please advise me. This is my first attempt at a review so enjoy.

    Note: DSM 4.2 was officially released yesterday.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Introduction.

    The DS413 is one of Synology's latest 4 bay NAS units and uses the same casing as the DS412+. You could easily mistake the two. However it is an upgrade to the DS411. It is from the 13th Series. It is designed for workgroups and small business. However with home user requiring more and more storage this product would feel well placed in a home environment.

    Specifications

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    The DS413 runs a Dual Core 1.067GHz CPU with 1GB DDR3 Ram. It is capable of using the latest 4TB HDD giving you a massive 16TB of space. When running this as a RAID5 will give you just under 11.2TB of usable space when running 4TB HDD.(If you can afford them.)

    You have a single gigabit LAN port along with 2 USB 3.0 and a eSATA ports at the read and a USB 2.0 port at the front.

    The CPU in the DS413 is a Freescale QorIQ P1022. This is a PowerPC CPU. Most of their NAS range run on either Intel or ARM processors. They have not used this type of processor since the 10 series. I did find it strange that from the current range the DS713+(2 bay) and the DS2413+(12 bay) both run the Intel Atom D2700 where as this DS413(4 Bay) run the PPC CPU. Using this CPU and not the Intel CPU does keep the price down though.

    Casing

    The case is made of plastic making it very light but feels very will built and constructed. So well put together I could not get the unit apart to see what was inside. Not a surprise when there is nothing replaceable in there. You can not even upgrade the RAM from what I can tell.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Power consumption.

    What can i say. It does not use much at all. Using a basic power meter from Aldi. On booting it with 3 Samsung 5400RPM drives it peaked at 32w but only for a second during the boot process. Once running is sat around 25w.

    Performance

    This was with 3 Samsung 5400RPM 2TB drives in RAID 5 .
    [​IMG]

    In real world:
    Write: 75-80MB/s
    Read: 104-109MB/s

    [​IMG]

    DSM4.2 Beta Setup and Installation.

    The DS413 was very simple to install and setup. After installing the HDD with the custom screws.(They give you a couple spare just in case you loose some). You can if you are connected to the internet goto find.synology.com and this will then look at the local lan and find your device and install the firmware. It could not be easier.

    Once installed you then have the DSM software all viewable. It is familiar desktop environment. It would have to be one of the best NAS GUIs that I have seen. Easy to use and flexible. All windows are re-sizable also.

    [​IMG]

    Where Synology NAS devices shine is the Software and GUI. It is so nice to use and easy on the eyes.

    Packages

    There are many tool and applications for you to use in DSM 4.2. Too many to go through them all so I will give a main focus on using the DS413 with DSM4.2 as a multimedia storage solution.

    Monitoring the DS413 is very important. The resource monitor is a full featured tool to monitor performance aspects on the NAS. Allowing you to monitor CPU/Memory/Disk/Network stats/Process/Current connection and Protocol Speeds.

    [​IMG]

    In the pic above you will see the main resource monitor but also the quick view which you can specify on what part of the system you would like to monitor. This can be opened or closed with the click of one button. The peaks on the cpu is because I was running Audio Station at the same time. At the start of each song it peaked with the ffmpeg process.

    A great feature was the current connections in the resource monitor where you could not only view the current connection but also kill the connection and then block them from future access.User and Group controls have all the standard access controls but you can also control the access they have to the various packages you install. For example You can allow access to the Audio Station but not allow access to the Surveillance Station.

    Monitoring the drives is preformed the Storage Manager. Here you control how your drives are used. For me as I had 3 x Samsung 2TB HD204UI spare. This is what I used and created a Raid5 setup. Synology also have their own Raid solution called Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) based on Linux RAID management system. Good in some situation but I preferred to use the standard raid5. For more information on the SHR go here.

    Remote access is a very important aspect nowadays. DSM 4.2 has some great remote access apps to allow you to access your DS from your Android or iOS. I have a Samsung S3 so most of my testing will be from Android phone but did get to borrow a iPad and iPhone for an arvo.

