The DS916+ is a great mid-range NAS choice for small businesses or home users seeking some additional power. This Synology NAS benefits from a reasonably powerful CPU (with AES-NI support), resulting in minimal encryption performance penalty and enhanced feature set (i.e. Docker, Plex). If you’re looking to do a little more with your file server, this is a great starting point for the price. The Synology DSM software is the easiest to use out of the major competing NAS management systems, and it receives regular updates, so the NAS should be incrementally improved over time. The Surveillance Station application was a surprise, as it works better than some dedicated NVR devices. The DS916+ would be well suited as a smart-home server, as it could manage CCTV cameras, store media and stream via Plex, run other servers via Docker and function as a backup for any computers in the house. We weren’t keen on the method of accessing the drives on this NAS, particularly the lack of lockable drive trays and grommet mounting system of the front cover. That said, we’ve encountered no vibrations or noise from this method, which was one of our primary concerns. The lack of hardware accelerated transcoding in Plex is a downside, although it should appear soon if reports on the Plex forum are correct. If you’re looking to transcode video to several devices at once, you will need to research if this feature has arrived yet. There are plenty of cheaper NAS units available, including plenty from Synology, but the DS916+ strikes a good balance between power and performance for mid-range requirements. It’s quiet, cheap to run and is able to provide the power to run several server apps for a home/small business setup.
Synology DS916+ 4-bay NAS
- Power consumption
- DSM OS
- Btrfs filesystem support
- Two Gigabit Ethernet ports
- AES-NI hardware encryption engine
- Quiet operation
- Low HDD temperatures
- Tool-less installation of HDDs
- Support for up to 40 camera licenses (comes with two free licenses)
- Enhanced multimedia and encoding capabilities (including 4K video streaming through Synology's apps)
- ErP Lot 6 compliant
- USB 3.0 compatibility
- Ability to skip disk checking during RAID setup (only in RAID 0, 1, and10)
- SSD caching and TRIM support
- eSATA port
- Compatible with Synology's DX513 expansion unit
- 3 year warranty
- Lacks an HDMI port
- Plastic HDD trays are without anti-vibration materials and locks
- Removal of the ability to skip disk checking during RAID 5 and RAID 6 setup
- You cannot format an external disk into NTFS (however, external NTFS disks can be read and written to properly)
ConclusionThe fresh Synology DS916+ performs incredibly well regardless of what you throw at it, making it a unit of the high-end. Though it is mostly destined for small business environments, I believe it will be among the top choices for enthusiasts able to afford it. Regarding business usage, the lack of lockable trays can be a problem since physical data protection is very important in such environments. Plastic trays also don't look nice in expensive NAS servers, and I strongly believe Synology should use metallic ones with anti-vibration materials with its high-end products. The means to install HDDs without any tools is a boon, though, since it makes installing or replacing drives fast and easy. The Intel N3710 CPU and 8 GB of memory wouldn't set new performance standards in a Windows PC, but such hardware in a NAS with a custom-tailored Linux distribution has it perform incredibly well in even difficult situation. The DS916+ performed very well in all our tests. Even encrypted file transfers didn't decrease performance significantly since the CPU features a hardware encryption engine. Multimedia performance was also very good, especially with Synology's Video Station application which exploits the CPU's transcoding engine. Another major advantage is the support for the Btrfs filesystem in addition to ext4. Btrfs brings many improvements to the table, including enhanced data security and several backup options, which is why Synology recommends it over ext4. For those of you planning on building a fully featured surveillance station, a Synology NAS can be an ideal choice because of Surveillance Station, a richly featured app all Synology products support. The combination of strong hardware and two free camera licenses is a good starting point. This NAS supports up to 40 camera licenses, and if you need more space for your recordings, you are able to easily expand the server's storage capacity by adding Synology's DX513 expansion unit. There is more since the DS913+ also include two Ethernet ports that support NIC teaming (Link Aggregation) for increased transfer speeds, is silent and hardly consumes any power. The most notable downside is the lack of an HDMI port. The competition usually offers more than one HDMI port and audio ports. I think that it is nigh time for Synology to re-evaluate their stance on the HDMI matter to start providing them. An HDMI port is not only the gateway to a slew of different multimedia-specific capabilities, but can be also used for local administration purposes, which can prove useful.
