Synology DS1812+: 8-bay Expandable NAS for SOHO/SMB


Video Introduction: Synology DS1812+

The Synology DS1812+ is a 8-bay NAS appliance (diskless) that can support up to eight, 4 TB 2.5″/3.5″ hard-drives in one single unit. It’s part of an expandable storage solution and hence you can buy (up to) two 5-bay NAS appliances from Synology (in future) and expand it to hold up to 72 TB of data. Well, that’s a loooooot of DATA, don’t you think? 🙂

Purpose of Synology DS1812+

The Synology DS1812+ is basically a NAS box (Network Attached Storage appliance) for storing data/files/multimedia. It can also run applications via the in-built apps and hence can double up as a server as well (in a limited way). You can store a huge volume of data/files, share it with everyone on the network, provide access rights to individual users, store data securely by avoiding data-loss due to individual disk failures, host and stream multimedia files, etc.

Important Specifications of Synology DS1812+

  • Type: Stand-alone diskless 8-bay NAS appliance. Expandable in future to connect two more 5-bay NAS appliances.
  • Storage capacity: Can accommodate up to 32 TB (8 x 4 TB drives) and with the expansion units, it can accommodate up to 72 TB.
  • Rated: 194.48 MB/sec writing, 202.20 MB/sec reading.
  • CPU: 2.13 Ghz, Floating point support.
  • Memory: 1 GB DDR3 RAM (Expandable up to 3 GB)
  • Connectivity: 2 x 1 GB LAN Ports, 2 x USB 3.0 Ports, 4 x USB 2.0 Ports, 2 x eSATA Ports, Wireless Dongle support (dongle not included).
  • Size/Weight: 157 x 340 x 233 mm (h x w x d)/ 5.21 Kg.
  • Power: 71.5 W (Access)/ 28.6 W (Hibernation).
  • Warranty: 3 Years.
  • OS: Synology DSM (DiskStation Manager).

Advantages of Synology DS1812+ 8-bay NAS:

  1. The Synology DS1812+ integrates with Active Directory/LDAP and hence, the user profiles, etc. can be borrowed from these directories. It also supports Windows ACL (Access Control Lists) to apply access control and setup privileges for files/folders.
  2. It supports RAID types like 5,6,10, etc. Even though some disk-space is utilized by RAID, by using it you can avoid data loss as your storage system is protected from individual disk-failures. Even if one disk fails, the unit continues to function and there is no data loss. You just need to replace the failed drive with another similar drive (asap) and the RAID controller will reconstruct all the data that was stored in it previously.
  3. This NAS box is extremely scalable. It can accommodate up to 72 TB with two expansion units added, and hence its storage capacity is quite abundant for most home/office applications.
  4. Fanless CPU design makes the unit quieter (there are still two other fans that run rarely) and more reliable.
  5. Hot-swappable drive support is available. That means, you can pull out/put in any hard-drive while the system is working. You don’t have to switch-off/interrupt the system for this.
  6. iSCSI support gives reliable and faster storage access for demanding business applications. It’s a low-cost alternative for hugely expensive SAN storage solutions for businesses.
  7. The Synology DS1812+ supports https & encrypted ftp for enhanced security.
  8. This box can be used as a web-server, print-server or email-server, if you wish. It has appropriate apps for these purposes.
  9. It supports power saving features like scheduled power on/off, Wake On LAN (The system is kept in hibernation until a data packet is sent to it or requested from it by some user).
  10. NAS appliances are a good choice if you want to use them for desktop/network back-up applications. The Synology DS1812+ supports up to 8 shared folder syncs and supports Time Machine application for MACs.
  11. Synology has created iOS and Android apps to enable you to access data/system remotely or manage the NAS using smart phones.
  12. Synology has a rich ecosystem of applications (both add-on packages and third-party packages) and hence, users just need to download the appropriate app to perform many common tasks. For example, one can activate DHCP server, Media server, Syslog server, VPN server, DNLA server, iTunes server, WordPress server, etc. with just a single click.
  13. If you plan to use IP surveillance cameras, the Surveillance Station package offered by Synology can be used for central monitoring/management of all IP cameras in your network. However, only one license is given for free and users have to buy additional licenses, depending on the number of cameras, in order to use this package.
  14. The Synology DS1812+ supports critical features like fail-over and link-aggregation. With link-aggregation, you can connect two switch ports (with two cables) to the two ports of the Synology NAS. By doing this, the bandwidth (between the switch and the NAS) is doubled (up to 2 Gbps). Even if one cable/port fails in this set-up, the other will keep functioning. This feature is called fail-over.
  15. Synology offers out-of-the-box support for major virtual machine packages from VMware, Citrix, Microsoft, etc. This could be useful for small businesses, who would want to host virtual machines.
  16. Synology NAS appliances are very simple to set-up and operate. One can set it up within 30 minutes.
  17. Even though the box holds 8 hard-drives, it’s surprisingly small and light-weight. It’s quieter than most NAS models in the market and looks aesthetic with a black outer cover.
  18. There are lighted indicators to indicate which drives are working and which ones have failed.
  19. Synology supports Windows, Mac & Linux environment. Hence, even if you have a combination of systems with these three OS, everyone will be able to access and use many of its features.
  20. When compared to using normal servers, the Synology DS1812+ uses very less electricity. Try to put it on the stand-by mode when the appliance is not in use.

Tips/Limitations:  

  1. The RAID size is limited to the smallest disk-size in the array. Hence, try to load the device with the same capacity disk-drives, if you are planning to use RAID (which is highly recommended).
  2. Buy and hook-up the NAS box with a good UPS to avoid data loss due to power failures.
  3. Synology DS1812+ works best/fastest in a gigabit network. Hence, ensure that your switch ports, cables, passive components, etc. support the high-speed gigabit standard.
  4. You can use both the browser-based GUI or CLI to manage the box. Use the CLI if you want to access and use all the features.
  5. The drive-cages (that hold the hard-drives) are made of hard-plastic and not aluminum.
  6. Documentation is available only as a soft copy. If you want a hard-copy, you need to print it out.
  7. A small learning curve will be involved if you are new to handling networks, etc. Be prepared for this. 
  8. The Synology DS1812+ comes with a 1 GB RAM module. But, it is recommended to buy the 2 GB expansion RAM module and use all the 3 GB for best performance.
  9. The Synology DS1812+ supports jumbo frames. If your switch supports it as well, enable jumbo frames in both the devices which will in turn improve the performance of large-file transfers.
  10. Connect it to, and use it with, manageable switch ports especially if you want to take advantage of features like Link-Aggregation (802.3ad) and fail-over.
  11. For Link Aggregation to work, you have to set up port-bonding with both the NAS (Synology DSM) and the switch-ports.
  12. Have a look at the list of compatible disk-drives, before you buy hard-drives for this unit. Don’t worry, the list of supported disks is quite exhaustive.

Further Information: Synology DS1812+ Manufacturer’s web-page.

Price (USD)/Buy from (US): Amazon web-page for,

Synology DiskStation 8-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage – Black (DS1812+)

Suggested Accessories: 

WD Red 3 TB NAS Hard Drive: 3.5 Inch, SATA III, 64 MB Cache – WD30EFRX (3 TB Hard-drive)
Synology Disk Station 5-Bay Expansion Unit for Increasing Capacity Network Attached Storage (DX513) (5-bay Expansion unit)

 

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