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Web Server

The DS508, as with all other Synology products, includes a LAMP server.  When you enable web services, a share named \web is automatically created. As with previous versions of Synology software, there’s relatively little documentation included on how to set up the MySQL and PHP components.  Apparently the assumption is that if you are going to use this feature, you are already well versed in MySQL and PHP. 

By default, there isn’t any MySQL management software included, but a FAQ on Synology’s support forum guides you through downloading and installing phpMyAdmin.  I downloaded and installed the package, and it launched normally.  I also copied some static pages from a web site I designed sometime ago, and the DS508 served up the site properly.

Network Backup

Though not a new feature, I also tested the Network backup feature.  This feature allows you to back up shares to another Synology NAS or to a server running rsync.  The network backup function is strictly a “push” function, i.e. the DS508 can only make a backup to another device.

I configured the DS508 to back up the \photo and the \web share to my DS107+. The Backup wizard (Figure 13), available from the Synology DSM 2.0 home page, guides you through the steps required to schedule backups.  The backups ran daily as scheduled.  This feature alone almost makes me want to purchase a second Synology NAS!

Network backup wizard confirmation screen

Figure 13: Network backup wizard confirmation screen

RAID Fail Test

Up to this point, I’ve primarily discussed the new features of the new DSM 2.0 software as well as the additional hardware features unique to the DS508.  However, as with all multiple drive NASes that I review, I always test the fault tolerance capabilities. 

Initially, the NAS was configured for RAID 5 with drives 1,2,3 and 5 making up the volume.  To test the fault tolerance as well as the hot swappable feature of the DS508, I started copying a directory full of images to the \photo share and then, during the copy, I pulled out drive 5. 

Immediately, both the status light and the alert light started flashing.  In addition, the DS508 started beeping.  Since I had enabled email notification, I also received an email stating,

Dear user,

Volume 1 on DS508 is in degraded mode. Please identify the cause of degradation and take corrective action.

Sincerely,
Synology Disk Station

I logged onto the DSM 2.0 management interface and was disappointed that the home page lacked any alert or notification of a disk problem.  In addition, the status page showed drives 1,2,3 operating normally as part of Volume 1.  Drive 4 showed as initialized and Drive 5 appeared as not installed.

System Status page without RAID degradation indication
Click to enlarge image

Figure 14: System Status page without RAID degradation indication

I reinserted drive 5 while the system was still powered up, and the status page recognized the drive as not initialized.  I then went to the Volume tab on the management interface, and here the Volume showed as running in a degraded mode.  Fortunately, this page had an icon to turn of the beep, which, by this time, was getting to be annoying. 

A click on the Repair icon launched a repair volume wizard.  The wizard showed the disks (4 and 5) that were available for repair.  I selected drive 4 and confirmed my choice.  The volume status changed to Repairing.

I was somewhat surprised that the status light returned to normal (solid green) and that the alert light stopped blinking during the RAID volume rebuild; there wasn’t a physical indication that the RAID was still operating in a degraded mode. 

At the end of the rebuild, I received another email indicating that the RAID rebuild had completed.  The system log also recorded each step of the problem, including drive removal, drive insertion and the rebuild start and completion (Figure 15).  Surprisingly, the RAID rebuild was very quick.  The rebuild only took about 20 minutes for the 80 GB drive.  The Volume had approximately 24.5GB of data.

System Status page without RAID degradation indication
Click to enlarge image

Figure 15: System log showing drive removal, re-insertion and RAID rebuild

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