Expanding storage on DS218+

Greetings to the group.

I currently have a DS218+ with a single 6TB Ironwolf drive running the Channels DVR server. This same Synology box also runs a Plex server for movies and old transplanted WMC recorded TV shows. I'm at about 70% capacity on the single drive right now, with an empty drive bay yet to expand in to.

I tried reading up online on the best expansion options for this scenario, but I figured I would ask the group at large here as well for some advice. When I set up the Synology box about a year ago, I just accepted the default SHR option (without data protection, since there was only a single drive). If I purchase another, larger Ironwolf drive to install into the current 2nd empty drive bay, what are my options for expanding the volume from there?

I don't want to have to back up all current data somewhere else for any type of destructive upgrade, if I can avoid that. Does Synology have options for just expanding the size of the current volume by dropping in another HDD? I have never expanded a Synology box before, so before I go buying any hardware, I want to make sure I understand my options.

I'm not overly concerned about data redundancy, as the only thing stored on this are media files (movies, DVR recordings, and photos that are backed up elsewhere). It would suck to lose things like DVR recordings, but my understanding is that if I really wanted data redundancy for a setup like this, AND more storage space, I would have to buy 2 larger drives and remove the current one.

For folks who have expanded a 2 bay Synology box already set up with SHR with just a single drive installed, what would you recommend? Thanks in advance for any advice!

You can't expand the volume size with SHR by adding a single drive. It will be a raid1 (mirrored) array.

You can, however, add a second drive as a separate volume (so you would have 2 different drives to use separately). Or, you can back up your data (externally), delete the SHR array, and reformat as RAID0, which would expand the volume size to use both drives but provide no redundancy.

Alternatively, if you must keep the SHR, you could get two larger drives, maybe 12TB. Then put one in to create the SHR mirror and wait for it to create the mirror. Then replace the 6TB with the other 12TB. And wait for it to rebuild. Then expand the array to 12TB. Now you have still have a mirrored set, but twice as much storage. And all your data would be retained.

And as a final solution, you could get a DS918+ or DS1019+, move your existing drive over there and it will just migrate over with all the data. Now you can add multiple drives for expansion. With 3+ drives, SHR would be equivalent to a RAID5, giving you the total drives - 1 of storage space.

Thank you for that great info. Based on that, I’m thinking adding a 2nd drive as a whole separate volume would be the way to go, for me. I could keep the original drive for Channels DVR, and the second drive could be all of the Plex content. Right now the lion’s share of data usage is from Plex anyway.

Just to confirm, even though I have a single drive SHR setup now, I can still throw in another drive and set that 2nd drive up as a completely separate volume, right? And then in Windows or DSM or anywhere else, they will show up as 2 completely separate drives, if I understand everything correctly...?

you can do that. It is all configurable is DSM Storage Manager. If it prompts you to expand the existing SHR when you put the drive in, just say that NO you don't want to do that, because SHR with 2 drives is always going to be just a mirror for redundancy.