    A remote application tool is the DS Finder which allows you to access you DS from your smartphone giving you some basic information. But from there you can access DS Mobile for more information and even access the full DSM which you have from your desktop giving you access to everything. I ran this over 3G on my S3 and it was surprisingly good.

    All the application that I will look at can all be accessed from a browser or Android/iPhone/iPad apps. Each has slightly different interface.

    Applications that I will look at are:
    Audio Station
    Video Station
    Surveillance Station
    Media Server
    Download Station
    Photo Station

    Audio Station.

    This application I loved on all platforms. Very Simple and easy to use. Scanned all selected folders and grabbed album covers/song name and band details from the net. You could create play list and all just like the music was saved on your device. I tried this application from both the local LAN but also on 3G out and about. First trying it on S3. It Works great both ways but just a little lags on the 3G(And that's also on Vodafone 3G). This application on the S3 and iPhone look basically the same.

    Audio Station from Windows 7 PC

    [​IMG]

    Android S3

    [​IMG]

    iPhone
    [​IMG]

    I did get to try it on the iPad and this was the most user friendly of all as you can see from the pics below. I hope it looks like the iPad version on a Android Tablet but my Android tablet is in for repairs. :(

    Here it is from the iPad

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    This would be great as a front end running your home music connected to your stereo. Also it gives you internet radio stations through Shoutcast and others.

    Surveillance Station

    Awesome app for home use. For people who would like to set up a cost effective surveillance system. Connect up an IP camera and away you go. There are many predefined setups for various cameras which is the bets way to go. I used a cheap no name IP camera from china. The problem with my camera is there are no predefined options in the software settings. If you get a camera from the big names you will have better luck. Mine took a little longer but not much.

    You have all you need in the little software package to run a home system or even your business. The feature list is extensive but the in software, motion detection will be most useful. Select the area and the sensitivity and it will start recording for you including backstepping that start.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    If the motion detection detects something apart from recording the event it can also notify you via email/mobile/SMS/MSN or Skype.

    The best was however the DS Cam app on the Android or iOS where i could access the camera. This works on LAN and 3G. So no matter where you are if an alarm goes off you can check you house. The main access to the application is via a web-browser using java. Now this is ok but it would be preferred in a windows application. I did have some issues playing back the events but when accessing these video files direct there was no problem playing them.

    DSM Surveillance Station can handle many cameras but requires a licence for each camera used. It comes with one license. Licenses can be purchased individually or in a 4 pack.


    Video Station

    Video station is a way to view your videos in a library. Movies/TV shows/home movies and Recorded TV all have a home here. Information on Movies and TV episode data is scraped from the net and is surprising well laid out On a PC this is all viewed in a browser.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Playing your video was done in separate browser.

    Video station is also capable of recording TV if you add an approved USB TV tuner to your DS. I did not have an approved USB Tuner so it would not record the TV but I could view live TV. This can be done via the browser but the better to watch is via a VLC network stream. Playing video in the browser or vlc is ok but its not perfect.

    However again where this shines is in the Android app DS Video. It is still in beta but if you want to watch you TV shows or movies on you android device in bed you will love this application. They do however need to get video station connected with XBMC for live TV with a plugin.

    Media Station

    DSM is capable of providing DLNA services to all you products that use this. This is becoming a popular feature in TV and other devices. Me I prefer access via SMB with XBMC. Still works the best,


    Download station.

    Download Station is your all in one download application to download torrent and nzb file. All very easy to use. There is also an Android and iOS app for this to give you remote access. What else can I say.

    Photo Station

    Photo station is for storing and sharing photos, but it does not stop there. It gives you many feature. If yopu dont want to put you photos on the net for everyone to see or have access to. Give your friends/family direct access to your photos here. Control who sees your photos. Create albums and tag each photo with your description. When people log in they can also leave comments for you. If your pictures have geotag information this can also be linked to a google map.

    However if you wanted to upload any photos or albums to your facebook/twitter/piccasa/etc you can also do that. There is even and photo editor but i didnt get into that. You can even do a blog page for your photos. Then there is the Android and Ios App to view these photos anywhere anytime.

