IT Pro Verdict
Strong network performance
Smart management software
Robust app catalogue
Only supports Synology-approved drives
If your business wants lots of storage capacity but doesn't have the luxury of a rack cabinet, then Synology’s DiskStation DS3622xs+ will appeal to you, as it’s one of the biggest desktop appliances on the market. This imposing black cube presents 12 hot-swap drive bays supporting LFF or SFF drives and partners them with dual gigabit and 10GbE data ports.
Stepping up as a timely successor to the elderly DS3617xsII, the DS3622xs+ has a speedier 6-core Intel Xeon D-1531 CPU, although the base 16GB of ECC DDR4 memory remains the same, as does the maximum 48GB. A notable change is that the Infiniband expansion ports on its predecessor have been replaced with mini-SAS HD ports that support two DX1222 12-bay desktop units.
The DS3622xs+ lacks internal M.2 SSD slots but its PCIe expansion bay accepts Synology’s E10M20-T1 dual M.2 NVMe SSD card, which adds an extra 10GbE port to the mix. You can use the slot to improve your network outlook further too, and the appliance supports a good range of 10GbE adapters from Synology and Intel.
Be careful with your choice of storage devices, though, as the DS3622xs+ is one of Synology’s enterprise models and only supports Synology’s HAT5300 hard disks and SAT5200 SSDs. For testing, we loaded four 8TB HAT5300 disks, which were accepted without any issues, but use uncertified drives and Synology will decline to provide support.
Synology takes security seriously, and the appliance has a separate gigabit port for placing management traffic on a private network. When you run the web console quick-start wizard, it will block you from using the default administrator username, and you can tighten up access controls further with 2FA.
The DSM 7 operating system is pleasing to use and its revamped web console provides easy access to all features. The overhauled Storage Manager app is even more informative, and an advantage of using Synology’s storage devices is that it can update their firmware automatically.
The appliance’s high capacity makes it an ideal backup vault, and DSM 7 offers an impressive range of apps to support this, with the slick Active Backup for Business (ABB) protecting data on Windows workstations and servers as well as VMware and Hyper-V virtual machines. You can protect on-appliance data as the Snapshot Replication app runs manual and scheduled snapshots of Btrfs volumes, while the Hyper Backup app manages all local, remote, Rsync, cloud and iSCSI LUN backups.
DSM 7 brings the cloud further into play, since the system’s configuration can be backed up to your Synology cloud account. It also introduces the Active Insights cloud dashboard, which provides system and storage performance data on all registered appliances, alerts of unusual login activity and details of all Hyper Backup jobs.
To test performance, we mapped a NAS share over 10GbE to a Dell EMC T640 Xeon Scalable tower server running Windows Server 2019. Iometer reported read and write speeds of 9.3Gbits/sec and 8.5Gbits/sec, while our 25GB file copy returned real-world read and write averages of 5.5Gbits/sec and 5.4Gbits/sec.
These speeds are noticeably faster than those we saw when testing the DS3617xs (the DS3617xsII is identical), and IP SAN performance was equally impressive. With a 500GB iSCSI target mapped to the server, we recorded Iometer read and write rates of 9.3Gbits/sec and 8.5Gbits/sec, and swapping to a dual 10GbE MPIO link saw them ramp up to 18.5Gbits/sec and 9.9Gbits/sec.
The DS3622xs+ isn’t cheap, but it delivers a lot for your money and includes a generous five-year hardware warranty. Designed to deliver big storage to small offices, it offers good 10GbE performance and great expansion potential, while the new DSM7 software is jam-packed with great backup utilities.
Synology DiskStation DS3622xs+ specifications
|2.2GHz Intel Xeon D-1531
|16GB ECC DDR4 (max 48GB)
|12 x LFF/SFF hot-swap drive bays
|500W internal PSU
|Supports RAID0, 1, 5, 6, 10, F1
|3 x Gigabit (MGMT, 2 x LAN), 2 x 10GBase-T Ethernet
|2 x USB 3.2, PCIe Gen3 x8 slot, 2 x mini-SAS expansion ports
|300 x 340 x 270mm (WDH)
|5yr hardware warranty
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.