QNAP Setup and networking


I purchased a QNAP TS-453B per a previous question on EE.  

I've installed the device with 2-step authentication.  Currently the device is "Raid Group Synchronizing" (I setup as RAID 5 using 4 3TB HDs).  

What is best practice regarding setup/next steps?  I have zero experience setting up a NAS and have only started poking around with settings/configuration.  

My goals for the NAS (tentatively):

1)  Personal data storage while using ChromeOS devices/Windows.  I will have admin access.  
2)  Data streaming for Tablo, Plex, other random video.  I'm also playing around with Plex Cloud with Google Drive.  
3)  Personal data storage for my wife.  I've set her up as a user.  

Initial questions:

1)  Do I want folders accessible as drive letters (I will use with Windows and ChromeOS in future)?  Why or why not?  
2)  What is Snapshot?  Should this be setup?  How for my tentative needs?  Should all shared folders be in the Snapshot folder?  
3)  I see this under network in Windows, but cannot access and backup my Acronis test to any of the folders (see attached).  I'm unsure how setup should be in Microsoft Networking (QNAP) (see attached).  My understanding of domains vs local network users and proper setup is poor.  
4)  Why setup an email account (SMTP)?  It seems like the app requires access to "read, send, delete and manage your email"?
5)  Why does my DataVol1 capacity only show 3.15TB?  See attached.

Thank you in advance for my plethora of questions!
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

nociSoftware EngineerCommented:
First thing would be to upgrade your firmware to the latest level (don't assume new boxes have recent firmware, they could  have been in storage for a few months...)
How many storage pools did you create? Looks like this is a single disk...
Snapshots are a way to "create" a stable "disk" by gathering all changes done to the mail volume. As such they should not be written to.
this is handy for backups f.e. a backup copy can take hours, while production can continue without altering data going to backup.
Needed to get good backups from database systems.
Creating shares on the system (needs enabing of some protocols to get them working) seems the easiest way to proceed.
You may need to setup quota on disk usage to prevent flooding & filling up the storage.

I don't have a lot to say about windows systems.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Thomas Zucker-ScharffSolution GuideCommented:
I use a QNAP NAS at home with 1 JBOD (Just a Bunch of Devices - or in my case one 2tb drive - Datavol1) and 2 3tb drives in a datapool (Datavol2).  I use a windows 10 laptop to access the NAS.  I also have it setup in myqnapcloud.com so I can access it from anywhere.  You need to setup users like you would in an normal system (create users, create groups, assign users to groups and assign permissions to groups).  I always test new users by logging in as them so I can see what they might see.  Create "shares" on the Datavolume (in your case Datavol1).  I then use my laptop to log into the NAS and assign drive letters to the shares.  For instance, I have one share for pictures (Photos) that gets auto-assigned to drive letter Y when I log into the laptop.  Since all photos are stored here, I have a Snapshot schedule for this drive on the NAS.  It takes a snapshot - full backup - once a week and is set to keep the last five.  I have it set to also have guaranteed space.  I don't use quotas.

You should have everything backed up elsewhere as well.  QNAP has some excellent backup programs (like Hybrid Backup Sync).  There is also a headless Crashplan install.

How much RAM memory do you have on the system?  It looks like you have fully populated a 4 disk system.  I believe that system can go up to 6tb per disk (max of 24tb raw storage).  You might consider upping the storage capacity for at least 2 disks (you can't have raid 5 with 2 disks, but you could have 2 datapools instead - my 2 3tb drives in one datapool end up mirrored - 3.15tb usable).

I confess I am continually learning more about this system.
nociSoftware EngineerCommented:
My QNAP is 3 disks, raid 5 and only used to store backups.
I access the disk array using NFS. (no windows / OSX systems here).
All my systems have mirrored disk sets on board.
i created one datavolume,  there is a part set aside as iSCSI disk.
IT Pros Agree: AI and Machine Learning Key

We’d all like to think our company’s data is well protected, but when you ask IT professionals they admit the data probably is not as safe as it could be.

hiloguyAuthor Commented:
Thanks Everyone,

I have a call/remote session pending with QNAP (hopefully by Wednesday)

I've already upgraded firmware.

Regarding RAM, I have 8GB.  Yes, fully populated four 3TB HDs.  

I don't know if I had the option to setup "storage pools" during setup?  Is this the same as a "datapool"?  How many pools would be recommended for my tentative use and discs?

Interesting input about adding two higher capacity disks and have two datapools.  I still don't quite understand what a datapool is and why does my datapool only show 3 TB when the total space is approx 8TB?  Does this mean I can only use 3TB (I need more).  What are the pros and cons about having two datapools?  

It looks like I have the option to migrate folders to the shared snapshot folder (see attached).  I will most likely do this, unless input otherwise.  

I think "creating shares on the system" is my current problem. My networking skills/knowledge is limited and I'm unsure on protocols/settings to enable for my and wife needs (Windows also) and Chromebox needs.  

Setting up drive letters for the shares seems best for Windows systems (unsure about ChromeOS).  I'll test this.  

I will check into setting up the "quota on disk usage" vs "guaranteed space"  to prevent flooding/filling up storage.  

I will backup everything hopefully to Google Drive (apparently unlimited data for GSuite Business users).  I believe QNAP has a Google Drive app (unsure how this works yet).  

Finally, do I need a "certificate' for a secure connection?  I purchased a certificate and believe I added correctly but still get this message (see attached)?  

I appreciate the input.  Please advise if possible on the questions above.  I'm definitely open to additional direction and info!
nociSoftware EngineerCommented:
wrt. the certificate: if you bought the certificate for the hostname mynas.example.com   then  you need to access your nas with:  https://mynas.example.com     and that needs to be setup with the right DNS & portforward etc.
hiloguyAuthor Commented:
Thanks everyone,

QNAP support was surprisingly helpful!

I expanded my datapool (datavol1) and setup 20% guaranteed snapshot space.  I set up snapshots of datavol1 on a weekly schedule.  

Support figured out the networking issues and I can access the shares now.  My workstation was tied to my office workgroup.  

Resolved the certificate issue (it's tied to QNAP Cloud).  

I'm definitely NOT QNAP savvy yet but at least I can use the device!

Thank you very much for the support.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.