Review of Synology DiskStation DS918+ (NAS Drive)October 29, 2018
Around March 2018, I had reviewed my first personal cloud system NAS Drive Bay the Synology DiskStation DS218J and I loved the product as it was very simple installing the DSM software on my system and connecting with the NAS Drive Bay.
So now, I have received the Synology DiskStation DS918+ for review and from 2 bay to 4 bay NAS drive was more interesting as it has more features and suitable for SMBs.
Synology DiskStation DS918+ is a 4-bay NAS server which designed for small and medium-sized businesses and IT enthusiasts. Powered by a new quad-core processor, DS918+ provides outstanding performance and data encryption acceleration along with real-time transcoding of 4K Ultra HD source contents. Synology DiskStation DS918+ is backed by Synology’s 3-year limited warranty.
It is 166 x 199 x 223 mm in size with black matte finish with 4 front tray loading bay. It has 2 (92 x 92 x 25 mm) fans to keep the unit and hard drives cool.
The Synology logos on the sides are also perforated which also helps to keep the circulation of air to the hard drive. Weighing only 2.28 kg without the hard drive. It has CPU (Intel Celeron J3455 quad-core 1.5GHz, burst up to 2.3GHz) with built-in Memory 4 GB DDR3L SO-DIMM (expandable up to 8 GB). Compatible with Hard drive 4 x 3.5″ or 2.5″ SATA SSD/HDD (drives not included) or with 2 x M.2 NVMe 2280 SSD (drives not included) and has 2 USB 3.0 ports and 1 x eSATA port.
It can work with Network Protocol SMB, AFP, NFS, FTP, WebDAV, CalDAV, iSCSI, Telnet, SSH, SNMP, VPN (PPTP, OpenVPN ™, L2TP) and file system Internal: Btrfs, ext4, and External: Btrfs, ext4, ext3, FAT, NTFS, HFS+, exFAT. It can support RAID type Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR), Basic, JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6, RAID 10.
Synology DiskStation DS918+ package includes power cable, Ethernet cable, and screws for fixing the hard drive in the bay.
Instead of using Hard Drives made for NAS Drive as I used for review of the Synology DiskStation DS218J, I decided to used four 512GB 3.5”, 5200rpm hard drives. Ideally, it is preferable to use higher speed like 7200rpm hard drives or SDD drive made for NAS which can also help in speeding up during the read and write process on the hard drive.
Synology DiskStation DS918+ has front 4 bay easy sliding loading bay system. Each bay could be removed from the body casing and I could fix the hard drives in each disk trays with ease with screws to make it immovable in the bay tray. Just slide in each tray with the hard drive in the body of the Synology DiskStation DS918+, connected the power cable and Ethernet cable to the router. Each of the trays can be locked with a provided key and this way you could protect unauthorized people from removing the hard drives without your permission.
As my laptop is already connected to the same router. I have downloaded Synology-assistant-6.2-23733 (8.5MB) from the Synology download centre. On running the software, it detected automatically the Synology DiskStation DS918+, and next just followed the instruction step by step and created NAS Drive which is ready for connecting and creating DSM which is the operating system for DS918+.
As I had already created my account with Synology, I had to just add the new the Synology DiskStation DS918+, and rest was a very simple procedure. Once it is ready you have to create the hard drives ready for usage as NAS Drive.
Even if you are using a brand new hard drive or formatted one, it is a simple click procedure in the DSM application for making the hard drive ready as a NAS device.
It took me almost 1.5 hours to format a 3.5”( 512GB, 5200rpm) hard drive ready for NAS drive.
Please note: The formatting time factor also depends on the speed of the hard drive and specific hard drives made for NAS will format faster. Bigger the size like 5TB drives will take more time and also remember while formatting, the software also checks for bad sectors and if found, it flags up with red mark and number of bad sectors.
Once the formatting process is completed, you proceed further downloading the required Apps from the DSM menu.
Special features of Synology DiskStation DS918+
Comprehensive Business Applications
Powered by the innovative Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM), DS918+ comes fully-equipped with applications and features designed specifically for small or growing businesses like Windows® AD and LDAP support, Windows ACL support provides fine-grained access control and efficient privilege settings. With HTTPS, firewall, and IP auto-block support ensure file sharing over the Internet is protected with a high level of security. Application Privileges controls access to applications and packages based on each individual account, user group, or IP address. With MailPlus, your business can be secure, reliable, and provide private mail server while giving your employees a modern mail client for receiving and sending messages. With Synology Office, Calendar, and Chat, ensuring secure and effective private communications and allowing your organizations to easily manage and control relevant contents.
