RAM Upgrade on a Synology ds920+

There are a lot of threads on unofficial RAM upgrades that work or don’t work on the Synology ds920+.

Just for context, the Synology ds920+ comes built in with 4GB RAM soldered in and has one expansion slot. The official maximum is 8GB, and Synology sells an official 4GB RAM stick (model: D4NESO-2666-4G) for this. However, there are many anecdotal reports that adding 8GB and 16GB RAM also work.

By running a handful of applications and Docker containers, I was maxing out the built in 4GB of RAM and spilling into swap space which slowed down the entire NAS to almost a standstill.

However, the NAS seems to be pretty finicky in what RAM it accepts or not. My first attempt was with a Kingston Fury Impact 8GB, but I could not get it stable. The system would lock up after a few minutes, if it booted up at all. I suspected that it was incompatible, although it is possible it was just the stick was bad.

Not wanting to spend more time, I went for Crucial CT16G4SFD8266 16GB upgrade. Crucial. This was recommended on other sites as well. Lo and behold, it worked the first time I put it in, and also the Synology DSM did not have any notifications that the RAM was unsupported.

So if you’re looking for an upgrade for your ds920+, go for the recommended Crucial ones, even if it’s slightly more expensive. It will save you time and headache.

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Upgrading memory on a Synology ds415+

I’ve had my Synology Diskstation ds415+ network attached storage device since late 2015, replacing my custom FreeNAS box. It came with 2GB of RAM, which is fine for basic file serving, but limited when running multiple applications, including Docker containers. Once applications start swapping onto the hard disks, everything starts grinding to a halt. I finally reached the breaking point on this last night when I had to reboot the NAS once more.

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Suspending Browser Tabs for Memory Conservation

Update: As of February 2021, The Great Suspender is no longer available due to the releases being overtaken by a malacious owner.  Modern Chrome versions are said to have better memory management anyway, so you may find a separate extension unnecessary.

If you’re like me and have upwards to 30-50 browser tabs open at the same time, you may notice that your computer becomes sluggish.  In my case this was because all the tabs still consume memory even though I might not need them for some period of time.  I still like to keep some tabs that I might need to quickly refer back to later.

I recently found a Chrome extension called The Great Suspender that automatically replaces the tab with a placeholder page after a certain period of time, optionally with a screenshot of what the page looked like.

An example of a suspended tab

With the click of the mouse anywhere in the placeholder, the actual page reloads.

The extension also allows you to manually suspend tabs if you know you won’t be needing the tab for a while, and whitelist certain pages or sites to never suspend automatically.

I’ve found I can save a few GB of memory, which could be nearly 20% of my total system memory.  Every bit counts!

VMware ESXi Scratch Space

If you installed VMware ESXi on a USB stick like I did, the “scratch space” (used for storing logs and debug information) is stored on a RAM disk.  This takes up 512MB of memory that could otherwise be provisioned to virtual machines.  In addition, it does not persist across reboots, which explains why I was never able to find any logs after a crash. Also I was seeing random “No space left on device” errors when I was trying to run the munin monitoring script for ESXi.

The solution to this is to simply create a folder on a disk, and configure ESXi to use it.

  1. Login to the console or SSH to the host.
  2. Go into one of your datastores in /vmfs/volumes/
  3. Create a directory for the scratch space.
  4. Login to the vSphere Client.
  5. In the Host device, go to the Configuration tab, then find the Software category on the left menu and click Advanced Settings
  6. In the Configuration parameters window, find ScratchConfig on the left.
  7. For the “ScratchConfig.ConfiguredScratchLocation” box, enter the path to the folder you created in step 3.
  8. Reboot the host.

It’s as simple as that!

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