DS1821+ 8-bay NAS Storage Solution
The Synology DS1821+ Disk Station is a great system designed for scalability and performance, making it ideal for personal or small business use, and is highly recommended for those looking to expand their storage capabilities. The price is quite a bit higher than some other systems -- especially when hard drives have to be added.
- EASE OF USE
Synology DS1821+ offers high-capacity storage and reliable data protection for all users.
Ever since I started working from home (mid-2020), the need for mass data storage has been greater than ever. In the past, I’ve worked off of individual portable hard drives and even had smaller RAID systems available for personal use. But as soon as working from home became a full-time venture for me, I knew something more advanced was a necessity and I started looking at Network Attached Storage.
Network Attached Storage (NAS) is the ideal solution for users looking to store and access data quickly and securely. With NAS, users are able to access their data from any device on their home or office network, allowing them to securely store and access large amounts of data without having to worry about it being lost or stolen. In addition, NAS offers features such as built-in data protection, data security, and robust performance, making it an ideal choice for those who need reliable and secure storage for their data.
I used to think about NAS options as ‘too large’ for my needs but having a system that is capable of redundant backups and data protection is worth its weight in gold. There are many options available and several high-end brands of NAS units. I decided to go with Synology because of my past experiences with their systems and their DS1821+ Disk Station ended up being the ideal solution.
The Synology DS1821+ is an ideal storage option for personal or small business use. Its 8 drive bays provide massive space of up to 56TB while its expandable design allows for additional drives to be added as your storage needs increase. It’s designed for scalability and performance with its primary audience being IT enthusiasts and SMB customers.
The DS1821+ is a business-grade backup solution that comes with advanced features such as built-in data protection, data security, and robust performance. This makes it an ideal choice for those looking for reliable and secure storage for their data.
- CPU → AMD Ryzen™ Quad-core 2.2 GHz
- Cache Acceleration → Turbocharge HDD arrays without occupying drive bays using dual M.2 2280 slots for NVMe SSD Cache
- Performance → 113K 4K random read IOPS. 177% higher 4K random read IOPS and 76% faster sequential write speeds compared to its predecessor$^1$.
- Scalability → Expand up to 18 drives with two DX517 expansion units (sold separately)
- Includes Everything to Protect Your Data → Back up critical data from public clouds, PCs, servers, VMs, and Synology NAS with Synology Active Backup suite, Hyper Backup, and Snapshot Replication
- Ready for 10/25GbE → Supports 10GbE SFP+/RJ-45 and 25GbE SFP28 NICs to instantly increase network bandwidth based on your infrastructure
- Ultimate File Management and Sharing → File Station offers fast & secure web-based management with drag-and-drop operations. Advanced search & filtering tools make it easy to organize & share files. Compatible with AFP, FTP, iSCSI, NFS, SMB, & WebDAV protocols.
- Fully Certified Storage Virtualization Solutions → Synology iSCSI storage supports virtualization, including VMware vSphere 6 & VAAI integration, Windows ODX, and OpenStack Cinder support for block-based storage. All features enhance work efficiency and optimize data transfer rate.
- Ultimate Backup Solution → DS1821+ offers durable storage technologies including Active Backup for Business, Hyper Backup, Synology Drive, and Active Backup for Microsoft 365/Google Workspace.
- A Fully Functional Server System → The DS1821+ comes complete with software modules that allow users to design their own shared server environment. Some of the modules include Central Management System, Synology MailPlus, Synology High Availability, Security, Synology Drive, and Surveillance Station.
The technical specifications — the detailed list of the components, features, and capabilities of the DS1821+ — are available at the end of this article. The information provided includes Hardware Specs, General Specs, and Package and Application Specs (File Server & Synchronization, iSCSI Storage & Virtualization, Data Protection & Backup Solution, Productivity & Collaboration, Multimedia, Surveillance, All-in-One Server, and Others).
Even though there are many different options for the setup of the DS1821+, we set it up as a simple NAS system. The unboxing process went as you might expect. The Disk Station comes in a nondescript cardboard box and the only cables that come with it are its power cable and an Ethernet cable. A set of storage bay keys is also included as each of the drive bays locks.
I really enjoy the physical aesthetic of this storage unit. It’s sleek and simple. There are some status LEDs across the top of the unit along with the power button. I really love that the power button is located on the front of the system because it’s very easily accessible. There is also a USB-A port on the front that can be used for expansion.
One of the accessories that can be added on to this system is a 10 Gbps Ethernet Adapter (E10G18-T1). We opted to include this add-on since our internet service and equipment can provide that network speed. I really enjoy how easy Synology makes it for people who are not familiar with hardware installation to complete accessory add-ons like this adapter card and like the cache SSDs, which I will talk about shortly.
In order to install the 10 Gbps Ethernet Adapter, you have to remove the external chassis cover. Once you expose the inside, you will see an expansion slot on the left side. The back of the unit has an opening that you slide the card through and then it locks into place on the expansion slot (as shown in the images). Once the adapter is in place, you secure it with a small screw, replace the unit’s cover, and it’s ready to go.
