Home Lab Series: Storage

Home Lab Series: Storage – Synology DS1813+ with x 2 Synology DX513s

I decided that it was time to get serious about storage in my home lab so I invested in a brand new Synology DS1813+ 8 Bay NAS / SAN, the major benefit of this model is that it has 4 x 1 GbE network ports on the back which can be used for CIFS, NFS and iSCSI and 2 x SAS expansion ports for connecting the Synology DX513 5 Bay expansion enclosures.

Well it all arrived in 3 very large well padded boxes…












I unpacked the boxes to find 3 more boxes…














I unpacked these 3 Synology boxes to find my shiny new NAS / SAN and all the cables required to connect it all together and also to the network.










The Synology NAS / SANs come with no OS installed, you have to install all the hard disk drives and then you can install the Synology Disk Station Manager (DSM).

A few days later the first 13 of my hard disks arrived, I chose the Western Digital Red 3TB drives

IMG_1154 IMG_1155











I had to wait another 2 days for the final 5 drives as it seems I had bought the last 13 that they had in stock.


Once they had all arrived I set about installing DSM and configuring a RAID 5 group on which I could create iSCSI LUNs, NFS or CIFS volumes.

Disk Group

HDD Management








As you can see this configuration gave me a usable capacity of 46.32 TB which I could carve up how ever I wanted.

Assuming that each of the Western Digital Red 3TB drives are capable of 100 IOPS read and 100 IOPS write this gave me 18 x 100 = 1,800 IOPS to play with.

I can get a sustained read and write throughput rate of 200 MB/s over 2 of the 1 GbE links for iSCSI.

As the Synology Disk Station Manager supports all of the VMware VAAI primitives, I enabled the support for this when I created the LUNs and the internal XCOPY speed when creating a clone from a VM Template for a new VM reached an amazing 250 MB/s whilst only sending a few KB/s down the 2 x 1GbE iSCSI links.

I also configured an NFS volume named InstallISOs to contain all my installation media which I will eventually expose to vCloud Director, I found out that the NFS volume can also be shared as a CIFS share which enabled me to populate it from my windows desktop and instantly have all my ISOs available to my ESXi hosts via the NFS share.

UPDATE December 2013: I have upgraded the Synology ( DSM ) Disk Station Manager from v4.3 build 3776  to v4.3 build 3810 Update 1 and it is running smoothly. I noticed that there are 2 more subsequent updates but I am loathed to power down all the ( VMs ) virtual machines that I am running in my VMware environment in order to perform the upgrade. I think I will wait for the next major version.

UPDATE January 2014:I have upgraded the Synology ( DSM ) Disk Station Manager from v4.3 build 3810 Update 1 to v4.3 build 3810 Update 3 and it is running smoothly.

UPDATE: March 2014: I have upgraded the Synology ( DSM ) Disk Station Manager from v4.3 build 3810 Update 3 to v4.3 build 3827 and it is running smoothly and it improved the file share performance from my MacBook Pro running OS X Mavericks.

UPDATE: April 2014: I have upgraded the Synology ( DSM ) Disk Station Manager from v5.0 build 4458 to v5.0 build 4458 Update 2 and it is running smoothly

Total cost of all components:


Synology DS1813+

1 x £610.07 = £610.07 + VAT @ 20% = £732.08


Synology 2GB DDR3 SO-DIMM

1 x £32.71 = £32.71 + VAT @ 20% = £39.25


Synology DX513

2 x £300.98  = £601.98 + VAT @ 20% = £722.35


Western Digital RED 3TB

18 x £95.30 = £1,715.4  + VAT @ 20% = £2,058.48


Therefore I spent £3,552.16 on my NAS / SAN solution.


  1. Joel Carlton May 19, 2015 8:41 pm  Reply

    What kind of throughput are you getting out of the eSata ports on the back of the DS1813+. Would you say those connections bottleneck IO between the drives in the DS1813+ and the DX513 units? Have you ever had to do a rebuild on that massive Raid 5 volume?

  2. System Admin July 13, 2020 9:39 am  Reply

    The eSATA ports operate at 1.5Gbps i.e. they are SATA v1 therefore the max throughput is 187.5MB/s which can be achieved with just 2 hard disk drives in the 5 bay enclosure. They are meant to be used as backup targets for the main 8 bays, not as live production storage.

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