by Adam Armstrong

Synology Releases DSM 6.1

Today Synology Inc. announced the latest release of its award winning DiskStation Manager (DSM), version 6.1. The latest version of DSM comes with several enhancements, new applications, and refined data protection. Synology states that these updates will lead to a more secure, productive, and unified NAS experience.

Several of us here at StorageReview use DSM in both professional and personal contexts. DSM is one of the most user friendly OS at there for NAS devices. Aside from being easy to use and comprehensive to meet several needs, Synology updates the OS regularly. Not only does this keep bugs fixed it also helps the OS keep up with changing technology. The 6.1 updates aim to deliver better IT efficiency with Active Directory Server, enhance performance with instant SMB server-side copy, ensure reliability with file self-healing, and provide stability and security enhancements.

Key features of DSM 6.1 include:

  • Next-generation file system: The extended coverage of the Btrfs file system enables advanced data protection technologies on more Synology NAS models, including file self-healing and instant SMB server-side copy.
  • Active Directory Server: Transform your Synology NAS to serve as a domain controller and streamline IT maintenance by creating policies to automatically install certain software or system updates on all of your employees' computers without having to visit each one individually.
  • Shared folder encryption: Encrypt pre-existing shared folders, including the homes folder, whenever you need. For higher security and convenience, you can now mount encrypted folders automatically using a physical USB flash drive without having to memorize encryption keys.
  • Seagate IronWolf Health Management (IHM): Synology has partnered with Seagate to exclusively bring Seagate's IronWolf Health Management tool to NAS products. With intelligent analysis and user-actionable information, the status of IronWolf and IronWolf Pro hard drives on Synology NAS with DSM 6.1 and above can be closely monitored, keeping users' data continuously safeguarded.

Synology is also coming out with new applications that are designed specifically for sharing, finding, and organizing data. Announced back in October 2016, Synology Universal Search enables users to search their entire NAS for whatever they are looking for. The Universal Search also gives users a quick preview into the file and metadata to ensure they have found the correct file. Synology is also offering USB Copy 2.0 that allows users to utilize USB drives to backup files to or from the NAS. The new application using customizable rules to specify exactly which folders can be copied, which would prevent someone from plugging into a NAS and downloading the entire contents.

Synology has made a handful of upgrades to its data protection offerings, including:

  • Snapshot Replication: Snapshot Replication in DSM 6.1 introduces encrypted shared folder replication for data-sensitive businesses, local replication for an additional layer of protection, and automatic pause/resume during replication to efficiently optimize network bandwidth.
  • Hyper Backup: The latest version of Hyper Backup keeps backups safe thanks to advanced integrity checks, reduces storage consumption with enhanced data deduplication, and allows users to customize and fine-tune version retention policies.
  • Synology High Availability: When deploying a high-availability cluster, Synology High Availability supports running S.M.A.R.T. tests and enabling SSD TRIM on both of the servers, and allows users to add a quorum server to effectively reduce the occurrence of split-brain, thus maximizing service continuity and data consistency.
  • Virtual DSM Manager: The beta release allows users to seamlessly migrate virtual instances of DSM between two Synology NAS while keeping data stored on a third machine in order to avoid service downtime. In addition, by leveraging snapshot technologies available on Btrfs volumes, Virtual DSM Manager can clone and restore entire machines within seconds.
  • More features: The advanced NAS operating system also introduces RAID F1 for XS-series and SMB 4.4 upgrade for sparse file support.


Synology DSM 6.1 is available now for users who own a DiskStation, RackStation, FlashStation, or Embedded DataStation 11-series and onward. A full compatibility list is available on Synology’s site.

Synology DSM 6.1

Synology HUB

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