    So if you have lots of photos and there is way too many to upload to the net have them all on here. It like you are running your own photo sharing website.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Other Packages

    There are many more packages to play with as you can see from the pic I have only touched the surface on what it can do. There was one package that was not available to install but is available for many of the other products they sell and that is the PLEX Media Server. This is due to this device using the Freescale Power PC CPU. Plex have not written the server application for this the Freescale CPU yet and it does not look like it will arrive soon but I could be wrong. The PLEX server application would have been great as then I could have used this to connect it to XBMC for the Live TV services. Please be aware of this if you intend to use this as a PLEX server.

    There is a work around for this and that is to use as 3rd party package for the Freescale CPU from DVBLink which has only just been released. The drawback is that videostation has to be disabled for this to work.

    [​IMG]


    Conclusion.

    Synology have a great product here. Small quiet with a low power consumption. However the hardware is one thing and there are many companies that have NAS products on the market but what makes Synology NAS products different is their software and how you can use and access their product.

    One thing that did annoy me was that to use the automated pack centre install you have to sign up and get a myDS account and register you DS. I did not only dislike this I could never got an activation email back from their system to active my account. So i could never use the automated system. This is a new thing that they have implemented. I installed all my packages manually from downloads.

    From now on I will be recommending Synology NAS's to people. And that from being a Thecus User for many years. So much so that one friend has already purchased an 8 Bay and another one is about to buy an 8 bay. Now all I need to do is get an 8 bay for myself also. 4 Bays is just not enough :D

    Overall I give this product and DSM 4.2 a :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:
     
  2. OP
    OP
    Samuka

    Samuka Member

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    Update:

    DSM4.2 was officially released the first week of march. Most of the changes we minor bug fixes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
  3. nowlan

    nowlan Member

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    My friend has one of these, and I have to say its not 'noob' friendly.
    The out of the box experience left a lot of head scratching.
    Needs a better getting started etc. I wouldnt recommend for my parents etc.

    Waiting for a 3tb to format was anticlimatic.
    Took literally hours, which isnt fun when you've just thrown down cash for nas and drives and eager to explore.
    To be fair, might affect all brands, but how long does a pc take?

    Also ran into an issue renaming folders using Windows Explorer, where I think the NAS locks the folder for a few seconds.
    First go would fail and then work next try. The Astone Media player used was cases sensitive when sorting folders.
    Telnet/ssh might have been easier option, but is disabled out of the box.

    Anyway, not to slag the box. I recommended to my friend after all the love it gets, but just warning, its not plug and go. I think mainly because its java app driven, and you need to find the ip using the utility. etc.
     
  4. OP
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    Samuka

    Samuka Member

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    Good point. Getting around the device I found very easy but not all parts. I even locked myself out once by screwwing around with permissions. No NAS device is going to be 100% noob friendly. Any NAS device does need some knowledge of RAID/shares and networking in general. Well it helps anyway. My friend who is ok with computer but not great did have some issues setting up the raid part of his.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013
  5. aokman

    aokman Member

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    Really? I found the Synology documentation and setup software almost idiot proof, it holds your hand through most things.

    As for formatting the HDD's...well yeah its a requirement, the NAS is checking the HDD integrity before initial use.

    I am writing a review currently for the DSM software to follow up from my other review just finishing up some loose ends :D
     
  6. Sphinx2000

    Sphinx2000 Member

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    No mention of fan/noise levels?
    A bugbear of most home NAS appliances..
     
  7. OP
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    Samuka

    Samuka Member

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    I forgot to mention that as I couldn't hear it over my very noisy PC. It does not make that much noise but how can i measure that. I have no way to measure it. Sorry.
     
  8. Sphinx2000

    Sphinx2000 Member

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    Heh, I'm not looking for dB levels, etc.

