Non-specialist struggling with a Synology NAS

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David Sharp
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Non-specialist struggling with a Synology NAS

Post by David Sharp »

The following is partly a question, partly an exercise in letting off steam. Any reactions welcome, but I'll understand if nobody has a solution.

As noted in my recent message [https://www.nisus.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12159] on the Nisus Writer Pro forum, I've become the not-so-proud owner of a Synology network attached storage device.

It didn't take long after the technician who installed it had left the house for me to realise that I was going to be seriously out of my depth, and that it wasn't at all what I'd expected. I think I'm in large part responsible for this situation, although I also feel that the folks who sold me the new gadget were keener to make a sale than to understand my specific needs.

I'd asked the tech company that's reliably maintained my Macs for several years now for a system that would allow me to synchronise my two computers (a desktop and a portable) without having recourse to the cloud. They thereupon suggested Synology. On paper, or rather on the screen, it all sounded very cool.

Among my requests to them, I specifically mentioned that I needed to be sure that my computers could continue to function independently of the NAS, in the event of the latter being unavailable for some reason.

It was only when their technician arrived to set up the system—ie after I'd accepted their estimate—that I understood that for each computer to function, it would need to first connect to the NAS, which was where the master copies of all of my files would be located. If I wanted to use one of my machines offline, for example, I'd first need to make sure that all the relevant files had been copied onto it from the NAS, and then once back in the office, I'd need to copy them back to the latter before doing anything else.

Furthermore, I hadn't realised that not all of my software systems could be managed by the NAS. If I correctly understood the technician, Apple Mail, for example would need to reside separately on each computer, with its own files. And as for Photos or Bookends, my heart sinks at the prospect of trying to get them to work via the new system.

I was naively expecting to get a system that "just worked", and instead I find myself having to struggle with an entire new system, external to my Macs, when I already don't even understand the latter well enough.

I've stopped updating the NAS, which sits there sulking in a corner of my office, and am wondering what might be the best way to recoup even a small part of my expenses, without it taking up too much more time.

Any advice?
David Sharp
Posts: 60
Joined: 2008-07-06 23:21:27
Location: Paris, France
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Re: Non-specialist struggling with a Synology NAS

Post by David Sharp »

Update: The Mac-specialised company that installed the NAS, with whom I've always had good relations in the past, has now recontacted me to admit that the installation was the result of a major mix-up at their end. The technician who was sent had not got the required instructions as per my initial demands, and set up the Synology device on a standard server basis, rather than in the "Drive" configuration that was called for.

The head of the company has apologised, and offered to take back the device without charge if I decide I don't want it. However he also explained that the "Drive" configuration of the NAS would exactly correspond to my specifications, and do the job of synchronising my main files much more efficiently than a purely software solution such as ChronoSync or Syncthing.

I'd never heard of the latter until they were suggested by users on the NWP forum, for which I'm grateful.

He added that his company had been successfully installing Synology devices for companies using Macs for over ten years, and that they were particularly meticulous in keeping their equipment up to date with the latest changes from Apple.

I'm going to take the holiday period to reflect on all this, and also try out programs such as Chronosync and Syncthing.
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martin
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Re: Non-specialist struggling with a Synology NAS

Post by martin »

That's nice to hear of a possible reversal to your bad situation. Let us know what you decide and how it goes. Either way, it's great that this company is taking responsibility and standing by their services.
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