923+ SHR vs RAID 5 for Photography?

I just received my 923+ but was reluctant to even open it to due to its complexity. Spacerex videos are proving to be hugely helpful but I still have a few questions before uboxing my unit.

My main purpose of getting Synology is to store/access my huge library of RAW + JPG image files as a photographer. The appeal of the NAS is also to access photos from anywhere in the world since I travel for work a lot. Currently I have 12TB’s worth of photos on a G-DRIVE external HD which desperately needs to be backed up (and expanded). I purchased 3x IronWolf Pro 12TB drives and I’m not sure if I should set it up as SHR or RAID 5? I bought the 3rd drive with the intention of doing RAID 5 however seeing SHR as an option I could return the 3rd drive to save some money as I likely will be ok with 24TB for now. I know this isn’t a back solution but I do hope Synology drives will be reliable enough for at least 5 years to dump all my files onto and edit off of. Once the NAS is all setup I plan to backup everything onto Backblaze and/or those old HDD’s. Also, do I need the Pro’s or just regular IronWolf?

All that being said, can anyone recommend what I should do for setup and if Synology is for me? I wasn’t planning on dropping $2K CAD on storage so I want to know if it’s worth it or if I’m better off just returning it all and buying more HDD’s.


So in general what I would do is get 16 TB drive, and buy however many you need to make the space work.

SHR and RAID5 will be almost identical for your situation. But SHR will give you better flexibility in the future. It always you do use larger drives to get more space, where as RAID5 will treat all drives as the size of the smallest drive.

TL;DR; SHR will be better for your situation

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Thanks a lot for the reply! The price for the 12TB IronWolf Pro’s I paid were $329 CDN + tax whereas the 16TB is $414 CDN + tax. Am I better off just getting 2 16TB’s in this case? The non Pro’s are a bit cheaper but I guess have worse longevity?