Should You Upgrade to DSM 7? See What’s New

Synology is known for making the best NAS products available today, and their primary differentiator is their software. Synology DiskStation Manager 7 (DSM 7.0) offers excellent features for easy data backup. It also allows for your own email hosting, VPN server, office, and more.

And after a few years of waiting, the DSM 7.0 has officially been released.

What is the DSM 7.0?

Simply put, the DSM 7.0 is a smart operating system that powers all Synology NAS products. And this latest version is considered as the first major update in 5 years.

This new upgrade offers you a lot of new features which include consolidated photo organising service and fresh UI. It also comes with enhanced system monitoring tools, new collaboration and sharing features, plus a lot more.

The Differences Between DSM 6 and DSM 7.0

The visual enhancement to the operating system alone is already worth upgrading the NAS. After you update your NAS, setting up elements such as PLEX will be easier.

But one of the biggest and notable changes between the DSM 7.0 and 6.0 is the user interface. The operating system appears more slick and contemporary, and it’s something people would enjoy utilising in 2021 and beyond.

The previous version wasn’t unappealing, though it was starting to reveal its age. This is especially when Synology’s competitors started boosting their own operating systems. But of course, Synology made their own set of enhancements, making them ahead of the game again.

The Login Experience

One of the best and most notable enhancements to the newer version is the login experience. The DSM 6 utilised the password and username credential mix for quite some time. But now, the DSM 7.0 allows you to configure everything.

With that, you only need your username plus a 3rd-party authenticator. The 2FA or two-factor authentication is an excellent boost, and it even functions well with FIDO-2.

Storage Management System

This is another difference between the latest version from the older DSM. It was enhanced with optimised SSD cache controls, as well as faster RAID rebuilds. Plus, there are extra useful tools perfect for business and home users.

For its layout, the DSM 7.0 runs, looks, and feels a lot better compared to the previous version. It’s a more lightweight OS, and utilises fewer resources than the DSM 6.

With that, managing supported servers, even a low-end one, is a good thing.

Apps That Are No Longer Supported

On the new DSM 7.0, Synology removed a couple of applications that were present on the earlier version. These include Cloud Station Server, which is replaced by the Drive Server, and ShareSync that’s replaced by Synology Drive Server.

Lastly, Photo Station and Moments are no longer supported, and are both replaced by Synology Photos.

Key Features of DSM 7

Of course, the DSM 7.0 comes with a set of efficient key features, and here’s a list of them:

Proactive Detection

You can get notifications every time Active Insight finds any anomalies. Plus, it comes with efficient recommendations to lessen system downtime.

Highly Customisable

Select from a lot of performance metrics, send custom notifications to other users, and customise your dashboard easily.

User Control and Security

Powerful system, domain, and identity management features assist you in safeguarding and maintaining your IT configuration. This happens while your projects and other tasks grow and flourish.

You can create your Directory Server and make it more robust by integrating a secondary domain controller.

Here, you can retain a backup directory server that will be ready to protect in case of abrupt service interruptions. Then, you can utilise the added capacities for load-balancing needs.

Safe File Sharing and Collaboration

Synology Drive’s optimised security and management features help you keep an eye out on users, data, and permissions. With it, you can track and determine file share setting changes via detailed records. You can categorise these by client type, user, and IP tracking.

Plus, you can control each operation using the advanced Drive Admin Console.

You can keep your files protected by providing sharing permissions to chosen groups or users. To tighten security when you’re sharing files, you can require users to set passwords or even expiration dates for it.

More Protection for Speedy Recoveries

Synology’s top-notch backup apps allow you to protect more gadgets, DSM applications, and online services. Not only that, but it offers more ways to ensure that all backups are safe.

Keep All Memories in a Single Place

Synology Photos brings together the functions you need and efficient features in one new stunning layout. Photos is a new application that mixes the best features of both Photo Station and Moments.

The Power of NAS

Synology Hybrid Share keeps all the shared data in the cloud and retains frequently utilised files in a local cache. This is done for low latency and quick access.

Now, you can take advantage of the combined speed of the on-premises NAS with C2 Storage’s scalability.

Upgrading to DSM 7.0 – How to Do It

Before upgrading to DSM 7.0, make sure that you backup your NAS. Remember that you also need to run at least DSM 6.2 or higher before upgrading.

Once your NAS does a check in the background, a notification for the update will appear. If it doesn’t appear, you can manually install the DSM 7.0 on your Synology NAS, and here’s how:

  • The first thing you need to do is visit the Synology Download Centre.
  • Then, choose your NAS model via the dropdown menu.
  • Change the operating system’s version to 7.0, then choose the DSM version you are upgrading from. Also, select 7.0 in the menus found under 7.0. Once that’s done, click on download, then log onto your NAS.
  • Now, head to the Control Panel. Under that, select Update & Restore, then Manual DSM Update.
  • Click on browse then choose the DSM 7.0 update file that was downloaded. Then, click OK to start updating the DSM.

