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New Synology user feeling lost


ecthomason
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  I just setup a new Synology DS214play and managed to get DSM 5 on it and setup a storage volume, but now I feel lost as to what I should do next. Do I setup packages first or users or shares? I guess I need a checklist or step-by-step guide. Please forgive my ignorance; this is my first NAS. :(

 My goal is to have it backup my pc's documents/pictures, maybe have that then backup somewhere online, serve movies to my htpc, and run tiny tiny rss. Thanks for any help.

 

 

 

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Setup the users first.  You then control access to the folders based on users.

 

Map drives from Synology to the specific client

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Mess around with it for a few days and try different things.  Then when you feel comfortable you can reset it to factory and set it up based on what you learned and how you want it. 

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I'd consider as above just mucking around for a few days. When I was just using a synology I just threw everything in one big share and then had a couple of packages installed. It isn't a problem if you install packages before or after adding users. 

 

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  I just setup a new Synology DS214play and managed to get DSM 5 on it and setup a storage volume, but now I feel lost as to what I should do next. Do I setup packages first or users or shares? I guess I need a checklist or step-by-step guide. Please forgive my ignorance; this is my first NAS. :(

 My goal is to have it backup my pc's documents/pictures, maybe have that then backup somewhere online, serve movies to my htpc, and run tiny tiny rss. Thanks for any help.

1st let me say congrats on you new DS214play. I also agree with everyone's answers that you should create users first then create the shared folders and give users access to what ever shares you want.

 

I have been a big Synology fan for the last 3 years now because of Dave always pimping Synology. I purchase a Synology DS213+ to play with at first and I really liked it but I only did minimal testing with it and soon realized that a two bay NAS would not fill my storage needs so I purchased a Synology DS1812+ witch is an 8 bay NAS in hopes of replacing my Microsoft Windows Home Server 2011 or my now Microsoft Server 2012 R2 Essentials box but soon realized that the Synology box could not replace my Microsoft Server boxes because I needed/wanted bare-metal-backups of my computers and enough horse power to do on-the-fly trans-coding for all my media using Plex one of if not the best application for streaming to all devices without converting all your media ahead of time. http://plex.tv I looked at what you want to do with your new Synology box and for the most part it should not be a problem. The only two things that concern me is you say you want to serve media to your media center, Anytime someone using these type of low powered NAS devices and wanting to serve media concerns me big time because these under powered NAS devices will NOT do well with on-the-fly-trans-coding, You need an Intel core i5 with 8 gigs of ram or better for this. If all your media is already the correct format (aka MP4's for the device you want to stream to and requires no on-the-fly-trans-coding then you will be fine with this Synology box but if all your media is not in the proper format for the devices you want to stream to and requires on-the-fly-trans-coding you will need a Intel Core i5 with 8 Gigs of ram or better.

 

As for backups as long as you only want to backup the users data to Synology you will be fine but if you want complete bare-metal-restore then your out of luck, Microsoft Windows Home Server 2011 and Microsoft Server 2012 R2 Essentials has the BEST bare metal restore you will find and maybe the only option for this type of backup at this point. You have to decide if one of your computers goes down is it worth days or maybe weeks re-installing the OS and all the apps then setting up all your preferences then restoring your data from the last Synology backup or just having a Bare-Metal-Backup of the system that you load and after a half hour or so your back to where you started from the last backup. For me the Bare-Metal-Backup is worth its wait in gold because it has saved me hundreds of hours in down time over the years.

 

Also NAS devices don't tend to lend themselves very will with windows library and applications such as Windows 8 photo gallery and such so do lots of testing to make sure this NAS device is going to fit into you environment and have user acceptance before you go hog wiled with it.

 

I am sorry if I am doing more harm then good with my response to you but these are things to consider before its to late to return your new Synology box. Synology is a great NAS and I still have my DS1812+ and I am using it for many other things like my email server, Cameras, VPN, Backup target for my Microsoft Server 2012 R2 Essentials and other things but you need to be aware of the weaknesses of the Synology before its to late.

 

Sorry for the long post and I hope that I have not confused you, I am only trying to help.

 

Good Luck

Edited by Mr Fixit
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1st let me say congrats on you new DS214play. I also agree with everyone's answers that you should create users first then create the shared folders and give users access to what ever shares you want.

