Designed to allow easy sharing of files on a network, and even more advanced features like multimedia transcoding and playback, Network-Attached Storage (NAS) devices are becoming more and more commonplace in today’s homes and businesses. Most units offer not only their file and resource sharing benefits, but they typically also provide other great features like automated backups to cloud services and fault tolerant disk configurations that can be of great benefit to business users. Many companies offer NAS devices spanning the gamut from single or dual-drive systems, all the way up to rack-mounted enterprise solutions capable of supporting dozens of local disks. Synology, a tried and true provider of NAS, networking, and surveillance products, recently released the DiskStation DS1618+, a NAS aimed at providing both home and small-to-medium sized businesses with a scalable storage solution. Offering room for up to six drives, and the ability to upgrade to a 10Gbps NIC or M.2 SSD caching, the DiskStation DS1618+ looks to be a powerhouse system. Follow along as we explore its features and give it a bit of a workout in our review.
The whole list of specifications for the DS1618+ is available here, but we wanted to point out a few of the items that most of our readers will be interested in. With a quad-core Intel Atom C3538 processor running at 2.1GHz, the DS1618+ is capable of not only serving up files, but a whole lot more. This NAS is capable of hosting virtual machines, even with just the included 4GB of DDR4, but with the ability to expand its memory footprint to 32GB, support for more VMs is available. The six drive bays on the DS1618+ support not only 3.5″ SATA HDDs, but also 2.5″ HDDs and SSDs. Total local raw capacity is listed as 72TB (6 x 12TB drives), but we expect larger 12+TB drives to be supported as well. Adding on additional expansion units bumps up the maximum raw capacity limit to a whopping 192TB. The DiskStation DS1618+ supports not only Synology’s Hybrid RAID configuration, but more standard types like JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6, and RAID 10. Getting to all of that potential data and power is provided by four 1GbE LAN ports, with the option of adding a 10GbE NIC in the empty PCIe slot.
The DiskStation DS1618+ came to us in Synology’s standard retail packaging, which consists of a well-built cardboard box that is adorned with a few stickers that highlight some of the unit’s features.
The rear panel of the box offers a look at a few of the externally visible hardware features of the unit inside. Both the front and back of the NAS are pictured, and numbered call-outs guide users in explaining what each feature is.
With the box opened up, we find the DS1618+ securely held in place by multiple foam protectors. The NAS itself is also wrapped in a standard, thin foam cover to keep it protected when removing it from the box.
Inside the accessory box that sits on top of the foam packing material is a power cable, two Ethernet cables, multiple screws for securing drives to the drive trays, keys for the lockable drive trays, and a Quick Installation Guide.