Synology Archive?

So this crept on me and didn’t realize.

I have a Synology DS1513+, 5-bay model each 3TB Red Drives. In 4.5 years, I have filled this up. I have a little less than 1 TB left.

What are my options?

I could try cleaning out, but I am fairly organized with this already, so there won’t be much to get rid of except older Time Machine Backups. The rest would stay.

The options that I can see so far…

  1. Get an expansion unit from Synology.
  2. Remove my 3TB Red Drives and replace them with a higher TB. (Just can’t remember how many I can replace at a time)
  3. Backup the NAS (I have a backup in the Cloud, but divide the backup on external disks). Swap out larger drives and start from scratch.

Anyone been in the same boat?

The Synology subreddit might be a better place to ask. Very active.

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I have not yet had to expand my Synology storage, but here is my thinking:

If you have enough in the Synology that you can afford to delete, eg you really dint need it, then clear up space in that manner,

If you want to keep everything on the Synology, then you could either purchase an expansion chassis or upgrade your drives. I would lean towards drive upgrades. At this point, the prices for 6 and 8 TB drives have come down quite a bit.

You can replace one drive at a time, let the raid rebuild, then replace the next. How this works out depends on your RAID configuration. For instance, if you have a RAID 5 setup, you will need to replace each drive and then once all are replaced, expand the volume set. If you are using SHR, the Synology should be able to expand as you replace each drive, BUT it will not be expandable until at least two drives are replaced because of how SHR works.

I believe the help system on the Synology provides a good step by step walkthrough for the process.

If you add an expansion chassis, I believe you could either configure the drives in that as a separate volume and create new shares or it, or add those drives to the existing volume on the current drives.

My worry about adding the drives to the existing volume is that the expansion chassis connects via an SATA external cable. If for any reason that cable failed or was disconnected, that would mean that multiple drives would be lost for the volume. I have no idea how or if the Synology can handle that occurrence. I assume it would be the same as having SHR or RAID 5 with one drive redundancy and having two drives fail simultaneously, which would cause the RAID array to fail and likely not be recoverable. I don’t know this for sure. I have not seen anything online that answers this question.

As a result, if it were going with a pen external drive chassis I would make the drives there be a separate volume so that if the cable got bumped, the volume would go offline but likely be recoverable with limited data loss.

Not my area of expertise, but your drives are 4.5 years old, and that would concern me. I would lean toward replacing drives.

I have the SHR with data protection of 2 disks fault tolerance.

I like the idea of replacing one at a time, it would reduce the immediate cost upfront and stretch out over.

I currently have the WD Red 3TB, 5400 rpm, 64mb cache.
Looking at the WD Red 6TB drives (same speed and cache specs)

As @nlippman says while “it depends” as to
the specific RAID version, @JohnAtl brings
up the key point. Drives are 4.5 years old

Replace drives 1 at a time

(OWC just had 6TBs for under $200
Depending on RAID type, as you add,
you can expand volume. I have the
same box, and run RAID 5 with a Hot
Spare, and this is what I did)

Good point. I never really know when it’s time to prophylactically replace older drives.

My Drobos will let me know when a drive fails, but unfortunately Drobo’s NAS offerings are really very limited compared to the Synology, and suffer form a major potential issue: If a Drobo dies, you can only recover data by getting another Drobo (although there are data recovery companies that claim to be able to recover Drobo disk sets, but they are very expensive).

If a Synology dies, I could connect all the individual drives in a JBOD box to a Linux system and access the set via standard Linux RAID tools. (That may not apply to SHR, however. Thankfully I have not yet had to do this in practice).

I would love to have a system where I could throw in the stack of 2TB drives I have sitting around (probably have 10 of them) and build storage and then swap as they die, but sadly the only Drobo that can handle >5 drives is the B810n at over $1200…not worth the cost compared to a similarly sized Synology.

Anyway, I never do know when to prophylactically replace drives…

My solution to this is to use CCC to back up the Drobo to a couple of USB had drives attached to my iMac. This also allows Backblaze to back that data up to the cloud.

I’ve come to the conclusion that hard drives are cheap enough relative to the cost of a Drobo or Synology that it makes the most sense not to worry about reusing old drives and just buy big hard drives and toss them in the NAS box. If you figure in the cost per bay on the NAS usually the biggest or second biggest size of hard drive available ends up being the best bang for your buck.

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I think you solved your own problem :slight_smile:

I would love to have a system where I could throw in the stack of 2TB drives I have sitting around

I could connect all the individual drives in a JBOD box to a Linux system

8 - 3.5” & 4 - 2.5”

I was in that situation about a year ago with a 4-Bay system and I replaced the existing device one after another with 6 TB versions. After about two weeks it was all done :wink:



Agreed. I always have backups of everything, including my direct attached Drobos and my Synology. I was just pointing out the distinction in data recovery. If I actually had my Drobo die, I would likely just restore from backup to whatever I decided was the best replacement option at the time.

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Nit exactly sure what problem you are referring to.

However, if I find a good reliable multi drive case, I could consider buying it and using something like SoftRaid.

The big advantage Drobo offers is its ability to use drives of different sizes and speeds semi-intelligently.

What about just getting a second Synology? If you need everything on the current one, just leave it there and start fresh with a new one. The WD Red drives should be good to go for quite some time more, I suspect.

I second this idea especially because if just using to backup from another Synology it doesn’t need to be very powerful so could be a bit older of a model.