Synology 2019 Configuration Guide Part 2: Configure your Hard Drives or Storage pool (RAID or SHR)

If you are still thinking about which synology to buy, check this guide instead: Synology 2019 Buying Guide, but if you are the happy owner of a new Synology, here is a guide on how to configure your brand new Synology!!

Here is the list of upcoming posts:

  1. Install DSM in your Synology (operating system)
  2. Configure your hard drives: Storage pool configuration-This post
  3. (on the works as I configure the NAS)


Synology Storage system

If you haven’t, I recommend you to read my blog post on Storage systems before you read this, to make sure that you understand all the basic concepts for storage systems.



Are you back now? Ok, let’s get to it.

Now that you have installed your drives in your brand new Synology, you need to configure them.

Let’s start doing that by configuring our Storage pool in the storage manager:

  1. Click on “Main Menu”
  2. Click on “Storage Manager”
Storage Manager on synology

And now:

  1. Click on Storage Pool
  2. and click on “Create”
1 create storage pool
Create a Storage Pool on Synology

…But wait a second, what is a Storage Pool?

A storage pool allows you to configure multiple drives into a single storage unit or pool. So in my case where i have 4 harddrives, I can combine all into one storage unit. Great right? You dont need to worry what to install where or which drive has what.

There is one limitation though, if you have bought a mix of soft and hard drives, you can not combine them into one unit.

Ok, so are you ready now to continue? Let’s do it!

When you continue with the set up, you will be prompted to select between:

  1. Better Performance (RAID) or
  2. Higher Flexibility (SHR),

so which one should you choose?

2 raid or shr
RAID vs SHR in synology


The main difference between SHR and RAID is that SHR allows you to use disks of mixed sizes but at cost of speed and with mixed sizes I mean that you can combine a 3TB disk with a 10TB ( for example if you are upgrading).

…and no, you can’t do that with RAID. 🙁

Here is my thinking, I now have 4 10TB drives so I can choose RAID over SHR to get some gains in performance, but as I grow, I will need more space and having SHR I can expand with bigger drives as they become available in the market, so for me the choice of SHR is clear.

You can not move from RAID to SHR without formatting the disks, so think twice about this before deciding.

So choose between Performance or Flexibility and move on to the next part of the configuration:

raid 6
Screen if you choose raid.
shr configuration
Screen if you pick SHR

Now that you have chosen, the next step is to select how many disks you want in your storage pool.

I have all my disks in one storage pool.

Once you have that, it will warn you that your disks will be formatted.

4 format disks before raid configuration synology
Choose disks for your storage pool – Synology

Confirm you settings:

5 confirm raid settings

and when you think: -“I am finally at the end of the configuration steps”, Synology will tell you that you need to configure volumes before proceeding.

What? Havent I done that already?

7 create a volume synology
Create a volume in your Synology storage pool

One or multiple volumes?

That’s right, you can have multiple volumes in your storage pool.

I normally configure two: one for my cold storage and one for my hot storage. (there is no advantage on doing this, but I like the separation in my brain :))

There are other reasons why you might want to configure multiple volumes:

  1. For security reasons: e.g. users of volume #1 cannot absolutely access volume #2)
  2. For service reliability: to avoid that one application may (accidentally) use up all disk space and cause other applications that are storing data into a different folder of the same volume to fail due to lack of free space.

So, when you have decided how many volumes you want, go to:

  1. Volume
  2. Click create
8. crate a volumne ui synology
Create volumes in the storage manager – synology

As I was creating multiple volumes, I chose custom when configuring the volumes, but if you are going to configure only one, click on “Quick”

9 volumne mode synology
Volume modes -synology storage pools

10 choose a storage pool

Select the storage pool:

11 storage pool selected for volume
Select the storage pool for your synology volume

Allocate the volume capacity (if you are configuring multiple volumes):

12 allocate capacity

And you are finally done!!!

13 volumnes configured

It will take your Synology 1 or 2 days to configure everything, so be patient and in the meantime you can read more blog posts and configuration tips here 🙂

Soon you will get to enjoy your precious!!

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