Disk Station 1019+ 5-Bay NAS System
A great option for maintaining data and creating a productivity powerhouse.
Over the years, I’ve used a lot of different methods to backup my systems. Sometimes it’s a simple external drive that I plug into my computer to do a quick data dump and other times it’s a more extensive archiving process that requires a redundant server system like the ones that Synology provides for consumers and professionals alike. I’ve worked with 5-bay systems quite a bit through the years so when I learned about Synology’s DiskStation DS1019+ 5-Bay NAS system, I thought I’d give it a try.
The DS1019+ 5-Bay NAS system is capable of transcoding up to 2-channel, 4K video simultaneously and providing video streaming to its users. It comes with built-in applications including collaboration, file sharing, data backup, and recovery options. The system is advanced enough that it’s even ready for virtualization deployment. Designed to accelerate office productivity, the DS1019+ is compact in a simple, elegant desktop chassis. In addition to the system’s 5 hard drive bays, the DS1019+ also comes with dual native M.2 NVMe SSD slots, which allows you to build a cache without occupying any of the drive trays.
- CPU: Quad-core 1.5GHz (burst up to 2.3GHz)
- Memory: 2 x 4GB DDR3L memory module pre-installed
- Performance: Over 225 MB/s reading and writing in encrypted
As mentioned above, the DS1019+ integrates a backup solution into its architecture. It has various backup applications available to safeguard data on any device. These applications include:
- Active Backup for Business: Centralize backup tasks for VMware, Windows, and file servers. Restore whatever you want fast and reliably when needed.
- Hyper Backup: Comprehensively back up your data to a local shared folder, an external device, another Synology NAS, an rsync server, or a public cloud to ensure data safety.
- Desktop Backup: Safeguard your PC with Cloud Station Backup. Effortlessly back up data stored on macOS to Synology NAS with Time Machine.
- Active Backup for Office 365/G Suite: On-premise backup solution with a centralized dashboard. Optimize storage efficiency with single instancing and block-level deduplication technology.
Users also have the option of turning the DS1019+ into a 4K Multimedia Server. You have the ability to access and stream 4K content directly from the system from anywhere. The DS1019+ supports 4K H.264/H.265 online transcoding via Video Station and DS Video.
The system uses a Btrfs file system to provide Flexible Shared Folder/User Quota System, Snapshot Replication, File or Folder level data restoration, and Automatic file self-healing. Some of the additional services that are “Powered by Synology” include:
- DSM UI: Award-winning operating system with an intuitive user interface and powerful capabilities.
- Snapshot Replication: Provides schedulable and instantaneous data protection for shared folders and virtual machines on iSCSI LUNs in the event of disaster.
- Security: Comprehensive built-in security tools are constantly updated to tackle evolving threats and protect your devices.
- File Server/Management: Powerful built-in file management and sharing services.
- Public Cloud Integration: Backup and synchronize data easily between your public cloud accounts and your NAS.
- All-in-one server: Save additional investment by integrating various network services, web/mail services, management applications into your NAS.
For a full list of the DS1019+ Specs, click here.
In the interest of full transparency, I want to admit here that to this point in my career with technology, I have never set up a ‘real’ shared server from scratch. What I mean by that is that I’ve really only used network attached storage as storage. Many systems out there have other functions just like the Synology, but to date, I’ve not explored those options. When it came to setting up the Synology 1019+ we decided we wanted to use it for more than just a shared storage drive. We also wanted it to be our hub of network operations for MacSources. Thanks for Synology’s DiskStation Manager operating system, this type of set-up is possible. In the past, we’ve attempted to use different cloud-based services to share information with our remote associates, but we loved the idea being able to house all of those operations — storage, chat, note-taking — from a single secure machine that was located physically in our headquarters.
