The DS1010+ offers plastic frames for installing HDDs of both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch form-factors. After you put your disks in, you need to use Synology Assistant to create a system partition and install the operating system on it. The OS serves as firmware here. Synology Assistant will ask you to specify a few settings such as NAS name, admin password, network settings and integrated clock. A simplified one-step installation procedure is available, too.
We talked about the new-version Synology Assistant in our previous review. The other utilities (Download Redirector and Data Replicator) have not changed.
As we noted in that article, the new firmware (DSM 3.0) features a completely new interface. The interface menu used to have a simple and handy tree-like structure but now the user faces the daunting task of finding the necessary option in a multi-screen and multi-task interface. On one hand, you can open several pages with settings simultaneously, but on the other hand, this may get too complicated. Perhaps we just didn’t have enough time to get used to the new interface, though. We will discuss our experience of using it in future articles. Here, we will just focus on the setup options available in the menu.
The interface is very much alike to modern OSes. There is a panel with running tasks at the top of the interface window. This taskbar has a search field (it is very handy and helps to adapt when you transition from the older firmware version), a hotspot for minimizing all the open windows, a system notification tool, and something like the Start menu. You can place icons into the main window to quickly access frequently used features. Each page or window you open has icons for closing, resizing and minimizing, like in a graphical OS interface.
The menu is dynamic in the sense that each enabled software module adds new options into it. It also has icons for exiting, rebooting and shutting down, just as in regular OSes. Beginner users will find the integrated help system handy (it is searchable, too).
Ordinary users (not the administrator) may access the firmware interface, too. That is, they can access permitted services and resources, change their passwords and check out their disk quotas. Each user can customize the interface by choosing a background picture and a color scheme.
The interface is available in several languages. The language is selected automatically according to your browser settings or manually.