How can you set up a RAID 1 configuration on a Synology DS218+ for data redundancy?

12 June 2024

When it comes to protecting valuable data, having a reliable storage solution is critical. A RAID 1 setup on a Synology DS218+ offers a balanced combination of data redundancy and performance. This article delves into the intricacies of setting up a RAID 1 configuration on this NAS device, ensuring your data is safe and accessible.

Understanding RAID 1 and Its Benefits

Before diving into the setup process, it’s crucial to understand what RAID 1 is and why it’s beneficial. RAID, or Redundant Array of Independent Disks, is a technology that combines multiple hard drives into a single unit to improve performance and redundancy.

What is RAID 1?

RAID 1 mirrors data across two drives, creating an exact copy on each. This means if one drive fails, the other can take over immediately, minimizing downtime and preventing data loss. Unlike other RAID levels, RAID 1 focuses on data redundancy rather than performance enhancement or increased storage space. It is ideal for environments where data integrity is paramount.

Benefits of RAID 1

The primary advantage of RAID 1 is data redundancy. By maintaining an exact copy of your data on two separate disks, you ensure that hardware failures do not result in data loss. Additionally, RAID 1 configurations can improve read performance since data can be read from both drives simultaneously. This setup provides an effective balance for small businesses or individuals needing reliable and accessible storage.

Preparing Your Synology DS218+ for RAID 1 Setup

To achieve a seamless RAID 1 setup, proper preparation is key. This involves ensuring your NAS device and hard drives are ready for configuration.

Choosing the Right Hard Drives

For a RAID 1 setup, you need two identical hard drives. It is highly recommended to use drives from the same manufacturer and with the same specifications to avoid compatibility issues. Synology offers a compatibility list on their website, which can guide you in selecting the appropriate drives for your DS218+.

Installing the Hard Drives

  1. Power Off Your NAS: Before installing the drives, ensure that your NAS device is powered off and unplugged.
  2. Open the Disk Bays: The Synology DS218+ has two disk bays. Slide open the bays and carefully insert your hard drives.
  3. Secure the Drives: Use the provided screws to secure the hard drives in place. This ensures that the drives do not move or become dislodged during operation.
  4. Reassemble and Power On: Once the disks are securely installed, reassemble the NAS device, plug it in, and power it on.

Initial Setup

Connect your NAS to your network and power it on. You will need to access the Synology interface via a web browser. Enter the IP address of your NAS in the browser’s address bar. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the operating system and set up your NAS.

Configuring RAID 1 on Synology DS218+

With your hard drives installed and NAS powered on, you can now proceed to configure RAID 1. This process is carried out through the Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM) interface.

Accessing the Storage Manager

  1. Login to DSM: Open your web browser, enter the IP address of your NAS and log in using your credentials.
  2. Open Storage Manager: Once logged in, navigate to the Storage Manager application. This tool is where you will manage your disks and RAID configurations.

Creating a Storage Pool

  1. Launch Storage Wizard: In Storage Manager, click on "Storage Pool" and then "Create" to launch the Storage Wizard.
  2. Select RAID Type: Choose "RAID 1" from the list of RAID types. RAID 1 is selected for its mirroring capabilities, which ensure data redundancy.
  3. Select Drives: Select the hard drives you installed earlier. Ensure both drives are checked for the RAID 1 setup.
  4. Confirm Settings: Review your configuration settings and confirm. The system will now create the Storage Pool.

Creating a Volume

  1. Create Volume: Navigate to "Volume" in Storage Manager and click "Create".
  2. Select Storage Pool: Choose the Storage Pool you just created.
  3. File System: Select the file system type (Btrfs or ext4) based on your preference. Btrfs offers advanced features like data integrity checks.
  4. Finish Setup: Complete the wizard to create the volume. Your RAID 1 configuration is now set up.

Managing Your NAS Server

With the RAID 1 configuration set up, managing your NAS server efficiently ensures long-term reliability and performance.

Monitoring Disk Health

Regularly check the health of your hard drives using the Storage Manager. This tool provides real-time status updates on the health and performance of your disks. Look for any signs of wear or potential failures, and replace drives as needed.

Expanding Storage

If you need more storage space, consider adding an expansion unit. The Synology DS218+ supports various expansion units, allowing you to increase your storage without compromising on RAID configuration or data integrity.

Data Backup

Even with RAID 1, regular data backups are essential. Use the in-built backup solutions provided by Synology, such as Synology Drive, to back up your data to an external NAS, cloud service, or hard drive. This adds an extra layer of protection.

Shared Folders and Access Control

Create shared folders to organize your data effectively. Use DSM’s access control features to manage permissions, ensuring that only authorized users have access to specific folders. This is crucial for maintaining data security.

Enhancing NAS Capabilities

Beyond data storage, your NAS device can serve various roles, enhancing its value and functionality.

Video Transcoding

The Synology DS218+ supports real-time video transcoding, allowing you to stream content to different devices seamlessly. This is particularly useful for a home media server setup where multiple devices access media content.

Surveillance Station

Transform your NAS into a surveillance server using Synology's Surveillance Station. This feature allows you to connect and manage IP cameras, providing a robust security solution for your home or business premises.

Additional Applications

Explore the extensive range of applications available in the Synology Package Center. From file sharing to multimedia management, these applications enhance your NAS functionalities, making it a versatile tool for various needs.

Setting up a RAID 1 configuration on a Synology DS218+ is a practical and effective way to ensure data redundancy and reliability. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create a robust storage system that protects your valuable data from drive failures. Regular management and leveraging additional NAS capabilities further enhance the utility of your Synology NAS.

In summary, a RAID 1 setup on your Synology DS218+ not only safeguards your data but also provides a platform for expanding your network storage solutions. Whether for personal use or business, this RAID configuration ensures that your data remains accessible and secure, providing peace of mind in an increasingly digital world.

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