Synology’s Cool DSM 7.1 Officially Here!

ByFreda D. Cuevas

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After five months in public beta, the latest version of the popular DiskStation Manager NAS operating system, the DSM 7.1, is officially available today, May 10, 2022, per Synology. That’s the good news.

The not-so-good is Surveillance Station 9.0 — slated to be a major upgrade of version 8.2 — has been delayed. Synology told me that it’d be available sometime this month though that could change.

DSM 7 0 Desktop
The web interface of DSM 7.1 is the same as that of DSM 7.1, minus a few options for legacy apps and protocols.

A bit of a potential upgrade dilemma for Surveillance Station users

The delay of Surveillance Statin 9.0 is significant because if you’re running the beta version of the app right now, you must remove it or be prompted to upgrade to the final version (which is not yet available) before you can upgrade your NAS server to the official version of DSM 7.1.

If you choose to remove the app, upon completing the upgrade, you’d note that Surveillance Station 9.0 is not there, nor is the beta version, and you can’t use version 8.2 anymore.

(The solution is if you need Surveillance Station and its data, keep using the DSM 7.1 beta until version 9.0 is officially available).

For those not using Surveillance Station or using version 8.2, the upgrade process is a brief manual firmware update. All you have to do is download the official DSM 7.1 image for your server, build 42261 — here’s the download link. After that, log into the server’s web interface and perform a manual upgrade via the Control Panel.

I did that on a DS1517+ and a DS1821+, both were running DSM 7.0.1, and things went smoothly. The process took just around 10 minutes.

DSM 7.1 Update AME Notice
The notice about AME and a Synology account before the upgrade

Still, a couple of things to note per my experience:

  • With DSM 7.1, the support for Apple Filing Protocol (AFP) is no longer. That’s not a huge issue, if at all. Apple has deprecated AFP for a long time, and Synology has disabled it by default, starting with DSM 7.0. Apple has opted for the more common Server Message Block (SMB) protocol for a long time.
  • Movie and streaming buff should note that the support for the Advanced Media Extension (AME) will be upgraded to version 2.0, which, for some reason, requires an account with Synology to work. It’s not a huge issue for those using QuickConnect, but if you want to use the server completely independent from Synology, that’s something to consider.
  • The following apps will also be updated to the latest version (or require a manual upgrade afterward): Replication Server, web Station, Video Station, Virtual Machine Manager, Snapshot Replication, Python 3.8, Docker, Media Server, and Python 3. So make sure your existing applications support the latest versions of any related app/platform before updating.

Other than that, DSM 7.1 comes with many ecosystem-wide improvements. Together with it, Synology says it has also launched the following applications and services:

  • Active Backup for Business: bandwidth control, expanded monitoring and reporting capabilities, and support for DSM backups.
  • Active Insight: centralized login activity and Hyper Backup task status monitoring, plus the ability to update monitored systems in batch.
  • Synology C2 Hybrid Share: C2 server-side snapshots and local file- versioning provided by Synology Drive for easier restoration.
  • Directory Server: support for read-only domain controllers to improve deployment security and flexibility.
  • Synology Drive: expanded indexing capabilities, revamped mobile user experience, and improved monitoring/auditing capabilities.
  • MailPlus: virtual DSM support, expanded management options, importing, and migration improvements.
  • Virtual Machine Manager: storage I/O performance improvements and QoS capabilities.

And finally, a reminder that DSM 7.1 is the last major upgrade for most, if not all, of the NAS servers of the model year 2015 and older.

Synology DS1821+ vs DS1621+
These 2021 servers will run DSM 7.1 very well.

The takeaway

For those using DSM 7.1 beta, unless you also use the beta version of Surveillance Station 9.0, there’s no reason not to upgrade your server to DSM 7.1 final today. The new version seems more streamlined and slightly faster, in my experience.

For those still having legacy apps that require DSM 6.2, it’s time to probably find alternatives supported by DSM 7 and move on. While you can keep using DSM 6.2 indefinitely, you’d miss out quite a bit.

Again, here’s the link to download DSM 7.1.


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