Thoughts on Synology NAS / DSM 4.0

Update: I decided to remove my original post because it was overly wordy and some of the issues I complained about have been eventually addressed in the subsequent versions of DSM. Generally my concern was about Synology not paying enough attention to essential storage related features.

  • Synology’s incremental backup solution called Time Backup can only backup locally or to another Synology NAS. Time Backup will not backup to a non-Synology NAS. It also has bugs (for example: it can only use “admin” username to login to a backup server) and sometimes it may cause the entire system to freeze. (For example: if DSM starts a disk check).
  • I complained about DSM not knowing anything about RAID scrubbing (aka mdadm sync_action). Now they’ve added this feature in DSM 4.2 under Storage Manager > Volume > Manage, although you still can’t schedule it like in ReadyNAS.
    If you don’t know what is RAID scrubbing, read Blanne’s post on the Synology forum.
  • I complained about scheduling SMART checks: you could only do that on a per-drive basis, and for 36 drives you had to repeat the same procedure 36 times (~180 mouse clicks in total). They’ve added a central place to manage SMART check schedule in DSM 4.2.
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