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This review is from: Synology DS1813+ Network Storage
Pros: * Low Power
* Great web based management software
* Lots of useful software packages
* Build on top of Linux
* Lots of room for expansion with several disk configurations
* Matte body that doesn't pick up fingerprints
* 4 Ethernet port with support for Link Aggregation
Running with 6 Western Digital 3TB Red drives in a RAID 6 configuration, my average transfer rate (reading or writing) is around 110 MB/s over a single Gigabit Ethernet connection.
Cons: * Software configuration is spotty in some areas (see Other Thoughts section)
* Very easy to prevent the system from entering a low power mode
* Disk trays and guides are plastic, which feel a bit cheap. Not really an issue since swapping disks should be uncommon.
* First unit I received had a faulty fan controller (one fan would never spin up). After a Newegg RMA, I haven't had a single issue with the replacement.
Other Thoughts: I had originally considered building a Mini-ITX based PC to act as a server, however I opted to buy the Synology since it:
* Uses less power than anything I could configure
* Offers lots of hot-swapable drive bays
* Has a mature software suite
* Offers Link Aggregation for when I update my switch
The unit was setup to do two primary things:
* Act as a central file store for my network with some form of redundancy
* Host a code repository
As a file server, the unit has been great. I haven't had a single issue transferring files locally with Windows or Arch Linux. Additionally, the unit provides plenty of options to access the data remotely (FTP, SFTP, HTML, VPN, and a few others).
In terms of code repositories, GIT and SVN are supported. I primarily use SVN so my I cannot comment on the GIT support.
Configuring and setting up the SVN server was very straightforward from the web management interface. Locally everything ran great. Unfortunately, there were no configuration options to access the SVN server via HTTPS. After doing some poking around via SSH, I was able to manually bind the service to the running Apache server.
I also messed around with hosting a E-Mail server with SpamAssassin. Again, the initial setup was very straightforward; however, the software had a undesirable side effect: the system would not enter low power mode.
SpamAssassin will constantly check a folder for new mail (default config of once every 5 seconds), which kept touching the disks, preventing them from entering hibernation. Upon discovery of the issue, I opted to remove the mail server to prolong the life the hard disks.
So, while the initial setup of the unit was simple and straightforward, there are several little gotchas hidden throughout. Frankly, I consider HTTP access to SVN to be a common use case, and enabling supported software should not constantly hammer the disk drives.
If you are comfortable with working with Linux from a SSH sessions, then the above really isn't an issue. Otherwise, I'd recommend you check out the live demo of the DSM (the web management interface) on the Synology site to determine if the unit will meet your needs.