A couple of years ago I bought an Synology DiskStation DS1513+. I put five Western Digital Red 2TB NAS drives in it, and have been using it for all kinds of file shares ever since. Initially I bought it as shared storage for an VMware vSphere ESXi cluster based on NFS, later I started using it for family file shares based on SMB.
Some DiskStation DS1513+ specs.
|CPU||Intel Atom Dual Core 2.13 GHz|
|RAM Size||DDR3 2 GB (Expandable up to 4 GB)|
|Internal HDD/SSD||3.5” or 2.5” SATA(II) x 5|
|LAN||Gigabit x 4|
Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM)
Over the years I've been upgrading the software on the DiskStation called DSM to the latest versions but didn't realize that they added so much functionality. Currently it runs DSM 6.1 which supports things like infrastructure services (directory, DNS, DHCP, VPN), databases, web services (Apache and Nginx) and download solutions (usenet and torrents) but also photo, video and music streaming. You can find a complete overview here. A recent addition to the application portfolio is Docker which allows you to run all kinds of applications in containers on the DiskStation without a lot of hacking or advanced command line procedures.
I installed NextCloud on my DiskStation in a manual way, which wasn't to difficult with all the available information, but it did take a lot of steps and manual editing of configuration files. Besides that I use to have a Linux based home server running some websites and other stuff. I now installed Docker on the DiskStation and installed this Ghost based blog software with just a few mouse clicks. Download the image from the registry, and launch the container.
There are a lot of images in the Docker Hub that I would like to try and this is where the memory upgrade comes into play. The DS1513+ came with 2GB of memory, which you'll easily fill when deploying a couple of containers.
The factory installed 2GB comes in the form of a DDR3-1066 SODIMM which is installed on the motherboard, not clearly visible when you open the device.
Original Synology 2GB DDR3-1066 SODIMM front Original Synology 2GB DDR3-1066 SODIMM back
The original 2GB expansion pack isn't sold by Synology anymore, nor by one of their resellers in my region. After a online search I read that a lot of people where adding regular, non-Synology memory to their devices and had mixed results. I then realized I had two 2GB SODIMM's lying around that I took out my MacBook Pro a long time ago, to replace them with two 4GB ones.
2GB PC3-8500 SODIMM out of an Apple MacBook Pro
DDR3-1066 and PC3-8500 are the same thing, just different standards apparently. So I went ahead and popped one of these in the expansion slot on the motherboard. After turing the DiskStation back on, the Blue power LED kept blinking and nothing happened.
A quick Google search on Synology and blinking Blue LED gave a huge number of hits, some memory related. One link really helped me, and that was the one to the Synology Community Forum. On here was a thread related to expanding the memory of a DS1513+ from 2GB to 4GB. This thread mentioned that their where 1RX8 and 2RX8 SODIMM's and that they should not be mixed. The SODIMM I installed clearly said 2RX8 but I didn't know what type the original was. Someone mentioned taking out the original 2GB and replacing it with one 4GB 2RX8 module and that worked.
Since I had two modules, I decided to take out the original SODIMM and install my two 2RX8 modules, for a total of 4GB. The result a working 4GB machine, with lots of room for more Docker containers.
If you decide to expand or replace the memory in your Diskstation and want to make sure it is working really well, Synology has a build in memory test. You can run it via the Synology Assistent software which you can download from their website. Start the software and go to Preferences, select Memory Test and press Okay. On the main screen a Memory Test button will have appeared. Press it and you'll see an explanation on what the test does and the impact on the DiskStation which will be Offline for the duration of the test.