I’ve been using a Synology DiskStation 1010+ for more than 7 years now. At the time it was one of the fastest NAS systems that were (fairly) affordable. It is able to read and write over my gigabit ethernet at 80-90 MB/s. I got it pre-assembled with 5x2TB drives which I set up to work in a RAID 5 configuration giving me about 7.2TB of space in a system that could always tolerate if one of the five disks failed.
Well, a couple of weeks ago it finally happened. One drive stared to report bad sectors and a week later the Synology informed me with a beeping sound that my RAID had degraded and parity of data was no longer available. Needless to say I got nervous never having messed with my DiskStation because it had all these years simply worked and I had come to rely on it and take it for granted even.
I’m really pleased to report that I was able to simply pull out the faulty disk and replace it with a new one. I didn’t even have to power down the system as the drives are hot-swappable. Then all that was left to do was to head over to the Synology DSM interface and start repairing the RAID. I’d been wondering whether it would take a week or so to get this done but I was surprised to see after about 8 hours that my RAID was intact and fail-proof again. Yay!
The DS 1010+ isn’t my first Synology product. Before I had a DS 408, which is a 4-bay system. I also ran a RAID 5 configuration on it with 4x 1TB disks.
After I had replaced the faulty drive in my DS 1010+ with a WD 3TB RED (I thought it would make sense that I’d replace the 2TB drive with a 3TB one as they are quite affordable), I really wanted to replace the other drives as well. They were still okay but by then been always-on and spinning for more than 7 years. Replacing them with the higher capacity ones also means, of course, that after the last drive would be replaced, I could extend my RAID and would receive an extra of about 3TB of free storage. That is, on top of having all new and very reliable WD 3TB RED drives in the machine.
So where am I now? I have just replaced the 4th drive and started the repair process of the RAID. I expect it to be through sometime tonight. That means I’ll be able to put the last drive in tomorrow and repair and extend the RAID. As far as I can tell right now, the extension of the RAID will be automatically performed after the final repair when the system has 5x 3TB drives but the RAID is still the same that it was on the 2x 2TB ones. I don’t expect that last operation to be quick by any stretch of the imagination. I once extended a RAID in my DS 408 when I put an additional 1TB drive into slot 4. The configuration up until then had been 3x 1TB RAID 5. That extension by 1TB took the DS 408 over a week! I’m not even kidding! With my DS 1010+ I’m looking at an extension by 5TB from 10TB to 15TB. Okay, the DS 1010+ is a more capable system but still…I’m really curious how long it’ll take. Before I start it, however, I’ll do a new backup of my data. I have all my digital images on it so that is a definite necessity.
In conclusion what I want to say here is how amazingly pain-free this whole process has been. And the craziest thing of all? The fact that the data was not only safe, I was able to work with the storage all the way through this process! You gotta love technology when it works!