Synology DiskStation 2-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage DS210j (White)

Synology DiskStation 2-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage DS210j (White)

Synology DiskStation 2-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage DS210j (White)

  • Disk Station Manager 2.2: AJAX-Based Management Interface, Remote File Management with a Web Browser
  • Max HDD Support (Internal HDD): 2x 2TB
  • RAID Support: Basic, JBOD, RAID 0/1
  • Networking Protocols: CIFS, AFP (3.1), FTP, NFS, Telnet/SSH
  • Standard Memory 128MB DDR2 SDRAM
  • Mail Station add-on with one-step installation, IP camera support, Website Hosting with PHP+MySQL Support, USB Printers Sharing

Synology DiskStation 2-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage DS210j (White)

List Price: $ 232.99

Price: $ 232.99

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  1. Shanker Balan says:
    55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    A must have for most home users, June 13, 2010
    Shanker Balan (Bangalore, India) –

    This review is from: Synology DiskStation 2-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage DS210j (White) (Personal Computers)

    The DS210j is described as a Budget-friendly 2-bay NAS server for Home and Small Business. If the DS210j is considered to be basic, then I wonder what you would call my ageing Airlink101 NAS 350 then??? Anyway, I have been a heavy user of this device since April 2010 and is probably a nice time to write a quick review.

    The objective of upgrading from the Airlink101 to the Synology are as below:
    » Go Green Initiative: Needed a very quiet low power device to store data at home
    » Data Protection: I get jittery with data. The 2 disk RAID1 mirroring I hope will guard against total data loss in case of a single disk failure
    » Hardware Support: Things do go wrong and having a place to get it fixed would be nice
    » Software Support: Most embedded devices these days are Linux based. But very few companies are serious about providing s/w updates. A quick check on the web reveals that the Synology Disk Station Manager is a very well supported platform and also has iPhone access methods. These days, I make sure that all my devices work with the iPhone
    » Local Pricing: The device should have a pricing that makes sense for local purchase in India
    » DLNA: Streaming (atleast non-HD sources) to various other devices I have at home like the iPhone, iPod, Denon AV receiver, laptop etc
    » Performance: Enough throughput to saturate a 100 Mbit Ethernet link. DS 210j is able to do that according to the performance graphs
    » Shell/Web Interface: Ability to ssh into the node or use a web interface from the Internet is a must
    » Torrent: Schedule torrent downloads from anywhere. I don’t want to rush back home to d/l the next episode HD of anything
    » Storage: Ability to use the biggest disks available in the market; 2TB at the time of purchase
    » UPS Support: Need to shutdown cleanly before the UPS runs out of reserve power. The power cuts in Bangalore are getting worser by the day
    » Backup: Backup using Apple Time Machine automatically

    Please do keep in mind that the DS 210j is powered by a lowly 800Mhz ARM926EJ CPU with only 128MB of RAM. So how well does it work in real life?
    » Performance: Its very very easy to overload the low power CPU on this unit. Two simultaneous active torrents is the maximum I can squeeze out of it. The 128MB RAM is also a limiting factor. I have seen it hit swap often. But none of these really mattered as am limited by my 2Mbit uplink and a G class wifi network which anyway restricts me to very low file transfer speeds. Both the 1.5TB WD Caviar Green disks are working well in RAID1 Mirroring mode. The system has recovered cleanly from both clean and unclean shutdowns due to power cuts. The system loads are quite high during the raid sync operation after a unclean shutdown but thats OK; I haven’t see any operational issues when that happens. In terms of actual disk I/O, I can do 15MB/s when copying over the USB interface. It’s probably limited by the transfer rate of the portable USB disk than the Caviar Green HDD.
    » Usability: I absolutely love what the Synology Disk Station Manager lets me do. The web interface is very slick for setting up system configs and viewing status. Also useful is the streaming player that allows for listening to your music from the Internet. I already have dynamic DNS setup with port forwarding that makes it easy to do this. The iPhone app for photos and music which is available for free via the Apple App Store makes it a pleasure for streaming stuff out. iTunes too works well for streaming. Setting up Time Machine to automatically backup to the device was a breeze. My laptop backups now happen like every hour when am connected to the home network.
    » Addons: To be able to ssh to the device, add additional packages via ipkg (mrtg, mc, mutt etc) is making it all the more easier to have a well managed home network. Sometimes I forget that it’s a low power embedded device that am doing all this on.

    What it cannot do (and the feature I want most) is the ability to transcode. Though transcoding tools are available via the package repository, 800Mhz of CPU horsepower would not suffice for real time HD streaming. I plan to solve this by getting a Mac Mini soon and having it mount the shares. The DS210j’s position should really be of a dumb storage device and have more powerful devices take care of the macho stuff like streaming/torrents.

    Bottom line ‘ I am not the typical ‘home/small office’ user. For my needs, I should have looked at a desktop class performance which is provided by the higher end Synology models. Given the cost constraints, I find the DS210j as an acceptable compromise. But for most real home users out there, this just might be the no headache/low maintenance storage device you are looking for.

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  2. AWBoater says:
    27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    More than I expected., September 9, 2010
    AWBoater (USA) –

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Synology DiskStation 2-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage DS210j (White) (Personal Computers)

    I was looking for a NAS because I have a lot of music and videos, and just running out of room on my laptop to keep them all. And I wanted a backup location for them – and even burning to DVDs is getting to be out of the question.

