Synology DS-413: First Take

Synology's new 4-bay NAS includes a dual-core CPU with hardware AES encryption, the latest DSM 4.1 software and a new Web Assistant for discovery and installation.

Synology has a bewildering array of NAS boxes, as it updates the innards regularly with different CPUs, differing amounts of RAM and other tweaks. The new DS-413 uses the same chassis as the existing DS-412+, but instead of a 2GHz Atom processor it has a 1GHz dual-core Freescale P1022 PowerPC chip and 1GB of DDR3 RAM. The Freescale CPU has an integrated 256-bit AES hardware encryption engine, which should improve transfer performance when using share-level encryption.

The DS-413 features four quick-release hot-swappable drive bays, with a removable (but not lockable) cover that attaches via rubber bungs. There's a single USB 2.0 port at the front, plus twin USB 3.0 ports at the rear. Only a single Gigabit Ethernet port is provided, plus an eSATA port. None of Synology's expansion units are supported, but you can install drives up to 4TB in capacity. As well as Synology's own Hybrid RAID system (SHR), the DS-413 supports standard RAID 0, 1, 5, 5+spare, 6 and 10 plus JBOD.

The 4-bay DS-413 accepts SATA II drives up to 4TB in capacity. There's a USB port at the front, plus a pair of USB 3.0 ports and a single Gigabit Ethernet port at the back.

There are two 92mm cooling fans at the rear, and Synology claims a power consumption of around 36 watts in operation and under 4W when in hibernation mode. Startup and shutdown can be scheduled, and it can automatically hibernate when idle.

The DS-413 runs version 4.1 of Synology's excellent DiskStation Management software.

Running the latest 4.1 release of Synology's outstanding DSM software, the DS-413 has full support for Windows ADS and LDAP directory services. Volumes are formatted with the EXT4 filesystem, and can be split into a maximum of 10 iSCSI targets.

There's a large number of add-on packages from Synology and third parties bundled with the DS-413, including a mail server, backup, IP camera surveillance server (1 camera licence is included), remote file sharing, PPTP and OpenVPN VPN servers, plus an LDAP directory server. It can even record TV programs from an attached USB TV tuner.

Synology Web Assistant is a brower-based alternative to the Synology Assistant discovery/installation software.

Also new to the DS-413 is the Synology Web Assistant, a browser-based discovery and installation engine that can be used instead of the Synology Assistant software utility for initial setup. This is exceptionally easy to get up and running, requiring minimal specialist knowledge.

We ran a few tests (the Advanced Disk Test workloads in Passmark Performance Test 7) on an early sample of the DS-413, using three WD Red 3TB hard disks. Data transfer rates were 70MB/s for the File Server workload, 98MB/s (Web Server workload), 14MB/s (Workstation workload), and 21MB/s (Database workload).

The DS-413 is available immediately, and costs £325 (ex. VAT; £390 inc VAT).