MicroNet MaxNAS 2.5TB Server ReviewNemo - November 27, 2009
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The Accounts sections is where you set up local user accounts and groups and handle maintenance chores such as password changes and setting group memberships. Along with local accounts you can also set up authentication using Windows Active Directory or Windows NT (ADS/NT) if your MaxNAS is part of a Windows server domain.
The MaxNAS supports authentication using Active Directory Service or NT services as long as you have a Windows Server handling domain security on your network. If your network uses a separate Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) server to map IP addresses to computer names you can specify the IP address of the server. This makes it easier for other clients on the network to locate the MaxNAS using its NetBIOS name (in our example we set the host name to 'MaxNAS'). You also assign the workgroup or domain name here. If you are part of a Windows network domain you can choose the type of security authentication to use, either ADS or NT and give the credentials needed for authentication.
If you want to set up local users on the MaxNAS, as opposed to users maintained on a Windows domain, you can do this in the Users section by clicking on the Add button and specifying the user name and password. The system automatically assigns a unique user ID, which you can override, but it's probably best to let the system keep track of the IDs unless you have a specific numbering scheme you want to follow. The user is automatically added to the default 'users' group. Since we haven't set up any groups yet, we'll look at adding users to groups in the next section. The user account is created when you hit the Apply button and then confirm it by hitting OK at the 'Do you want to create this user?” warning prompt. You can later use the Modify button to go back in and change the user password and group memberships. Once a user has been created you cannot change the name or user ID. You can also remove a local user by highlighting the user name and pressing the delete button and clicking OK on the warning dialog to confirm the delete.
Groups are used to aggregate users with common access rights to system shares. This makes assigning and tracking rights much easier in place of performing the same functions for each individual user, especially when you have a large user base to maintain. The system comes preconfigured with the default group 'users'. To create a new group click the Add button and specify the group name and ID. As when creating new users, the system will automatically assign a group ID for you. The next step is to highlight one or more users and click the left arrow to move them from the User's List pane to the Member's List pane. Clicking the Apply button brings up a confirmation dialog where you click OK to create the group. Your can add or remove users from the group using the Modify button but you cannot change the group name or ID. You can delete the group using the Delete button.
Creating a large number of users at the same time can be rather tedious and involve lots of repetitive clicking of confirmation buttons. The MaxNAS provides a way to load a batch of users at one time using the Batch Create Users and Groups function. The function uses a comma separated value text file with each line consisting of 'username,password,groupname' with no spaces between the entries. You can create the file and then use the Browse button to locate it. The next step is to use the Import or Edit button (they seem to behave identically) to load the values into a window where you can review them prior to running the batch create process. Clicking one of the buttons brings up a confirmation dialog that makes it appear as if the user/groups are about to be created, but that is not the case. Clicking the OK button brings up a review pane where you can make any changes before clicking the OK button to perform the actual load. You'll have to click OK on the confirmation dialog again and this time the users and groups are added. You do not have to create the groups prior to loading the users as the system will dynamically create them for you during the load process. You can add users to multiple groups by repeating the user's information on multiple lines and changing the group name.
All that's left for us to look at now are the various system support functions on the MaxNAS in the next section.