 

I have been a big Synology fan for the last 3 years now because of Dave always pimping Synology. I purchase a Synology DS213+ to play with at first and I really liked it but I only did minimal testing with it and soon realized that a two bay NAS would not fill my storage needs so I purchased a Synology DS1812+ witch is an 8 bay NAS in hopes of replacing my Microsoft Windows Home Server 2011 or my now Microsoft Server 2012 R2 Essentials box but soon realized that the Synology box could not replace my Microsoft Server boxes because I needed/wanted bare-metal-backups of my computers and enough horse power to do on-the-fly trans-coding for all my media using Plex one of if not the best application for streaming to all devices without converting all your media ahead of time. http://plex.tv I looked at what you want to do with your new Synology box and for the most part it should not be a problem. The only two things that concern me is you say you want to serve media to your media center, Anytime someone using these type of low powered NAS devices and wanting to serve media concerns me big time because these under powered NAS devices will NOT do well with on-the-fly-trans-coding, You need an Intel core i5 with 8 gigs of ram or better for this. If all your media is already the correct format (aka MP4's for the device you want to stream to and requires no on-the-fly-trans-coding then you will be fine with this Synology box but if all your media is not in the proper format for the devices you want to stream to and requires on-the-fly-trans-coding you will need a Intel Core i5 with 8 Gigs of ram or better.

 

As for backups as long as you only want to backup the users data to Synology you will be fine but if you want complete bare-metal-restore then your out of luck, Microsoft Windows Home Server 2011 and Microsoft Server 2012 R2 Essentials has the BEST bare metal restore you will find and maybe the only option for this type of backup at this point. You have to decide if one of your computers goes down is it worth days or maybe weeks re-installing the OS and all the apps then setting up all your preferences then restoring your data from the last Synology backup or just having a Bare-Metal-Backup of the system that you load and after a half hour or so your back to where you started from the last backup. For me the Bare-Metal-Backup is worth its wait in gold because it has saved me hundreds of hours in down time over the years.

 

Also NAS devices don't tend to lend themselves very will with windows library and applications such as Windows 8 photo gallery and such so do lots of testing to make sure this NAS device is going to fit into you environment and have user acceptance before you go hog wiled with it.

 

I am sorry if I am doing more harm then good with my response to you but these are things to consider before its to late to return your new Synology box. Synology is a great NAS and I still have my DS1812+ and I am using it for many other things like my email server, Cameras, VPN, Backup target for my Microsoft Server 2012 R2 Essentials and other things but you need to be aware of the weaknesses of the Synology before its to late.

 

Sorry for the long post and I hope that I have not confused you, I am only trying to help.

 

Good Luck

 

  Yeah. I plan on using it as a stepping stone anyway. One day I will get a MS server.  Also, I have a HTPC i5 with 6gigs of RAM. If I put plex on it and point the library to my NAS files will that work?

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  Yeah. I plan on using it as a stepping stone anyway. One day I will get a MS server.  Also, I have a HTPC i5 with 6gigs of RAM. If I put plex on it and point the library to my NAS files will that work?

That will work just fine as long as your network is up to the task, Meaning your running a fast Gigabit Network using either Cat5e or Cat6 cables. Also I would recommend NOT using the built in Switch of your router if your router has one because that's not best practice and your network performance could be taxed for doing so, What I recommend is get a separate Gigabit Switch to plug all your devices into and only use the router for its routing functions, this will give you the best results. If you need some ideas on good performing Switches I use D-Link as many of use here do, See this link for the switches I recommend for unmanaged none rack mount Switches http://www.amazon.com/D-Link-8-Port-Gigabit-Switch-DGS-1008G/dp/B003X7TRWO

 

Now that I got that off my chest there are some other things you need to know and do in order to get this setup correct. Make sure the media folders on Synology are Indexed for speedy access, Also when you try to add the folders to the Plex Library it will not show you the shared folders you created on the Synology box be default. What you have to do is type in the UNC path for the folder share on Synology, As an example type "\\mydssevername\movies\" without the quotes and save it, Plex should now start searching and adding your media.