Synology DS916+ Four-Bay Consumer NAS Review
Conclusion For those of you that are on the edge of wanting to upgrade your NAS to something more powerful or with more storage capacity, the DS916+ could very well be the ticket you have been waiting for. The build quality of this unit is solid and while apart from its internal skeleton that is metal, this unit is mostly a hard plastic. This allows for fewer rattles in operation, and while this does not matter to most for some, it can influence their buying decision. Synology has deployed this unit with two cooling fans, and from experience, I can say they are quite silent; all I hear from this unit sitting next to me is the hum of hard drives spinning. On the performance side of things, the DS916+ carried average performance through single client testing with RAID 0 peaking at 107 MB/s in 2x Playback and RAID 5 touching 94 MB/s. RAID 10, on the other hand, did quite well topping 110 MB/s. Switching to sequential, I was able to get 117 MB/s read out of this unit in RAID 5 while RAID 0 produced 112 MB/s. Workloads produced some of the highest performance I have seen come out of a NAS appliance. With RAID 0 topping 7000 IOPS in several cases and Workstation coming in just over 3000 IOPS. RAID 5 showed more of the same with Database, File Server, and Web Server reaching over 1200 IOPS with Workstation not far behind at 1000 IOPS. RAID 10 showed more of the performance I found in RAID 0 with Database going well over 8000 IOPS and Email Server a shade over 4000 IOPs. With this being my second hands-on experience with DSM 6, I can say even in the short couple of months between the DS716 and DS916+, I have noticed it feels much quicker. Synology updates their appliances quite often and while this can get annoying updating every time you enter DSM, I would much rather an updated appliance than one leaving security holes open. Adding to the DS916+ is expandable functionality; it is the first four-bay from Synology that I know of supporting the DX513. The DX513, while seemingly a simple eSATA expansion enclosure, does offer tool-less installation with a matching aesthetic. Is it worth the $459.99 MSRP? Probably not, but for those already in the Synology ecosystem wanting to push more capacity, the DX513 is definitely the way to go if you don't have the funds to upgrade the entire appliance.
Inget betygSynology DiskStation DS916+ Review
- Highly scalable
- The ever-incomparable DSM software adds a ton of versatility
- Great performance
- Expansion chassis doesn't match in terms of design
Conclusion Synology has added another solid storage solution with the release of the DiskStation DS916+. This 4-bay, hot-swappable NAS that has a total raw capacity of 72TB when using nine 8TB HDDs and leveraging Synology's DX513 expansion units. This certainly provides a ton of scalability for growing businesses. Moreover, its equipped Intel Pentium N3710 Quad Core 1.6 Hz CPU and 2GB of RAM (expandable to 8GB) allows for some pretty serious output, which features AES-NI hardware encrypted file transfers as well. The DS916+ also comes with useful features catered to media enthusiasts; for example, it uses a hardware-accelerated transcoding engine that allows for H.264 4K / 1080p video transcoding and streaming to HD TVs, digital media players, mobile devices, and computers. Coupling all of this with Synology’s powerful DiskStation Manager (DSM) software makes the DS916+ a very impressive NAS package. To get an idea of what the Synology NAS can do performance-wise, we tested the DS916+ in all-SSD (Toshiba HK3R2) and all-HDD (Seagate NAS 8TB) configurations, both of which are well suited to operate in NAS environments. We also looked at CIFS (file-level) and iSCSI (block-level) storage connectivity. In our random 4K access benchmark, top performance recorded was with the Toshiba SSDs configured in iSCSI, with 44,677 IOPS read and 30,283 IOPS write. The DS916+ posted its best HDD performance (1,289 IOPS ) when using the Seagate NAS 8TB drives while leveraging iSCSI block-level storage connectivity. When looking at 100% 8K sequential throughput, which uses a 16T/16Q load in 100% read and 100% write operations, the DS916+ excelled with the Toshiba SSDs; both iSCSI and CIFS configurations posted great numbers that were virtually identical. The Seagate NAS 8TB also performed on par with the SSDs when using CIFS file-level storage. As far as large-block sequential speeds go, the DS916+ showed its top performance of 230,927 IOPS read and 231,561 IOPS write when configured, again, in iSCSI and populated with the Toshiba SSDs. That being said, results from the 128K test were great across the board and were all very close to one another.