Synology has clearly emerged from the NAS enclosure race as the leader of the pack. Here at DRN we have been testing various iterations of the Synology releases since 2012 and a few of our editors have them in their workflow and swears by them.

2021 saw the release of DSM 7.0, the latest of the venerable DiskStation Manager OS which underpins all the smarts of the enclosures. It has been 5 years in the making, with DSM 6.0 being launched all the way back in 2016. Although there has been steady developments in the intervening years, DSM 6.0’s core has remained stable and unchanged for most part.

DiskStation Manager 7.0 is not just a glossy coat of paint, having undergone a 3 year development cycle prior to the public launch on 29 June 2021. Although the UI look much more colourful yet familiar on the outset, it has been modernised without departing too far to offend or confuse the existing user base. There are a truckload of new features with a renewed focus on unified services, collaboration, sharing, system monitoring and management.

I finally upgraded my Synology DS-916+ enclosure about a month ago, deciding to hold back a little given it is my production NAS. At time of release there were some storm clouds over the continued functionality of Plex after the upgrade, and I could not devote time to remedial actions if that happened.

Synology DSM 7 Home


What has been desupported?

  • USB hardware, including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth dongles, will no longer work
  • DSM 7.0 ends support for ext3
  • DSM 7.0 disables NTLMv1 by default in favour of NTMLv2, which may prevent SMB clients from connecting but that’s a good thing
  • SSD caches on block-level LUNs are no longer supported
  • NT4 domains are no longer supported (honestly who is still running NT4?)
  • DSM URLs have been modified
  • iSCSI Manager is now SAN Manager in DSM 7.0
  • TLS/SSL profile level in Modern Compatibility will auto change to Intermediate Compatibility for better TLS support and compatibility
  • EZ-Internet has been merged with Router Configuration within Control Panel
  • Python3 has been merged into DSM 7.0 as a built-in service
  • QuickConnect is secured with a Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate
  • Security Advisor enables login analysis and custom account detection check items by default
  • Active Insight and Hybrid Share Service are built into DSM 7.0 and will be automatically installed
  • Some third party apps are no longer supported, or is not fully supported on DSM 7 (yet)

The following DDNS providers have been removed:

DNS-O-Matic RU-center
DNSExit Variomedia

Video conversion to FLV and MPEG-4 Part 2 formats are no longer supported on:

DS114 DS214se
DS115 DS216se
DS115j DS215j
DS119j DS414
DS120j DS414j
DS213j DS414slim
DS214 RS214
DS214+ RS814


An Eye Catching Change

As I said earlier, the change is not just a lick of new paint. Synology has implemented major features from the get go – the login screen. Aside from separating the username and password fields into separate screen, you can now set up a Passwordless Sign-In via the Synology Secure SignIn app or a hardware security key. How awesome is that?

DSM7 Storage ManagerDSM7 Resource Monitor


New features (as listed by Synology)

Storage Manager

  • Added visuals of Synology NAS models with their drive slots, expansion units, and built-in M.2 slots to help users view drive status
  • Enhanced usability with a clearer display of the relationship between storage pools, volumes, and SSD caches
  • Enhanced the setup process of Hot Spare and Data Scrubbing
  • Added a feature to guide users through configuring newly inserted drives
  • Supports performing different tasks on different storage pools simultaneously
  • Supports updating the firmware for Synology drives
  • Enhanced the access performance of degraded RAID 6 by 70%
  • Added display of the storage usage of each category item on Btrfs volumes
  • Added a new Fast Repair mechanism to reduce the time needed for RAID repair based on storage usage and thus reduce the time of RAID degradation
  • Added the ability to replace a drive in a healthy storage pool with an unused one without interrupting services or causing storage-pool degradation
  • Added the ability to automatically replace “Critical” or “Failing” drives in protected storage pools with Hot Spare
  • Added the Auto Repair feature to automatically run a RAID repair when a malfunctioned drive is replaced with a healthy one in the same drive slot
  • Added the ability to eject a storage pool on an expansion unit to ensure the safe removal of drives without interrupting system services
  • Added the ability to mount storage pools from drives that are inserted after the device has been powered on without interrupting system services
  • Supports customizing the low-capacity notification for individual volumes when their available space drops below the specified value
  • Added support for space reclamation schedules for Btrfs volumes


