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Synology NAS units and Mageia

PostPosted: May 5th, '21, 04:50
by rodgoslin
For a good few years now, I've used a number of Drobo units as file servers on my LAN. Unfortunately, recently one of them died during a firmware update. My usual action, after the usual options, is to simply buy another, and transfer the drives. However, it seems that Drobo are no longer in the business of selling their product, which has left me with problems, the main one being recovering the files on the unit, but, for the future, I think I shall have to consider going elsewhere. Synology sees to be the best bet. has anyone, here had any experience with Mageia and Synology units. Drobo once said that they did not make their units to run with Linux, despite the units themselves being based on a Linux OS. I'm sure that Synology's outlook is the same but I found ways around the problem with Mageia and I'm sure the same could apply to Synology. It's experience I'm after, before I start laying money out on new kit.

Re: Synology NAS units and Mageia

PostPosted: May 5th, '21, 17:58
by jiml8
Others here have had synologies working with their linux (and mageia) systems; I see no reason why you would have problems making one work. Recovering your data might or might not be a problem. I presume that the filesystem on the disks is a standard filesystem, but if the drobo was using software RAID you could certainly have compatibility problems mounting the RAID in some other hardware to recover it.

I would be surprised if you had a hardware fault in the drobo as a consequence of a firmware update. It is possible, of course, but it is the last place I would look. And if it was a software fault as part of the update, there are undoubtedly things that can be done to restore the system. You specified you did the "usual options" but did not specify what those options were.

A NAS is a network device, that will expose certain protocols. Any client that speaks those protocols can connect to the NAS. When a company says that they support Windows, that usually means they expose the SMB protocol and probably also Active Directory protocol, which are Windows protocols. But Linux can also speak these protocols and can connect to a NAS that only exposes these. Additionally, most NAS devices should have the NFS protocol available, which is *nix-native and is spoken by all linux systems.

So your linux system should have no trouble connecting with pretty much any NAS out there.

Re: Synology NAS units and Mageia

PostPosted: May 6th, '21, 02:54
by rodgoslin
The RAID system used by Drobo, is a Drobo product, and as such, it's extremely unlikely that any other systenm would accept disks which ran on it. I do have a solution for this part. I was fortunate enough to get a Drobo unit of the same type from ebay, and my disks should run ok on the replacement unit. It's the future, I was thinking of, since Drobo seems to be keen on closing itself down.
I doubt that it is a hardware failure. It could be but the evidence indicates otherwise. I have two other Drobo units, both of these re-booted after the firmware update, without problems. The unit which failed went through the update in exactly the same way. Only when the system requested a re-boot did the problem arise. The unit begins the boot sequence, in the normal way, but after a couple of seconds, the unit powers off. There's very little one can do with this, the machine is inoperable. I've powered it off, even to withdrawing the power. (The Drobo draws power (1.7Wats) even when powered off, I've unshipped all the disk drives. Nothing alters the failed boot sequence. Recouse to Drobo support has not worked, I submitted a ticket exhaustively explaining the problem, I recieved two replies, both suggesting things that I'd told them I had already done. Another asked for a video, without specifying what a video of. On the basis of wanting to see the light sequence, I sent them a short video. A week later, I was asked to send them a video of the light sequence, Nothing since.
As to the Linux system having no problem with connecting to a NAS system, Mageia, and Mandrake before that have ALWAYS had problems with connecting to a NAS, and still have, and as far as I can see, will always have problems. The Mageia Control Centre does not and cannot setup and mount Drobo units. the task has to be done manually, with fstab and hosts files edited, authorisation files added to /etc/samba, and a fixed IP address arranged for all NAS units. Even then, it has been only in the past copuple of years that I've found out how to setup the system to allow a user to write to the NAS. before that, only root could write, whilst the user could read. It was really other peoples experiences that I was after

Re: Synology NAS units and Mageia

PostPosted: May 7th, '21, 01:49
by jiml8
Setting up a NAS connection does indeed involve the command line in linux, and I am not sure that providing a GUI interface for the configuration is useful. The GUI would be complicated because there are many different options and possibilities. For myself, I prefer the command line for such things, and I generally use the command line even if a GUI is available. And, yes, you should certainly provide the NAS with a static IP if you want to connect to it on your LAN. You don't have to, but if you don't your connection might well break unexpectedly if that address should change for some reason.

For myself, I have 2 NAS devices on my LAN. Both run XigmaNAS (formerly NAS4Free). The older and larger NAS has 4 more or less permanent connections to my workstation; an iSCSI connection providing a 9TB extent on the NAS as a local hard drive to the workstation, an NFS mount enabling the workstation to mount a share on the NAS other than the iSCSI extent, a webdav connection to the Nextcloud server on the NAS, and an NFS mount that enables the NAS to access some particular data on my workstation. All have read/write capability and all work without incident.

That NAS sits on the LAN and on two separate VLANS. One VLAN is the private pathway between the workstation and the NAS, over which all those connections work. The other VLAN is my IOT VLAN, where my smart TV sits, and the NAS exposes an SMB share on that VLAN so that the TV can access it as a media server. I restrict the access on the IOT VLAN to read-only, but on the other VLAN and on the LAN, the SMB share is accessible read/write. My android phone routinely connects via that SMB share.

My workstation experienced a hardware failure a few days ago, and is now completely dead. Time to upgrade; new mobo, processor, RAM will arrive tomorrow. So I dropped my laptop (running OpenSUSE Leap 15.2) into place to sort of replace my workstation. it's good enough for a little while. I had to hit my backups to get the iSCSI configuration information, and I had to add a VLAN to the laptop to let it talk on the private connection to the NAS. That took a few minutes; I don't do it often and had to look it up. But once done, the laptop connected to the iSCSI share, and has one of the NFS mounts mounted, and I am using the NAS much the way I always do.

So, Linux has full connectivity to my NAS, at least. XigmaNAS runs FreeBSD. I can't say I know about Drobo, because I don't. But you can do much the same thing with Synology. The setup on the NAS (my NAS and Synology products) is via GUI...and those GUIs are indeed complicated.