How To Synology DiskStation DSM 918+ Processor, Features, Review

dsm 918+

The Synology DiskStation DS918+ is the latest 4 bay tower Plus Series NAS from Synology. This model has four 3.5-inch bays and two M.2 NVMe slots for caching on the bottom. There are two 1GbE ports for connecting to networks. The DS918+ was made for small and medium-sized businesses that want a NAS with a lot of power. It also has storage space that can be increased, so businesses can scale up in a cost-effective way as they grow.

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The DS918+ comes with an Intel Celeron J3455 quad-core Celeron processor and 4GB of RAM, which can be increased to 8GB. The AES-NI hardware encryption engine is said to be able to read encrypted files at up to 225MB/s and write encrypted files at up to 221MB/s. Also, the DS918+ can transcode two channels of H.265/H.264 4K videos at the same time. This makes it a great choice for creative professionals.

Synology’s Own Operating System And Manager

Synology’s own operating system, DiskStation Manager, is built into the DiskStation DS918+ (DSM). As we’ve said many times in previous reviews, DSM is still one of the easiest operating systems to use on the market right now. It has both business and consumer applications, so it can be used almost anywhere. It’s also very easy to set up, so even the most inexperienced users can have a foolproof device. Several of the DSM applications that are useful for this model are among the many that are available. Because of the things mentioned above, Video Station and Audio Station are great for creative professionals. DSM also offers a lot of backup apps and virtualization solutions that have been tested and proven to work with VMware, Windows Server 2016, Citrix, and OpenStack Cinder.

Synology DiskStation DS918+ Specifications

CPU       CPU Model: Intel Celeron J3455 CPU Architecture: 64-bit CPU Frequency: Quad Core 1.5 burst up to 2.3 GHz
Memory               System Memory: 4GB DDR3L Memory Module Pre-installed: 4GB (4GB x 1) Total Memory Slots: 2 Memory Expandable up to: 8GB (4GB x 2)
Storage Drive Bays: 4 Maximum Drive Bays with Expansion Unit: 9 M.2 Drive Slots: 2 (NVMe)
Compatible Drive Type    3.5” SATA HDD 2.5” SATA HDD 2.5” SATA SSD M.2 2280 NVMe SSD
Maximum Internal Raw Capacity 56TB (14TB drive x 4) (Capacity may vary by RAID types)
Max Raw Capacity with Expansion Units  126TB (56TB + 14TB drive x 5) (Capacity may vary by RAID types)
Maximum Single Volume Size       108TB
Hot Swappable Drive       Yes
External Ports     RJ-45 1GbE LAN Port: 2 (with Link Aggregation / Failover support) USB 3.0 Port: 2 eSATA Port: 1
File Systems
Internal Drives    Btrfs EXT4
External Drives   Btrfs EXT4 EXT3 FAT NTFS HFS+ exFAT (purchased separately in Package Center)
Size (H x W x D)  166mm x 199mm x 223mm
Weight  2.28kg
System Fan          92mm x 92mm x 2 pcs
Noise Level         19.8 dB(A)
Power Supply Unit / Adapter         100W
AC Input Power Voltage  100V to 240V AC
Power Frequency              50/60 Hz, Single Phase
Power Consumption        28.8 W (Access) 12.6 W (HDD Hibernation)
Environment Temperature
Operating Temperature  5°C to 40°C (40°F to 104°F)
Storage Temperature      -20°C to 60°C (-5°F to 140°F)
Relative Humidity             5% to 95% RH
Warranty             3 Year Hardware Warranty (Extendable to 5 Year Coverage)

How to Design and Build a Synology DiskStation DS918+

The overall design of the Synology DS918+ is the same as what Synology fans know and love. The DS918+ looks great on a desk or work station thanks to its matte black finish. This also wouldn’t be a problem, since the NAS is very quiet and won’t keep people from working. The NAS has four hot-swappable drive bays on the front that can hold either 3.5″ or 2.5″ drives. The drive tray lock is on the bottom half of each drive tray. There are 5 status lights on the top right side of the NAS. One USB 3.0 port and the power button are below these.

The two 92mm x 92mm fans take up most of the space on the back of the NAS. On the left side, below the fans, you’ll find two 1GbE RJ-45 ports, an eSATA port, a power port, and a reset button. The Kensington Security Slot and another USB 3.0 port are on the right side.

The bottom of the NAS has two covers that can be taken off to reveal two M.2 NVMe SSD slots.

Analysis of Enterprise Synthetic Workload

Our enterprise shared storage and hard drive benchmarking process preconditions each drive to a steady state with the same workload the device will be tested with under a heavy load of 16 threads with an outstanding queue of 16 per thread. The device is then tested at set intervals in multiple thread/queue depth profiles to show performance under light and heavy use. Since hard drives reach their rated performance level very quickly, we only graph the main parts of each test.

Preconditioning and Primary Steady-State Tests:

Throughput (Total Read+Write IOPS)

Average Latency (Mean of Read and Write Latency)

Max Lag Time (Peak Read or Write Latency)

Latency Standard Deviation (Read and Write Standard Deviation Averaged Together)

The four profiles in our Enterprise Synthetic Workload Analysis are based on real-world tasks. These profiles were made so that it would be easier to compare them to our past benchmarks and widely known values like the max 4k read and write speed and the 8k 70/30 ratio, which is often used for enterprise drives.

For our tests, we set up the Synology DiskStation with both iSCSI and CIFS in RAID6 mode. We ran each test with and without the SSD cache. We used Toshiba N300 NAS 8TB for the HDD, and two Toshiba XG5 NVMe 1TB for the SSD cache. This isn’t a test of whether the SSD cache is on or off; the SSD cache will make the computer run faster. This shows what users can expect if they choose to use it or not.

In the first of our enterprise workloads, we tested the performance of a long sample of random 4K writes and reads. In CIFS, the Synology DiskStation DS918+ was able to write 838 IOPS and read 293 IOPS. In iSCSI, it was able to write 822 IOPS and read 1395 IOPS. As expected, when SSD cache was turned on, the number went up by a lot: 22,919 IOPS for writing and 9,724 IOPS for reading in CIFS, and 25,146 IOPS for writing and 31,281 IOPS for reading in iSCSI.

At Last:

The DS918+, which has 4 bays, is the newest member of the DS9xx+ family. The DS918+ comes with an AES-NI hardware encryption engine and an Intel Celeron Quad-Core 2.3GHz CPU. This NAS comes with a 4GB DDR3L memory module out of the box, but it has an extra memory slot that lets you add up to 8GB more. There are also two RJ-45 1GbE LAN ports that can be used for link aggregation and failover. Last but not least, the DS918+ can work with two M.2 NVMe 2280 SSDs. This lets users use the system cache to its fullest without giving up valuable storage space on the internal drives.

For performance, we looked at both HDD and SSD cache-enabled performance using our two Toshiba XG5 1TB NVMe SSDs and our Toshiba N300 8TB NAS drives. iSCSI was the best configuration all around. During our 100% random read/write 4K test, the DS918+ got 822 IOPS for writing and 1,395 IOPS for reading. With our SSD configuration, we got write speeds of 25,146 IOPS and read speeds of 31,281 IOPS. During our 8K sequential throughput tests, the DS918+ did about the same on both CIFS and iSCSI, whether it was set up with an HDD or an SSD. The same was true when we tested 128K sequentially.

Overall, the Synology DiskStation DS918+ would be a great addition to any small business, especially for creative professionals who need reliable performance and scalability options. The NVMe M.2 SSD slots for caching help a lot with this project.

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