It is incredible that you could run out of disk space with 24 terabytes of storage, but with all the home movies and photos, it is very possible. I was at 95% capacity and things were getting very flaky, so bit the bullet about got a Synology DS2413+. This is a 12-drive array.
They have done a great job of the software, but it still takes quite a few steps to get it run and tweaked. Here’s a guide:
1. The best drives in terms of price performance seem like the Seagate 4TB. About $189 or so. You want to get at least four drives, so you can redundancy in case two disks fail.
2. The disk drives are locked, you need to find the key and put it at the top and turn it.
3. The drives go in and unusually, you have to screw them in with the tiny screws (there are four at the bottom of the drive). Makes for a really small disk enclosure though. You have to install the drives before you boot the thing. Then attach the two ethernet cables.
4. Press the power button on the front and when the box boots, you have to figure out its IP address. On a Mac, I used Lanscan (a free utility) to find something that comes up with the id called sinology, start your browser and go to that IP address. The user name is “admin” and there is no password.
5. It will take you through installation. Unfortunately, the default is 1-disk redundancy SHR, so after all the install, you actually have to delete the volume and start again. And there is no way to get SHR-1 to SHR-2 either 🙁
6. To get amazing performance, you should attach both ethernet cables and install Link Aggregation so that it uses both ethernet ports together (you get aggregate bandwidth of 2 ports which is nice if you are doing lots of file copies). This is hard to setup, but basically starting with the Synology side, click on control panel and network. Choose network/network interface/create bond. You need to have a network switch that supports link aggregation (most do, but check first). This is called 802.11ad.
7. Then go to IP v4 and click on enable jumbo frames and choose 9000. This improves large file access on gigabit ethernet.
8. Now the bond is created and you have to figure out how make your switch accept this. On my Netgear GS, you browse to the web interface. Again, I figured this out, by using Lanscan to find a netgear box. The default password is “password”. Then you have to go to Network/Switching/LAG/LAG Configuration and you can create one. Then to LAG Membership and figure out what actual ports you have connected the Synology to and have it join the LAG1 group and voila, you will see it only has one IP address.
9. Now to improve performance, the thing comes with a single 2GB module, find a DDR3 2GB SO-204, basically laptop memory. You need to remove the left panel. There are two screws on the back and when you open it, there is a memory module space for it.