HUGE 60-Bay HA6400 RackMount NAS from Synology Revealed
At the risk of being controversial, I would say that Synology is a brand that trades on its software reputation more than it’s hardware. That is not to say that they have not created some fine ANS hardware over the years (first commercial NAS brand to include NVMe SSD bays in their hardware, first affordable business true Active-Active controller solution, to name but a couple), but their DSM platform has far outpaced their hardware in terms of appeal with existing and new customers. However, when I first heard that Synology was working on a 60-Bay Intel Powered rackmount solution, I thought I miss heard and had to check (3 times in fact). But no, the newly revealed Synology HD6400 4U RackStation NAS is genuinely a 60 3.5” Bay solution. Arriving in a monstrously huge chassis, this top-loaded server is aimed at users who want it all – Powered, Ungradeability, Storage potential and that feeling of an investment well made. So, with this device entering the comparatively navigated territory for Synology, let’s take a look at this device and find out if it’s as good as it sounds.
Synology HD6400 4U PowerHouse NAS Hardware Specifications
As you might well expect, in order to support that insane 60 Bays of storage (that no doubt support the latest 16TB Seagate Ironwolf NAS Hard Drives and Ironwolf 110 4TB SSDs) this device is going to need a seriously powerful architecture surrounding it. Obviously, from a build stance, this rackmount will be beefy. Synology’s rackmount range is already well established enough, that I have little or no concerns about the build quality externally. But with a new kind of drive injection and deployment system in place, along with a much more enterprise-level processor architecture in place, I am keen to look under the bonnet on this.
- CPU: Xeon Silver 4110 eight-core processor x2
- CORES: 8
- MEMORY: 32GB DDR ECC RDIMM
- MAX MEMORY: 512GB DDR4 ECC RDIMM
- BAYS: x60
- FORM FACTORS: 3.5”/2.5” (Adapter May Be Required – TBC)
- SSD CACHING BAYS: x2 2.5″ (SATA/SAS/NVMe is still TBC)
- CAPACITY: 960TB (60x 16TB), Space allocation may limit Max Volumes
- DRIVE INTERFACE: SATA 6GB
- RAID SUPPORT: RAID JBOD, 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 60, Multi
- NUMBER OF FANS: 4x internal
- USB 3.0 PORTS: x2
- RJ45 1Gbe LAN PORTS: x2
- 10Gbe 10GBASE-T Ports: x3
- PCIe Slots: x 3
- Storage Expansion Ports: x1
- Hot-Swap: Yes
- LCD Panel: No
- PSU: x2
- CHASSIS: Metal, 4U Rackmount, Top Down Drive Delivery
Synology HD6400 Rackmount NAS Software Specifications
Where to start on the Synology HD6400? Well, In short, in terms of the entire Synology software suite of applications, services and programs, you name it and this device supports it (with the complete exception of Synology Hybrid RAID and still looking for BRTFS to be confirmed). With the kind of hardware that the HD6400 is equipped with, this is a device that is not going to struggle. I will be interested to see if it supports GPU cards at the time of release, as the ONLY area I can see this device even slightly sweating in an enterprise business application sense is in high tier business class surveillance use where an company will wish to take advantage of the deep video analysis displayed in the likes of the DVA3219. But even then, the hardware inside this device is of such a power level that it could probably handle it. The Intel Silver 4110 is going to provide such insanely high IOPS (even on mechanical HDDs in this volume) that the right kind of hybrid storage array (along with the SSD caching improvements involved in DSM 7.0, such as metadata pinning/locking and better block sizing actions) will make any modern-day NAS run wonderfully smooth.
Moving into more 3rd party (but still core applications) such as Windows Server applications and VMware, this device should arrive after the release of DSM 7.0 next year, so Directory Server and Improvements in Vmware/Vsphere compatibility will mean that this monster device can be used to upgrade an existing setup in your business in the backend, yet you can still use the familiar dashboard and UI of the software you already license. Below is a combination of Synology applications and 3rd party applications that are supported. The extent to which these are supported (# of active simultaneous users, licenses, sessions, etc will be updated when a datasheet is available).
- Synology Active Backup: Yes
- Synology Surveillance Station: Yes
- Synology Virtual Machine Manager: Yes
- Synology High Availability: Yes
- Synology Drive: Yes
- Synology Directory Server: Yes
- Synology Active Insight: Yes
- Synology Hybrid Share: Yes
- Hyper Backup: Yes
- Docker: Yes
- Synology CMS Yes
- Synology Mail: Yes
- Synology Office: Yes
- Synology Download Station: Yes
- Synology Photos: Yes
- Plex Media Server: Yes (Fantastically overpowered, why on earth would you!)
- iTunes Server: Yes
- WordPress: Yes
- BTRFS Support: Yes (TBC)
- Synology Hybrid RAID: No
- Snapshot Support: Yes
- 4K Support: Yes
- Transcoding Support: Yes
- Synology Multimedia Suite*: Yes
- Synology Moments: Yes
- Synology Chat: Yes
*Video Station, Audio Station, PhotoStation, Media Server, Mobile Apps, etc
Synology HD6400 60-Bay 4U NAS Price and Release Date
Of all the devices that were finally revealed at the Synology 2020 events, this is the one that seems the most enterprise led (and that is surprising, given the prominence of the SA3200, SA3400 and Flashstation FS6400 on show), but sadly the one with the least traceable/known availability. As this is relatively untrodden ground for Synology, the details surrounding the availability of the HD6400 are close to zero! I think it is most certainly a 2020 product, but possibly one that we will get more information on around CES 2020 in January. With the development cycle and release of the UC3200 (originally the UC300) in excess of a year, I think this is going to be similarly lengthy in it’s release schedule.
Regarding price, the sky is the limit here. This device features a lot of ‘firsts’ from Synology and when that happens, you cannot simply just 2-3x the price of a 24-Bay NAS Server. This device may likely arrive at a price point for business only, BUT I would strongly recommend contacting SPAN in 2020 and see if an early unit can be provided. With the marketing value of a case study in modern IT right now, as well as the high profile appeal of this device to a certain kind of business, arrangements may well be made and an earlier available and improved price is never off the table. That said, the Synology HD6400 is still a big question mark at this time of writing in terms of price and release and I hope to change this fact very soon.
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