Friday, April 29, 2011

Unboxing Synology 1511+

How many days do I need to fill up a 4TB storage?

Almost 2 years by comparing the dates of the link above and this post.

After 2 years, this is my second Synology NAS.

The successor of 1010+, Synology DiskStation 1511+. 2 bays is not enough for me anymore, this is the latest 5 bays NAS from Synology. I also need the scalability for future expansion and this unit can scale up to 15 bays with expansion unit DX510. Check out the spec here.

The package: 1 power cable, 2 LAN cables, screws for harddisk bay, warranty printouts and a software disc also downloadable from Synology site. Unlike my 209 with external power brick, 1511+ comes with built in power.

A very well built and sexy gadget. I like the minimalist design. 5 hot-swappable bays with triangle LED indicator for each bay. 4 other LED on top to display system and network status. The bay number is printed on the chassis but not really visible, it would be ideal if the triangle LED could be replaced with bay number (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Only the power button at the front, all other I/O connections are built at the rear...

On the right, from bottom to top, 2 Gigabit LAN ports which can be aggregated to improve the throughput provided that your switch must be capable to support it. 4 USB are laid closely to each other. As I mentioned in previous post, only slim USB cable can be used if you plan to use up all ports. The port above USB ports is the D-sub VGA port, an alternative to the web admin interface to manage the NAS.

2 big fans at the center, surprisingly the noise is negligible, hopefully the decibel doesn't increase over age. You find 2 eSATA ports underneath the fans, these are for expansion units. Hmmm... Unsure if the ports can support other eSATA devices such as Bluray drive? That's gonna be a big bonus if it does. Lastly, power connector on the left with Kensington lock right under.

The power connection shown above is too simple. Since Synology markets this as an SMB product, the power connector should be business oriented in its design, such as this...

With clips to lock in the cable to the base. This prevents power loss due to loose power connection.

Let's have a look into its stomach (the harddisk enclosures were removed)...

The main board is on the left with a visible heat sink. The RAM is upgradable, check out a detailed report by smallnetbuilder SNB at the end of this post.

This gadget has a big stomach and is hungry right out of the box. I gotta fill it with 5 slices of platters...

5 x Hitachi 7200rpm SATA III 2TB HDD. With Synology Hybrid RAID SHR, I will be getting a total of 8TB usable. No 3TB HDD this round, the price is more than double of 2TB price ranging at RM700+. Perhaps it would be right time to get it with DX510 expansion unit in a year or two, or who knows I am running out of space in 6 months time.

Attaching the HDD to the enclosure is quite simple and straight forward...

Just make sure the holes are aligned and secure it with the screws.

Slot back the enclosures with the HDD. Power it up...

Perfect! All green for the HDD. LAN is up and now is time for initialization.

I am not gonna repeat the initialization part which is similar process to initialize my 209. No technical evaluation too as I am still running on 10/100Mbps network and therefore unable to testify the specification claimed by Synology. In addition, SNB has done a very thorough review on its predecessor 1010+ which should be still applicable to 1511+ except some improvements on its performance. The only differences between both are CPU (1.67GHz vs 1.80GHz) and expandability (1x eSATA vs 2x eSATA).

This toy has been running 24x7 since January and I love it very much. The most significant improvement is the loading time of Bluray movies over network, a 50% reduction over 209 with similar network infrastructure. I expect further reduction when I finally found the ideal gigabit switch. Damn TM, I am holding this upgrade until I get Unifi to avoid buying something that is not compatible with the stupid Unifi design.

Now the most interesting part - how much? The package (1511+ with 5 x 2TB Hitachi HDD) costs me RM4800+ (discounted from RM5200+), a damn bloody good deal from C-Zone boss. You may get better deal if you're more regular and loyal to C-Zone than me :) And we bought not only 1 package but 2 packages (the other decided to go for WD Green HDD) from him. The other 2 of my members got theirs from Viewnet with WD Green HDD a week before me. Yeah, now everyone in my clique agreed with me that NAS is the way to go, they are cracking their head on what to do with the USB harddisks.

I took 2 years to fill up 209. Looking at the "demand growth" with anticipation of Unifi coming to my shore in a month or two, I think I will be burning my pocket again pretty soon. See the chart below...

Guess DX510 is not too far away, may be bonus month?

Sigh~ Money always not enough

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Qing Ming 清明節


又是一年一度上山掃墓或俗稱拜山的清明節了。 该是時候去我老豆的高級公寓拜會他老人家了。 一生人都是敗家仔, 总該花点时间積積善因, 做做孝子吧。


还好并不是我预想般的人山人海, 但也可说是“人气”高涨吧, 毕竟此处并不常有“人气” :) 或许等后边的山头也被开发成“高级住尚区”,往后清明时节的人潮车海也许可比拟吉隆坡市了。。。


蓝天无云且炎阳高照。 多多青黄相接的遮阳伞在先人墓间绽放着, 遮蔽着忙得不可开交的孝子孝女们, 宛如先人正庇护着他们免于夏炎的伤害。 我想古人的诗句不太应节了吧, 哪有雨纷纷? 应该改成清明时节热腾腾吧?

