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Review: Synology DiskStation DS1618+

Looking for an enterprise-grade NAS solution for your office or home, but have a pocket-friendly price point on mind? Look no further than the Synology DiskStation DS1618+. This beauty comes with chockfull of features, and in doing so, does not burn a hole in your pocket.

Synology is a brand that is known for its iron-clad NAS drives. But what sets the company apart from its competition is the top notch operating system and software ecosystem that accompanies each and every NAS drive that gets shipped from its factory.

The new DiskStation DS1618+ accompanies the same iron-clad promise with excellent software. This one is a 6-bay NAS that accompanies a quad-core processor and is designed for small- and medium-sized businesses. The overall device is powerful since it comes with advanced computing applications to meet businesses’ demand and supercharges your storage with the optional M.2 SSD adapter card for dual SSD cache drives.

The DS1618+ is designed to be used as a centralised file server for simplifying data management and protecting critical assets. What’s more, the Synology DS1618+ comes with Synology’s very own three-year warranty. Other specs include 4GB DDR4 memory, which is expandable to up to 32GB.

On paper, the DS1618+ is capable of offering a performance of 1,550 MB/s reading and 580 MB/s writing speeds. The device also comes with four built-in 1GbE (RJ-45) ports with failover and Link Aggregation support. You can even scale up to 16 drives with two DX517 expansion units.

Inside the box, the Synology DS1618+ comes with 2.5″ HDD/SSD screws, a power cable, two 2x RJ-45-based LAN cables, Quick Installation Guide and a trial for the Synology C2 service. The six drive bays on the DS1618+ will offer you up to 72TB of storage space.

The DS1618+ also comes with a Gen 3 x8 PCIe slot. This can be used to add either a 10 Gigabit Ethernet card if you need more network speed, or an SSD cache card for better overall performance. One thing that makes the Synology products awesome is the fact that these are very easy to install.

All you need to do is connect the drives to the sleds, slide each of them into a drive bay, plug in the included Ethernet cable, and plug in the power. Once you’re done, press the power button and the hardware installation is complete. The device will them start installing and configuring the Synology DiskStation Manager.

Once everything is setup, you are good to go. In order to test performance and bypass the PC for the test, we used an OSFMount to create a 4GB RAM disk and then used Robocopy to test throughput between our PC and the DS1618+. The volume on the Synology DS1618+ was created using the Btrfs filesystem, and tests using both RAID-5 and RAID-6 had roughly equal results.

We then proceeded to copy over a single 3GB file to and from the Synology DS1618+. At the end of the test, we clocked 115 MB/s from the PC to the NAS and 117 MB/s from the NAS to the PC. The points we ended up with were very impressive. Next, we proceeded to copy over a mix of files that included Word files, zipped files, images, MP3 files and so on, totaling 3GB in size, to and from the NAS. We clocked a speed of 71 MB/s from the PC to the NAS and 69 MB/s from the NAS to the PC.

In terms of applications, Synology offers a brilliant and thriving app ecosystem. If you are a photographer, you should definitely try out the Synology Moments app. If are setting up a centralised surveillance and security solution, you should really check out the Synology Surveillance Station. If you want hassle-free data backups, the Synology Hyper Backup tool is your app of choice. And there are many more useful apps such as Synology Virtual Machine Manager.

You can even install apps such as BitTorrent, Drupal, WordPress, git and so on, with a single click. Synology also offers apps for both iOS and Android, that allow you to view images, stream videos, listen to music and so on, directly onto you mobile devices. With so many features and endless possibilities, the Synology DS1618+ is truly a NAS drive to consider, if you are looking for a versatile and trust-worthy storage solution.

Price: AED 3900

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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