We would like to thank Synology for supplying the review sample.
The Synology DS1815+ is a high-end NAS that can take up to eight HDDs for a total of 48 TB if you use 6 TB disks, and it comes with a quad-core CPU with an integrated hardware-encryption engine and is compatible with Synology's DX513 expansion unit should you want to increase its storage capacity even further. A home user, even if an incredible enthusiast, most likely won't need such a large NAS; the DS1815+ definitely seems to address business environments and nothing else. Its four Ethernet ports and lockable trays are also proof enough of the above.
Connect two DX513s to the DS1815+ and it can take up to 18 HDDs! Its storage capacity would be huge, and you would have to spend more on the HDDs than the NAS itself, especially if you go with 6 TB or 8 TB disks. So much storage space even covers the needs of large companies without spending lots of money on a rack. The DS1815+ is also backed by Synology's excellent operating system, DiskStation Manager, or DSM for short. Easy-to use and intuitive, it even allows less experienced users to easily configure the NAS to their needs. And although it is mostly for business use, it comes with a lot of multimedia-specific capabilities that might prove useful in even such an environment. After all, even companies need to keep such multimedia files as photos or videos on file.
With a price barely exceeding $1000, the DS1815+ looks like a very promising NAS for its category. Its only weak spot based on its specifications is its low RAM total of 2 GB. While 2 GB will suffice in most cases, a NAS with as much storage capacity and the ability to otherwise handle multiple users and applications at the same time needs at least 4 GB of RAM to put us at ease. With DDR3 RAM prices being low, we believe there is no excuse not to include another 2 GB.
This NAS uses the same CPU as the DS415+ we reviewed a while ago, a Rangeley SoC (C2538, quad-core, 2.4 GHz). This CPU is compatible with the Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions (AES-NI) technology, but doesn't support QuickAssist, which can speed networking and security applications up significantly. We, as such, expect to see a performance hit in our encrypted file transfers. Only the more expensive Rangeley SoCs support QuickAssist, and Synology obviously didn't want to increase the cost of this NAS server any further.
|Synology DS1815+ Specifications|
|Processor||INTEL Atom C2538 (Rangeley), quad-core, 2.4 GHz|
|Operating System||Embedded Linux|
|Memory||2 GB SO-DIMM DDR3 (Expandable up to 6 GB)|
|Storage||8x 3.5"/2.5" SATA II/III|
|RAID Levels:||Single Disk, JBOD, |
RAID 0, 1, 5,
5 + Hot Spare, 6, 6 + Hot Spare, 10, 10 + Hot Spare
|Capacity||up to 48 TB (disks not included)|
|iSCSI||Target & Initiator|
|Networking||4x 10/100/1000 Mbit Ethernet|
|I/O Ports||USB 3.0 x 4, eSATA x 2|
|Dimensions|| 157 (H) x 340 (W) x 233 (D) mm|
6.18 (H) x 13.39 (W) x 9.17 (D) inch
|Power Consumption||45.88W (Access) |
25.23W (HDD Hibernation)
tested with 8x Western Digital 1TB WD10EFRX HDDs
|Power Supply||DPS-250AB, 250W, 100-240 V|
|Fan||2x 120 mm (Y.S. Tech, KM121225LL)|
|Maximum IP Cam (Licenses required)||40x (including 2x Free Licenses)|
| Price excluding VAT|
(at the time of the review)
The DS1815+ comes with 2 GB of DDR3 RAM you can expand to 6 GB if you keep the already installed DIMM (and it is pretty hard to reach to replace with a higher-capacity DIMM). We strongly believe that shipping the NAS with a 4 GB DIMM instead would have been better because it would have also allowed the server's memory total to be upgraded to 8 GB with relative ease. The NAS can take up to eight HDDs, and can, as has already been stated, hold up to eighteen disks if Synology's expansion units are used.
The Atom C2538 supports four 2.5 GbE interfaces, and while other hardware components limit the bandwidth to 1 GbE, the DS1815+ actually utilities four Ethernet ports; however, those aren't provided for by the SoC but a third-party controller, which has the NAS support the Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) for a 2 GbE line per two Ethernet ports; but you need a compatible network switch to exploit LACP. The other I/O ports are comprised of four USB 3.0 and the two eSATA ports to which you can attach compatible Synology expansion units.
Two 120 mm fans keep the NAS cool, and neither are noisy under normal conditions. DSM will also allow you to set the fans' speed to either "quiet" or "cool". Synology still only provides a two-year warranty for the DS1815+, which has this business-centric NAS come with the same warranty as lower-end ones. We believe that high-end NAS servers should be backed with at least a three-year warranty. Finally, the price looks good for an eight-bay server in which the lack of such extra bells 'n' whistles as an LCD screen play a role, and there is its Atom CPU—it is cheaper than the stronger Intel CPUs that equip many SMB-grade NAS boxes.
The NAS comes in a plain cardboard box without any fancy graphics or a colored finish. However, the box is sturdy enough to protect such an expensive product and that is, after all, what matters the most.
The only colored part of the box is a sticker on its side with the unit's specifications.
Contents & Bundle
Large foam spacers keep the NAS safe, and the quick installation guide sits on top of the NAS itself, so you won't miss it. The NAS comes in a white foam bag to protect it from scratches as it is being packaged up.
The bundle only includes the most necessary components: two Ethernet cables, an AC power cord, a set of fixing bolts, and a quick installation guide. There is no software disc since Synology wants you to download the most recent software off their Download Center.
The NAS has a rather boring design, but its dimensions are compact enough for an eight-bay server. The lack of an LCD screen plays a significant role in keeping it as compact. All its trays feature locks, which is a must for business environments where physical data protection is a necessity.
On the top of the front are several LED indicators, and you unfortunately won't find anything else at the face of the NAS; the lack of a USB 3.0 port there is a real shame.
Synology's logo has been punched into one of two sides and acts as an exhaust grill.
At the bottom of the NAS are four stands and a small label with the model number and the unit's power specifications.
The two fans in the rear ensure that HDD operating temperatures will stay low, which increases their lifetime.
The I/O ports are comprised of four Ethernet ports, two eSATA ports, four USB 3.0 ports, and a Kensington lock, along with the reset button you need a sharp, thin object to activate.
Here is a detailed description of all the LED indicators and I/O ports.
Here are some photos with all the candies removed. You will see more of the internals as we break the unit apart.
The trays are unfortunately out of plastic, which didn't impress us all that much. An SMB NAS should come with metal caddies. Synology also didn't equipped these with vibration-absorbing materials, and noise output due to these HDD trays actually increased in our testing sessions, which is a real shame. Synology should do something about it since the high pitch these cause can really be annoying.
The caddies with HDDs installed.
The installation of the HDDs is tool-less since no screws are required. You will only need screws if you install 2.5" HDDs or SSDs.
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