Now, you’ll have to wait while your NAS runs through the installation process. Then after, it will reboot.

Why You Should Upgrade to DSM 7.0

Upgrading to the new DSM 7.0 is a good idea since it’s packed with tons of new features. Plus, Synology made a couple of critical changes to the update which we’ve summarised for you.

Responsiveness and Speedy Login

Generally, the Synology DSM and the NAS platform was always noted for their responsiveness. Whether it’s accessing the NAS via web browser, general work devices, or mobile app, it was all good. The DSM always provides efficiency when accessing the system’s GUI.

The DSM 7.0 is highly responsive unless you’re linking to a weaker network. Or, you might be heavily utilising a particularly weak system.

Do note that the earlier version wasn’t bad, nor was it a slouch. However, the 7.0 version can tweak numerous back-end settings, as well as responsive input points. These include sub-context menus when being used, login verifications, shifting between windows, and more.

With this, standard navigation will significantly increase in reaction/feedback.

Clearer and More Intuitive Storage Manager

For numerous users, managing their storage system will always be intimidating. But with Synology and its DSM, you can enjoy a more generalised display of data in their storage design.

It includes a widely text-based display exhibited as blocks of data and tabs that relate to exclusive disks. These also include storage pools, as well as volumes.

Plus, all the issues from the DSM 6.2 were resolved in DSM 7.0. This was solved by offering a better option of graphical NAS, SSD, and Driver representations. Thus, making the entire display more intuitive for all.

Optimised Cloud Connectivity and Storage Mounting

There was a time when everyone had to choose between cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive or the NAS. Once they chose, that’s where they’d keep all their data in. Inevitably, one would be better than the other.

Yet recently, the advantages of having both of these in place started being heavily emphasised. That’s because easily accessing a cloud with a centralised local server is best to guarantee continuous security and connectivity.

Cloud connectivity did exist in the DSM 6.2 version. But the thing here is the feature was considerably enhanced in DSM 7.0.

A large number of these enhancements focused on the utilisation of the company’s C2 platform. It’s also how the storage functions to local NAS users.

The Hybrid Share App

The Hybrid Share application is a feature that a lot of people were looking forward to. And it’s great to see it move from beta to a full release.

It’s an application that combines the flexibility of C2 storage with on-premises NAS solutions and C2 identity. The latter is a hybrid cloud directory that simplifies cross-site domain operations.

With platform enhancements like supporting up to 1PB (petabyte) volume for huge tasks, DSM 7.0 offers security optimisations too. It appears as the Secure Signin, a 2-step verification tool that is dedicated to Synology NAS solutions.

To note, it’s something similar to the Google Authenticator. Not only that, but there are other fresh additions to the C2 cloud platform as well.

Improved RAID 6 Handling & Fast Repair

DSM 7.0 doesn’t only offer a more accelerated RAID rebuild system. It will provide huge performance boosts on a RAID 6 while in its degraded state.

Enhancements to the RAID’s performance are good. However, its quicker rebuild option is a more appealing add-on to DSM 7.0, which will make you consider upgrading.

With the new Fast Repair, it will only need to rebuild storage pool areas where data actually was kept. So if you are utilising a 4-disk RAID that’s only 20% used, Fast Repair will only build that spot and not the empty spaces. \

Added Security

Of course, DSM 6 is safe. Yet, given the boosted cloud connectivity and control enhancements on DSM 7.0, it’ll be much better.

To put it simply, you’ll feel more secure and protected because of its tightened security when accessing the system. These include the following:

  • Optimised password policies
  • The integration of predefined administrator roles to non-administrator user accounts. It will allow them to control specific system settings and services, providing enhanced flexible permission management.
  • Synology included the function that requires imported users to change passwords after initially logging in the DSM.
  • Improved LDAP authentication is realised by decreasing queries sent with the caching tool.

Other than these, the DSM 7.0 also offers security enhancements in the form of Secure Signin. It’s a fresh authentication system that makes 2FA straightforward to use.

Synology DiskStation Manager 7 – Summary

Synology DSM 7.0 simply offers the best experience when accessing all your data. Its huge upgrades in its user interface, layout, and overall design improves everyone’s user experience.

Of course, there are a few areas of conflict between the old and new versions of the OS. That can’t be avoided, since all changes have their pros and cons. But despite that, Synology’s updates and new features offer better data management, security, and convenient backup processes.

If you’re deciding whether you should upgrade your OS to DSM 7.0 or not, the short answer is yes. Aside from offering convenience and ease, its new features will help keep your data protected against today’s advanced malware.