Tyler's NAS Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Z170 Premium - Buy from Amazon
- CPU: Intel Core i5 6500 - Buy from Amazon
- Cooler: Noctua NH-U12S - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Memory: Klevv CRAS 16GB (4x4) DDR4 3000 - Read our review
- Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- OS Storage: Intel 730 480GB SSD - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Secondary Storage: Intel 750 400GB U.2 SSD - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Case: Thermaltake P5 - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200 - Buy from Amazon
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 - Buy from Amazon
Setup of DSM can be two ways; you can have the NAS download the latest install file, or you can do it manually.
After installation is complete, you will see the DSM desktop. If you have never used DSM, it is fully customizable with options at the top right.
With the icon being displayed on top of our control panel, it usually means this system needs an update, and as you can see, we are ready to move to DSM 6.0-7321 Update 7.
With the DX513 plugged in a powered up DSM recognizes it and its drives as if they were internal to the unit. While there are methods of using third-party eSATA enclosures with NAS appliances, it is far easier in my experience to just use the units from the vendors.
Storage manager includes all options within one menu. On the side, you can setup disk groups or volumes along with iSCSI LUNs and even SSD caches.
Creating volumes is quite simple using the wizard. Two options are given at the start, and I should note that when you have three or more disks, the quick option will always put you in a Synology Hybrid RAID or SHR.
This is a solid option for users that have drives of varying capacities, as it will allow you to get the most capacity while maintaining data redundancy. The custom mode will allow you to use legacy RAID modes like 0, 1, 5, 6 and 10.
After you select your options, you will get a list of drives in the system. As you can see, I have the DX513 expansion unit setup, so I have nine drives listed.
With DSM 6, we now have the option of using BTRFS or EXT4.
Cache Advisor is a rather interesting app in DSM that monitors data usage and then directs you how to get the most efficient use out of your SSDs.
As you can see above, my recommended SSD cache size is 180 MB.
To setup your drive cache, you can choose to use a single SSD for read-only cache, or two SSDs for read-write caching.
For me, I decided to use two 128GB SSDs for a read-write cache with a capacity of 64GB, that way our SSDs are never full for maximum performance.
Of course, DSM would never be complete without the package center. We still have access here to all the Synology made applications including download and surveillance stations.
On the multimedia tab, you can grab Plex Server for those that want to watch movies remotely.
Finally yet importantly is the full control panel. This gives you immense options for customizing your NAS with users and groups at the top next to shared folders while services and security are just below.
PRICING: You can find the Synology DS916+ Four-Bay Consumer NAS for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
United States: The Synology DS916+ Four-Bay Consumer NAS retails for $650 at Amazon.
United Kingdom: The Synology DS916+ Four-Bay Consumer NAS retails for £499 at Amazon UK.
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