Synology DiskStation DS416 4-bay High-Performance NAS Review

Setup – Initialization and Storage Options


Initialization

Setting up a Synology NAS is really simple and the included Quick Start Guide has the few details you’ll need to get started., Alternatively, you could also download the Synology Assistant that can help with a lot more than just the initialization.

As coincidence will have it, two of the drives I loaded the Synology DS416 with had previously been used in another Synology NAS and as such it offers me easy migration from the old system and to the new. If all disks were fresh or cleaned before use, it would show Initialize instead of Migrate.

The option to easy migrate data from an old NAS to a new is great and as you can see below, you got several options in this regard. You can make a clean installation where only your files are kept or a full migration that includes most settings too.

On a fresh installation, the screen below would be the first you’ll see and this is where we install the operating system. You can let it install the latest version from Synology’s web servers or you can provide a local file manually.

The overall installation doesn’t take long, but how long will depend on your internet speed in case you selected to install DSM from an online location as well as the size and speed of the installed drives.

After the installation, you will need to provide a few basic information to the NAS. The name of the device so you easily recognize it in your network neighborhood as well as the administrator username and password. You can optionally choose to share your network location with Synology for easier reach.

You’re also able to define the update settings for DSM during the initialization. My recommendation is to download and install the latest updates automatically, but the choice is yours.

The Synology QuickConnect feature is a simplified DDNS service hosted directly by Synology itself and for their devices. It allows for much easier connection to your NAS when you’re away from home and it saves you the hassle of setting up a normal DDNS service.

The last thing you’ll need to choose during the initialization is whether to install the recommended packages or not. You can always add, remove, and change this later. The packages will be downloaded from the internet, so in case you have a slow connection, you might want to skip this for later.

After the installation finished, you’ll be greeted with a small guide that explains where the basic functions are located, followed by the popup of the built-in help system.

If you didn’t choose to install DSM updates automatically, you might want to visit the update feature found in the control panel. Synology releases updates quite frequently and it’s always worth it to have the latest features and bug fixes.

Storage Options

Synology NAS’ will set the drives up as a Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR), but that might not be what you had in mind. Luckily it’s very easy to change and you got all the options on the DS416 that you’ll want.

The initial Storage Manager page will show an overview of your storage setup, both volumes and iSCSI usage. It will also tell you whether your setup is healthy or not.

You can create multiple volumes and Disk groups on the DS416 and which you pick is down to your needs. SHR1 or RAID5 setups are probably the most common for a 4-bay NAS.

You can also get a detailed view on all the installed drives as well as their health, run S.M.A.R.T. tests and more.

The DS416 comes with support for iSCSI LUNs and Targets. iSCSI is supported on almost any modern operating system and it is a very efficient way to share storage and optimize the distribution. You can create up to 10 iSCSI Targets or LUNs.

The Hot Spare function allows you to designate drives to jump in anywhere a drive fail should occur. It is a great addition to the normal RAID functionality for those who need extra security and peace of mind.