A number of Intel Atom D27xx-based NAS systems have been evaluated in our labs, even though we formally reviewed only one earlier this year, the LaCie 5big NAS Pro. The Thecus N4800 has made its appearance in a some benchmarks presented in our SMB / SOHO NAS testbed article. Synology is one of the well respected vendors in the SMB / SOHO NAS space, and we have reviewed a number of units from them in the previous years. They recently refreshed their 8-bay SMB / SOHO NAS lineup with the DS1813+. Based on the same platform as the DS1812+ (Atom D2700), it added two extra network ports. However, due to the similarity in the underlying platform, the performance can be expected to be similar to last year's version (except when all four links are teamed together when compared to dual teaming), the DS1812+. The Synology DS1812+, a 8-bay desktop tower form factor offering, has been under stress in our labs since the beginning of this year.

In our experience with Synology NAS units, we have found that they typically manage to tick all the right boxes for the perfect consumer NAS (except for the pricing factor). Does the DS1812+ carry things forward, or do we have something to complain about?

The specifications of the Synology DS1812+ are provided below:

Synology DS1812+ Specifications
Processor Intel Atom D2700 (2C/4T, 2.13 GHz)
RAM 1 GB DDR3 RAM (Upgradable to 3 GB)
Drive Bays 8x 3.5"/2.5" SATA / SAS 6 Gbps HDD / SSD (Hot-swappable)
Network Links 2x 1 GbE
USB Slots 2x USB 3.0 / 4x USB 2.0
eSATA Slots 2x
Expansion Slots None
VGA / Display Out None
Full Specifications Link Synology DS1812+ Hardware Specs

In the rest of the review, I will cover some unboxing and setup impressions. A detailed description of the testbed setup and testing methodology is followed by performance numbers in both single and multi-client modes. As requested by multiple readers, we will also briefly cover performance with encryption enabled. In the final section, power consumption numbers as well as RAID rebuild times will be covered along with some closing notes.

Unboxing and Setup Impressions
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  • bsd228 - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    There's nothing special about the DS hardware in term of drive throughput. Using bonnie on the box itself, I've benchmarked various disk organizations on the microserver and 0+1 got reads of 370MB. Writes tend to max in the ballpark of 100 (efrx 2tb drives)- mirroring doesn't speed up rights, it slows it, and raid Z of course requires the parity compute/writes. I'm not going to stripe. However, the more interesting stats aren't about sequential access, which is measurebating, and more about iops. Adding 16G of memory and an SSD caching drive into the zfs pool substantially increases iops.

    If you stick to the single onboard NIC, of course you're not going to do better than 1gbit on transfers to other hosts. But you can add a dual intel for $130. Not sure what a quad card would cost, though for the context of most users here, that's a silly feature. Needs switch support (much more $$ than a dumb switch), and needs a lot of users pulling at max. Not the case in the home. Unless the clients are also going to run multiple nics, it's an unusable capacity.

    I can't quickly see the disk config that is needed to support the metrics you cite. But if its an 8 drive raid5, that's performance at a risk profile I won't accept. 0+1, otoh, would be the way to go.

    Hot swap doesn't work in Solaris (which cost me 0$, not thousands), but my understanding is that it was present in WHS. Isn't an essential feature to me @ home, but I can see others putting more value in it.
  • MadHelp - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    I understand your points and I agree. My points about the sequential throughput are just there to cite capability out of the box with the Synology. In regards to IOPS if that's your goal you can load SSD's into the DS1813+ and achieve some seriously high numbers similar to 16GB of ARC and an SSD L2ARC drive.

    For the same reasons you would add a quad NIC to the Micro sever are the same reasons you would spend $1000 on a DS1813+. I agree the average home user would not need a quad nic on their NAS, nor would they need a DS1813+. The DS1813+ is built for a SOHO or power user.

    This is just shooting in the dark but I would imagine that the metrics I stated above could be produced by one mid tier SSD or three 3TB WD Black drives.

