Articles, Blog

The END of my Storage Nightmare?! – Synology DX513 Expansion Bay Installation & Overview

October 10, 2019

We’re finally approaching the end of my
“storage nightmare” saga. I think. I hope. To catch everyone up, in spring 2016, I had
my main storage raid crash and lost a BUNCH of data, got a QNAP NAS in for review, moved
what I could save to that while I fixed my computer, and then a SATA port on that NAS
died, swapped units and it erased my Raid Volume, losing a lot more data. I also started trying to heavily leverage
Amazon’s alleged “Unlimited Cloud Storage Plan” that I had picked up holiday 2015
to try and save my bacon. Amazon killed their unlimited plan in the
US, and I haven’t had the raw disk space at home to download it, and began to panic
earlier this year about what will happen to THE REST of what little footage archive I
have left. Through the year, I’ve developed a working
relationship with Synology. And my… incredible contact over there has
dealt with my panic and stress and worked to sponsor me with some storage. First we set up my “Edit Bae” that I made
a video on early in the year so I had reliable working storage to edit from with their Disk
Station DS916+. I’ve been keeping all of my footage on there
and editing right off of it. Now, they’ve sent out the DX513 expansion
bay for the DS916+, and we’ve partnered with WD to utilize their incredibly reliable
Red NAS drives for this expansion, and we’re going to be setting up an even bigger storage
array in the near future. But first, the expansion. My problem was that I had roughly 40TB of
raw data up on Amazon Cloud Drive that I needed to download as soon as possible. But I didn’t have 40TB of usable space. As I worked on my massive 8 plus Terabyte
OBS Master Course, my main 12 to 15 terabyte edit bay quickly filled, leaving me no room
to keep trickling Amazon backups down to my network. I consulted with Synology and the best course
of action to just get the Amazon data downloaded for me to sort and deal with once I knew it
was safe was their DX513 expansion unit. This is a 5-bay unit that just connects to
the main DS916+ NAS via an eSATA connection. Installation could not have been easier. Literally just screw in the cable and plug
in the power cord. In the NAS, WD sent over 5 of their 8TB Red
drives – a very reliable and respectable drive among data-hoarders such as myself. My main desktop storage drive in my workstation
rig is actually a 8TB Red, too. Labeled as “Jean Grey” in Windows – for
those of you who comment on my drive names. These disks are reliable and perform quite
well in exactly these scenarios – and you can virtually always get a great deal on them. They even have 10TB Reds, too! I connected the expansion bay, booted everything
up, and went to the Storage Manager in the Disk Station Manager OS. Here I told it to expand my volume. I just want all the data in one place, right? Welll….. I’m not sure I’d recommend doing that. Setup time would’ve been a small number
of seconds if you make a new volume with the expansion. I, however, told it to expand my existing
15TB raid that was already 98% full and it took an entire week – limiting the NAS’s
performance throughout. I wasn’t exactly prepared for this, but
once I realized it was OK to keep using the NAS during this process, it wasn’t a huge
deal. Things actually sped up significantly once
I was able to utilize a couple external drives to offload about 4TB so it had less data to
crawl and more space to move the bits around on the platters. Once completed, I now had roughly 49 terabytes
of working space, plus some redundancy thanks to the Synology Hybrid Raid and btrfs. Perfect. That’s… really all it took. This is why I’ve been in love with Synology’s
systems so much for the past couple years now – their DSM operating system works much
like a normal desktop OS, and managing file systems and the like doesn’t get complicated
at all – unless you want it to. Despite being a storage nerd, I get easily
overwhelmed by the plethora of tiny details and inner-workings of the various file systems
and raid types. I understand the basics, but I don’t want
to be responsible for making all of the correct decisions at any given moment. I want a smart system that lets me choose
my needs and handles the rest for me – and Synology’s network attached storage servers
do just that. Now, as an edit bay, I’ve actually sacrificed
a potential performance opportunity by not utilizing a SSD Cache. I needed as much raw capacity as possible,
so I filled every slot instead of utilizing that handy feature of Synology’s hardware. But to be honest – it wouldn’t have made
a huge deal for me, anyway. My high-bitrate DNxHR and ProRes footage is
currently fully saturating my gigabit network, and I only work on projects once – for the
most part – and then am done with them, so only minor graphics assets and music tracks
that I use frequently would be served by caching. In the next phase of my storage build-out,
I’m making a similar sacrifice for this reason. I’ll be making the push to 10 gigabit networking
to eliminate the 1gbps transfer bottleneck, which I’m unbelievably excited for. Until then, I’m just grateful to be pulling
what data I can from Amazon’s horrendous service and to at least know my data is safe
for now. The next phase will involve building out enough
storage to last a while – so I’m not making these update videos quite so often. With my OBS Course project taking up 8 terabytes
– clearly bulk storage is a necessity, and I’m beyond hyped to show you what we’re
doing next. My undying gratitude to Synology and Western
Digital for sponsoring this video… series… my sanity… and making this all happen. Product links to Synology’s servers will
be in the video description, and go pick up some WD drives for your storage needs. I’m EposVox, here to make tech easier and
more fun, and remember — no data is EVER safe on Raid0. And to ALWAYS have backups in multiple places. Don’t be me. Don’t do it. EposVox is a Patreon-supported production. Our videos would simply not be possible without
the support and generosity of our patrons – whom you can see on-screen now. If you’d like to join the inner-circle and
get early access to videos, among other things, go to to learn more.


