Backups to the Next Level; A Second Synology NAS

Backups to the Next Level; A Second Synology NAS

I have previously mentioned that I use Synology’s Hyper Backup for cold/long-term storage of my personal data files. This backup scheme has worked for many years, I had my original Synology NAS DS216, and continued with my current NAS, the DS1019+.

The basic process has not changed much. I use two sets of USB external drives of either four or five terabytes to back up my personal files (documents, pictures, etc.) to one set and my Windows system backups to the other. While this method has worked, it also requires custom scripting to turn off the external drives when not in use, as I explained in the article linked in the above paragraph. Also, I am noticing I have essentially no room right now to expand my backup paradigm to be far more encompassing and “enterprise” for my household computer needs without adding more sets of external USB drives. Hanging these external drives off of my Synology NAS is a bit clunky and not very elegant.

And it is also worth noting my NAS drive capacity is currently limited to 8 TB, as I have not upgraded the drives in many years. You can do the simple math that 4 + 5 (the external USB terabytes) are either at or very near my current NAS capacity.

To stay within the limits of my limited capacity, I do things like ignore RAW image files from my Synology Drive backups on my main PC. RAW files are extremely large, usually over 100 megabytes each. Ideally, I would like to save those, at least for limited times e.g. up to a year.

For a while, I have been pondering how to (1) expand my backup paradigm to include all of my computers and computing needs and (2) break the need for external USB drives. I will obtain these objectives via two main approaches.

(1) Obtain new NAS drives and reconfigure the NAS drives to leverage more space via Synology Hybrid Raid (SHR).

(2) Set up a second Synology NAS exclusively to handle backups via Hyper Backup, to replace the external USB drives.

For the new drives, I bought a bunch of 14 TB Western Digital Pro NAS drives from during their Black Friday sale. I am going to do some creative moving around of apps and reconfiguring, but in short I will convert my current two-disk SHR 8 TB setup, which uses two 8 TB NAS drives, into a three-disk SHR setup of a whopping 28 TB with three 14 TB drives.

When buying new NAS drives for a Synology NAS, it is important to verify the drives are officially supported on Synology’s compatibility list for your NAS model.

For the second objective, I again took advantage of Black Friday and bought the two-bay DS224+ from Amazon, its box shown in this article’s title image. I plan to have two 14 TB drives in SHR setup. With both disks identical to each other thanks to how Synology’s Hybrid RAID works, I will regularly swap out two additional drives and store them at my secrete offsite locations. When it comes time to rotate the disks, I will let the NAS rebuild the older disk into the RAID. Will this strategy work? If you see an issue with this tentative approach, please let me know in the comments section below.

While the second NAS will use Hyper Backup to store my personal data from the DS1019+, I will use another Synology product, Active Backup for Business, to perform full system backups of my main Windows desktop and several laptops. I have used a product called Acronis to back up my desktop for years, but I have always wanted to better integrate the backup method with my Synology ecosystem. Active Backup for Business looks promising.

I have yet to use Active Backup for Business. I found this video from SpaceRex that gives a good explanation and demonstration of the software. I will be referencing it as I set up by new backup processes.

I plan to write follow-up articles on how these actual implementations went. Look for them sometime in early 2024.

Thank you for reading my article. Donec deinde tempum.



I write frequently about astrophotography, technology advice, and my other interests like science fiction. I have over 30 years of experience in computer programming, information technology, and project management.

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