Storage is one of those things that you always need more of. Especially if you have a network storage drive at home or at work, you've probably run into a situation where you're faced with either deleting old files to make space or finding a more drastic solution. Up until a few days ago, I was juggling files around and deleting old backups just to make everything fit, and was in desperate need of salvation. So, I took a direct route, and ditched the old hard drives entirely for two massive improvements.
Here was the situation: with two 2TB hard drives, my old ioSafe 214 NAS was fast running out of space and desperately in need of an upgrade. The hardware itself is rock solid, and Synology provides regular software updates for it, while the ioSafe rugged design means it'll probably be up and running long after my house has burned to the ground or been entirely flooded. The only problem is capacity.
And that's something that WD's 6TB Red drives, specifically designed for NAS enclosures, can take care of quite nicely. The consumer- and small business-grade Red is a perfect drive for 24/7 always-on use, and only having a 2-drive bay meant maximum storage per drive was a high priority for me — the highest-density 6TB version of the Red being well suited to storing ridiculous amounts of data.
(I use my home NAS in RAID 0, which I would never ever recommend you do, but it's the easiest and fastest and devil-may-carest way to get 12TB of super-fast storage. Sue me.)
Anyway, if you were wondering, even on the finicky ioSafe, the actual physical upgrade process is the work of a few minutes. Don't be intimidated — if you need more storage in your NAS, find a temporary backup and just upgrade the drives!
Step 1: Take the front cover off your NAS:
Step 2: Expose those old, outdated, tiny 2TB hard drives, and pull them out:
Step 3: Take the old HDDs out of the caddies, and throw them into a river. Insert your shiny new Western Digital 6TB Red drives:
Step 4: Re-install the hard drive caddies, and spend a moment marveling at the NAS's nifty fire suppression techniques (yes, that's water condensing on the porcelain fireproofing):
Step 5: Bolt on the front cover, go through the NAS setup procedure from scratch, and transfer all your data. (This is the easy bit.) Et voila:
Re-setting up the Synology DiskStation Manager software isn't exactly the most fun I've ever had, but it was worth the time and effort; now I won't have to deal with any storage anxiety for a very, very long time. [Western Digital]