  • Reply EposVox November 28, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    Bonus points if you can guess what camera I shot the a-roll video here with!

  • Reply Capp00 November 28, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    I'll take one. You know the mailing address. Thanks in advance!

  • Reply Tom Whitchurch November 28, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    Can you mix different drive sizes?

  • Reply Eyad Isa November 28, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Thumbs up

  • Reply KryptQG November 28, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    Are you a Yu-Gi-Oh fan? Cause I am 😉

  • Reply de_dust November 28, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    what sexy font renderer do you use at 2:03 or is it just my eyes??

  • Reply Nisco Racing November 28, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    In other news.
    "IBM and Sony cram up to 330 terabytes into tiny tape cartridge"
    (201 gigabits of data per square inch)

  • Reply DanoGames November 28, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    Hey i saw this guy on twitch!

  • Reply FrozenDeadYeti November 28, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    Don't use btrfs for a nas it's such a buggy file system for a nas.

  • Reply DVZN Media November 28, 2017 at 9:08 pm


  • Reply MongerTv November 29, 2017 at 3:30 am

    That Price Tag Ouch! almost the coast of a separate PC in itself.

  • Reply Isaac Baracker November 29, 2017 at 4:58 am

    Pls do a full storage setup video!

  • Reply mario soto November 29, 2017 at 5:14 am

    Red's are good I decided to try the red pro and 3 months later I've had corruption 🙁 going back to regular red's.

    Hey you should look into aws cold storage for long term back ups. It's great for storing video files you don't use. Well backing up original videos.
    The consumer side of Amazon storage is not great but aws they're great. Use them for 4 years now.

  • Reply Shawn Ashe November 29, 2017 at 11:27 am

    Be very careful.. raid is not backup.. its reliability. You can still easily lose the whole thing if one drive dies while another is being rebuilt. Setup a second offsite NAS, having DSM cloudsync the key shared directories so that you always have offsite backup as well. It would still be good to look into offline tape storage for a lot of that data that you are just storing and not currently using. (1,2,3: computer to nas, nas to tape, nas to offsite nas)

  • Reply Jibbston November 29, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    What would you recommend for someone who wants to get away from a 1 internal boot/storage hdd + 2 external passport drives setup. I’m thinking I want to get an sdd boot drive for sure and ditch my usb drives. But I’m not sure I, nor my wallet is ready for any RAID setups yet.

    My main usage is mostly archiving and editing videos and pictures.

  • Reply Andrea Trybloom February 24, 2018 at 9:52 am

    i wish to join dx513 with my synology ds916+, but i have 2 questions: 1) i use jbod system with 4x8tb, is it possible to continue with others 5x12tb with this unit? i need a lot of space….; 2) in future, will be possible to join another dx513 in cascade with the first one? thanks for your reply 🙂 good review , mate !

  • Reply Gavin Campbell June 10, 2018 at 5:00 am

    Your doin' it wrong.

  • Reply Russell Starner October 14, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    Why did you buy a two-bay Synology unit instead of a 4 bay or larger unit?

  • Reply Paweł Pawlak November 3, 2018 at 11:00 am

    Hello !

    I would like to extend my DS916 + with DX513, but I can not find what maximum transfer has the volume of DX513. Can you check it? It will probably be slower than on disks installed in DS916 + only how much? ESATA limits the speed of the volume up to 125MB / s (sata1) or up to 250MB / s (sata2)?

  • Reply lordme88 March 28, 2019 at 11:47 pm

    Nice information.

    I will be adding the 517 expansion unit on my 918+.
    But as of current time, I run with RAID0 with cloud sync backup on system files on the NAS due to storage needed but will change to SHR when I get the 517 unit.

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