    Maybe fire it up in a quiet room at basic room temperature, and let us know does the fans start off loud and then ramp down to quiet levels, do they ramp up and down based on temp / disk activity, etc..
    i.e Would it be ok to have running under your TV for your media PC?, or run it from the next room, etc... .you know that kind of stuff :)

    Otherwise great review.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
  9. OP
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    Samuka

    Samuka Member

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    I powered it up is a quite room and i could hear it but not that much. There is the fan hum noise. If it was in a cabinet you might just hear it. The noise of the HDD made louder noise on access. When the unit boot after about a second or 2 it seems that the fans did slow down a but it is hard to tell. Otherwise they were constant

    In regards to measure it. Now this wont be super accurate but i found a android app. called sound meter. From about 2 meters away it registered 24dB. With my PC on it registered about 41.

    Would I want to put it in the same room as as my TV. I would try not to.

    Hope this helps a little
     
  10. OP
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    Samuka

    Samuka Member

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  11. Natronomonas

    Natronomonas Member

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    Yep - really interested in an assessment of fan noise in a quiet room (eg late at night, less ambient etc) and with disks maxed out (all 4).

    I bought a d-link dns-320L two-bay nas to complement my FreeNAS DIY server - and the D-link DNS drives me batsh!t crazy with its 40mm fan. It was fine with just one disk - hardly ever spinning up, but as soon as I put the second in there it runs at high speed at least half the time, and it whines like a banshee.

    There's fan control settings in the software - 'automatic' or 'always full-speed'....

    Soon to be retired in favour of a decent 4-bay (if I can find a quiet one) or another home-build NAS, hence my interest in potential replacements!
     
  12. OP
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    Samuka

    Samuka Member

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    I currently have the Samsung 2TB drives in there which are a little noisy on the head read/writes which makes it louder but for the unit itself it is not that noisy. So choosing your drives would be important.

    With it running in a quite room you would just hear a gentle hum in idle. In use that would depend on the drives.

    You have two settings for the fan and that is cool mode and quite mode. the fans are 92mm. Compared to your old 40mm fans in the d-link dns-320L they would be a lot quieter. The specs say 19.3dB. but I have no way of testing. It is a quite unit but if someone out there in Melbourne has a proper dB meter and would like to help me measure the noise levels. Get in contact.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2013
  13. scrantic

    scrantic Member

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    I've got a 1511 with 4 x Hitachi drives in my sig sits in the lounge room beside the couch I would say I could never complain about the noise above the radio/stero/tv or while eating dinner with just ambient noise in the room.
     
  14. CordlezToaster

    CordlezToaster Member

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    stick with 5400rpm drives.
     
  15. TheNek

    TheNek Member

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    what about all the other cool features.
    Iscsi.....
    trunking
    built in AV
    snapshotting
    itunes server

    There are so many cool features you have yet to look at and explain..
     
  16. blankpaper

    blankpaper Member

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    Single gigabit interface? I'll pass I think. You can tell on your benchmarks it saturated the gigabit interface... it would have been good to have 2 and allow LACP or something. I know it's geared for a certain market but my QNAP 4-bay has 2x gigabit (although its CPU is so pathetic having only 1 wouldn't have made a difference..)
     
  17. OP
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    Samuka

    Samuka Member

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    Sorry this was my first review. Yes there are lots of other features I would have liked to go into but I just wanted to focus on the media aspects that I could as mentioned in the review. I do not own any apple products and only had the use of a ipad for one afternoon. I did try the itunes server but without knowing the workings of the itunes/apple setup it was hard to comment as I could not get it working so i had to skip that part. Maybe next time I will get use of an ipad for longer to get to know this side.

    What do you mean "built in AV" Im guessing you are talking about "Video Station" I did mention that but maybe I could have expanded that section a little more. Maybe in an update later I could look into that more along with other features.


    Yes there is only a single gigabit interface. The DS413 is an update of the DS411 which came out in August 2011. Both these only have had only a single gigabit port. If you are looking for dual gigabit ports you would look at the DS412+ which is from a different line of products and looks virtually exactly the same but has an extra gigabit port. This also has an intel Atom D2700 cpu. This might suit you better if that is what you are looking for.
     
  18. Natronomonas

    Natronomonas Member

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    That helps, thanks.

    Both WD Green at 5400rpm. No need for Red drives as they're not in an array.
    Would imagine it would be even worse with another few watts per drive.
     

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