The Synology DS218+ Diskstation 2-Bay NAS has been revealed for 2018
It has taken a while but things have begun to hot up with the guys at Synology and their popular Diskstation series for home and SMB. For the bulk of 2017 so far, we have seen a large number of Enterprise units be revealed and it wasn’t until early summer that we saw a little more enthusiasm on their part for desktop NAS Server devices. However even the, it all seemed rather enterprise, underwhelming (I am looking at you Synology DS1817+) or just too task specific (surveillance or FlashStation devices). Then finally, a glimmer of hope. At CeBit and Computex we saw the uncovering of the flagship 2-Bay and 4 Bay NAS for Autumn 2018, as well as the release of the cost effective DS418J 4-Bay in August. That was the latest news – until today. Today we can look at the latest Synology NAS server for 2017/18 to join the Diskstation family. The Synology DS218+ NAS.
What are the Specs of the Synology DS218+ 2-Bay NAS Server?
The first question on everyone’s lips of course is the Specifications of the Synology DS218+ NAS. Much like the release of the DS216+ back in late 2015, the CPU and Memory, though not too modest, are comparable to the flagship 2-Bay – only in Dual Core. More precisely, the DS218+ arrives with an Intel Celeron J3355 Dual-core CPU (compared with the J3455 Quad-Core in the DS718+) that has a frequency of 2.0GHz processor, that can be burst to 2.5GHz. This CPU arrives with a number of efficient Software performance and efficiency bonus’ that we will cover below, but alongside this processor the unit arrives with 2GB of DDR3 Memory that is expandable to 6GB Maximum – though this CPU should cover upto 8GB. This may well be a limit imposed by Synology for stable performance, but seems odd given the 2GB+4GB slot configuration it would require. Alongside this the unit arrives with hot swappable HDD/SSD Bays (hidden under a removable front panel just like it’s predecessor) and a newly improved chassis. For convenience there is a front mounted USB 3.0 Port and 1-Touch copy button for backing up portable drives as needed, make mobile drives network-accessible or even to backup the contents of the entire Synology NAS Server to an external LaCie or WD My Passport Drive.
What else can the Synology DS218+ and Intel J3355 CPU do?
Other advantages of the CPU inside the DS218+, when compared with ARM and other lesser powered processors, is AES-NI (Advanced Encryption Standard New Instruction) that means your data can be encrypted the 256-bit standards with a far lower impact on performance in general. The DS218+ Synology NAS delivers around 113 MB/s read and 112 MB/s write with encrypted transmission enabled (from Synology, in a RAID 1 config). Additionally the device arrives with the very latest Synology Diskstation Manager (DSM) Firmware, as well as supporting the Btrfs file system (sorry for the repetition) like the other flagship Synology NAS units and Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) so you can graduate your Storage and add bigger and better drives easily as the years go by).
As mentioned the device arrives with an eSATA port with means you can connect the popular DX517 Expansion NAS device to add 5 Bays of storage to your Synology DS218+ – Though it will in all likelihood only be visible as an independent storage volume (that can be RAID’d) but separate from the volume on your DS218+. All in all, a very capable CPU indeed.
What can the Synology DS218+ NAS do? Business Applications, Multimedia and a Plex Media Server?
As mentioned, the DS218+ NAS arrives with the Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM) operating system and that means that after the very quick setup, fast SHR storage configuration and quick-start setup guide, the DS218+ arrives fully-equipped with applications (1st party and 3rd party) and features that are designed for home and business users. Synology provides (at no extra cost) a selection of business applications and office tools that rival the likes of Google and Windows. Their own Document Processing (Docs, Excel, etc) utilities (similar to Google Docs), live chat and messaging utility so users can communicate through the NAS to collaborate, a fast and easy mail server utility and a host of other business applications at your disposal. Not a business frame of mind? No fear – the multimedia needs are covered too! Your more demanding media (high density bitrates, 4K, .mov and .MKV sport and more) can be played easily with the native applications as the DS218+ provides transcoding of up to two concurrent H.264/H.265 4K video streams. Alongside this is supports all the latest multimedia types and codecs. In Plex you will certainly see good performance, though not as high as that of the native Synology Video Station Application, as a Plex Media Server you will see transcoding of 720P smoothly but perhaps the occasional struggle of 1080P with the more dense multimedia types listed above.
Is the Synology DS218+ NAS Suitable for Surveillance?
For those looking for a stable and reliable Surveillance NAS for home or business needs, the Synology DS218+ NAS arrives with 2 licences for IP Cameras so you can immediately deploy your CCTV and Surveillance solution immediately. Supporting upto 25 IP Cameras at once, it means that you are covered for both home and business needs – and remember you can do this AND watch media AND backup your data AND sync your devices, with multiple users – all at the same time. Before you start you worry about your carbon footprint and and electricity bills. Worry not, the Synology DS218+ arrives with full control of the LED lights, the 218+ Synology includes a qwerty yet handy four-level brightness control for front LEDs – those sensitive to flashy lights or just don’t need to see the blink, blink of the lights may find this little feature welcoming. Likewise the fan has full control from the DSM platform, so you can control temperature and noise to a greater degree and finally thanks to that efficient CPU and power control, the DS218+ NAS only consumes 7.52W whilst the hard drives are in Hibernation/Standby and just 17.57W whilst in full access.
The Synology DS218+ – £280-300 without VAT and HDD media
- Expected Release Date – Late September / Early October
- New Chassis
- 2-Bay NAS – Expandable to 2+5 with DX517
- Intel Celeron J3355 Dual Core 2.0 GHz (up to 2.5 GHz)
- 2GB DDR3 Memory, expandable to 6GB
- In terms of connectivity, this NAS has 3 USB 3.0 ports (including 1 on the front), 1 Gigabit network ports and 1 eSATA port.
- 2 Channel 4K Transcoding of H.264 and decoding H.265
- BTRFS support and SHR Support
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