QNAP TS-509 Pro Turbo NAS ReviewNemo - May 5, 2009
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Now that the TS-509 has most of the basic configuration completed, including the creation of a volume to hold folders and files, it's time to bring some structure to the unit to make it more secure and usable by network users. The first step in this process is to define who the users are that will need access to the the storage on the TS-509 and the define a grouping structure of like users.
The User Management section allows you to create users, set up groups and assign users to these groups and to establish usage quotas. We'll take a look at these functions in the order they appear on the page, but it would be useful to sit down and think things out prior to beginning. Some questions to consider are how much storage should each users be allowed to use (quotas), how are users on the network logically organized (groups) and which member on the network need access to the unit (users). By answering these questions first, you might find it useful to set up quotas and groups prior to adding users so that this information is available when it comes time to add users and assign them to groups.
The users section has a series of functions that facilitate the creation and management of users:
Create – this function is pretty self explanatory as it allows to create anew user on the TS-509. Once the user name and password are set you can continue on to add the user to a group (assuming you have already created the group). Since we're looking at users first, there are no groups so we can't add the users anywhere yet.
Create Multiple Users – if you have a naming convention using a series of sequential numbers as part of the user name (e.g. OCCTestUser1, OCCTestUser2, etc.) you can create a series of users all at once, eliminating some of the tedium of typing each user in individually. Unfortunately, they will all have the same password and there is no method for forcing a password change or generating random passwords, so this is not a very secure method for creating users. You can also have the system set up a private network share for each of the users, something you can't do when creating a single user; you have to use a separate step for single users.
Change Password – let's face it, users forget their passwords and this section lets you reset the password to a new value.
Create Private Network Share - this process allows you to create a folder under the user name that is private and can be accessed only by the specific user account. By default, the private share is created at the root level, but you can override the location and specify one of your own.
Assign User Groups – this is where having determined and created the groups first would come in handy. You can highlight a user on the list and assign or remove them from a particular user group, but only if the group already exists. You might find it useful to visit the User Groups section and set up the groups prior to creating users. We'll cover this in more detail below.
Quota Settings – you can assign storage quotas to each user, but only if you have first enabled quotas in the Quota section. If you plan on instituting quotas this is another area that you want to take care of before you start creating users. If you haven't enabled quotas the system will give you a warning message. Once quotas are enabled, you can use the generic setting for all users or adjust the storage quota for each individual user.
Delete – this section is used to delete a user from the system.
The User Groups section allows you to create and manage groups. Groups are a convenient way to aggregate users needing a common set of permissions together. That way you can assign permission to groups instead of having to perform that function repeatedly fr each user. It makes management much easier and also make tracking down permissions much easier. If you assign permissions only at the group level you don't have to examine each individual user to see who has rights to the shares on the server.
Create – you can create a new group in this section which is simply a matter of assigning a group name. You can also elect to continue on to the Assign Users section and add users to the newly created group. Create Private Network Share – you can create a private network share for the group from this section and the system will automatically assign full access rights for the group.
Assign Users – this option allows you to assign single or multiple users to a group. This is useful for assigning users at a later date. It also comes in handy if you didn't assign users to the group when it was created, or created users before creating the group.
Delete – this option allows you to delete a group. Deleting a group will also remove all access rights for that group.
The Quota section is used to turn on quotas for all users. You can set a default quota amount which applies to all users. You can then adjust this amount on a per-user basis as we saw above. Quotas can only be assigned at the user level and not at the group level.
That takes care setting up users and groups so now we're ready to move on to setting up shares and assigning permissions.