Synology DiskStation DS3612xs review

Synology’s latest desktop NAS appliance is the biggest desktop appliance on the market, with a twelve-drive capacity and 10-Gigabit upgrades. Dave Mitchell finds out if it’s also the fastest and takes a look at the new DSM 4.0 beta, too.

Synology has also added cloud file sharing and backup services to the DS3612xs. The ezCloud service can use Synology's free DDNS service for secure remote access to shares, while its Cloud Station tool provides a simple, but effective, syncing service for up 32 file versions.

Synology DiskStation DS3612xs

Cloud Station keeps multiple file versions on the appliance, which can be searched through for restoration via the DSM 4.0 interface.

The Cloud Station package need to be installed on the appliance and then registered. Synology's QuickConnect feature does away with the need to create router port forwarding rules though, and instead a code just needs to be entered in the Cloud Station interface.

Synology DiskStation DS3612xs

Synology's QuickConnect feature does away with the need to create router port forwarding rules.

Once a local folder has been selected, Cloud Service will then sync it with a predefined folder on the appliance in the user's home directory whenever its contents change. The system worked very well during out tests, although we did find that Norton AntiVirus Sonar will try to block the sync service.

Not only is the DS3612xs currently the largest desktop appliance on the market, but it's also one of the fastest. Its enormous expansion potential makes it a good long-term investment and the number of features Synology is packing into its NAS appliances makes many competing products look positively archaic in comparison.


This high capacity desktop appliance delivers top performance over Gigabit and 10-Gigabit networks, and offers a huge expansion potential via high-speed Infiniband ports. Synology’s list of storage features is probably the best currently available and the next version of its DSM will add useful cloud backup services.

Chassis: Desktop CPU: 3.1GHz Core i3-2100 Memory: 2GB DDR3 ECC expandable to 6GB Storage: 12 x 3.5in.or 2.5in SATA II hard disk hot-swap bays RAID: Software managed Array support: RAID0, 1, 5, 6, Hybrid, hot-spare and JBODs Network: 4 x Gigabit Other ports: 4 x USB2, 2 x Infiniband expansion Expansion: 1 x PCI-e X8 Gen 2 Management: Web browser Software: Synology Assistant, Data Replicator 3 Options: Diskless DX1211 12-bay expansion unit, £750 ex VAT

Dave Mitchell

Dave is an IT consultant and freelance journalist specialising in hands-on reviews of computer networking products covering all market sectors from small businesses to enterprises. Founder of Binary Testing Ltd – the UK’s premier independent network testing laboratory - Dave has over 45 years of experience in the IT industry.

Dave has produced many thousands of in-depth business networking product reviews from his lab which have been reproduced globally. Writing for ITPro and its sister title, PC Pro, he covers all areas of business IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, network security, data protection, cloud, infrastructure and services.