New NAS for Work

We got approval from leadership to replace our NAS used for backups at work so I thought it’d be an interesting topic to write about. Our current solution is a NAS with the disks set up in RAID as an iSCSI target which the Windows Server Backup application on our Hyper-V host uses to create nightly backups of the Hyper-V guests to. The solution works so I’m not going to reinvent the wheel, just recreate it.

The NAS chosen was a Synology Diskstation DS218 and 2x Seagate Ironwolf NAS 12TB hard disks. It’s a simple NAS from a well known brand and the disks are designed for this purpose.

The first thing to do was unbox everything and make sure they sent the right gear. It was now time to unbox everything and put it together, a very intuitive simple tool-less process.

There’s something special about shiny new stuff.
Easy tool-less installation into the sleds.

I connected it to the network via the ethernet port and discovered the web interface address and after loading (on port 5000)… nothing happened, it was just stuck with the words “Loading…” which eventually timed out. I tried the typical restart in case some services weren’t loaded properly and it didn’t help, so thinking it might be an issue with our requisite proxy (which I couldn’t input as nothing was happening) I instead plugged the NAS into my notebook via ethernet and it worked! Yay. It wanted me to download and install the latest version of the operating system and I was happy to oblige.

After the installation, a restart and rediscovering the NAS with it’s new 169.254.* IP address I went through the set up, skipping this step because I don’t want this thing to be accessible from outside of our local network.

Actually I skipped and ignored most of the features, I only want this thing to store data and nothing else. I checked our Static IP document for a free IP address and set it up in the settings, and plugged it back into the LAN – success. I was surprised when I saw it automatically configured the disks into SHR mode (Synology Hybrid RAID) but grateful they considered that as the default use case.

Now with my iSCSI target set up it was time to add it to the Server. I won’t go into too much detail, it’s just a matter of configuring the iSCSI Initiator to point to the Target and initialize the volume in Disk Management. I modified the backup schedule and started a back-up now to make sure it works as expected.

So far so good…

That’s really all there is to it.

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