Run Synology NAS without the front cover--any issues?

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ikjadoon
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Run Synology NAS without the front cover--any issues?

Unread post by ikjadoon » Fri May 11, 2018 4:46 am

My DS218+ is coming Monday and I'm crazy excited.

I don't put much stock for aesthetics and I noticed Synology put the LED labels on the casing itself and not just the front cover--thus...presumably there are no issues running without the front cover, right?

I want to remove it for better cooling. It's going into a ventilated, filtered cabinet anyways and maybe I can drop a few C on each of the drives.

Or have I missed any major benefits to the front cover? Does it serve any other purpose than to "clean up" the front?

Squozen
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Re: Run Synology NAS without the front cover--any issues?

Unread post by Squozen » Fri May 11, 2018 10:42 am

It makes it harder for creepy-crawlies to get in. :)

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Twisted World
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Re: Run Synology NAS without the front cover--any issues?

Unread post by Twisted World » Fri May 11, 2018 3:28 pm

I'm curious about the results. Maybe you can do some testing and comparing?

My initial response would be: "no problem, the bigger the holes the better" so the DiskStation would probably benefit from it, but...

Although I'm not an engineer, I wouldn't rule out the possibility that removing the cover would actually change the airflow in a way that it is not supposed to. Normally the fan on the back "sucks" the air through the unit mainly over the perforated Synology logos on the sides. One of these is on the opposite site of the mainboard, forcing the airflow over and around the board.

When you remove the cover, the most likely airflow is straight through the unit, front to back, between the two drives. Maybe your drives get cooler, but your motherboard might get warmer.

Also, the hole in the front will be so much bigger than the perforated logos on the sides, that the airflow will probably also be much slower thus maybe less effective? Try blowing your hand the natural way, it will probably feel relatively cool. Now try blowing your hand with your mouth wide open. Less effective, right?

Again, not an engineer, just thinking out loud. :) I'm sure there are real engineers in here somewhere. :wink:
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ikjadoon
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Re: Run Synology NAS without the front cover--any issues?

Unread post by ikjadoon » Fri May 11, 2018 4:59 pm

Squozen wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 10:42 am
It makes it harder for creepy-crawlies to get in. :)
A good point--luckily we're mostly clean on this second floor, but something to keep in mind, haha.
Twisted World wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 3:28 pm
I'm curious about the results. Maybe you can do some testing and comparing?

My initial response would be: "no problem, the bigger the holes the better" so the DiskStation would probably benefit from it, but...

Although I'm not an engineer, I wouldn't rule out the possibility that removing the cover would actually change the airflow in a way that it is not supposed to. Normally the fan on the back "sucks" the air through the unit mainly over the perforated Synology logos on the sides. One of these is on the opposite site of the mainboard, forcing the airflow over and around the board.

When you remove the cover, the most likely airflow is straight through the unit, front to back, between the two drives. Maybe your drives get cooler, but your motherboard might get warmer.

Also, the hole in the front will be so much bigger than the perforated logos on the sides, that the airflow will probably also be much slower thus maybe less effective? Try blowing your hand the natural way, it will probably feel relatively cool. Now try blowing your hand with your mouth wide open. Less effective, right?

Again, not an engineer, just thinking out loud. :) I'm sure there are real engineers in here somewhere. :wink:
Thank you for the detailed reply!

Eh, same: I'm no engineer, either, for what it's worth. :D

This airflow path is a great point I hadn't considered. I just looked a DS218+ teardown and you're right: the logos are the ventilation and one just about covers the Celeron's heatsink. And I think it does depend on a path of least resistance because there's only one fan to direct air.

In a stroke of luck, the enclosure has 2x 140mm fans on either side about ~4" away that will be pointed at both logos, so it may help keep the intended airflow pattern. But, it will be interesting to test!

And, very true! It's much larger so there's less pressure. That makes sense. For the Celeron heatsink and the Synology hard drive slots, pressure will help keep it moving across the nooks & crannies.

I'm happy to run some rather unscientific tests (though the NAS will be already in the customized enclosure, so it might not be directly applicable to others) and I will write that up in the coming week(s). I think the proper "load" will be a file system scrub, right?

Thank you both for the replies. I think this test is something worth exploring!

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Re: Run Synology NAS without the front cover--any issues?

Unread post by telos » Sun May 13, 2018 12:47 am

ikjadoon wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 4:46 am
Does it serve any other purpose than to "clean up" the front?
1. Cooling airflow pattern disrupted
2. Noise
3. Dust
4. Failure if conductive matter reaches exposed circuitry.

