My review of the Synology DS220+

Stuey74

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2014
Messages
748
I received the Synology DS220+ from My Broadband to review. This is the first time I have done a review for public consumption, so please be gentle. It is also longer than I expected, 200 – 300 words sounds a lot until you get into it. Having read some reviews on the internet before the device arrived I was quite excited to get my hands on it, get it up and running and see where I could slot it in, maybe replace the existing NAS which is quite old and doesn’t play very well in my Linux landscape. My first thought was to move my Plex server onto it, but having seen many many reviews of that I thought I would try other capabilities first.

The delivery arrives and like a kid on Christmas day I unpack the box, check I have the stated contents, grab 2 x 2TB drives that I had lying around and put it all together. This is quick as the DS220+ has easily removable trays with removable plastic runners that snap in and out to hold the drives in place, making it a tool less operation, completed in seconds. Plug in the supplied cables, connect to power and network switch and boot up. Then have a look at the quick start guide to see if I missed anything. Nope, all good. Assign the device some static IP’s and download the Synology Assistant software. Really excited that there is a Linux desktop version, a little disappointed that after finding the device immediately all the connect button does is open a web GUI. The guided install of the Synology DSM (DiskStation Manager) software is easy, in less than 5 minutes I was up and running and logged into the main screen. This looks like a desktop and I spent a while clicking on everything just to get a feel for what gets done where.

First job, set-up the drives, again a guided exercise to create storage pools, volumes, RAID levels, file systems and shared folders. I also let the system do a check on the drives, not really necessary but a good idea if you are not sure what condition your drives are in. This ran in the background for about 4 hours, increasing the CPU and memory usage slightly. The drives are accessible during this but access times are increased. I let this run and got on with setting up the SMB shares for the Windows users, the NFS shares so I can mount the NAS to my RHEL server. Also created a bond on the 2 NIC’s. Browsed the package centre, a good number of apps available, some of which I have made notes of to play around with at a later stage.

After the disk checking is complete it’s time to actually use the NAS. In this instance I am using this as purely storage. Mounted to my server I run rsync on a few picture folders, check I can get to the SMB shares, start copying some large media files and sit back and watch. On the control screen there is a nice system health widget showing CPU network traffic and memory usage. CPU usage jumps around a little, the 2GB memory running at around 14% utilised and network speed tracks at between 80 MB/s to 90 MB/s.

Whilst the copying was going on I moved to my Home Assistant tab to check on things around the house. Happy to see a notification that 4 new devices were found. These turned out to be the NAS itself, the 2 drives and the RAID 1 volume I had set-up. Clicked to add the integration to Home Assistant and find 36 entities. These are various data points from CPU usage, drive usage and status memory usage, various temperature readings, network, security, updates available and so on. This is all very handy as you can then set-up a page with cards giving you instant information on all the important details of the device in one place, without having to click on different places. As Home Assistant has a nice app on my phone it makes monitoring a very simple task. I also monitor my power usage on my server set-up and the NAS added between 10W to 20W of usage to the Sonoff POW depending in what I was doing, 10W being idle, 20W during file operations.

My next task was to plug in external storage, in this case a 4 bay chassis. Immediately picked up the drives but they had an unsupported files system, xfs. Quick and easy to format to either ext4 or FAT32, set-up a folder on each drive and straight away available to the shares on the remote desktops. This makes adding extra external storage a breeze and allows the Synology DSM to configure and share external drives through a simple GUI.

So for my first few days of using the DS220+ I am very happy with it’s basic function of storage. I will continue to explore what is on offer but my old NAS is definitely now redundant (see the For Sale section ;) ). I will see if moving my larger 6TB drives from a dedicated server to the NAS and running various media operations is a viable alternative to the server at a later stage.

What I liked:
  • Very easy to unbox, add drives and plug in
  • Easy guided set-up of DSM
  • Looks very nice
  • Set-up of drives, folders, shares is intuitive and should not be too difficult for a non technical person
What I didn’t like:
  • Not really anything I didn't like, except the front cover pulls off, would prefer a proper door and the option to add RAM, a nice option but perhaps offer the extra RAM as a higher specced device. I have looked around and there doesn’t seem to be stock of the RAM at the moment, priced at around R1500 when available. I would probably do this, even though my initial testing didn’t require it, when I start to use it more than I suspect it would come in handy. Also just because there is an expansion slot (which is convenient to get too, no major disassembly required).
So that is my initial review, overall I like the Synology DS220+, I will update as I do more and explore its capabilities further. Please feel free to ask anything. Will post some pictures in the next post.
 

Foxhound5366

Executive Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2014
Messages
7,885
Whoa, you got the DS220+???? How did you get so lucky lol, it looks like all the other reviewers just got the DS120j as promised.

Nice review bud
 

Stuey74

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2014
Messages
748
Whoa, you got the DS220+???? How did you get so lucky lol, it looks like all the other reviewers just got the DS120j as promised.

Nice review bud
Thanks, not sure how I got the DS220+, that is what they sent me. Was very pleased to get that one I must say though.
 

bwana

MyBroadband
Super Moderator
Joined
Feb 23, 2005
Messages
81,435
What I didn’t like:
  • Not really anything I didn't like, except the front cover pulls off, would prefer a proper door and the option to add RAM, a nice option but perhaps offer the extra RAM as a higher specced device. I have looked around and there doesn’t seem to be stock of the RAM at the moment, priced at around R1500 when available. I would probably do this, even though my initial testing didn’t require it, when I start to use it more than I suspect it would come in handy. Also just because there is an expansion slot (which is convenient to get too, no major disassembly required).
FWIW your punctuation/phraseology makes it seem like you can't add RAM.

When I was out shopping for a HDD for my review unit last year I picked up a Transcend 4GB DDR4 2666MHZ SO-DIMM module for about 1/3rd of the price you're looking at. You'll probably find it even cheaper now. Sure, you'll get a "Detected non-Synology recommended memory module configurations" warning but it works just fine.
 
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