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Synology DiskStation DS1819+ Review

When Synology launched its 8-bay DS1817+ around 18 months ago it was a big disappointment as it failed to update the CPU leaving it with the same elderly and troublesome Atom C2538 as its predecessor. The latest DS1819+ aims to rectify this oversight as it’s powered by a more modern 2.1GHz quad-core Atom C3538.

An immediate benefit of this CPU update is the DS1819+ supports faster 2,133MHz DDR4 memory and comes with 4GB which can be upgraded to very usable 32GB.  A peek round the back shows it has the same quartet of Gigabit and three USB 3 ports plus a fourth USB 3 port lurking under the front panel

It offers dual eSATA ports allowing you to expand capacity outside the box using two Synology DX517 5-bay desktop units. You also get the same PCIe expansion slot which accepts a range of industry standard 10GbE network adapters or Synology’s M2D17 dual-slot M.2 SATA SSD expansion card for performance-enhancing cache duties.

Build quality and deployment

The DS1819+ retains the sleek, well-built chassis of the DS1817+ and uses tool-free drive carriers which can be locked shut using the supplied plastic key. Memory is easy to upgrade as the appliance has both SO-DIMM slots located behind a removable panel in the base.

Cooling is handled by two 12cms diameter fans at the rear and their generous size means they can shift a lot air at relatively low speeds. Consequently, we found the appliance to be very quiet with the SPLnFFT iOS app on our iPad recording 39.5dB from one meter in front.

Installation is swift as we loaded up a quartet of 10TB Seagate IronWolf NAS drives and allowed Synology’s quick start web portal to download the latest DSM software and set the appliance up for us. On completion, we used the Storage Manager app to create a big 27.3TB SHR (Synology Hybrid RAID) storage pool.

For 10GbE performance testing, we fitted an Emulex dual-port 10GBase-T adapter in the expansion slot. This does require the lid to be removed but it’s still a simple process and the card was accepted by DSM without any problems.

10GbE performance improvements

The Active Backup for Business app offers a superb range of data backup and restore features

With the appliance hooked up over 10GbE to a Dell PowerEdge T640 Xeon Scalable tower running Windows Server 2016, we saw a mapped share return Iometer raw read and write speeds of 9.2Gbits/sec and 4.7Gbits/sec. With another share mapped over a dedicated 10GbE link to a second Xeon Scalable Windows server, we recorded cumulative Iometer read and write rates of 12.5Gbits/sec and 5.8Gbits/sec.

Real world performance was also good with drag and drop copies of a 25GB test file returning read and write speeds of 4.9Gbits/sec and 3.8Gbits/sec while our data backup test averaged an impressive 2.3Gbits/sec. The DS1817+ recorded 4.4Gbits/sec and 3.2Gbits/sec for the file copy test and a much lower 1.5Gbits/sec for the backup test.

Encryption performance was also slightly faster with the 25GB file copied to an encrypted share at 1.5Gbits/sec – the DS1817+ mustered 1.1Gbits/sec. CPU utilization was the same for both models with them each reporting 44% usage during the encryption copy test.

IP SANs are much faster too, with a 500GB target accessed over 10GbE returning read and write rates of 9.2Gbits/sec and 6.4Gbits/sec. The DS1817+ could only manage 3.5Gbits/sec and 1.6Gbits/sec for this test.

Active Backup for Business

We used Active Backup for Business to secure VMs on our VMware ESXi hypervisor host

We’ve always been impressed with the smart data protection apps in DSM but they’ve just got even better. The latest Active Backup for Business (ABB) app takes server, workstation and VMware VM backup and recovery to a new level.

ABB introduces agent-based PC and server protection allowing it to deliver file-level and bare-metal backup and restore services. The app supports VMware vCentre and ESXi hypervisors to provide agentless application-consistent backups of selected virtual machines (VMs).

We deployed agents to our Windows Server 2012/2016 hosts and Windows 10 clients and created multiple backup jobs using templates for volume, file and bare-metal backups. We also added our VMware ESXi host, viewed its VMs in the ABB console and chose those we wanted to protect.

The ABB console presents a complete overview of all backup and restore activity and a running tally on Synology’s deduplication which we found to be highly efficient. Synology also provides a separate web portal that offers easy access to all backups for swift file and folder restore operations.

Disaster recovery features are outstanding as ABB can link up with Synology’s Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) app or a VMware host and create a VM from the selected backup. The Active Backup for Servers app is still present and has been integrated into the new console.

Surveillance Station 8.2

With the LiveCam app loaded on our iPad, we streamed its video and audio directly to the DS1819+

Another standout feature of DSM is Synology’s Surveillance Station 8.2 app which takes full advantage of the appliance’s storage capacity. New features include support for over 6,000 IP camera models, secure dual-authentication access to recordings and a time lapse feature that condenses long recordings for faster viewing.

With the LiveCam iOS app installed on our iPad, we paired it with the appliance allowing us to send live video and audio streams directly to the Surveillance Station console and record them. It’s really easy to use as all you need do in the LiveCam app is enter the appliance’s local IP address or QuickConnect ID, log in and tap the app’s play button.

Conclusion

The DS1819+ is great value and benefits hugely from the new Atom C3538 CPU and DDR4 memory as performance over 10GbE is much faster than its predecessor. The latest DSM software packs in a wealth of features and the slick Active Backup for Business app makes the best use of the appliance’s high storage capacity by turning it into a one-stop shop for all your data backup and recovery requirements.

8.5 Total Score

The DS1819+ is great value and benefits hugely from the new Atom C3538 CPU and DDR4 memory as performance over 10GbE is much faster than its predecessor. The latest DSM software packs in a wealth of features and the slick Active Backup for Business app makes the best use of the appliance’s high storage capacity by turning it into a one-stop shop for all your data backup and recovery requirements.

Performance
8.5
Features
9.5
Build quality
9
Usability
9
Value
9
PROS
  • Good value
  • Atom C3538 CPU
  • 10GbE upgrade supported
  • Much faster than the DS1817+
  • Slick Active Backup Suite
  • Very quiet
CONS
  • No embedded M.2 SSD slots
User Rating: 4 (4 votes)

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