Synology DS1515+ 5-Bay SMB NAS Review

/ 2 years ago

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NAS devices are the perfect addition to pretty much any company, but small and mediums businesses more than anyone else. It’s a cost-effective and versatile solution to keep all your data centralized with easy to use backup mechanisms, just to name one function. Today I’m taking a closer look at the Synology DS1515+ that is a perfect NAS for any Small or Medium Business (SMB) setup with its features, functions, and performance.

The DS1515+ is a 5-bay SMB NAS, and that 5th bay comes with more benefits than most people think of right away. A four-bay unit is pretty much what we consider standard these days with its possibilities of RAID 0, 1, 5, 6 and 10. The 5th bay gives us the added safety of being able to have another hot-spare drive in our system for automatic recovery in case one of the other drives should fail. Or you could just use it for extra storage, the choice is really yours.


Synology’s DS1515+ is a premium device in its class, offering 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports that support failover and link aggregation to maximize the transfer speeds and reliability. Having four LAN ports also allow for more users to access the device at once, without the risk of package bottlenecks.

It also comes with four USB 3.0 ports to connect external storage for backups or for the added storage capacity. The USB ports also bring along added functionality for a wide array of other devices such as printers, scanners (requires 3rd party add-ons) and surveillance cameras. The two eSATA ports on the rear allow for the Synology DX513 expansion units to be used to increase the storage even further, but normal eSATA enclosures and drives work just as great when connected through them.


The front of the NAS is kept very simple and doesn’t feature much besides the drive bays, LEDs, and power button. There are no front USB connectors like we see so often on NAS devices, but they are probably more a thing for home users and not businesses. The device will be setup and will more or less have to do the rest by itself – and spoiler alert: it does.


The built-in power supply comes with an inward plug to make sure the power is safely connected, but also to allow you to move it closer to a wall or other objects without interference. This feature is mainly for a secure power connection as the fans will need room to push the hot air out and your network cables most likely prevents you from moving it closer to the wall anyway.


We see the two easy removable outtake fans in the image above. Fresh air will be pulled in through openings between the drive bays and the sides where the Synology logo acts as air vents. A clever use for the branding and it looks good every time.


The DS1515+ NAS stands firmly on its four big rubber feet that should absorb any vibrations that might occur from the spinning hard drives. The drive bays can all be locked to prevent accidental opening as well as tampering with the setup. Of course, the drive bays aren’t just hot-swap able, they’re also tool-less for 3.5-inch drives. This makes the installation and setup quite a bit easier. The NAS also supports the use of 2.5-inch drives, but they will have to be mounted in the caddies with screws.


Inside the Synology DS1515+, we find a 2.4GHz quad-core Intel Atom C2538 processor with Floating point unit and Hardware AES-NI encryption. There is plenty of power in this device to make sure that transfer speeds and performance aren’t affected, even when encryption is enabled. It comes with 2GB DDR3 1600MHz memory, but is upgradeable to 6GB without too much hassle.

The SSD cache function can speed up your transfer speeds significant and allow much faster access to hot files. You’ll easily be able to max out all four LAN ports without too much trouble. The downside is that it requires two SSDs and thereby two drive bays, but it makes a lot of sense when the expansion units are used. Another feature that administrators will love is the easy integration into almost any environment with VMware, Citrix, and Hyper-V support. It also offers the Central Management System to easy manage all the Synology devices on your network from one location.

Personal and commercial cloud integration is just as easy as anything else with the Synology DS1515+, a NAS that doesn’t seem to leave many wishes open.

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