The Network menu options include setting dynamic or static IP addressing, as well as enabling FTP access to the NSA-2400. The Maintenance menu enables an administrator to configure NTP, change the admin password, save or upload a configuration file, update the firmware, and configure logging options. You can also issue a shutdown or reboot from the Maintenance menu, a feature lacking in one of my smaller NAS devices.
For an device aimed at business users, logging and alarming functionality is limited. The NSA-2400 does maintain logs viewable in the status menu, but they are limited. For example, as I'll discuss in the UPS test, the device didn't log that it was on battery power or notify that it was about to shut down.
The NSA-2400 can be configured to email a basic daily status report, shown below in Figure 7, plus email critical log messages. SMTP configuration is done in the Maintenance menu by entering an Outgoing Mail Server address, checking Use SMTP Authentication, and providing an SMTP User Name and Password, similar to an email client configuration.
ZyXEL needs to do more in terms of alarming, though. If I'm running a network with the NSA-2400 as my main storage device, I'd like to see SNMP capability, as well as the ability to send syslog messages to a syslog server.
Figure 7: Daily Status Report
The NSA-2400 supports shutdown synchronization with APC UPSes. I tested this integration using an APC Back-UPS RS 1000 that is normally connected to a Windows PC. When the power goes out, the APC communicates to the PC that external power is down, and gracefully shuts down the PC before the UPS battery is drained.
I connected the UPS USB connection to one of the NSA-2400's USB ports. The NSA detected the correct make and model of the UPS and displayed it in the System Info screen, as you can see in Figure 8. There aren't any configurable options for a UPS in the NSA, so I ran a test to see if the NSA could detect a loss of external power and respond to a shutdown command from the UPS. Very simply, I disconnected external power from the UPS and waited for the battery to run down, while watching the NSA to see what it would do.
Figure 8: UPS System Info
I was impressed; the NSA did shut itself down automatically before the UPS ran out of power. I would have liked to see an alarm or log message on the NSA, though. There were no log messages or LED indicators on the NSA that the UPS was running on battery, or that it was about to be shut down, which would be reported on my Windows PC when connected to the UPS.
Users and Groups
If your network utilizes Windows' Active Directory, the NSA-2400 can be integrated to a Windows based Active Directory or NT4 Domain service. In a network without Active Directory or NT4 Domain services, the NSA-2400 allows an administrator to define and secure access to the NSA's file systems via User, Group, and File Share configurations. This functionality enables controlling who has read and/or write access to specific files and folders on the NAS.
Creating a User is simple: just click Add a New Local User in the Users menu and enter the name, password, and optional email addresses for each desired User. Once you've created Users, you create Groups. Simply click Add a New Local Group in the Groups menu and enter the Group name. Users are assigned to Groups by selecting from the User list which Users will be members of which Group. With Users and Groups defined, File Shares can be created. Click Add a New Share in the Shares menu and define the path as well as User and Group access rights.
Share access can be further refined by specifying Full Access or Read Only Access for specific Users and/or Groups. In addition, specific Users or Groups can be excluded through a Deny Any Access option in the Share menu.