Review: Synology Diskstation DS1513+ with VMware - Part 1

So the holiday is over back to other fun things like reviewing a shiny new Synology Diskstation DS1513+.  Our friends at Synology where so kind to ship us a brand new unit. Which is now sitting next to my desk ready to be tested. I wonder how this Synology DiskStation works and integrates with my VMware vSphere 5.1 environment. In this article we will unbox, hardware and software install the unit.

Synology DS1513+ Package Contents

Unboxing the Synology DS1513+

The package content consists of the following items:

1 - Synology Diskstation DS1513+ unit; 1 - Welcome Note; 1 - AC Power Cord with a Schuko CEE 7/7 plug on one side and a C13 plug on the NAS side; 1 - Small bag with very very small screws; 2 - Keys to lock the harddrive brackets; 2 - Black RJ-45 LAN Cables 1 meter.

When I unpacked the DS1513+ I noticed it is small, well finished and feels solid.

The Synology Diskstation DS1513+ is a NAS targeted at the Small and Medium business providing a centralized destination for storage, backup and sharing. With the iSCSI support in the Synology DS1513+ and on the VMware hardware compatibility list (vSphere 5.x) it is Ready to be used for VMware virtualization servers. I am curious how it will integrate and perform against my VMware vSphere 5.1 environment. Lets take a quick look at the specifications of the Synology Diskstation DS1513+ before we start the hardware installation and setup the software.

Synology DS1513+ Front View Synology DS1513+ 3D ViewSynologyDS1513_Rear_View



  • CPU: Dual Core 2.13GHz;
  • Memory: 2 GB DDR 3 (Expandable, up to 4GB);
  • Disks: 5 x 3.5″ SATA (III or II) or 2.5″ SATA (III or II) or 2.5" SSD;
  • Capacity: 20TB (5 x 4TB HDD);
    • You can expand the capacity easily by using a DX513 Expansion Unit for increasing capacity of the Synology DiskStation by 20TB. The DX513 seamlessly scales up the storage capacity of the DiskStation by an additional 5 hard drives on-the-fly when connected directly by an expansion cable. You can connect two of these expansion units to Scale Up to a whooping 60TB capacity!
  • External HDD Interface : 4 x USB 2.0, 2 x USB 3.0, 2 x eSATA;
  • LAN: 4 LAN 1 Gbps Ports with Link Aggregation Support;
  • Size: 157 mm X 248 mm X 233 mm;
  • Weight: 4.25 kg;
  • Noise Level: Very low, because of the two large 80 mm X 80 mm system fans;
    • My laptop which I do not hear either makes more noise compared to the Synology.
  • Power: 51W (Access) ; 25.75W (HDD Hibernation);
  • Compatibility: What hard drive models are supported by the Synology DS1513+? Check the compatibility list;
  • Supports Virtual environments on VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix Xenserver.

Hardware Installation

After removing all five brackets the inside of the NAS gets clearly visible. You can see the two large 80mm fans at the back and the five connection bays mounted on the blue circuit board. On the left side you can see a small part of the silver CPU cooler situated. I checked the Synology compatibility list before I loaded the disk brackets with 3 Western Digital RED 3TB specific NAS drives (WD30EFRX).

Synology DS1513+ Inside ViewWesternDigital HDD RED 3TB Sealed










As you can see the NAS itself does not contain any disks but it contains five smart brackets. When I saw the tiny screws in the small plastic bag when I unpacked I automatically grabbed a screw driver for them. But after a closer look at the brackets I started to smile and realized you do not have to use the screws and the screw driver. You can remove the small long plastic sides and place the hdd into the bracket than click the long plastic sides back in and the hdd is securely mounted. Now put the hdd brackets back into the NAS from left to right and secure the ones with a hdd in it with the key.

WD RED 3TBWD RED 3TBWD RED 3TBSynologyDS1513_HDD_bracket_with_WD_RED_P4


“It took me less than 5 minutes to unpack the box, open the brackets, open the sealed hdd’s, place them in the brackets, put the brackets back into the NAS, install the power cable and the two LAN cables and power the Synology on!”

Software Installation

You first install and run the Synology Assistant (SA) to manage Synology DiskStation(s) in your local area network (LAN), especially when you have multiple machines working within LAN this tool makes it easy to find. By Synology Assistant, you can install DSM, share printers, set up WOL, upload photos and monitor resources of DiskStation(s). When connecting to the Diskstation found the Web assistant will ask if it should download and apply the latest DSM version. DSM is the operating system of the DS1513+. The update includes the latest features and enhancements and is very recommended to load when asked for. It will take about 10 minutes to download and update the NAS with the latest DSM. Erik did a step by step run down of the software setup in this post for the predecessor of the DS1513+

Synology DSM4.2 Overview

After the firmware and software is updated the DSM web interface will be started and we are ready to start configuring this very promising and great NAS so far. In part 2 we will be configuring the Diskstation to be used by my VMware vSphere 5.1 environment.