As far as the installation of the SSDs goes, you had to remove all the drive bays to reveal the card slots. There is a small lever/clasp on each slot that holds the SSD securely in place. If you’ve ever installed SSDs before, this is the exact same process. The slots are just a little awkward to get to.
Once both of those elements are in place, it’s time to install the hard drives. This is another thing that Synology makes painless. The drive bays are primarily made with hard plastic. The end pieces snap off the sides and once you have the hard drive laid in the tray, you can snap those back into place and they lock the hard drive into the tray. The drive bay slides back into the Disk Station’s case and then you close and lock the bay’s door.
At this point, you will want to connect the Disk Station to your network using an Ethernet connection. Then, connect the power cable to a power source and turn the Synology on. Once it is finished booting up, you will go to find.synology.com to finish the setup.
You will have to install the DiskStation Manager onto the system during this step. The web assistant will walk you through the steps. It is recommended that Chrome or Firefox be used for the setup. The hard drives will be initialized during this step, too, so any previous data on them will be deleted.
Once the DSM installation was completed, it was time to allocate space to storage pools and define volumes for the system to work as our main network storage option and archive system. We opted to use the following settings for our storage pool.
The data storage takes some time to optimize. I believe it took our system at least 24 hours to finish its formatting process. The process happens as a background task. The next step was to create users and assign user groups. This allowed us to have separate, private storage folders. We also created a shared folder between us.
So far, this system has been incredibly stable for us. We have a total capacity of 54.5 TB and have only used 84GB of that space. In my opinion, the greatest benefit of a system like this is the fact that you don’t have to worry about running out of space. While it’s not 100% future-proof, we could continue expanding it for a while by replacing the hard drives.
The Synology DS1821+ Disk Station is a great system that can be customized to fit your specific needs. Because it’s designed for scalability and performance, it is ideal for personal or small business use. This is an amazing system and I would recommend it to anyone looking to expand their storage capabilities.
1. Performance figures obtained through internal testing by Synology. Actual performance may vary depending on the testing environment, usage, and configuration. Comparisons are done against the DS1819+ under specific testing conditions.
2. DS1821+ supports up to two Synology DX517 expansion units, sold separately.
|CPU||AMD Ryzen™ V1500B quad-core 2.2 GHz|
|Hardware encryption engine||Yes (AES-NI)|
|Memory||4 GB DDR4 ECC SODIMM (expandable up to 32 GB)|
|Compatible drive types||8 x 3.5″ or 2.5″ SATA HDD/SSD (drives not included) 2 x M.2 2280 NVMe SSD (drives not included)|
|Hot swappable drives||Yes|
|External ports||4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 2 x eSATA|
|Size (HxWXD)||166 × 343 × 243 mm|
|LAN ports||4 x 1GbE RJ-45|
|Wake on LAN/WAN||Yes|
|PCle 3.0 slots||1 × 4-lane ×8 slot Supports 10/25GbE network interface cards3|
|Scheduled power on/off||Yes|
|System fans||2 (120 × 120 × 25 mm)|
|AC input power voltage||100 V to 240 V AC|
|Power consumption||Access: 59.8 W HDD Hibernation: 26.18 W|
|Power frequency||50/60 Hz, single phase|
|Operating temperature||0°C to 40°C (32°F to 104°F)|
|Storage temperature||-20°C to 60°C (-5°F to 140°F)|
|Relative humidity||5% to 95% RH|
|Maximum operating altitude||5,000 m (16,400 ft)|
General DSM specification
|Networking protocols||SMB, AFP, NFS, FTP, WebDAV, CalDAV, iSCSI, Telnet, SSH, SNMP, VPN (PPTP, OpenVPN™, L2TP)|
|File systems||Internal: Btrfs, ext4|
External: Btrfs, ext4, ext3, FAT32, NTFS, HFS+, exFAT
|Supported RAID types||Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR), Basic, JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6, RAID 10|
|Storage management||Maximum single volume size: 108TB|
Maximum system snapshots: 65,5361°
Maximum interna volumes: 64
|SSD cache*||Read/write cache support|
M.2 NVMe SSD support
|File sharing capabilities||Maximum local user accounts: 2,048|
Maximum local groups: 256
Maximum shared folders: 512
Maximum concurrent SMB/NFS/AFP/FT connections: 1,000
|Privileges||Windows® Access Control List (ACL), application privileges|
|Directory services||Connects with Windows* AD/LDAP servers enabling domain users to login via SMB/NFS/AFP/FTP/File Station using their existing credentials.|
|Virtualization||VMware Sphere® 6.5, Microsoft Hyper-V*, Citrix’, OpenStack”|
|Security||Firewall, shared folder encryption, SMB encryption, FT over SSL/TLS, SFT, sync over SSH, login auto block, Let’s Encrypt support, HTTPS (customizable cipher suite)|
|Supported clients||Windows® 7 onwards, macOS* 10.12 onwards|
