Tag Archives: DS415+

Site downtime / Synology DS415+ memory expansion

Some of you may seen a short period of downtime for my blog just a little while ago. In order to compensate for any inconveniences it could cause for those who notice it, here is a blog post explaining why it had happened.

For quite a while now I host my WordPress blog on Synology DS415+ NAS box and I’m going to continue to do so (at least no plans to move back to wordpress.com or something else so far). So I recently bought this:

DS415+ RAM Upgarde 001

This is 8 Gb SO-DIMM DDR-III Kingston (KVR16S11/8 PC3-12800) which I bought from some local vendor in order to replace default 2 GB memory module which DS415+ NAS has installed in its default configuration. Officially Synology not supports memory expansion which is quite obvious from amount of work you need to reach out SO-DIMM slot 🙂 Also there is only one slot so you only can swap default module with new one. Number of people reported that they were successful with replacing memory modules on this box so I was pretty sure it will work out (don’t ask me about practical gains from memory increase – it’s a difficult part which I leave out in this blog post).

Entire process is straightforward and two question you may have is which memory modules will do and how to disassemble this box. Disassemble steps will be described below. As for memory modules I can say that factory preinstalled module labeled with DSL sticker and uses SEC chips (Samsung Electronics Co, Ltd.) and has the following specs: DDR3 1600 2GB CL11. So essentially I was able to replace it with 8 Gb PC-12800. By the way these fancy PC3-XXXXX numbers are module names in accordance with JEDEC standards, in particular PC3-12800 = DDR3-1600x standard, and 12800 is a theoretical bandwidth of a module.

So before replacing memory module we have 2 Gb:

Before - System Information

Below you may find disassembly process steps. First switching off and disconnecting the box, and placing it in some convenient place. As you can see working 24×7 this box collects loads of dust rather quickly:

DS415+ RAM Upgarde 002

Removing drives, in my case I have 2 6TB WD RED drives and 2 vacant places 🙂 :

DS415+ RAM Upgarde 003

Box without drives/drive cages:

DS415+ RAM Upgarde 004Removing screws on the back side of the box (3 in total). One on the top:

DS415+ RAM Upgarde 007

And two on the bottom:

DS415+ RAM Upgarde 005

DS415+ RAM Upgarde 008

The most difficult part is to remove this upper cover. After looking at the similar set of pictures posted by somebody on Synology forums I was confused by the pictures there highlighting some locks on the top of the device, don’t dry to apply force there, actually you have to push from the inside of the box part of the cover which is opposed to leds/button side – push it from the inside and try to slid this cover back so that it free from the two clips located where you push and slid it to free the cover from the locks on the top. I marked area near from the locks where you have to push:

DS415+ RAM Upgarde 010

Like I said it is most difficult part. You may need to watch this video to get an idea how exactly to do this step:

https://youtu.be/1PYp9CNdgn4?t=138

All the next steps are easy. Completely removing cover:

DS415+ RAM Upgarde 011

Removing 4 screws holding the metal frame for drives (two from each side):

DS415+ RAM Upgarde 014

Remove plastic part on the top of the metal cage which connected with one of the fans:

DS415+ RAM Upgarde 015

Unscrew and remove from its slot plate with SATA connectors:

DS415+ RAM Upgarde 017

Then remove metal cage completely:

DS415+ RAM Upgarde 018

Remove plate with ports:

DS415+ RAM Upgarde 019

After this unscrew 2 screws on the metal cover and you finally get access to main board and memory slot. Here it is with dust and pre-installed 2Gb memory module:

DS415+ RAM Upgarde 020

Old and new module side-by-side:

DS415+ RAM Upgarde 021

Main board with new module installed:

DS415+ RAM Upgarde 025

Next we repeat the step in reverse order and here is DS415+ box assembled again:

DS415+ RAM Upgarde 026

And once it is powered up we can see the final result of this process:

After - System Information

Now I have 8 GB of memory in my NAS, have you noticed that my blog works faster now? 😉 All the process took about 1,5 hour from switching off till power on with replaced memory module.

