How to copy data from old Synology NAS to new Synology NAS

If you’re moving from an old Synology to a new Synology NAS, or just want to keep two NAS in sync all the time, the simple but effective solution I’ve found is to use Shared Folder Sync with rsync. You can easily configure this in the Synology web control panel. Here’s how you do it.

I recently upgraded from a two-bay Synology DS720+ to a four-bay Synology DS920+ model. The upgrade gives me a bit of extra performance and two extra drive bays for storage expansion options. A NAS is a great companion to an Apple household, as it can act as a Plex media server for all your devices, run HomeBridge for advanced HomeKit automation, back up your Macs with Time Machine, and more. A full review of the DS920+ is coming soon.

But when I received the new device, my problem was how to copy the data from the old NAS to the new one. I want to keep the old NAS running so I couldn’t just take out the hard drives and physically move the data that way. I also wanted a solution that could run in the background while the old NAS remained actively in use (our family relies on it for Plex access and other services).

I also wanted the ability to re-sync data in the future if I added files to the old NAS before fully migrating to the new box. Connecting via physical cable wasn’t really an option and it was unclear how it would be achieved.

The solution I found was to use the ‘advanced’ rsync service with Synology’s integrated Shared Folder Sync app. This turned out to be a very elegant and simple solution and could be configured autonomously using the web UI, although the steps were a bit non-obvious…

How to configure Shared Folder Sync from one NAS to another

1. Log in to the Synology DiskStation web portal on the new NAS, which is the destination you want to copy/sync files to. Go to Control Panel -> File Services -> rsync and enable the rsync service.

2. Log in to the Synology DiskStation web portal on the old NAS, the one with the files to be copied. Navigate to Control Panel -> File Services -> Advanced and scroll down to Shared Folder Sync.

3. Click the Task List button and press Create. Select the source shared folder you want to copy. NOTE: If the folder/file names match the destination, they will be renamed so they don’t conflict with the sync process.

4. Follow the steps by pressing the Next button. On the sync destination screen, Synology should automatically find the new Synology on your network, so you can simply select it and enter your login information.

… And that’s it! The files and folders will automatically start synchronizing over the network to the new NAS. If you add files later to the source, they will also be automatically copied to the destination. To reduce traffic congestion on your local network, you can optionally configure the task to only run on a schedule at certain times of the day (such as at night).

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William

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