I'm cheap. DS718+??

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I'm cheap. DS718+??

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Deleted member 5784

Background: I'm a sysadmin & a dev working mainly in linux/server space...happy with cli / technical stuff. Have had synos in the past.
My main home / soho NAS is a self-rolled HPE server running Ubuntu server LTS & ZFS. I love tinkering with this stuff in my spare time...sooooo I'm looking to buy a used & CHEAP syno box to play around with / use as a iSCSI target / cold storage backup destination etc. I'd also like to hack around with DSM internals.
Need ~12TiB storage, plus docker. No VMs on this box.
I've focussed on the old DS718+ as a possible solution for this. Its got ian x86-64 CPU for compatibility, has quicksync (prob not needed at moment), can go to 8GB Ram (?)...and best of all it's CHEAP and there's a lot of them around used. I'm in the UK btw.

Does this sound like a reasonable plan? It's not my main server so the relatively weedy h/w spec shouldnt matter; its only serious purpose would be cold storage of backup data. No VMs etc.

It comes with DSM6.something. Do I need to u/g DSM to 7.x?? I'm hearing that thsi is much more locked down than v6...is DSM7 still reasonably accessible via SSH and can one change scripts / install 3rd party pkgs etc (I know this stuff won't be supported by the mother ship...)? How many months/years have I got on 6 before i'm forced to upgrade / buy another unit??
Realise this is a bit vague but I guess i'm looking to check whether buying a 4year old syno at thsi point is madness or not.

Cheers
 
Solution
Does this sound like a reasonable plan?
Spot on. A great model even today.

Do I need to u/g DSM to 7.x?? I'm hearing that thsi is much more locked down than v6...is DSM7 still reasonably accessible via SSH and can one change scripts / install 3rd party pkgs etc (I know this stuff won't be supported by the mother ship...)?
Tread lightly with this. 3rd party elements will be limited and there is no official downgrade, so keep that in mind. Upgrade only if you have app/service need to do so.

How many months/years have I got on 6 before i'm forced to upgrade / buy another unit??
Should be good for a few more years. DSM 7 in its current version will be the last OS for X14 models, so with x18 ones you still have a...
Does this sound like a reasonable plan?
Spot on. A great model even today.

Do I need to u/g DSM to 7.x?? I'm hearing that thsi is much more locked down than v6...is DSM7 still reasonably accessible via SSH and can one change scripts / install 3rd party pkgs etc (I know this stuff won't be supported by the mother ship...)?
Tread lightly with this. 3rd party elements will be limited and there is no official downgrade, so keep that in mind. Upgrade only if you have app/service need to do so.

How many months/years have I got on 6 before i'm forced to upgrade / buy another unit??
Should be good for a few more years. DSM 7 in its current version will be the last OS for X14 models, so with x18 ones you still have a way to go. DSM 6 support in terms of new features will slow down and maintenance will include security options only, but like I said it should be for a few more years for sure .

Realise this is a bit vague but I guess i'm looking to check whether buying a 4year old syno at thsi point is madness or not.
Not at all. Some models (depending on the need) can last 10+ years so getting an older model now is not crazy at all.

Personally I still use this exact model as one of my main production boxes, with DSM6 actually, and have 0 issues. As long as you place it and target it for particular tasks, it should be fine.
 
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Solution
@Rusty, that's really helpful thx.
Could i ask how much RAM you're running in your 718+? The synology specs say max 6GB, but Intel ARC for the J3455 says max 8GB.
Are you intending to stay on DSM 6 on this box for the foreseeable future? Am trying to gauge how much 'pressure' synology apply to users to upgrade to 7.
Finally, any faults / problems? I know some models have been plagued with faulty CPUs but think they were older Intels.

cheers
 
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Though I have 2x 720+'s, the NAS doing all the heavy lifting here is a 718+

I've seen what happens when OS and workload exceeds the CPU & RAM of a NAS: (215J) The 718+ replaced the 215J as the workhorse NAS... The first 720+ was purchased for separate user's project... and second became a software experimental and backup unit..

At this point, the 718+ does everything I've thrown at it.. with no slowdown, and still has the reserve to be able to do more.... If an extra workload comes up.... So, I've not even considered to move the work done by the 718+ to a 720+. Each NAS has 4GB Ram Upgrade...
 
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Could i ask how much RAM you're running in your 718+?
12 in total (4+8)

Are you intending to stay on DSM 6 on this box for the foreseeable future? Am trying to gauge how much 'pressure' synology apply to users to upgrade to 7.
Considering its role I see no reason to update this particular device to 7. As I said it is something that you will have to decide on your own. Syno will not pressure you other then a) not give you support at one point and b) develop new features/apps/services that will be DSM 7 only.

This will again be a situation where you will have to decide if that will be a driver to update or not.

Personally I have multiple devices with separate roles, so no need to push all of them to 7. Will I do it at one point, probably, do I feel the need to do it now, not at all.

Finally, any faults / problems? I know some models have been plagued with faulty CPUs but think they were older Intels.
Since the x15 models with C2000 Intel bug there were no models reported with any massive bugs of that magnitude. Also along side 718 I own 918 as well (same CPU) that is also running with 0 issues 5+y so far.
 
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I have the DS218+ which is the dual core version of of the 2018 2 bays, the DS718+ being quad core. It came with 2 GB RAM and I added 4 GB more: for my usage (tech tinkerer running lots of packages for a small home scenario) the 6 GB was a good amount and I never noticed it needing swap. My 218+ is less used now but only because I wanted more storage capacity and got the DS1520+, so the 718+ would still be a more than capable device (within the range of expectation of a Synology NAS). All my NAS (see info above) are on DSM 7.1 and are working well (even the DS215j as a basic SMB file server).

The DS718+ comes with two RAM slots, but only one is easily accessible and that's the 'spare' for adding 4 GB more. The other slot requires the NAS to be disassembled to expose it. Google is you friend for this: lots of testing of putting in higher RAM values than the Synology spec. The DSx20+ series come with one RAM slot (accessible) and then other RAM is soldered.
 
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Ok sounds like a fit. I'll start looking for used 718+s, and will likely go for either 6GB/8GB Ram total.
Although this is intended as largely something to tinker with, UK energy prices might see it becoming my main NAS box until a world recession hits and prices start going down again...synos at this level may be slightly underpowered, but they do have the benfit of being pretty cheap to run iirc ;)

cheers all
 
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The answer to maximum RAM support is to look up the exact CPU and it will be rated accordingly. What I mean by what I say is that it can support more RAM than Synology spec shows.
Yes, I mentioned the Intel ARK CPU specs in post 3.

12 in total (4+8)
But it seems even that is not necessarily authoritative, as @Rusty seems to be running 12GB RAM in his DS718+, when even Intel claim 8GB max (Product Specifications)
I think sometimes the best way to find out these things is to just go ahead and experiment.

I shoudl be getting the DS718+ tomorrow, along with a Crucial 4GB stick. Should be plenty for now.
 
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But it seems even that is not necessarily authoritative, as @Rusty seems to be running 12GB RAM in his DS718+, when even Intel claim 8GB max (Product Specifications)
Excess RAM is used as cache. I have 16 GB installed. RAM is a relatively cheap performance enhancer. Steroids for your NAS. "RAID Rage" is good!
 
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