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Synology 918+ NAS

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
So I finally got to set up and play with my new NAS. I am basically switching over from my Drobo. Nothing wrong with the Drobo, but I just wanted a NAS that could do more things. I plan on streaming movies over Plex using this as well. It has so many features it's hard to list them all. The box is smaller than my Drobo, but just a little wider. I first purchased another drive to pull all my data off my Drobo since I would be using some of those same drives in the Synology. The transfer took a while to get all my data off since I was transferring it to a raw drive in a USB 3.0 dock. Took all of Saturday. Yesterday morning I unboxed the Synology and popped in 3 drives. The NAS is tool-less and it makes them easy to add. After booting it I had to create the volume. I choose to use the SHR with the BTRFS format. I really like the bit rot protection and self-healing. After creating the volume it did have to do a one time scan on the drives for parity. It finished last night and I was able to transfer back over my data. It went way faster going to the Synology. I knew my Drobo processor was getting a little dated. I verified most of the files this morning, but tonight I will double check everything and then add my new drive to the pool and let it expand to it for more room. This is a 4 bay model, where my Drobo was a 5 so I am losing a little bit of expansion room there. But over all it's nice. I will report more as time goes on, but just wanted to go over the ease of setup.

https://www.synology.com/en-us/products/DS918+
 

Davidc

Caulk Sucker
Members
What drives are you using? WD Golds? Pretty cool product. A little on the spendy side but, performance seems to be on par with a servers. Did you go RAID 6? Can you bond the two network interfaces together for a 2 gigabit per second connection?
 

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
What drives are you using?
1 2tb WD green (slow I know, but only for data storage)

2x 2tb WD blacks

1x Seagate Ironwolf NAS 4tb (new)

Did you go RAID 6?
No went to SHR, a hybrid raid array.

Quote
SHR is an automated RAID management system that makes storage volume deployment easier than traditional RAID systems. SHR will allow users to handle RAID management, expand storage, and maximize storage capability even if they do not have a fine grasp of various RAID levels. SHR allows for 1-disk or 2-disk worth of redundancy - meaning the SHR volume can suffer up to two disks lost, and the data volume will still be available for use. Note that a RAID volume (either Classic RAID or SHR) is not a backup system.


 

Can you bond the two network interfaces together for a 2 gigabit per second connection?
Don't know haven't dug deep enough to read (also don't really have a need for it).
 

Davidc

Caulk Sucker
Members
SHR is an automated RAID management system that makes storage volume deployment easier than traditional RAID systems. SHR will allow users to handle RAID management, expand storage, and maximize storage capability even if they do not have a fine grasp of various RAID levels. SHR allows for 1-disk or 2-disk worth of redundancy - meaning the SHR volume can suffer up to two disks lost, and the data volume will still be available for use. Note that a RAID volume (either Classic RAID or SHR) is not a backup system.
That is quite nice. Two disk lost is right up there with RAID 6.
 

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
That is quite nice. Two disk lost is right up there with RAID 6.
My Drobo 5n also supported 2 drive failures. I haven't decided if I am going to enable it on the Synology or not though. I plan on using one of their cloud backup solutions to get me offsite as well.
 

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
Well, thought I would try out Plex tonight (finally). I got home, installed the app, set up an account pointed it to my folder, then it started doing everything by itself. Installed the app on our Samsung and bam all done. In fact, my daughter is in there watching a movie right now, no problems whatsoever. Can't wait to get all my movies on there. Just makes it so much easier. Also, it's barely even using any CPU.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

ndboarder

Bill Gates' Gimp
Members
Well, thought I would try out Plex tonight (finally). I got home, installed the app, set up an account pointed it to my folder, then it started doing everything by itself. Installed the app on our Samsung and bam all done. In fact, my daughter is in there watching a movie right now, no problems whatsoever. Can't wait to get all my movies on there. Just makes it so much easier. Also, it's barely even using any CPU.
It won't use much CPU just to stream content.  There's very little overhead to that once the stream is setup and connected.  Now, try to stream from a phone when you are not on your network...  One of three things will happen:

1) It will work - in which case you have highly compressed video formats already or a crazy good upload speed on your home internet

2) You will get a lot of buffering - can't broadcast fast enough and the device cannot/will not attempt to transcode

3) CPU/GPU usage on the server will go through the roof doing transcoding to get from source format to something it can broadcast to your device over WAN fast enough
 

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
I removed Plex at lunch. I am going to try Synology default video player and see how that works. 
 

Davidc

Caulk Sucker
Members
I'll have you call your ISP and upgrade your upload to 10 megabits per second. I upped mine now up yours?
 

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
I have been experimenting with some formats this morning. I am currently taking my .mkvfiles and converting them to .MP4 files. I can't tell the difference and they are way smaller and take up a lot less room.
 

ndboarder

Bill Gates' Gimp
Members
I have been experimenting with some formats this morning. I am currently taking my .mkvfiles and converting them to .MP4 files. I can't tell the difference and they are way smaller and take up a lot less room.
Have you tried from the source format to MKV and from source to MP4?   MKV is just the container - but I wonder if you are converting from MKV to MP4 if you are ending up with double compression
 

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
Have you tried from the source format to MKV and from source to MP4?   MKV is just the container - but I wonder if you are converting from MKV to MP4 if you are ending up with double compression
I don't know. I do know that I will stick with the .MP4 format in the future. First off the file size is greatly reduced. Second I can't tell a difference in quality either. What I might try for a test is to rip the same DVD to .mp4 and see if it comes out to the same file size as the one being converted from .MKV to .MP4 and see if there is a difference. Some of my converting seems to get put in a .MPV format instead of a .MP4 format. I don't know what that is about but it seems to be the same as .MP4. Also I really like the built in Synology video player instead of Plex. It's so much cleaner and organizes my movies better.
 

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
I really just want to get my software narrowed down. There are so many programs out there. I originally used Makemkv, and I am using Handbrake to convert them. But I also read that Handbrake can now rip DVDs. I just really want a simple "one button click" type of program to rip and encode my videos. Hopefully, Handbrake can do it all. I haven't read up about blue rays etc.
 

ndboarder

Bill Gates' Gimp
Members
I dunno - there shouldn't be much difference in MKV or MP4 sizes.  Generally MKV is preferred from what I've seen.  Probably depends what kind of site you look at, but most guys I know look for MKV over MP4 for better video and audio capabilities from what I'm told.

As for Synology video vs. Plex, whatever works for you better.  I have a hard time believing some built in junk from a network equipment manufacturer beats widely used software specifically developed for video/audio organization and playback.  Maybe better than the plex server available for your router, but 
 

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
From what I have been reading you still need to use Makemkv to do the rip, then handbrake to do the conversion.
 

ndboarder

Bill Gates' Gimp
Members
Depends what you are doing.  If you need to remove encryption, then yes, unless you have something else to remove the encryption.  If for example, you had AnyDVD running to remove encryption, handbrake can just directly rip/transcode.

On the other hand I was doing some work with video formats a while back and I don't recall seeing much difference when I created MKV or MP4 files using Handbrake directly.  I ended up just going with what MakeMKV was spitting out - met my needs, looked and sounded fine for what I needed.  On struggle was 3D MKV - it's apparently possible, but I gave up
 

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
Got a nice email today showing a monthly hard drive report that shows if there were and bad sectors detected, and a break down on each hard drive to show it's health status.
 
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