A few years ago I was in touch with someone at Synology and was able to secure as DS920+ along with a DX517 expansion NAS unit which I have written reviews about. Fast forward to 2023 and I was again in touch with Nick Kozup at Synology, who graciously helped me secure a DS923+ NAS for testing and blogging.
The DS923+ is the latest version in the 9xx line of Synology NAS products and has many new features, including an updated CPU based on AMD – Ryzen R1600 which is a 2-core processor. The unit also supports up to 32GB of RAM, 10GB PCIe network add-on, NVME drives for caching, and has on-board 2 x 1GB NICs.
The following is a list of things my unit was installed with –
- Additional 16GB of RAM for a total of 20GB (includes the already included 4GB stick) – my plan is to get another 16GB stick at a future date to upgrade it to the max 32GB
- 10GB network card option
- 2 – 10TB Seagate Ironwolf NAS drives — I ordered 2 more of these drives from Newegg to fill all four slots
- 2 – 400GB NVME SSD drives for Cache
Here is the unit packaging once I opened the box –
So the unboxing was complete but in order to complete my setup I had to wait on the additional 2 x 10TB Seagate Ironwolf drives that I ordered from Newegg. Once those arrived it was time to assemble the DS923+ NAS – “Avengers Assemble”.
So the first install was the extra 16GB RAM stick was you need the drive caddies out of the unit. Next I installed the 2 x 400GB NVME SSD drives to be used for the cache in the bottom of the unit. Next I installed the 10GB network add-on card by removing the cover, inserting the PCIe card to the back of the unit and then putting the screws back in to hold it in place. Finally the 10TB drives (4) were installed in the drive caddies.
Next I connected the power and the network cable to the 10GB card and powered the unit on. I used the Synology Assistant tool that finds NAS devices on your network. The trouble with this is that my new DS923+ was not being found for some reason. So I unplugged the 10GB port and connected to one of the 1GB ports on the back. Voila! The device showed up in the Synology Assistant application –
So I clicked the Not Installed link, which opened my web browser showing me my new NAS and that it was ready for setup –
So I clicked the Install button and began the process of setting up my device. The first screen is the installation of Diskstation Manager where you can select from two options –
- Download the latest release from the Synology website
- Upload an update PAT file – manual update
So I chose the manual option as I wanted to install DSM 7.2RC on my new NAS. I selected the file and then clicked the next button to proceed. It asks you to confirm then begins the installation and reboot process –
It took about 15 minutes or so to install the DSM software and reboot the unit. Once it came back up the Welcome to DSM 7.2 screen was showing where you click the Start button to begin the rest of the device setup.
I then proceeded to create a Storage Pool from my 4 x 10TB drives in a RAID5 configuration which gave me a total of 27.3TB of usable capacity. This also creates a new Volume for you as well. Next was created the RAID1 for Caching using the installed 2 x 400GB NVME SSD drives. The whole setup looks like this now –
Once I had my storage set up it was time to –
- Add my hosts for the WWNs to allow iSCSI LUN access
- Create 3 LUNs of 8TB each and map to the Synology iSCSI Host – this grants access to all my other hosts and is a best practice for mapping by Synology versus host mappings
- Add the 3 LUNs to VMware and create VMFS volumes
- Create a cluster within VMware for Storage DRS setup
- Update the Synology Storage Console VM to the latest release, 1.1.3-0104, which is compatible with DSM 7.2
I was now ready to begin the migration process of my VMs from the old DS920+ to the DS923+. The new NAS will be used for all my VMware workload via iSCSI and I am repurposing the DS920+ as a backup repository as well as using the Backup for Business application for my home devices and Synology Drive to backup photos from my Android phone.
For those that might be asking what Synology Storage Console is – this is a VM that allows the integration and optimization of your Synology volumes provisioned in VMware and manages the volumes from within the vCenter Web UI to expand. More information can be found here – https://kb.synology.com/en-global/DSM/help/StorageConsoleforVMware/storageconsoleforvmware?version=7
That now completes my initial setup of the new DS923+, and it is time to get using and putting the unit through its paces. I will be doing more blogs on this unit as I get working with it more, including setting up snapshots for my LUNs and replicating them to my DS920+. The DS920+ is going to be a backup to the current NAS so we will see what features I can unlock.
I hope you found this article useful and look for more on the Synology DS923+ in the future. Until then, happy blogging!