Synology SA3200D Active-Passive 12-Bay RackStation NAS

Intelligent and Safe SA3200D RackMount NAS from Synology Uncovered

If you are a business owner, enterprise file hosting platform, surveillance NVR user or just generally someone whose infrastructure cannot withstand even minor disconnection (even down to the minute), then the SA3200D Rackstation NAS from Synology is definitely a device that has a lot that could appeal you. As we have already established previously here on NASCompares, Synology has been making bigger and bigger moves into the enterprise sector for a while now. The brand that has spent almost 20 years making network-attached storage hardware, featuring the popular Diskstation Manager software, with their first Rackmount NAS server back in 2006 (RS-406), have now fully uncovered potentially their most powerful and advanced SAS enabled Rackmount NAS yet for 2020. Featuring a unit dual controller (dubbed Active-Passive switch over) design and 12 Bays of storage, this twin controller system promises the ability to have a combination of redundant RAID storage and (better yet) WHOLE system redundancy. Alongside this, we see the already long-established business-class hardware, power, speed and support that is already available in the XS and SA series, but even more so! Let’s take a closer look at this beast!

Synology SA3200D Failure Protection NAS Hardware Specifications

The hardware found in the Synology SA3200D is up there with some of the most powerful we have ever seen from them in the entire RackStation range. Featuring two of everything (as you would expect from the Active-Passive controller setup), 10Gbe, Redundant PSUs and huge memory and storage expandability, the hardware specifications of the SA3200D are pretty mind-blowing. Take a look:
CPU: Intel Xeon D-1521 CPU
FREQUENCY: 2.4-2.7Ghz per Core
MEMORY: 8-64DDR4 ECC Memory
BAYS: 12-Bays
NUMBER OF FANS: 4 Internal, 4 more for the HDD
USB 3.0 PORTS: 2x Per Controller
RJ45 LAN PORTS: 2x 1Gbe, 1x 10GBASE-T (per controller)
Hot-Swap: Yes

Synology SA3200D Rackmount NAS Software Specifications

The twin controller architecture of the Synology SA3200D Rackstation NAS is designed with one major disaster prevention in mind. We already have multiple systems of protection and redundancy in place from Synology across many RackStation and DiskStation devices. Such as:
  • RAID protection for preventing data loss from 1 or more drives in an array suffering a hardware failure
  • Redundant Power Suppliers (2 PSUs) that mean you can suffer the breaking/Disconnection of your power supply to a PSU
  • Offsite, Remote, Cloud and NAS-2-NAS backups to keep synchronized duplicates of your data off-site
  • Uninterruptable Power Suppliers connected via USB that allow your Synology NAS to safely power down during a power cut
  • Synology High Availability, allowing you to synchronize two identical NAS servers so that one can act as the other’s safety net in the event of a critical failure

In short, the Synology SA3200D RackStation NAS will do EVERYTHING. Largely every single modern network/internet storage applications in the world right now can be supported by the SA3200D in some degree (mostly very high) with its insanely high IOPS support, high internal/external speeds and hardware architecture. Along with the entire catalogue of applications for business that Synology has produced (with particular focus from this device on Virtual Machines, Active Backup and backups), this device is suited to enterprise-class storage.