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Re: Run Synology NAS without the front cover--any issues?

Unread post by ikjadoon » Sun May 13, 2018 4:10 am

Thanks for sharing the thoughts, Telos. The last point is new!

Some wayward electrically conductive particle could be an issue...though it's the same risk with any desktop case: all computers vent directly onto circuitry. Interestingly, a few faux-workstation motherboards used to add a full-motherboard plastic shroud to prevent dust--they ended up removing the feature in later boards, but it definitely looked slick.

But at least in most desktop cases, the memory slots aren't facing the fan exhausts (i.e., as would occur in my enclosure with the DS218+). Another good consideration to keep in mind.

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Re: Run Synology NAS without the front cover--any issues?

Unread post by sciurius » Tue May 15, 2018 7:21 am

My DS418 doesn't come with a front cover. So do many other models.
Probably the airflow issue is incorporated in the design, but the other issues mentioned by telos would make the device much more vulnerable?
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Re: Run Synology NAS without the front cover--any issues?

Unread post by Yemble » Tue May 15, 2018 3:59 pm

telos wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 12:47 am
ikjadoon wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 4:46 am
Does it serve any other purpose than to "clean up" the front?
1. Cooling airflow pattern disrupted
2. Noise
3. Dust
4. Failure if conductive matter reaches exposed circuitry.
...and cat hairs !!!

The lack of cover on the DS918+ is a PITA :roll:

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Re: Run Synology NAS without the front cover--any issues?

Unread post by Shadow771 » Wed May 16, 2018 1:14 pm

Yemble wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 3:59 pm
...and cat hairs !!!
Get rid of the cat.
Synology DS216+II <--> Synology RT1900AC <--> <site-to-site VPN tunnel> <--> Synology RT1900AC <--> Synology DS118

ikjadoon
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Re: Run Synology NAS without the front cover--any issues?

Unread post by ikjadoon » Wed May 16, 2018 7:37 pm

No joke, the cat has already peeked and prodded at the cabinet throughout a file transfer. The case filters have stopped her so far.
sciurius wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 7:21 am
My DS418 doesn't come with a front cover. So do many other models.
Probably the airflow issue is incorporated in the design, but the other issues mentioned by telos would make the device much more vulnerable?
I had contacted Synology on a short product inquiry ticket and they said the same!
Dustin K. Product Manager Synology America Corp. wrote:There would be additional exposure to the environment it's running in so dust could be an issue. The NAS is also likely to vibrate slightly more with less overall chassis integrity which could lower the longevity of your HDDs. Be sure to use NAS class HDDs or better with anti-vibration sensors.
The front cover at least on the DS218+ does have rubber stoppers that contact the two HDD cages.

Alas, I'm running into some File Station issues, but once I'm up and running, I'll run the temperature tests just for "science", though with all information put together, it's probably the best idea for longevity and reliability to leave the front cover on at least on the DS218+. The front cover is surprisingly easy to take on/off--I don't even think I need to remove the DS218+ from the enclosure for the test.

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Re: Run Synology NAS without the front cover--any issues?

Unread post by Yemble » Fri May 18, 2018 12:51 pm

Shadow771 wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 1:14 pm
Yemble wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 3:59 pm
...and cat hairs !!!
Get rid of the cat.
There's three of them (fluffy Maine Coons). My life would not be worth living if I suggested a cat-cull to my better half :lol:

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Re: Run Synology NAS without the front cover--any issues?

Unread post by synology_ukman » Fri May 18, 2018 1:18 pm

Yemble wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 12:51 pm
Shadow771 wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 1:14 pm
Yemble wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 3:59 pm
...and cat hairs !!!
Get rid of the cat.
There's three of them (fluffy Maine Coons). My life would not be worth living if I suggested a cat-cull to my better half :lol:
Did you raise a ticket? There's a special department for cat issues. :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Run Synology NAS without the front cover--any issues?

Unread post by telos » Fri May 18, 2018 6:49 pm

Even with the front cover intact, they will find a way to get inside...
Image

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Shadow771
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Re: Run Synology NAS without the front cover--any issues?

Unread post by Shadow771 » Fri May 18, 2018 8:54 pm

And then you end up with this:

Image
Synology DS216+II <--> Synology RT1900AC <--> <site-to-site VPN tunnel> <--> Synology RT1900AC <--> Synology DS118

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