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Synology Disk Station DS408 Review

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The DS408 provides the capability to back up the data on the several to different targets. This includes local backups to USB drives attached to the DS408 or to a local share on the DS408 itself. Your can also back up the unit to over the network to another Synology server or to any rsync-enabled server.

Configuration Backup

After you have spent a great deal of time configuring the server, creating users and groups and assigning shares, it would be nice to know all your hard work is safe. With Configuration Backup you can store those settings to a file separate from the DS408 for added safety. You can also use this feature to restore previously saved settings.












Local Backup

The Local Backup option allows you to back up data to a shared folder on the DS408 or to an external drive connected via the USB port. Clicking the Create icon launches the Local Backup Wizard that will walk you through the steps necessary to create a backup task. First you need to chose a name for the task and the shared folder(s) to back up. Since shared folders can only be defined at the root directory level, you can't drill down to specify specific subfolders.




After choosing the source folder, the next step is to specify a target folder. In this example we are using a local shared folder. The backup task will create a /LocalBackup folder on the target drive to store the files. You can create a basic schedule choosing a single day and time or opt for a more advanced scheduling function for daily or specific days of the week. Once everything is set up and confirmed, the job is ready to roll on the scheduled date/time.




The system will perform a full backup the first time the job is run. That means all files in the shared folder will be backed up. Subsequent backups will be incremental, backing up only those files that have changed since the previous backup. You can use the Get Info icon to look at details of the job and you also have the option to edit and delete scheduled tasks. Another useful feature is the Backup Now option that will allow you to run a task immediately without having to wait for the scheduled kickoff time.



Network Backup

The DS408 provides the capability to back up to another Synology server or other rsync-enabled server on the network or over the Internet. Rsync is an application for Unix/Linux systems that allows you to synchronize files between the two systems. The process is similar to the Local Backup process except clicking on the Create icon launches the Network Backup Wizard. Since we covered the basics in the section above, we'll just touch on some of the differences here. Instead of choosing a local drive, you need to tell the system whether you're using another Synology server or a rsync-compatible server. You can also choose to have the data encrypted before it is transferred. Once you specify the server address and login credential information, the process is pretty much the same as with the local backup. You'll also notice there is an additional icon, Network Restoration, that launches, you guessed it, the Backup Restoration Wizard which can be used to recover files backed up using this method. This becomes necessary if the files were encrypted during the original backup task.



Network Backup Service

As mentioned earlier, rsync allows you to synchronize files between two systems and you can use the DS408 as a backup target as well by enabling the Network Backup Service feature.


This just about wraps up the configuration settings. All we have left to do is check out what those USB ports on the back of the DS408 are for.

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