The initial set-up of the DiskStation is very simple. You remove the server box from its shipping carton and install your drives by using the provided key to unlock each of the bays. We opted to load the DS1019+ with four Western Digital RED Pro NAS HDDs. These are powerhouse performing drives that are designed specifically to work with NAS systems. Even though there are five bays in total, you can install less than that if you wish. It is recommended that you have at least two drives though since part of the design of a NAS is to build redundancy for your files. Once the drives are installed, you will want to connect the Disk Station to your network using an Ethernet connection. At this point, connect the power cable to a power source and turn the Synology on. Once it is finished booting up, you will go to find.synology.com to finish the set-up. Unlike some other NAS I’ve used (Drobo, MyCloud by WD, etc.), there are some additional programming steps you have to take before using the NAS freely. Even if your intention is simply to use it as a storage solution only, you will still have to allocate space to storage pools and define volumes for the system to work properly. It’s not difficult to set-up, but it is an extra step that is required of the user that some NAS systems don’t require.
Like so many plans and systems, you want to begin with the end in mind. So, really take some time to plan what you want your Disk Station to be for your needs before you just start installing software packages. There are dozens of pre-made application packages within the Synology infrastructure and it is easy to get lost in it. I still find myself trying to add in additional packages in order to get the most out of our system. My main advice here is to really take time to plan out what you want before you start setting it all up. For the purposes of this review, I’m going to focus on three main packages that I used to set-up our Disk Station — Cloud Station Server, Note Station, and Chat. Keep in mind that we are still building our system and there are plenty more options that might help us to achieve a really nice shared productivity machine.
CLOUD STATION SERVER
There are several options for file sharing on the Disk Station, but we determined that Cloud Station Server was our best option. It is a file sharing service that allows users to synchronize files between the Disk Station and multiple client computers as well as mobile devices. In order for this system to work properly the Cloud Station Service package needs to be installed on your server and then client utilities need to be installed on each of the users’ devices. Synology has a great wealth of information available through their web support. If you would like the full details of how to set-up Cloud Station Server, check out this article on the Synology Knowledgebase.
Prior to setting this application up, I defined the users of the system and also used Storage Manager to define set-up the volume and storage pool. Then I used File Station to define the storage folder locations. If I had one criticism of the Disk Station infrastructure it would be this — make the storage set-up process simpler so users don’t have to shuffle through four different applications (including the Control Panel to create users) just to get it in working order. Once all of that was set-up, I was able to enable one of the storage folders to be the ‘shared’ folder for our storage cloud.
This is without a doubt the feature we use the most. We have used the Cloud Station Server to pass files and folders back and forth as well as share them with people outside our organization. The system has worked really well. There was only one issue with an outside individual trying to use a link to download files that we provided to them. It turned out to be operator error and not any fault of the Synology system.
This application was integral to our uses because we needed a secure way to have a running conversation that wasn’t built upon our standard text messages. Synology Chat is laid out very much like Slack and it’s designed to transform the way collaborators communicate. You have the option to create public and private channels, send encrypted messages and most importantly, chat anywhere. Chat was probably the easiest system to set-up within the Disk Station. Once the app was installed, each user simply had to download his/her desktop and mobile apps and log into them. The only thing I’m not a huge fan of with this app is how notifications are handled. With Slack, if you are offline, the app will still send you a notification either as a pop-up or an email. There doesn’t appear to be any such option for Synology Chat and that makes it easy to miss messages when they come in.
Synology Note Station was a familiar site to see when I opened it for the first time. It reminds me a lot of Evernote. There are lots of different options for recording a note and lots of options for sharing ideas with collaborators. The To-Do List is a handy way of organizing tasks and keeping projects in-line. The main reason we integrated this app into our system is so we could share on-going projects with each other. This is different from the running chat log from Synology Chat because the note is stationary. One of the things we really like about this app is that you can use it individually as a task manager or as a group collaboration tool. The best part about this is that it’s fully functional without having a subscription like some note-taking applications.
The Synology Disk Station 1019+ is built for high-quality performance and it does not disappoint. The unit is quiet, functional, and versatile. Users can design a system on the DS1019+ to meet their individual or group needs. We’ve not had any issues with performance (for details on HDD performance, check out our review of the WD RED Pro HDD) and we think that any home or small business would benefit from the addition of this Disk Station. Some users may want to use this NAS for video streaming, IP camera management, or data backup and while the DS1019+ can definitely handle all those activities with flying colors, no one should discount how it can become a productivity manager as well.
Originally published at https://macsources.com on May 29, 2019.