Gearlog.com has a short review of the Synology DS409Slim network-attached-storage (NAS) device. It measures about 5 inches in each dimension, but has a capacity of 2TB (1.5TB redundant RAID 5 storage). The appliance costs about $400 and a configuration with four 500GB drives would be just over $800:
“Synology says the DS409slim draws just 19 watts, 12 watts when it’s in hibernation mode. The unit employs a 1.2GHz Marvell processor and has 128MB onboard RAM. The back panel has a network connecton, a USB jack (another is ont he front panel), an eSATA connector allowing you to attach a fifth drive for more storage or more redundancy, and a 12-volt jack for the external transformer. There’s even a laptop-style locking slot on account of something that weighs just 2.5 pounds might be too much of a temptation in a small office or hotel room. There’s support for DLNA, UPnP, iTunes, and remote sharing of photos, music, and files.
The unit supports anything from RAID 0 (striped disks for performance) through RAID 1 (mirrored drives with two copies of every file) through RAID 5 (four drives with the ability to survive the loss of a drive) and with an external drive plugged in, RAID 6 (five drives able to survive the loss of two drives). If you’re looking to buy, you may as well go for the 500GB drives, which average $100 now, while a 320GB drive is only about $20 less.
The only downside to the DS409slim is capacity: A four-bay NAS device with 2TB drives would have 8GB of RAID 0f storage, 6GB of secure RAID 5 storage, useful in case your iTunes collection is getting out of hand.”
Read the whole review here (gearlog.com).
Synology Disk Station DS409slim is designed to provide users with a budget-friendly solution for easy file sharing and backup. The snap-in 2.5″ hard drive design brings low power consumption, quiet operation, reliability and easy disk replacement in a compact design. Its sophisticated software, Synology Disk Station Manager 2.1, delivers ease of use and variety of features.
- Basic, JBOD, RAID 0/1/5/6, RAID 5+Spare Support
- Cool and Quiet
- Power-Saving (12W~19W)
PCWorld has a more extensive review, I just found out (thanks James):
“Synology’s Disk Station DS409slim is one of the first network-attached storage (NAS) devices we’ve seen to make use of 2.5in notebook hard drives instead of 3.5 desktop hard drives. The use of 2.5in notebook drives allows the DS409slim to be smaller than most NAS devices on the market, and it will also consume less power. However, it also means that the maximum storage capacity of the DS409slim isn’t as high as NAS devices that use 3.5in drives.
The Synology Disk Station DS409slim has four drive bays, yet retains a small stature that makes it look like a toy. It even comes with a display stand. Nevertheless, it has the same connectivity you would find on larger NAS devices, including eSATA, Gigabit Ethernet and two USB ports. You also get a one-touch copy button that can be used to easily make backups and from external drives.
The drives are hot-swappable and can be formatted in a number of configurations, including basic (separate drives), JBOD and RAID levels 0, 1, 1+0, 5, 5+Spare and 6.
You will be able to access the drive from computers running Windows, Mac OS X or Linux, and it can be set up as an FTP server, too.
Media features like UPnP, iTunes and photo servers are available, along with a download station from which you can queue BitTorrent, HTTP, FTP and eMule downloads. Unfortunately there is no way to schedule download times for these.
The Disk Station DS409slim’s Disk Manager is similar to QNAP’s revamped Firmware 3.0 Web interface. It uses an icon-based interface and configuration wizards, which will help people without much experience of network-attached storage.”
Both reviews conclude that teh Synology DS409Slim is in a way limited by its use of laptop hard drives:
Conventional 2.5in hard drives are quieter than 3.5in drives, and solid-state drives are completely silent. This makes the DS409slim the perfect NAS if you want something that won’t make much noise. Power efficiency is also better than other NAS devices. During testing the Disk Station DS409slim (configured with three solid-state drives) consumed 11.5 Watts when idle, and a maximum of 14W when writing data to the drives. By comparison, the two-bay QNAP TS-219 Turbo NAS required 23W when running two 3.5in hard drives.
However, there are still some disadvantages to using 2.5in hard drives. They typically cost more than 3.5in drives at the same capacity — particularly when it comes to solid-state drives — and the DS409slim’s total capacity is currently limited 2TB due to smaller individual drive capacities (the current maximum capacity of 2.5in drives is currently 500GB).”