New user - setting up multiple volumes (3) for different uses in the same pool, or single volume

Hey everyone,

I’ve purchased a DS923+ (waiting for it to arrive), in the meanwhile I’m deciding on how to set it up, I want to meet the following use-cases:

  • storage of videos, music that I want to be able to view / play on different apple devices
  • drive for sync with multiple devices, i.e to store my obsidian vault, documents and photo sharing, and also to run docker containers (or should this be separate?)
  • backup location for computers - time machine - and phones

Should I create 3 volumes as they should have different usage types? or stick with a single volume and focus on shared folders instead? to highlight that my idea is that I would encrypt only specific volumes, especially the drive, and also wanted to use the SSD as read cache only on this one (or maybe also in the videos folder if that would help in anyway.

There’s a ton of conflicting arguments online, and after viewing a whole bunch of videos on the yt channel - great work by the way Will - so hoping we can find a consensus of what would be an ideal setup for my use case.

Thanks in advance!

Multiple volumes with different storage pools are easier to explain or defend than those on a single pool. You could create numerous pools for performance reasons, various RAID levels for other purposes, and choose the right volume for the task for each pool.

The use-case is more limited with a single pool but can still make sense. You already mentioned volume encryption and SSD cache. Another consideration could be the file system (Btrfs versus Ext4), depending on the purpose of the volume.
The backside of the coin is a more inefficient or inflexible use of storage space.

That is all I can think of. You choose what is more important to you, the pros or cons.

I’m sort of in a similar situation. I have a DS923+ sitting in a box right now waiting to get set up. Your strategy divides volumes a lot. I plan to divide into two volumes, encrypted and non-encrypted. I don’t feel the need to separate out media (pics,movies,music, photo-share) from VMs. It’s simpler and my volume spaces will be larger. If you have documents that cannot be compromised then put them all into an encrypted volume (say 1-2TB) . Everything else should be fine together in a volume that contains the balance of available drive space. Do you have a simple network setup or a VLAN?

thanks @Paul and @SpiceRex

Indeed after reviewing your comments and additional considerations I’m going to move into a 2 volumes setup (within a single storage pool) - one encrypted and one not, as I’m starting only with 2 6TB drives in SHR1 at the beginning (+1 ssd for reading cache), I’ll split right in half, i think the unencrypted volume will fill up faster, but I can manage that when it’s time to add a third drive

regarding your question I’m going to say simple network @SpiceRex, I haven’t setup yet, my order is still in the delivery stage, but that will be my approach.


You should be fine with 2 volumes on a single subnet network (ex. or If you decide to set up a VLAN down the road there are further things you can do to ensure important information is kept safe.