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 Drive: Yes
Synology Chat: Yes
Synology Active Backup: Yes
Synology Surveillance Station: Yes
Synology Virtual Machine Manager: Yes
Synology Directory Server: Yes
Synology High Availability: Yes
Synology Hybrid Sync: Yes
Synology Active Insight: Yes
Synology Mail: Yes
Synology Office: Yes
Docker: TBC
Synology CMS Yes
Synology Download Station: Yes
Hyper Backup: TBC
Plex Media Server: Yes (but low end and without transcoding)
iTunes Server: Yes
WordPress: Yes
As good as all the above protection and services are, only the SHA can protect you from your NAS CPU, Memory or motherboard suffering a critical failure (breaking) and even then, it requires duplicating your entire setup, connecting the two devices constantly to ensure synchronization and requires all data operations to be doubled, which can also lead to one NAS working twice as hard as it has to make the primary network transactions with users AND sync with the secondary box. The twin/dual controller system eliminates this, as well as ensures a much tighter and compact environment – and the added benefit of a more secure and simplified storage environment. The 12 Bays of RAID-enabled storage is connected to two IDENTICAL controller boards, each of which is such as you would find in a powerful rackmount server individually. These two controllers (with their own CPU, Memory, network controller, network ports, dual PSUs and PCIe slots) are fully synchronized (using a heartbeat system) and in the event of one of them failing, the system will ensure that connectivity is not lost (there will be a momentary delay as this redundancy is taken into effect, but this is very small indeed). What makes this different to the SHA solution, is that the storage array does not need to be duplicated, it is the same array, behind the active/passive controller architecture. What makes this a better alternative is that rather than having to feature a ‘safety feature’ that requires double the data handling (the arguably BIGGER task) all the time, it is the configuration/backend that makes the switch – a far, FAR faster and lighter switch by comparison. For those that value high IOPs and a robust server with multi-tiered failure protection, the SA3200D is the most outstanding solution in the Synology product portfolio right now.

However, there is more to this than hardware and software, as the SA3200D also arrives with the Synology Replacement Service (SRS) and the Synology Premium Service. So, this means that you will have at your disposal a robust and multi-tiered lightning fast backup solution, combined with 5 years of the manufacturer’s warranty, advanced replacement support in the event of your NAS/controller/PSU needing replacement and business class product support. This Provides full protection of the enterprise and a service plan that does not interrupt the service. With a guaranteed reply time of the support department according to the severity of the problem, the program also comes with the industry-leading Proactive Care kit, which allows you to proactively monitor system status 7×24 hours, automatically upload technical support tickets if necessary, and contact Synology’s commercial technical support team to ensure your service runs smoothly.

The first level: major issues affecting the operation of the company’s services, to ensure that 2 working hours reply. Such as: storage space failure, iSCSI failure, machine failure and MailPlus mail sending and receiving stop operation.

The second level: affects the performance of the enterprise’s service, and guarantees 4 working hours to reply. Such as: the system is running too slowly.

Level 3: Problems that cannot be classified as Level 1 or Level 2, and 8 hours of work hours are guaranteed. Such as: deployment issues, network environment and other external factors.

Synology SA3200D 12-Bay NAS Price and Release Date

We still do not have a concrete idea of when the Synology SA3200D will be released, however as this is a remarkably unique product in the Synology line up (only comparable to the UC3200), I think that this is likely to be a solution for very late into 2019, or more likely Q1/2 2020. It’s increased focus at the Synology Taipei and Berlin, event and improvements to the software lineup in DSM 7.0 covered in the launch event, only serve to make this even more attractive to businesses. Therefore it’s release will likely be closely linked to the best time for business buyers and their respective start/end of budgets to spend in 2019/2020. Price wish, we are likely looking at £4-5000 at the very least and even then this is rather conservative for a SAS based, twin controller, rackmount NAS Rackmount.

Alternative to the Synology SA3200D RackStation NAS

As stated, the Synology SA3200D is a fantastically unique piece of rackmount storage and therefore hard to compare against the currently Rackstation lineup. If you are looking for a solution right now and the uncertain release schedule of the SA3200D is something you cannot accommodate, then there are already several powerful Rackmount solutions available to you right now. You could look at using the Synology High Availability setup with two RS1619xs+ Rackstation NAS, but this will significantly limit your storage potential compared with the SA3200D Rackstation:

Alternatively, an existing alternative that can achieve a similar hardware architecture to the SA3200D in practice, can be achieved using a combination of expansion storage and the RC18015xs+ in a two-unit setup will also provide a great degree of robust disaster recovery.

Finally, in terms of power and storage, right now the best option that is available to most users in the existing series devices is the RS4017xs+.


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