Synology RackStation RC18015xs+ review

Synology’s new RC18015xs+ delivers highly available storage but at a price

IT Pro Verdict

The RC18105xs+ performed well during testing and delivered very good NAS and IP SAN performance. Failover is nicely automated but it will interrupt services and for an active/passive fault tolerant solution, it isn’t the best value


  • +

    Simple deployment; Automatic failover; Unlimited snapshots; Good performance; Massive expansion


  • -

    Pricey; Active/passive architecture interrupts storage services during failover

The RC18015xs+ is a radical departure from the norm for Synology as this is its first fault tolerant NAS and IP SAN storage solution. Aimed at cost-conscious SMBs, the standard configuration uses two RC18015xs+ controllers which function as an active/passive failover cluster.

The appliances are linked together via dedicated heartbeat ports so if the active controller goes down, the passive unit steps up to the plate and takes over. The controllers each have a SAS expansion port where up to fifteen 12-bay RXD1215sas disk shelves are linked to both of over redundant paths allowing raw capacity to reach well beyond 1 petabyte.

Synology makes the jump to BTRFS and a key feature of this file system is unlimited block-level snapshots. Netgear made a wholesale move to BTRFS last year but a big difference is Synology retains support for traditional EXT4 volumes.

The cluster controllers support up to fifteen RXD1215sas disk shelves for massive expansion

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.