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Replace a server with a Nas?

Discussion in 'Servers and Enterprise Solutions' started by lumencreative, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. lumencreative


    Joined: May 19, 2014

    Posts: 191

    We’ve currently got a Dell server running HyperV and two instances of Windows Server 2016. One instance is for active directory and file server, and the other is for Sage.

    We are getting rid of Sage and moving to a cloud based system, so are now questioning whether we would be better off swapping the server for a NAS.

    What I would ideally like is a NAS where I can have one at the office that would be mapped to the pc’s, then one at home that would sync CHANGED FILES only to the NAS at the office and visa versa.

    Is this possible and would it make sense rather than maintaining a full server?

    Also how would active directory work on something like a synology?
  2. ubern00b


    Joined: Nov 25, 2004

    Posts: 3,556

  3. Snapshot


    Joined: Oct 11, 2006

    Posts: 3,881

    Location: Wiltshire

    There's no mention of AD in the Synology user manual and, digging around in DSM, it looks like the NAS can join a domain but not control it which is what I'd expect. So you'll still need a Windows server to provide AD.
  4. paradigm


    Joined: Aug 26, 2003

    Posts: 34,785

    Location: Staffordshire

    You can install “Directory Server” which can do basic LDAP Authentication and has provision for allowing for home folders on the NAS. It’s NOT and AD replacement if you are using more than just simple authentication though.
  5. visibleman

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 3, 2005

    Posts: 1,337

    Location: The South

    Synology or QNap would certainly be suitable for storage and handling backups to an offsite location (RSync or manufacture built-in backup solution).

    And as ubern00b mentions, Synology does have a AD packages that allows you to set up a basic AD that supports RSAT etc. But it looks to be just as 'good' as their Directory Server package which i wouldn't class as production ready, ie - i used to have the directory randomly corrupt requiring rebuilding.

    What's the reason for scraping the Dell server if it's working ok?
  6. 5tephen

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 16, 2003

    Posts: 1,518

    Why even a NAS - join all machines to Azure AD, giving you centralised user accounts and passwords, and get each user on 365 business essentials minimum (or 365 business premium preferably) and just create a sharepoint site that gets synced to each PC via onedrive. It'll just look like a shared folder like people are used to. They can edit word/excel docs simultaneously too; people will be able to view/edit files from their phone and tablet devices. There are synology apps for this yes, but it's a faff.

    Then get a backup solution for the sharepoint site.

    The only reason you would not be considering this is if they're working on huge CAD or photography files.

    I have a synology in case you think I'm biased. Solely for photos/videos for home use. I have set up several for others too, but in the last 12-18 months this has become very rare - mainly since the advent of onedrive files-on-demand. Sharepoint is what you're after.
  7. BlizzardX

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 19, 2002

    Posts: 2,217

    Location: Auckland, New Zealand

    With the larger units you could always run the windows server install on it and use the NAS as a VM host; best of both worlds... local full AD via windows that you can snapshot for fallback and a decent storage system.
  8. marin


    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 652

    Location: Reykjavík - Iceland

    Been running the company I work for on Synology Active Directory for over 12 months now with no issues.

    Using Synology Active Backup for all on-site and offsite backups (at my home) for all new and updated data files - lots of CAD / 3D and other large data files - also like to have in-house backups.

    We use Synology for just about all our I.T. Server requirements, including VPN and CCTV systems and would not go back to a Windows Server.

    So yes a NAS can do everything you require.