What are the steps to install and configure a RAID 0 array on a Synology DS218+ for maximum performance?

Installing and configuring a RAID 0 array on a Synology DS218+ can provide your network attached storage (NAS) with exceptional performance. This guide will walk you through the steps necessary to ensure that your NAS setup is optimized for both speed and efficiency. Whether you are using your NAS for data storage, file sharing, or as a surveillance station, this guide will help you set up your RAID 0 array properly.

The Synology DS218+ is a versatile NAS device that offers robust features for small to medium-sized businesses and home users. With its bay NAS design, it can house up to two hard drives. RAID 0, or striping, is a configuration that combines multiple hard drives into a single storage space with the aim of maximizing performance.

RAID 0 splits your data evenly across the drives, enabling faster read and write speeds. However, it does not offer redundancy, so if one disk fails, all data is lost. For users prioritizing speed over redundancy, RAID 0 is a suitable choice.

Preparing Your Synology DS218+ for RAID 0 Setup

Before diving into the RAID 0 setup, there are a few preparatory steps you need to follow to ensure a smooth process. Proper preparation minimizes the risk of encountering issues during the setup phase.

Checking Compatibility and Updating Firmware

First, ensure that your Synology device is compatible with the hard drives you plan to use. Synology offers a list of supported drives on their website. It’s also crucial to update your NAS to the latest version of DiskStation Manager (DSM), Synology's operating system, for optimal performance and improved features. You can update the DSM through the Control Panel of your NAS.

Installing Hard Drives

To begin, power off your NAS server and install the hard drives. Open the bay covers and slide the drives into place. Ensure that the drives are securely connected. Power on the NAS, and you will hear a beep indicating the drives are recognized.

Creating a Synology Account

To manage your NAS effectively, you should create a Synology account. This account will allow you to access Synology’s various services and support. You can create an account during the initial setup wizard or later through the Control Panel.

Creating a RAID 0 Array on Synology DS218+

Once your NAS device is set up and your drives are recognized, you can proceed to configure the RAID 0 array. This configuration will help you achieve maximum performance from your Synology DS218+.

Accessing Storage Manager

Log in to your NAS through the DSM interface. Navigate to the Storage Manager in the main menu. The Storage Manager is where you can manage all aspects of your storage, including creating and configuring RAID arrays.

Setting Up the Storage Pool

In the Storage Manager, select the Storage Pool tab. Click on “Create” to start the process of setting up a new storage pool. You will be prompted to select the drives you installed earlier. Choose both drives for the RAID array.

Selecting RAID 0 Configuration

During the setup process, you will be asked to select a RAID type. Choose RAID 0 from the list of options. This configuration will combine your drives into a single storage space, maximizing your storage capacity and performance. Be aware that while RAID 0 increases performance, it does not provide redundancy.

Confirming and Initializing the Storage Pool

After selecting RAID 0, you will be prompted to confirm your choices. Review the configuration details and click “Apply” to proceed. The NAS will then initialize the storage pool, which may take some time depending on the size of your drives.

Creating and Managing Shared Folders

With your RAID 0 array set up, the next step is to create and manage shared folders. These folders will be the primary locations where data is stored and accessed on your NAS.

Creating Shared Folders

Navigate to the File Station in the DSM interface. Click on “Create” and select “New Shared Folder.” You will be prompted to name the folder and select the storage pool you configured earlier. Assign appropriate permissions to control who has access to the folder.

Organizing Data and Access Controls

Organize your data by creating multiple shared folders for different purposes. For example, you might have separate folders for business documents, media files, and backups. Use the Control Panel to assign user permissions, ensuring only authorized users can access sensitive information.

Mapping Network Drives

To facilitate easy access to your NAS from other devices on your network, map the shared folders as network drives on your computers. This can be done through your operating system’s network settings, allowing you to access files on the NAS as if they were on a local disk.

Optimizing and Maintaining Your RAID 0 Array

After setting up your RAID 0 array and creating shared folders, it’s essential to optimize and maintain your NAS to ensure long-term performance and reliability.

Regular Backups

While RAID 0 offers enhanced performance, it lacks data redundancy, making backups crucial. Use external drives or cloud services to back up your data regularly. Synology offers Hyper Backup, a powerful tool for creating and managing backups.

Monitoring Disk Health

Regularly monitor the health of your disks using the Storage Manager. Look for signs of wear and potential failure. Synology’s DSM provides tools for checking disk health and running diagnostics to identify issues before they lead to data loss.

Firmware and Software Updates

Keep your DSM and all installed applications up to date. Synology regularly releases updates that improve security, performance, and add new features. Enable automatic updates through the Control Panel to ensure your system is always running the latest software.

Performance Tuning

Optimize your NAS performance by adjusting settings in the Control Panel. For example, enabling Link Aggregation can increase network throughput if your network environment supports it. Review the DSM’s resource monitor to identify and address any performance bottlenecks.

Setting up a RAID 0 array on a Synology DS218+ can significantly enhance your NAS device’s performance, making it ideal for applications that require high-speed data transfer. By following the steps outlined in this guide, from preparing your NAS and hard drives to configuring the RAID array and creating shared folders, you can ensure a smooth and successful setup.

Remember to regularly back up your data and monitor your system’s health to mitigate the risks associated with RAID 0. With proper setup and maintenance, your Synology DS218+ will provide reliable and high-speed storage for your network needs.

In summary, RAID 0 on a Synology DS218+ boosts performance by combining multiple drives into a single, high-capacity storage space. While it lacks redundancy, the increased speed makes it a valuable configuration for users prioritizing performance. Follow this guide to maximize your NAS’s potential and enjoy the benefits of a well-configured RAID 0 setup.