好吧, 既然已来到, 就让我尽地主之谊。。。 呸!呸!呸!不!不!不! 我不是这里的地主! 大吉利是! 百无禁忌! Touch Wood! 就让我帮我老豆尽地主之谊介绍一下他老人家几位肝胆相照的老邻居吧!

首先有爱游山玩水的八仙。 真羡慕他们的逍遥自在。 还有西游路过此地, 在此暂歇的唐三藏师父和白龙马。 不用我介绍, 我想大家已经看到顶着光鲜亮丽肚腩的猪八戒在溪畔遥望美若天仙的何仙姑。 真是色心未泯 :P 那大师兄孙悟空沙僧呢? 烈日当空, 大师兄当然是泡在水帘洞里头嬉戏乘凉啦。。。

原来为人低调的沙师兄则奉师父之命在监视着猪大哥。 猪老兄, 请您收心养性啦, 别吓跑了何大姐。

跑了一阵, 累得我“香汗”淋漓, 该是时候躲进老豆的冷气公寓歇歇、看看我妈子准备得怎样和拜拜老豆了。。。

简简单单, 都是我老豆吃了几十年的家常便饭。 幸福快乐并不需要大鱼大肉的, 对吧?

哇噻! 我老妈几时这么in, 竟然买了个LV包包给我老豆??!!

原来是老豆“隔壁家”的LV。 呵呵。。。


古人的“路上行人欲断魂”也不合时了吧。 也许应该写成“拜山人们齐欢聚”。 现今的清明节不再像以前那种哭断愁肠的拜山了, 它已演变成忙碌人们回家乡缅怀先人, 同时也藉机欢聚话家常的日子了。

就让小弟献献丑, 应节留首诗吧。。。


哦, 最后两句诗是写映有位新来的孝女问我洗手间在哪的情景 :P

好了, 晚餐时间到了, 就到此为止吧。 我已写了近二小时, 写华语的部落格真不简单啊!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Cool Master NA65

I criticized the power cable that comes with my Acer 1810TZ. Silly Acer, they built a good ultra portable laptop but bundle a bad ultra non-portable power brick, in particular the power cable. As a result, I gave up since day 1 and start looking for alternative.

I have been using AcBel Power King that I bought 2 years ago for my every trip. That means my MSI as the remote access gateway and download machine will need to be shut down whenever I travel. So I went out to look for another AcBel but eventually I found Cool Master...

The Cool Master NA65.

Cool Master, a very well known brand that I have been trusting since my first DIY desktop time. I remember I insisted on Cool Master products ranging from PC chassis, case fan and to heat sink when I built my gaming machine. It costs quite a sum at that time to trade for reliability, I was darn happy with the brand though. I guess there are more brands in the market offering equivalent quality products these days, but I have stopped following the desktop trend for long and lack of knowledge on this matter, so Cool Master is still my first choice when selecting a gadget from a variety of brands, though I must iterate that I am also happy with AcBel Power King.

The model number gives a good hint, 19V outputs 3.42A delivering 65W of juice to spice up any similar rated lappy. There is another model NA99 which costs about 30% more than NA65, you might want to consider that if you have a power hunger lappy. The box also lists the compatible notebook brands, but the original power rating is always good info to confirm...

A perfect match of 19V for the Acer 1810TZ. Not to forget to verify the polarity just like what I did previously.

It's similar package like AcBel Power King, could it be OEM from the same factory? Hmmm.. Anyway, solid built quality with firm and slim power cable, even offering the same power tips shown above. And a comparison to AcBel's tip reassures the polarity...

One difference between these 2 brands and that's also the main criteria that I chose Cool Master (beside the brand loyalty) over AcBel...

The brick comes with an LED indicator. Some may say this is redundant as all notebooks come with a power LED as well. You would not know whether it's a power brick or notebook problem when it's not charging. At least you know the brick is functional when its LED lights up, but I certainly believe everyone hopes it's otherwise that LED on the brick dims off (means power brick problem) when in such situation. :)

There are many brands in the market here compare to 2 years ago that AcBel was the only brand (or a brand that has reputable background on power thingy). I would recommend take a serious consideration on the brand as you're dealing with electrical. Minor hiccup on the brick might only fry your notebook but in worst case it could burn your house or loved one if you opt for cheap and unknown brand.