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Synology NAS first time configuration in easy steps

A while ago I decided to buy a second Synology NAS. I really enjoy the features and capabilities of the first one a DS416Play. So I have repeated the purchase for a different model. This time I went for a DS916+.

This model packs good hardware at an affordable price for a home lab. What I really like about this model is also the compatibility with different Hypervisors stacks including VMware VAAI, Windows Server, Citrix and OpenStack.

The list of available apps for the built-in operating system the Disk Station Manager (DSM) is exhaustive and covers a wide range of scenarios including backups, collaboration, application servers, snapshot orchestration and a lot more.

On this occasion I have decided to take the first time installation screenshots. The installation process is very easy to follow as the next screenshots below. As a follow up of this article the next step will show how to create an iSCSI LUN to use with VMware VAAI.

At this point we are ready to start with the installation of our Synology NAS.


How to install Synology NAS

The setup of the Synology NAS will use a web browser. As soon as the NAS receives an IP address we can access the IPAddress on port 5000 to begin the installation process. We can review high level info on the second page or click on connect to start.

Synology NAS Setup connect

Let’s click Set up button.

Synology NAS Setup

As a first step the wizard will deploy the latest version of the DSM including latest updates. It is recommended to give the option to connect to the internet at this stage. Alternatively it is possible to manually install the DSM operating system manually.

Synology NAS DSM install

Synology NAS will detect the installed drives and automatically select them for the format operation.

Synology NAS Format Drives

After formatting the drives the DSM software will be installed and updated to the latest release. The wizard requires roughly 10 minutes to complete. In reality this step is a lot quicker. In case of page refresh we can enter user “admin” and leave a blank password.

Synology NAS DSM setup

At this point we can create the credentials for the administrative account.

Synology NAS Admin Account

And this completes the first part of the installation about admin user.

Synology NAS Finish setup

Next we can specify when and how to run the software updates. From my experience the updates are quite frequent. So I would recommend to use the last option. In any case the widget on the DSM desktop and the status in the Control Panel provide information when a reboot is required upon updates installation.

Synology NAS DSM Updates


Synology QuickConnect feature

QuickConnect is a very handy feature which allows to connect to the Synology NAS from the internet without creating port forwarding rules.

Synology NAS QuickConnect

We can choose to send anonymous statistical information to Synology.


Synology Disk Group setup

At this point we are ready to start configuring the drives. In my case I will use 4 SSD drives of 1 TB each. Let’s select all of them to create a Disk Group.

Synology NAS Create Disk Group

A message will warn us about existing data. Actually these are new drives let’s hit ok to continue.

Synology NAS Disk Group Format

From this screen we can choose the RAID software to use. The available RAID types will be presented based on the number of detected drives. Since for this NAS I will perform more Reads than Writes I have opted for a classic RAID 5.

Synology NAS Disk Group RAID

Let’s enter a description for this Disk Group.

And a final screen to confirm the settings.

Automatically DSM will create the RAID 5 and format the Disk Group accordingly. Based on the RAID size it can take quite some time to complete.

We now have a Disk Group that we can use to create Volumes, Shares and iSCSI Targets.

Synology NAS Disk Group RAID summary

In the next article we’ll cover the steps on the creation of iSCSI Targets that are optimized for VMware VAAI.

About the author

Michele Domanico

Passionate about Virtualization, Storage, Data Availability and Software Defined Data Center technologies. The aim of Domalab.com is sharing with the Community the knowledge and experience gained with customers, industry leaders and like minded peers. Always open to constructive feedback and new challenges.


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    • Hi Eric,
      Thanks for our comment, I have roughly 50 VMs running on VMware 6.7u3.
      These are spread primarily on two NAS models (DS916 and DS620). Both of them running on SSD.
      Synology DS416Play with RAID 10 is configured primarily to serve Backups for data and services like DNS.
      I’m in the process of posting new articles on the current setup including Intel NUCs. The previous “version” of the homelab can be found here https://domalab.com/build-homelab-setup-idea/
      I hope to update the page soon.

      • Good stuff. Yeah, I’ve looked a few of your posts, including that one. I just purchased a Gen 10 NUC, and if all goes well may run VSAN for bit with a few of those. Until I can get a Synology anyway.

      • Hi Eric,
        Actually I’m very happy with ds620 model. Compact design and lots of options. I run this with all SSD. Pricewise is not that expensive. My home lab runs great on a 1Gb network with throughput nearing 990MB/s. I already have separate vlans and networks. Next project is to play and create VMware network resource groups for system, VMs and storage level on the vDS. That should be fun!

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