I’m finally getting around to working on my large list of projects. These are things that I have started and then put on the back burner over the last few years; much to the disapproval of Helena. One of the top most items on my to-do list is a home network update. Thanks to the Synology DS220+, I am now able to get this done.
What is the point?
The backbones of our home network are actually pretty functional. We have the highest available speed of fibre broadband in our area, and all fixed location connected devices in the house use ethernet connections via a switch to our router. So there will not be a great deal of need with regards to changing much here. The router will be moving from its current behind the TV, to a more accessible location. Plus, the cabling will all be replaced with some new , higher quality cables. I intend for this upgrade to be as future proofed as possible, as there will be more and more IOT devices and the like added over time.
Other than moving some infrastructure around and replacing some cables, the big goal for this upgrade is to centralise the storage and accessibility of our files. This is where the Synology DS220+ comes in. Our current file storage system is limited to local storage on various devices, and some cloud integration via OneDrive. We will continue to use cloud services for backups to provide offsite redundancy, but will be moving to a NAS for local backups and file access across all of our devices. One of the largest benefits of our new, centralised storage system will be for Helena’s radio show; no longer will files have to be transferred from her MacBook to our studio PC via a USB stick.
The main aim of the home network, and all of the tech that I like to fill our house with, is to make our lives easier. There is no point in any of this if it makes things more complicated.
Functionality is the most important thing when working on the network, we don’t want to be without a connection. Aesthetics, and easy future upgradability are also high on my list of requirements. Helena is more than willing to put up with my love of tech, but that might not last if I make a mess of a system that is currently working.
The new hardware
The Synology DS220+ NAS features a dual core Intel Celeron J4025 clocked at 2.0GHz, with the ability to boost up to 2.9GHz. This unit ships with 2GB of DDR4 ram, that is officially user upgradable to 6GB. It is possible that you can upgrade the RAM in this NAS to more than 6GB, although this may invalidate your warranty. This higher RAM capacity is needed if you are looking to use the Synology DS220+ for running virtual machines. Although nothing special by todays CPU and RAM levels, I find it remarkable that this is the level of hardware now found in what is essentially a hard drive with a network port. I remember having a Windows XP machine back in the mid 2000s that had a Celeron and 512MB of RAM. This NAS would far out compute that old system.
The DS220+ is able to accept up to 108TB of storage capacity across its 2 drive bays. For the time being I am going to be throwing in a single 4TB Seagate Ironwolf drive, plus a 2nd 4TB Ironwolf in a month or two. The bulk of our data will not be moved onto the NAS until both drives are in place and RAIDed for extra protection. For the time being though, I will be focusing on getting the network properly setup and testing the file sharing system to ensure that it meets our needs.
I will post an update on how we are using this new hardware once it is fully integrated into or network.