We have long had a Synology NAS used for videos, photos, and every day storage and backup needs. The old model was a DS213J which have had for 6 or 7 years. It’s a single core with 512MB of RAM and 2x 3TB disks. It has seen a lot of miles; literally as it bounced around in the Airstream for 4 years and 20,000 miles! Now we are also starting to run out of space.
The old NAS has been rock solid and I love the work Synology has put in over the years. It is a great device and solid OS. So now it is time to upgrade to something new and I wanted to stick with Synology.
Upgrade: We ended up purchasing a Synology DS920+ that just came out. I wanted to move to a little larger NAS that had some room to grow. The new NAS has an Intel Celeron J4125, and 4GB of RAM standard. The RAM can officially be upgraded to 8GB, but I have read online that others have had luck upgrading to 20GB! I havent made the leap there yet, but we will see.
After much debate on number of drives and size we decided to start off with 2x 8TB drives. This gives us a lot more room than we had while also leaving two empty slots for future growth. The NAS also has two slots for NVME for SSD caching, but I’ve not populated those yet. We will see how performance goes and might add those later.
Migration: I took a look and found Synology has a nice document talking about 3 different methods of migration. Unfortunately our old NAS is a base model and the only option Synology offered was HyperBackup. While I could have used this the downside is that you have to have double the space (which we have) and you have to perform both a backup to the new NAS and then restore to the new NAS. This seemed like a time killer and I was anxious to get the new NAS online.
I looked around to see what other folks were doing. It seemed like rsync was a pretty popular choice so I tried it. Performance was mediocre, probably limited by the CPU of the old NAS. The CPU would spike to 99% utilization and pretty much stay there while the data transfer hummed along around 20-30MB/s. Not bad but I wanted to see what else I could do. Also rysnc status was a bit of a mystery and I had to watch the disk utilization along with network traffic to try and estimate how long the transfer would take.
Since the old NAS appeared to be CPU bound handling the copies I decided I would try CIFS. For this test I mounted the old NAS CIFS share to the new NAS and initiated the copies from the new NAS. Wow what a difference! Now I’m seeing transfers of 60-70MB/s with spike of 90MB/s! An added bonus of CIFS over rsync is that it shows me the transfer progress and time remaining.
Docker: The new NAS has a decent amount of horsepower and I’d love to put it to work as life as a NAS here just isn’t terribly difficult. Enter Docker! Yes the NAS can run Docker and if I make good use of this I might be able to combine a few devices into this one. I’ll write up more about this as I get more time. For the time being checkout this excellent tutorial on running Pihole on the Synology.