Pros: Excellent build quality; built-in FTP and mail server capabilities; includes fitting screws and network cables
Cons: Relatively bulky
Was there ever a time when you could have enough storage? Certainly not these days: whether you’re a prosumer getting into editing HD video or a design studio needing a place to store all those multi-layered PSDs, some form of Network Attached Storage (NAS) is pretty much essential.
At one end of the NAS scale there are compact, well-designed desktop units such as the Network 2 series by LaCie, while at the other end there are rack-mountable monsters such as the 12big by LaCie, as well as the larger units produced by Synology, the manufacturer of the DiskStation 2411+.
The DiskStation 2411+ is aimed at the small to medium business, and consists of 12 drive bays constrained by the now familiar stocky metal cuboid (310 x 300 x 340mm) form factor. The drive bays are locked in place using a key-operated mechanism, with two keys provided. Each drive bay will hold one 3.5in or 2.5in SATAII hard disk up to 3TB in capacity, giving a total capacity of 36TB before RAID formatting. Should your storage needs increase beyond that, a 12-bay expansion unit, the DX1211, (£899 not including drives) is also available.
Closer inspection of the cabinet and drive bays revealed a high standard of finish, with most edges and corners nicely rounded: anyone who has sliced one of their fingers during a rushed drive swap-out will appreciate this otherwise inconspicuous feature.
The build quality of the DS2411+ is impressive, and the unit is well equipped
The rear of the DiskStation 2411+ is equipped with a number of ports and connectors: as well as the female connector for the switched power supply there are four USB 2.0 ports, two RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet connectors (with Link Aggregation and Failover support), a male COM port, a VGA connector (which was blanked out on the unit provided for review) and a port for attaching the DX1211 expansion unit.