SSD Cache

  • Added the ability to create and remove SSD caches without interrupting system services
  • Added the new SSD Cache Advisor to monitor I/O accesses and provide more accurate capacity recommendations
  • Added the ability to pin all Btrfs metadata to SSD caches to enhance the performance of accessing small files and shorten the response time when accessing files regularly
  • Added the ability to activate automatic protection on SSD read-write caches with multi-drive fault tolerance
  • Added support for the quick write-back mechanism, delivering a 30% faster synchronization from SSD caches to HDDs when automatic protection is activated


Resource Monitor

  • Revamped the display of recorded performance metrics with a finer granularity of data points and the ability to focus on certain time points
  • Enhanced monitoring transparency of system services by separating larger, unrelated processes
  • Added the ability to manage currently accessed files and their connected users to better handle locked files


File System/File Services

  • Supports enabling/disabling file compression for shared folders created on DSM 7.0
  • Enhanced file compression ratio and added display for the current ratio for each shared folder
  • Added support for cross-protocol locking between SMB and AFP
  • Supports accessing encrypted shared folders via NFS
  • Enhanced Btrfs performance and lowered I/O latency
  • Modularised the SMB file service into a package
  • Allows users to enable/disable SMB transfer logs for permission changes, providing more flexible transfer logs
  • Enhanced the encryption performance by up to 10% on certain models with the x86 platform
  • In Windows File Explorer, users can now search for the files and their content in indexed folders


User Management

  • Enhanced the password policy. Passwords must exclude username and description, include both upper-case and lower-case letters as well as numerical digits. The minimum password length is eight characters
  • Added the ability to delegate predefined administrator roles to non-administrator user accounts and allow them to manage certain services and system settings, offering more flexible permission management
  • Added the ability to require imported users to change their passwords after their initial DSM logins
  • Added the ability to assign user accounts from import lists to specific groups
  • Domain/LDAP Integration
  • Enhanced LDAP client authentication performance by reducing the number of queries sent with a caching mechanism
  • The following services and packages now support UPN logins: Synology Assistant, Hyper Backup, Synology Mail Server, Synology Calendar, and Shared Folder Sync
  • Enhanced domain database synchronization performance by syncing only altered data



  • Added the ability to block USB and console ports
  • Enhanced QuickConnect connection process to strengthen security
  • Provides only TLS 1.3 support for the Modern Compatibility option for TLS/SSL profile level
  • Added the ability to set 2-factor authentication as mandatory for specific users or groups


User Experience

  • Enhanced user experience for DSM first-time installation and Synology Account related service setup (e.g., QuickConnect)
  • Added the ability to automatically install important DSM and package updates
  • Added information and usage tips about security, notification, and other recommended settings in DSM Help
  • Added the ability to back up DSM system configuration to a connected Synology Account
  • Added the ability to export folder permissions reports
  • Added support for application webhook integration to send system notifications to Synology Chat and other third-party applications
  • Added severity levels to notifications for better categorisation of events
  • Enhanced user interface responsiveness to launch installed packages and services faster
  • Enhanced login performance when connecting from external networks
  • Enhanced user experience for package update processes by displaying the update status with package icons on the DSM desktop
  • Supports resetting the passwords of all user accounts in the administrators group by pressing the RESET button on Synology NAS for four seconds
  • Revamped the Service tab at Control Panel > Info Center. The tab focuses on the status of enabled services and packages, including local ports, router ports, and firewall permissions
  • Enhanced Control Panel usability by reorganizing related functionality together
  • Added a new Synology Account tab to consolidate future services provided through Synology Account
  • Consolidated Domain/LDAP options to be configured in a new unified wizard
  • Consolidated QuickConnect settings into the External Access tab
  • Consolidated User and Groups settings
  • Consolidated Theme and Application Portal options into Login Portal tab
  • Consolidated email notification options into Notification > Email tab
  • Consolidated WS-Discovery into File Services > SMB
  • Consolidated Network > DSM Settings into Login Portal > Web Services
  • Relocated the SMB Server Signing option to File Services > SMB > Advanced Settings
  • Moved Shared Folder Sync into the File Services tab
  • Moved the Enforce 2-factor authentication option into the Security tab
  • Modularised DHCP Server into a package
DSM7 Active InsightDSM7 Login 2FA


Last Thoughts

DiskStation Manager 7.0 has been out for a little while, with 7.0.1-42218 being the latest update released on 13 October 2021 with security patches and bug fixes. If you have held off updating, now is a good time to bring your Synology up to date. Also if you run a Plex server on your DSM, do some research on the internet for some pre-migration action to ease the transition. Otherwise my update took about 25 minutes, went off without a hitch with the exception of Plex. All in all, it was pretty painless and well worth jumping into now.