Synology DiskStation DS1515+ Review – A look at DSM 5.2

An overview of containers running on Docker Engine.
An overview of containers running on Docker Engine.

 

I bit the bullet and upgraded to DiskStation Manager 5.2 (DSM 5.2) beta for Docker. Docker aside, Synology also introduced the following in this new release:

Additional features in DSM 5.2
Docker Lightweight software containerization solution that allows you to create, deploy and run applications on Synology NAS.
Single Sign-on Register multiple DSM and access them using one set of credentials.
Note Station Your own cloud note taking solution now features Synology Web Clipper that captures any webpage directly in a Chrome window.
Cloud Station & Cloud Sync Cloud Station supports smart polling and customizable file versioning for each shared folder.
Cloud Sync now offers one-way synchronization.
Backup & Replication The file browser feature allows you to locate and selectively restore specific files. Not only that, new rotation setting makes backup versioning more space efficient.
DS Photo+ It now supports casting to big screens through Chromecast and DLNA-compatible devices.
File Station It can now browse and download remote data stored in different storage solutions (FTP server, public cloud, etc.).
Link Aggregation It now supports Active-standby, 802.11ad dynamic, Balanced XOR, and Adaptive Load Balancing.
SSD Cache The memory usage has been optimized. It now requires lesser amount for RAM for higher capacity SSD

 

Among the list of new features, I feel particularly excited about Docker and the new Link Aggregation modes. Let me cover more on Docker as it is an exciting new technology.

 

Docker – Lightweight Software Container

If you have not heard about Docker. You can read up a little on Docker being a highly portable and lightweight software container.

Do take note that Docker Engine is still beta on the DSM 5.2 so you might encounter less-than-desired experience. For me, I encountered slow status updates of running containers. Well, I am confident that this will be ironed out once it is out of beta.

In this section, I will demonstrate how can you get an application (WordPress) running in a Docker container up in a couple of minutes. I am using Docker Engine on the Synology DiskStation DS1515+.

 

After installing Docker using Package Manager. Launch Docker and search for the application you need from Registry/ Docker Hub. Allow me to demo using "Wordpress"
After installing Docker using Package Manager. Launch Docker and search for the application you need from Registry/ Docker Hub. Allow me to demo using “WordPress”

Right click on the search result and download the image. This particular image does not include mysql so make sure you have one installed somewhere. I have a mysql container running on the DS1515+.
Right click on the search result and download the image. This particular image does not include mysql so make sure you have one installed somewhere. I have a mysql container running on the DS1515+.

I chose the latest version of WordPress. Contributors update the Docker Hub regularly.
I chose the latest version of WordPress. Contributors update the Docker Hub regularly.

The WordPress image should start downloading. Once it has been downloaded. It should appear in the Image list.
The WordPress image should start downloading. Once it has been downloaded. It should appear in the Image list.

You can either make use of wizard or using a Docker Run command to feed inputs into the wizard. For me, I am using Docker Run.
You can either make use of wizard or using a Docker Run command to feed inputs into the wizard. For me, I am using Docker Run.

The Docker Run Parser should appear. In the Run Command text box, you will paste/type in the Docker Run command. The wizard will then extract the necessary information.
The Docker Run Parser should appear. In the Run Command text box, you will paste/type in the Docker Run command. The wizard will then extract the necessary information.

Using the Docker Run command, I specified the name of the WordPress container, established a link to the mysql docker container and port mapped from 8080 to 80 on the container.
Using the Docker Run command, I specified the name of the WordPress container, established a link to the mysql docker container and port mapped from 8080 to 80 on the container.

Confirmation screen of the settings to be applied. If you choose not to use the Docker Run Parser, you can also manually input all these values.
Confirmation screen of the settings to be applied. If you choose not to use the Docker Run Parser, you can also manually input all these values.

The WordPress container is up and running. Time to access its web admin page and continue with the installation.
The WordPress container is up and running. Time to access its web admin page and continue with the installation.

Navigated to the new WordPress container using web browser. It is on port 8080 as we have mapped the DS1515's port 8080 to the container on port 80.
Navigated to the new WordPress container using web browser. It is on port 8080 as we have mapped the DS1515’s port 8080 to the container on port 80.

Doing the WordPress installation. It needs to create the necessary database schema in the mysql container.
Doing the WordPress installation. It needs to create the necessary database schema in the mysql container.

Wordpress installation completed successfully. That is fast!
WordPress installation completed successfully. That is fast!

Logging into the WordPress instance.
Logging into the WordPress instance.

Wordpress is up and running on the Docker Engine on Synology DS1515+.
WordPress is up and running on the Docker Engine on Synology DS1515+.

My first blog entry on the WordPress instance on Synology DS1515+.
My first blog entry on the WordPress instance on Synology DS1515+.

 

Conclusion

Among the list of new features, I am actively using Cloud Station/Sync to backup the pictures on my OnePlus One and also a duplicated copy of the contents in my cloud storage (Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.). I am also using Docker to test run some applications and to compile OpenWRT firmware for some of my devices.

New features aside, I do find DS Downloader and DS Video to be useful too. If you have a DLNA compatible device or streaming devices like Chromecast, Apple TV, etc., you can stream multimedia contents to them using DS Video. Yeap, the Synology DiskStation NAS will be your home’s multimedia hub.

The Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM) is pretty feature rich and just having a post on it does not do it any justice. You can actually experience Synology DSM via the Synology DSM Live Demo website. Try it out, you will love it.

 

Treat shadowandy!

If these step-by-step guides have been very helpful to you and saved you a lot of time, please consider treating shadowandy to a cup of Starbucks.  

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