|Supported browsers||Chrome®, Firefox*, Edge®, Internet Explorer® 10 onwards, Safari® 10 onwards, Safari (iOS 10 onwards), Chrome (Android™ 6.0 onwards) on tablets|
Packages and Applications
File Server & Synchronization
|Drive||Synchronizes files across Windows®, macOS®, Linux®, Android™ and iOS. The built-in cross-platform portal allows access to data anytime and anywhere.Maximum number of hosted files: 1,000,000Maximum number of concurrent connections for PC clients: 550|
|File Station||Provides virtual drives, remote folders, Windows® ACL editor, compression/extraction of archived files, bandwidth control for specific users/groups, creation of sharing links, and transfer logs.|
|FTP Server||Supports bandwidth control for TCP connections, custom FTP passive port ranges, anonymous FTP, FTP over TLS/SSL and SFTP protocols, network booting with TFTP and PXE support, and transfer logs.|
|Presto File Server||Enables high-speed data transfer over WAN through the exclusive SITA technology between Synology NAS and desktop.|
|Cloud Sync||Offers one or two-way synchronization with public cloud storage providers including Alibaba Cloud OSS, Amazon S3- compatible storage, Backblaze B2, Baidu Cloud, Box, Dropbox, Google Cloud Storage, Google Drive, hubiC, MegaDisk, Microsoft OneDrive, OpenStack Swift-compatible storage, Tencent COS, WebDAV servers and Yandex Disk.|
|Universal Search||Enables global search of applications and files.|
iSCSI Storage & Virtualization
|iSCSI Manager||Maximum iSCSI targets: 128Maximum iSCSI LUNs: 256iSCSI LUN clone / snapshot support|
|Virtual Machine Manager||Deploys and runs virtual machines on Synology NAS, including Windows®, Linux®, and Virtual DSM.|
Data Protection & Backup Solution
|Hyper Backup||Supports local backup, network backup, and data backup to public clouds.|
|Backup tools||DSM configuration backup, macOS® Time Machine® support, Synology Drive Client desktop application Shared folder sync supports a maximum of 16 tasks|
|Snapshot Replication||Maximum of snapshots for shared folders: 1,024Maximum number of replications: 32|
|Synology High Availability||Reduces service downtime by combining two identical NAS into a high-availability cluster.|
|Active Backup for Google Workspace||Supports backup and restoration of Google Workspace My Drive, Team Drive, Gmail, Contacts, and Calendar.|
|Active Backup for Microsoft 365||Supports backup and restoration of Microsoft 365 OneDrive for Business, mail, contacts, and calendar.|
|Active Backup for Business||An all-in-one backup solution designed for heterogeneous business IT environments. It enables IT admins to remotely manage and protect PCs, servers, and VMs from one centralized console.|
Productivity & Collaboration
|Collaboration tools||Collaborate with instant message service Synology Chat, online editor Synology Office, and scheduling assistant Synology CalendarChat maximum user: 1,500Office maximum user: 1,800 Calendar: support CalDAV and access via mobile devices|
|Note Station||A note taking platform that supports rich text, note organization and versioning, encryption, sharing, media embedding, and attachments.|
|Synology MailPlus Server||A secure, reliable, and private mail solution featuring high-availability, load balancing, security, and filtering.|
|Synology MailPlus||An intuitive webmail interface for Synology MailPlus Server with customizable mail labels, filters, and user interface.|
|Moments||A feature-rich photo management application that includes AI-powered album creation from facial and subject recognition, photo editing and sharing capabilities, similar photo detection for duplicate management, auto-editing functions such as color correction and angle adjustments, and auto-selection of the best shots. Mobile applications are available on iOS and AndroidTM devices.|
|Other Packages||Video Station, Photo Station, Audio Station, iTunes® Server|
|Surveillance Station||Maximum IP cameras: 40, for a total of 1,200 FPS at 720p (H.264).|
|Synology Directory Server||Provides a flexible and cost-effective domain controller solution.|
|Central Management System||Provides a single interface to manage and monitor multiple Synology NAS.|
|VPN Server||Maximum connection: 30. Supported VPN protocol: PPTP, OpenVPNTM, L2TP/IPSec|
|Mail Server||Supported Mail Server protocols: POP3, SMTP, IMAP LDAP/AD account support|
|Mail Station||A webmail interface for Mail Server to receive emails from multiple POP3 mailboxes and SMTP servers.|
|Web Station||Enables hosting for up to 30 websites with support for PHP/MariaDB® and 3rd-party applications.|
|Other packages||DNS Server, RADIUS Server, Log Center|
|Storage Analyzer||Displays volume and quota usage, total size of files, volume usage and trends based on past usage, size of shared folders, large files, most recently modified files, and least recently accessed files.|
|Antivirus Essential||Provides full system scans, scheduled scans, white list customization, and auto-update of virus definitions.|
|iOS/Android™ applications||Synology Drive, Synology MailPlus, Synology Chat, Synology LiveCam, Moments, DS audio, DS photo, DS video, DS cam, DS file, DS finder, DS note|
|Other packages||Additional 3rd-party packages available on Package Center.|