    How swap is has to be supported within the hardware and within the software. From my understanding the issue is with the HP Microserver not supporting it. I can't speak on Solaris but I'm using Open Indiana and I can hot swap all day. Also my comment in regards to Solaris was about support. Call Oracle and try to purchase a support contract, it's expensive. Synology comes with a standard 3 year warranty. In a dire situation the guys at Synology will SSH into your box and fix it. Again you get what you pay for.
  • SirGCal - Saturday, June 15, 2013 - link

    Sorry, that wasn't the point I was trying to make. Reading through your article; it was completely void of anything in reference to RAID 6. This box should never be run in RAID 5 mode with all 8 drives going and that should have definitely have been explained for those 'laymen' users that for sure wouldn't have known any better. Otherwise you know darn well they would have bought the rig, gotten 8 drives and followed this review and built a RAID 5 array and a few years from now lost it all. The unit might be a phenominal NAS in and of itself, but test it as it really SHOULD be used responsibly by the general public... Or at least two RAID 5 volumes linked.. that would have been better then one giant raid 5 single array. That was the one biggest problem I had with the article. I had to do considerable research and until a friend actually told me he had one I didn't know it was RAID 6 capable. The whole point of these are huge arrays for would-be responsible backups. They are NOT secure backups per-say but at the same time we don't want to lose 20+ TB of data because a drive crapped out and the array had one ecc hickup on a 35+ hour rebuild. I thought I made that a bit more clear in half a dozen posts above this one.
  • DigitalFreak - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    "I thought I made that a bit more clear in half a dozen posts above this one."

    I tuned out after the 3rd one.
  • Jeff7181 - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    I said it before and I'll say it again... using RAID6 should not protect you from data loss any more than RAID5 will. RAID is not a backup solution and should not be treated as one.
  • Gimfred - Thursday, July 18, 2013 - link

    That may be so, but isn't Home/SMB NAS typically for a backup target as well as its media functions?

    That said it is both bewildering and disappointing NAS manufacturers haven't embraced ZFS. The only constraint that comes to mind is memory but that is a stupid reason to bail for x86 devices.
  • pwr4wrd - Friday, June 14, 2013 - link

    This is a pretty sleek unit. However, considering the msrp of $999.00 (with no drives), it is possible to build a superior unit with custom components. Here is a recent example from my custom Freenas Build with ZFS file system with RaidZ1. Drives used in this setup are older assorted Sata3 1TB drives. All settings in FreeNas are default values and no performance optimizations have been made.
    The reason I am posting is simply to illustrate the fact that far better results can be achieved for about the same cost. Data security that ZFS offers is priceless in my humble opinion.

    NASPT Test Results. (MB/s)
    HDVideo_1Play 95.653
    HDVideo_2Play 111.941
    HDVideo_4Play 113.313
    HDVideo_1Record 237.236
    HDVideo_1Play_1Record 90.348
    ContentCreation 10.446
    OfficeProductivity 53.119
    FileCopyToNAS 74.114
    FileCopyFromNAS 93.923
    DirectoryCopyToNAS 7.255
    DirectoryCopyFromNAS 41.833
    PhotoAlbum 16.066

    FreeNas (Software version 8.3.1) Server Components:
    CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1230 @ 3.20Ghz
    Ram: 16 GB ECC DDR3 Kingston @ 1333Mhz
    Motherboard: Supermicro X9SCM-F
    Network Controllers: Onboard Intel® 82579LM and 82574L, 2x Gigabit LAN ports
    Boot Drive: Corsair 32 GB Flash drive
  • Duckhunt2 - Saturday, February 15, 2014 - link

    what about the power consumption?
  • tokyojerry - Sunday, June 16, 2013 - link

    Greetings. I am confused as to which way to go for a NAS unit. First let me define, this will be for individual personal home network use and SoHo operation. Synology and QNAP seem to be the 2 most popular brands. I really am not so much 'brand' conscious as I am for the product that gives me the best bang for the buck, and features I want. Perhaps this 8 bay would be overkill for such a personal level of need? I might be better off with two 2-bay (or 4-bay) models and synchronize (backup) between them? The other feature I would desire is the HDMI for output as HTPC to the frontroom TV. Thus, noise level as well as the HDMI is a consideration. In short,
    1. should I go for QNAP or Synology for these considerations?
    2. Which model? (I currently have not quite 8TB of data (two 4TB drives externally hooked up to a MacMini over USB3). Thanks.
  • Micke O - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    1. I personally like Synology and have experience of 3 models, 212j, 2411 and 1512. All of them has been working fine and they are very easy to configure. The 212j wasn't the fastest one around though but I didn't expect it to neither.
    2. That depends on the level of protection you want to run and how much your data will grow over the time you expect the device to "live". Pls remember that no RAID-level whatsoever is a replacement for a proper backup (preferably off-site and off-line if you ask me).

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