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Synolgogy DS415+

It has been a while since I decided to splash out and get a NAS for myself. As I need to run loads of VMs both for work related purposes and for fun (it’s cool when we can combine work and fun, right?) it was a bit easier for me to justify significant costs. As my initial intent was to run VMs from NAS my choice criteria were 2x1Gb Ethernet interfaces and 4 bays for building array both for performance and redundancy. I was not able to did full and deep research due to time constraints (we all have to do this all too often these days) and stopped my choice on Synology DS415+ which meets previously mentioned criteria and as well has following strengths: complies with some industry standards/certifications for virtualization, has mature and feature reach software.

So finally I bought this thing:

DS415+_BOX

Buying it in Russia was more expensive then buy it from Amazon and pay for delivery from US, but thanks to good friend of mine I was able to order it from German Amazon site and got it fast saving on delivery also 🙂 I also bought 6TB WD RED drive to use with it (and will add some more of those later, as they are pricey).

Quite useful video on choosing HDD drives for your NAS which helped me was “WD Red VS Seagate NAS Drives – with SPANTV”

After unpacking, installing and starting off using this thing I starting to realize what’s good and bad about having and using this thing. I will be adding details to this post by and by to share with other potential users of this.

Noise. You may always find reviews where they do measurements of noise level and give you some numbers for noise levels in decibels, but it is not telling you anything (or at least me). You may ever find YouTube videos sometimes where somebody switching on and off the device to give you idea about its noise level, which is a bit better. My experience: definitely not for your bedroom. Despite having 2 relatively silent fans and only one drive so far it’s noisy (a bit in a lumbering way, though maybe with more drives it will change tone of its noise 🙂 ) – definitely not something you may want to have in your bedroom or in silent environment when noise from this device becomes distinctive. it is also blinking from 2 sides – Ethernet ports LEDs and front LEDs (I wish I had software option to turn off all these lights, like I have in alternate firmware for my Wi-Fi router). So I moved it from my bedroom to some corner in the lobby and it’s OK now. And the side benefit from having NAS for me is that I finally get rid off HDDs in my desktop leaving only SSD drive in it – now it is truly silent PC 🙂 I do remember how much effort were necessary for building really silent PC but with SSD it’s finally silent for real (I have passive CPU and GPU cooling) – HDDs really slow and produce unpleasant noise especially because of vibration when case or furniture start to resonate – now it’s all solved with all data moved to NAS and NAS moved to the far corner in the lobby 🙂

Goodbye hard drives, data wiped and those can be re-purposed  for something:

Old_HDDs

My home desktop which runs Windows 10 TP and scheduled for total rebuild now runs with SSD only (120 GB OCZ Vertex 4) which translates not only into silent PC but almost immediate start up (there is a bit of a delay due to old non UEFI BIOS and occasional warnings about stopped CPU fan, as I use passive cooling for it in the form of huge chunk of aluminium named Cooler Master Hyper Z600 🙂 ).

Link aggregation/Fail-Over. It’s all not as good in the end for me – my idea was to use Ethernet link aggregation for speed but there is 2 stumbling blocks – no Wi-Fi routers (even most expensive of them) doesn’t provide support for LACP (Link Aggregation Control Protocol) aka IEEE802.1AX and neither do cheap Gigabit switches (I need to research this more). And I also run out of ports on my router to connect 2nd Ethernet cable for NAS, so at the moment I’m unable to use Ethernet fail-over configuration (which is work with my network devices), but this is not very critical. UPDATE (09.01.2016): Starting from DSM 5.2 you can do link aggregation with ANY switch using Synology Adaptive Load Balancing feature (you may have a look at this post of mine for details, though you have to ignore overly optimistic test results described there 🙂 I verified and those are not right – just measurement error).  

Standards/Cetifications claimed by Synology for DS415+. VMware Ready, Citrix Ready, Windows Server 2012 Certified, Windows Server 2012 R2 Certified.

VMware Ready means that it was tested by VMWare with ESXi 5.5 (5.5 U1/U2) with firmware v4503 in SW iSCSI configuration for VAAI-Block features, namely: Block Zero, Full Copy, HW Assisted Locking, Thin Provisioning.

iSCSI target. This is the thing you need to store your VMs 🙂 You can setup DS415+ to serve as block level or file level iSCSI target. Please refer to Synology documentation for further details: Best practices of using the Synology DiskStation to host iSCSI Storage

I will expand this post later when I clarify some things and got more experience with device.

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