What to take into account

While most admins will instinctively go for a Windows server licence, then setting up an AD domain and file sharing on expensive hardware,we feel this is usually not the best solution.Windows domain hardly gets used apart from authentication purposes, and you can accomplish the same level of operation by using a less expensive and much faster to setup Synology system.

Synology DSM applications

Synology DSM applications

There’s a reasonable argument that the DSM applications aren’t the full experience that you might see from a properly configured Linux server platform. But the flip side of that is that in this form they’re more easily administered and require much less invested time to operate.


Creating a mail server, Radius server, VP Server, Apache Web Server, Drupal platform or dozens of other functions are just a few clicks away.

There are a lot of Synology models varying in price and performance, and just looking at their current DS1817 model that will handle 150 users with no problems at under 1000$ you get the idea of why its becoming a go-to solution. Building a custom standalone file server the cost of hardware alone will be well over 2000$, even if you dont factor in OS licences.

Our recommendations

Without going to much into the OS debate, instead we offer you some advice on how to configure your Synology diskstation in a SOHO/corporate environment.

1. Building shares

Building Synology shares

Building Synology shares

While its certainly important to keep things tight and organized, you should bare in mind that keeping things simple for users to navigate is usually the right approach. Creating a single share per department should be effective and will allow you to setup simple and understandable permissions later on. Apart from these shares, you will usually need a “Public” read+write folder that can be used between departments for data exchange, an “Info” read only share that can be used as a digital information stand for your company and a hidden “Binaries” share that your IT department can use to access crucial drivers and apps from any PC.


2. Users and permissions

Managing Synology users

Managing Synology users

Your best approach will be to define a group with permissions for each network share you created. Once you create a user and define his password, all you need to do is assign him to groups based on his department and function. Well documenting is a key factor here and should be done immediately on each and every change.


3. Email notifications

Managing Synology notifications

Managing Synology notifications

Synology offers a really simple interface and more then enough options to setup a decent notification system. Having an overview on your Synology’s status, as well as receiving crucial email notifications on hardware and software events will allow you to react well before there is any downtime.


4. High availabilty

Setting up Synology HA cluster

Setting up Synology HA cluster

Uninterrupted availability is something you should try to achieve in all of your server side applications and services.
With Synology High Availability (SHA) you may deploy a high-availability solution to ensure uninterrupted services. SHA allows you to combine two Synology NAS devices into a high-availability cluster, ensuring non-stop storage services with maximized system availability, thus decreasing the risk of unexpected interruptions and costly downtime.


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