Synology Disk Station DS408 ReviewNemo - March 3, 2009
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Once you established the basic operating parameters and created a volume, the next step in the process is to create users, groups and shares. Planning ahead will allow you to define which users get access to particular folders on the DS408 and creating a well-thought out folder structure ensures users get access to the data they need without granting access to data they don't need or only need read access to, for example.
The User subsection allows you to create, delete and maintain users on the system. This is also where you can change the default password on the admin account and set disk space quotas for users. You start out by clicking on the Create User button which brings up a dialog where you can enter the basic information on each user including user name, description, e-mail address and password. Moving to the 'User groups' tab lets you assign the new user to different groups. If you haven't created groups yet, you can add the member later once you gone through the exercise of creating groups. Each new member is automatically added to the 'users' group by default. Finally you can assign a quota to each user to determine how much storage space to allocate to each user. Space can be allocated in terms of MB or GB based on the drop down list. A value of '0' means no quota is assigned and the user has unlimited disk space. Quotas can only be assigned at the user level, there is no option to assign quotas to groups.
Once the user has been set up, the DS408 will generate an e-mail to the user with the name and password (assuming you set up the e-mail parameters as described earlier in the Notification section). The user is also given the URL of the DS408 where he/she can log in under their account to change the account description, password and e-mail address. The user can also monitor disk space usage. This is an important feature as there is no e-mail notification generated for exceeding quotas. In Windows, the users will simply get disk space full error messages once the limit has been reached.
You can perform additional maintenance operations on users using the Edit and Delete icons to change user information including description and password, disable user accounts and delete the user account completely. The fourth and final feature, Import Users, allows you to import a list of users instead of having to create them one at a time. The user's manual contains no information on this feature, but fortunately you can use the context-sensitive help to find out the format needed. Clicking on the '?' icon on the upper right corner of the page brings up information on the User section and you can scroll down to find out more about the Import Users function.
A Group is used to aggregate a set of users into a common entity. That way you can assigned rights to one group and have the rights automatically apply to every user in the group. This makes assigning and tracking rights and privileges much easier and more efficient. If you are diligent at only assigning rights to groups, then finding out which users has access to a folder simply means checking for group access rather than having to look at each individual user. This may not seem to be a big deal, but for business environments where there may be multiple users, using groups is virtually mandatory.
As with the User subsection, you can Create, Edit and Delete groups. The system comes with a default 'users' group which automatically contains all users. Clicking on the Create button allows you to create a group by assigning a group name and description. Once the group has been created, the Edit Members icon is enabled and you can add and remove members from the group. Clicking the Add icon brings up a list of members which you can choose by highlighting and clicking OK.
Along with adding additional storage space, one of the main features of a NAS server is the ability to create storage space that is accessible by multiple users across the network. The way you do this is by creating shared folders and granting access rights to groups and users. Along with Create, Edit and Delete functions, you also have a Privileges option and you can also set up Network File System (NFS) parameters if you have systems on the network using the NFS protocol.
Clicking on the Create button brings up a dialog for you to provide a name and description for your folder. You can also choose to hide the shared folder to keep it from being visible in “My Network Places”. This just means it won't be visible to the public, just like creating a share in Windows with a '$' suffix. The system is kind enough to warn you if the folder name is too long for Windows 98 users (yes, there are still some lurking out there somewhere). Shared folders are created at the root level of the volume, meaning you can not create shares as a subfolder of an existing share. The second step in the folder creation process is to assign privileges as the default is for all users to have read/write access.
Under the Advanced Privileges tab you can choose to make the folder write only for use as an upload folder under FTP or the Synology File Station. Clicking the OK button will generate a warning message because it detected a conflict in the user privileges. Because the OCCTestUser1 account is a member of both the OCCTestGroup and the default users group, and we assigned different rights to both groups, the system has to make a ruling on which rights to use. In this case No access trumps Read/Write so we would have to remove the OCCTestUser1 from the default users group in order for the user to have the intended access.
Choosing the NFS Privileges tab will start the NFS service if you haven't already done so and then you can specify the parameters as needed.
Let's move on to the Storage management area to look at some of the features we didn't get to see during the initial setup.