4K Ultra HD Multimedia Library
One of the interesting features of using the Synology product is the storage facility for photos and videos. With the latest development and AI feature. It provides extensive additional information for the photo and video storage without personally adding the details. For example: if you add an image of a food dish or flower or image of a person. The Synology Photo Station smart algorithm will search through possible combination via the internet and create categories and so when you search for particular details, it will search and give you the suggestive result. Synology DiskStation DS918+ features real-time transcoding for up to 2 channels of H.264/H.265 4K videos at the same time, bringing more powerful support to the latest multimedia formats and contents. With Video Station, you can organize personal digital video library with comprehensive media information, and watch 4K Ultra HD movies and films. The intuitive design of Photo Station allows you to effortlessly organize photos into customized categories, smart albums, and blog posts, and link them to social networking websites within a few clicks. Audio Station comes with Internet radio and lossless audio formats support and provides music playback via DLNA and AirPlay®-compliant devices.
Surveillance system with Synology
Now with the 4K Ultra HD capacity for storage, Synology DiskStation DS918+ could be used for video surveillance system. Synology DSM provides Video Surveillance application which can be used as small as 2-6 monitoring and storage device or can be part of an extensive multiple video Surveillance system.
High-Speed Scalable Storage Server
Synology DiskStation DS918+ is a 4-bay network attached storage solution equipped with a quad-core processor and 4GB DDR3L memory (expandable up to 8GB). With Link Aggregation enabled, DS918+ delivers great sequential throughput performance at over 226 MB/s reading and 222 MB/s writing1. With AES-NI hardware accelerated encryption, DS918+ delivers encrypted data throughput at over 225 MB/s reading and 221 MB/s writing1. DS918+ newly supports M.2 NVMe 2280 SSDs, allowing fast system cache creation without occupying internal drive bays. DS918+ can support up to 9 drives when connected to one Synology DX5172 expansion unit. Storage capacity can be expanded according to your business needs with minimal effort.
One of the most important factors is about saving the data and any loss of data can cripple the progress of the company. DS918+ has the Btrfs file system has built-in data integrity check detects data and file system corruption with data and meta-data checksums and improves the overall stability. With flexible Shared Folder/User Quota System provides comprehensive quota control over all user accounts and shared folders. With customizable backup, the schedule allows up to 1,024 copies of shared folder backups in a minimum 5-minute interval without occupying huge storage capacity and system resources. Now you can restore a File or folder and saves time for users who wish to restore only a specific file or folder. Btrfs file system can auto-detect corrupted files with mirrored metadata, and recover broken data using the supported RAID volumes, which include RAID1, 5, 6, and 10.
Synology’s Virtual Machine Manager opens up abundant possibilities, allowing you to set up and run various virtual machines, including Windows, Linux, and Virtual DSM. You can also test new software versions in a sandbox environment, isolate your customers’ machines, and increase the flexibility of your DS918+ with reduced hardware deployment and maintenance costs. Synology iSCSI storage fully supports most of the virtualization solutions, enhancing work efficiency with an intuitive management interface. VMware vSphere™ 6.5 and VAAI integration help offload storage operations and optimize computation efficiency. Windows Offloaded Data Transfer (ODX) speeds up data transfer and migration rate, while OpenStack Cinder support transforms your Synology NAS into a block-based storage component.
Synology DS918+ is a simple to use and affordable NAS Drive system is perfect for SMB and medium scale of business. With DSM software, you can add the required application to suit the company’s need. Simple things like readily available office software application available on the DSM. So if you are using a virtual desktop connected to Synology NAS Drive, you can directly work on the word or excel files without the need to have installed Windows Office on your machine or server.
Synology DS918+ also can be used for a surveillance system and can also keep a backup drive using the RAID function.
With the latest AI algorithm in photo station application, it was very easy to segregate images via categories. So with the AI function and using Moment App you can access any photo with a suggestion like a flower, food or person, you will have all the images related to your search. You can create your own movie library and access it from any part of the world via Movie App on your smart device.
A good product with affordable price AED 2699 (price as per Souq.com).