Synology DiskStation DS1823xs+ review: A powerful eight-bay NAS at a reasonable price

A high-capacity desktop NAS with great features, superb 10GbE performance, and a keen focus on data security

The Synology DiskStation DS1823xst on the ITPro background
(Image: © Future)

IT Pro Verdict


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    High storage capacity


    Synology's eight-bay desktop NAS appliances have always been popular with SMBs as they offer a high storage capacity in a desk-friendly format together with plenty of features. The DS1823xs+ is the latest member of Synology's eight-bay club but, rather than replacing any existing models, it goes to the top of the desktop performance class and joins hands with the DS3622xs+ (see issue 332, p96) and DS1621xs+.

    There's a lot to like here: the DS1823xs+ is powered by a fast quad-core 3.35GHz AMD Ryzen V1780B CPU and its base 8GB of DDR4 ECC memory can be boosted to 32GB.

    The two-gigabit data ports are partnered by an embedded 10GBase-T port, management can be isolated on a separate gigabit port and the spare PCI-E expansion slot offers plenty of upgrade opportunities.

    Two M.2 NVMe SSD slots lurk behind the left-hand drive bays and can be used as a performance-enhancing cache or as a standard storage pool. Be careful when choosing your storage devices, though, as the DS1823xs+ is restricted to Synology's HAT5300 HDDs, SAT5200 SSDs and SNV3400 M.2 NVMe SSDs – it will work with other manufacturers' devices but Synology won't provide any product support.

    Synology DiskStation DS1823xs+ review: Performance

    For testing, we loaded a quartet of 4TB Synology HAT5300-4T HDDs, which, it must be said, are a tad expensive as they cost around £30 more than Western Digital's Red Pro model. An upside is that the DSM Storage Manager app automatically updates the firmware whenever Synology releases new versions. 

    The DS1823xs+ delivered the goods in our 10GbE lab tests with a NAS share mapped to a Dell T640 Windows server host returning top Iometer sequential reads and writes of 9.3Gbits/sec and 9.2Gbits/sec. 

    Numbers for our real-world tests look good, too, with copies of a large 25GB file between the appliance and server delivering sustained read and write speeds both of 5.7Gbits/sec.

    The dashboard for the Synology DiskStation DS1823xst

    (Image credit: Future)

    Our drag-and-drop backup test using a 22.4GB folder containing 10,500 small files averaged a creditable 2.7Gbits/sec. The Ryzen CPU also handled encryption well, copying the 25GB test file to an encrypted NAS folder at 2.2Gbits/sec with CPU utilization never going above 10%.

    IP SAN performance is equally good, with a 1TB iSCSI target reporting sequential reads and writes of 9.3Gbits/sec and 9.1Gbits/sec. An SSD cache is worth the extra spend if you have workloads generating lots of random operations as assigning a mirrored cache to the iSCSI target volume using two 800GB SNV3400 sticks saw 715% and 640% boosts to random write speeds and IOPS. 

    Synology's DSM 7.1 already offers an incredible range of data management and protection features, but we wanted to see what the upcoming DSM 7.2 has to offer and upgraded our appliance with the latest beta version. It clearly has a sharp focus on ransomware protection: along with full volume encryption, it provides write once, read many (WORM) policies for NAS folders on Btrfs volumes.

    Coined WriteOnce by Synology, you select it during shared folder creation and choose Enterprise or Compliance policies. In both cases, you can lock a file immediately or apply an auto-lock period that stops any changes being made after a custom period of file inactivity, set a retention period in days, years or forever and decide whether files are immutable or can be appended with new data.

    The Compliance mode stops the storage pool, volume, and shared folder from being deleted by anyone – including administrators. Immutability goes even further since you can assign a protection period in days to manual and scheduled NAS share and iSCSI LUN snapshots to stop them from being deleted by any method, and the Hyper Backup app can also apply this to backups.

    This powerful eight-bay NAS is a great choice for SMBs that want plenty of capacity, storage features, and performance at a reasonable price. The new DSM 7.2 software has security high on its agenda, and the icing on the cake is Synology's generous five-year warranty.

    Synology DiskStation DS1823xs+ specifications 

    Swipe to scroll horizontally
    ChassisDesktop chassis
    CPUQuad-core 3.35GHz AMD Ryzen V1780B
    Memory8GB DDR4 ECC (max 32GB)
    Storage8 x LFF/SFF hot-swap SATA drive bays
    PSU250W internal PSU
    RAID supportSupports RAID0, 1, 10, 5, 6, hot-spare, JBOD
    Network2 x M.2 NVMe SSD slots 3 x gigabit ports (MGMT, 2 x LAN) 10GbE port 3 x USB-A 3.2 2 x eSATA PCI-E slot
    ManagementWeb browser management
    Dimensions (WDH)343 x 243 x 166mm
    Warranty5yr hardware warranty
    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.