 

The only other thing that comes to mind right now is you don't say what kind of hard drives your using in the Synology NAS, I would highly recommend you use a NAS hard drive like the "WD Red Drives or the Seagate NAS Drives because they have logic built in for NAS/Raid devices. I am partial to Seagate but many people on here also use WD. The only last thing I would do if it where my NAS is max out the RAM on the box if you plan on installing many of the great Synology Apps.

 

Hope this helped.

Edited by Mr Fixit
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Sorry for this additional post but for some reason this forum sometimes locks me out from editing my own post so I have to make a new post.

 

Also you will need to give the computer that your going to install Plex Media Server on a Static IP Address and do a port forward for port 32400 protocol TCP on your router to the IP Address of the Plex Server. If your router has UPnP and its enabled (NOT RECOMMEND) because of security issue then Plex maybe able to auto configure the port forwarding rules for you but again if you have UPnP enabled on the router then I strongly suggest you disable this and manually configure your port forwarding rules.

 

Plex is a great product and I have been using it for the last 1 1/2 years or so and it works great for the most part but it lacks in certain arias like no Live TV support and you cant have the Plex Media Server start automatically without Logging into windows (Not Good for Servers) This has been asked for hundreds of times on the Plex Forums but they refuse to give us the ability to install Plex Media Server as a service rather then a desktop app, I use a program called AlwaysUP http://www.coretechnologies.com/products/AlwaysUp/ that allows you to run any application as a service but it cost money and y should we have to spend money to auto start a server product aka Plex Media SERVER, Lucky for us there is a another product in heavy development "Media Browser 3" with lots of hopes that it will be an even better product then Plex and fill the gap of wanted features. I am running Plex and MB3 side by side and I have to tell you that I am really liking what the MB3 is doing these days but is lacking some platform support at the moment but I have no doubt they will catch up with Plex and maybe even pass them, Heck Live TV support alone is worth its wait in gold as a Microsoft Media Center Replacement. We just have to wait and see over the next 6-12 months what MB3 team gets done :) Check it out http://www.mediabrowser3.com/

Edited by Mr Fixit
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Sorry for this additional post but for some reason this forum sometimes locks me out from editing my own post so I have to make a new post.

 

Also you will need to give the computer that your going to install Plex Media Server on a Static IP Address and do a port forward for port 32400 protocol TCP on your router to the IP Address of the Plex Server. If your router has UPnP and its enabled (NOT RECOMMEND) because of security issue then Plex maybe able to auto configure the port forwarding rules for you but again if you have UPnP enabled on the router then I strongly suggest you disable this and manually configure your port forwarding rules.

 

Plex is a great product and I have been using it for the last 1 1/2 years or so and it works great for the most part but it lacks in certain arias like no Live TV support and you cant have the Plex Media Server start automatically without Logging into windows (Not Good for Servers) This has been asked for hundreds of times on the Plex Forums but they refuse to give us the ability to install Plex Media Server as a service rather then a desktop app, I use a program called AlwaysUP http://www.coretechnologies.com/products/AlwaysUp/ that allows you to run any application as a service but it cost money and y should we have to spend money to auto start a server product aka Plex Media SERVER, Lucky for us there is a another product in heavy development "Media Browser 3" with lots of hopes that it will be an even better product then Plex and fill the gap of wanted features. I am running Plex and MB3 side by side and I have to tell you that I am really liking what the MB3 is doing these days but is lacking some platform support at the moment but I have no doubt they will catch up with Plex and maybe even pass them, Heck Live TV support alone is worth its wait in gold as a Microsoft Media Center Replacement. We just have to wait and see over the next 6-12 months what MB3 team gets done :) Check it out http://www.mediabrowser3.com/

 

  I put 2 4TB WD Red Drives in at using Synology hybrid RAID, which I assume is just RAID1. I'd like to upgrade the RAM eventually but a bit scared to as it would void the warranty. Is there a specific type/brand of RAM I should look for?

 

  I have my NAS plugged into an Asus RT-N66R router thinking its built-in switch would suffice, but if you think plugging it into a separate switch would be better I can do that. I already have a Dlink gigabit switch.  I will give MB3 a try, sounds great.

 

  Also, how do you setup NAS users?  Do you create a user for each person or for each machine?  I'm just trying to see how it works when one user has 3 PCs to backup.

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