    When I researched which low-cost NAS to buy, Synology kept coming up as the one to get, and I am glad I did.

    Synology has many NAS offerings, from the low-end DS210j model I bought, all the way up to enterprise rack-mounted systems. And for the most part, they all use the same OS (DSM 2.3), so you get the features regardless of which NAS you buy – low-end or enterprise.

    However… with the low end systems, should you turn on all of the features, you will probably dog the system. I have enabled about half of them, and don’t see any performance problems.

    Synology uses a part numbering system where the first digit is the drive bays, the second and third digit is the year it was designed, and the third digit is the performance level. The third digit is either +, no digit, or j (junior), in order of performance, with + being the best.

    So a DS210j is a 2 disk system, released in 2010, and a junior system. In that regard, the DS209 is a higher end 2 disk system, released in 2009, with a faster processor, and a DS210+ is the highest performance version – again, released in 2010.

    I bought the NAS separately, and bought two Seagate ST31000528AS 1Tb drives. Synology publishes a compatible hardware list, and I recommend purchasing a drive from that list. I originally wanted to use 2 Tb drives, which the NAS will support, but most of the drives had some sort of caveat with them; certain serial numbers, upgrading the drive firmware, and so on. This led me to believe the 2Tb drives might still be a bit “bleeding-edge”, so I went with what I perceive as more stable 1Tb drives. But I might be incorrect in this assumption.

    I am mirroring the drives (RAID 1) to protect my data. You don’t have to mirror the drives if you don’t want to. You can use JBOD (just a bunch of drives) or striping (RAID 0) if you don’t need the redundancy of mirroring, and retain the available drive space.

    And you can buy one drive now (with the 2 drive box), and add another drive later – either mirrored or JBOD. And one nice feature even high-end servers don’t necessarily have, if you want to upgrade to a larger capacity drive in the future, you can break the mirror, and install the larger drive – one at a time, and the system will rebuild itself to the larger drives.

    One drive configuration I don’t totally understand is called “Standard”, which seems to be a Synology proprietary feature. From it’s description, it sounds a bit like RAID 1, but the documentation is not that clear. At any rate, if you use RAID 1, there is a repair function in the manager where you can repair (or increase the drive capacity as I stated above). I didn’t see an option for the Standard configuration in the repair facility – which is why I went with RAID 1.

    For those of you that don’t know – RAID 1 – also called mirroring, is a drive configuration where both drives are simultaneously written to, and generally only one drive is read as they both have the same data (with some high-end enterprise file servers, both drives may be read to increase performance). RAID 1 means you have a spare copy of the drive should one fail. The disadvantage is that you have a 50% loss of drive space. For instance, with two 1Tb drives, my total usable drive space is 1Tb, not 2Tb. There is also a slight performance hit in the drives as two write operations have to take place. I saw a 3rd party review of the DS210j recently, and the hit is about 10%, which is not too bad for redundancy.

    But if you want max performance and don’t care about redundancy, you should not mirror the drives.

    If you go with the 4 drive box (DS410j), you have additional RAID options (RAID 5, 5+1, 6, 10). You will see them listed in the manager for the DS210j, as the OS is common, but they cannot be used with the DS210j. If you have the single drive NAS – DS110j – only RAID 0 is available. RAID 0 basically means, no RAID, so it’s a bit of a mis-nomer.

    In the last year or so, I have taken the position that I no longer do full backups of my computers – just the data. The reasoning is if I restored from a backup, with the many patches these days, it would take me just as long to rebuild an image as it would be to restore from a fresh disk – and given that windows machines tend to slow down with age (i.e. bloat), its probably good to completely rebuild them anyway. I am a retired IT Professional, and have rebuilt/restored many machines over my career, so I have a good idea what each process involves.

    So if I am only backing up data and media files, the 1Tb drives are sufficient.

    You actually only get about 950Gb, as the OS does take some…

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  3. B. Cole says:
    26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Great NAS device, February 4, 2010
    B. Cole (Layton, Utah United States) –

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Synology DiskStation 2-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage DS210j (White) (Personal Computers)

    I have loved these devices. For work we use them to back-up De-duplicated virtual machine block data and then use the rsync (synology calls this network backup) to backup changes over the Internet. For that purpose we used DS209 II devices. I liked it so much I bought this device (DS210j) for home. There are some subtle differences between the two devices but as far as I can tell the software works the same. The DS210j is slower from a CPU standpoint. This means that adding photos to your device means it takes longer to generate the thumbnails. Network performance-wise it seems about what I would expect on my Fast Ethernet network at home.

    Synology is very active in developing new features for their product. This means that you will be able to do more things with it in the future. For example, I am beta testing their new firmware and there have been some great new features added. Encrypted hard disk drive shares for sensitive data. Unequal size hard drive RAID/Mirroring. Better web photo sharing. Wizards for port forwarding of your router (meaning if you have the right brand of router it can actually connect to your router and do the setup for you in order to share photos on the Internet). For me, the greatest feature is the photo sharing one. This means that I can store my very large family photo album online with the access permissions specific to what I set up and it auto-generates the web pages when I put the photos on the device.

    The Synology DS210j has many, many, many more features than just the photo sharing piece. You can go to their site and do a live demo to actually kick the tires.

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