jimmmy
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Network (windows server + backup server) on NAS?

Hey there!

I think, it makes more sense to post in english instead of german, for it's international community.
I need some advice for setting up a little network with windows server, backup server and some clients.

Is it a good idea to set up the server on a NAS like synology? For example:

- DS723+ with 16GB RAM in raid1 as windows server
- DS923+ with 4GB RAM as NAS backup

Or are there some big drawbacks in such setup?
Sure you are locked in the synology structure, but you have working server out of the box.

Best regards
jimmmy

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Member: vossi31
vossi31 Mar 28, 2023 at 12:42:03 (UTC)
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Hey,

Quiet, power-efficient hardware without additional licensing fees.
In a small environment where a Windows server is not needed for applications, this can be the perfect solution.
I maintain a few networks with Synology DS218+/DS718+ with "Directory Server" and "DNS Server" where this has been running for years without any significant problems.

Henning
Member: radiogugu
radiogugu Mar 28, 2023 updated at 12:43:12 (UTC)
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Hi.

Short answer is: It depends.

Long answer:

The Synology Virtual Machine Manager is not the best hypervisor out there. It would most likely make more sense to invest into something like an Intel NUC or a Minisforum HM80 / HM90.

What is this setup for, home lab or a clients business?

If the former > Your concept is absolutely fine. Although I would swap the two NAS'. The 923+ makes the better primary storage because you will have higher redundancy options (RAID5 / RAID6 / RAID10). The 723+ as the backup target would make more sense.

If the latter > Maybe go shopping for a small business server from HPE or DELL or LENOVO. That would be way more suitable and you will have the resources if you would like to expand. Either one of the Diskstations will be sufficient for a first backup target.

Consider placing a second one in a remote location for offsite backup. Depending on your upload speeds make the initial backup at the main site and then migrate to the remote site to backup over the Internet.

How many virtual machines are planned? What kind of drives (HDD or SSD) will you use?

Regards,
Marc
Member: jimmmy
jimmmy Mar 28, 2023 at 20:37:30 (UTC)
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Zitat von @vossi31:
where a Windows server is not needed for applications

thanks for the info. What do you mean by that?
So if I want to run sql-server and software for patient administration within the windows server it will be not a good idea to make it within the synology NAS?


Zitat von @radiogugu:
The Synology Virtual Machine Manager is not the best hypervisor out there. It would most likely make more sense to invest into something like an Intel NUC or a Minisforum HM80 / HM90.

But what are the advantages of the NUC or Minisforum regarding the hypervisor? There I must install some management software for backups, hypervisor and so on.

What is this setup for, home lab or a clients business?

It's for business (doctor's office) with about 10-15 clients and adad95 software (via sql)

Although I would swap the two NAS'. The 923+ makes the better primary storage because you will have higher redundancy options (RAID5 / RAID6 / RAID10). The 723+ as the backup target would make more sense.

Hmm... just thought that raid1 would be enough. But I'll think about it.

If the latter > Maybe go shopping for a small business server from HPE or DELL or LENOVO. That would be way more suitable and you will have the resources if you would like to expand. Either one of the Diskstations will be sufficient for a first backup target.

I thought that the mentioned NAS have already rather big overhead, because the office doesn't really need multiple services: windows server and maby a file server or internal nextcloud, thats it. So do you mean, its better not to get oneself into boxed system like synology, even with rather big overhead in power?

Consider placing a second one in a remote location for offsite backup. Depending on your upload speeds make the initial backup at the main site and then migrate to the remote site to backup over the Internet.

Yes, that would be the next consideration for 2nd level backup

How many virtual machines are planned? What kind of drives (HDD or SSD) will you use?
So, as above, I think maby two: win server with office software/sql, than maby some kind of file server or nextcloud. I can not image that they will need more.

Regards
Jimmmy
Member: vossi31
vossi31 Mar 29, 2023 at 10:53:27 (UTC)
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where a Windows server is not needed for applications

thanks for the info. What do you mean by that?
So if I want to run sql-server and software for patient administration within the windows server it will be not a good > idea to make it within the synology NAS?
I assumed that you work native and not with virtualization on the Synology and then you have no Windows, so you can not run Windows server applications.

Henning
Member: radiogugu
radiogugu Apr 05, 2023 at 07:40:07 (UTC)
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Zitat von @radiogugu:
The Synology Virtual Machine Manager is not the best hypervisor out there. It would most likely make more sense > to invest into something like an Intel NUC or a Minisforum HM80 / HM90.

But what are the advantages of the NUC or Minisforum regarding the hypervisor? There I must install some > management software for backups, hypervisor and so on.

The biggest advantage of virtualization is flexibility and efficiency regarding hardware usage. Backups of a virtual Machine are far less annoying than having to backup multiple physical machines.

Your hardware is used in more efficient and effective way.

Regarding management depends on the hypervisor you use. If you use ESXi from VMWare or Proxmox or Hyper-V then there is a built in management infrastructure. If you use some type of XEN hypervisor like Citrix or XCP-NG you need either a client or a management virtual machine.

I thought that the mentioned NAS have already rather big overhead, because the office doesn't really need multiple services: windows server and maby a file server or internal nextcloud, thats it. So do you mean, its better not to get oneself into boxed system like synology, even with rather big overhead in power?

The Synology devices are great for data storage or as a backup target in low and mid level installations.

But regarding virtualization they do not hold the candle to any dedicated hardware out there. You might want to look also for a small business server from DELL or HP or Lenovo or Fujitsu.
It would be rather fatal to cheap out on reliable hardware at this point. You do not need to shell out 10K but in range of 2,5K - 4K you should.

How many virtual machines are planned? What kind of drives (HDD or SSD) will you use?

So, as above, I think maby two: win server with office software/sql, than maby some kind of file server or nextcloud. I can not image that they will need more.

You should plan also for an Active Directory server. So that maybe your customer has an AD, a Remote Desktop server and a SQL server virtual machine.

No local program installation but only on the Remote Desktop server, if your customers software supports it.

That would give you the advantage of not having to worry about the actual PCs the employees use as those devices do not have to be powerful at all.

That is just a suggestion though.

Regards
Marc
Member: jimmmy
jimmmy Apr 05, 2023 at 08:19:27 (UTC)
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thanks a lot! I will consider it. Meanwhile I understand, that Synology is nothing for the real server environment. So it's just the point of money to invest.
Member: radiogugu
Solution radiogugu Apr 05, 2023 at 10:50:00 (UTC)
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Zitat von @jimmmy:
thanks a lot! I will consider it. Meanwhile I understand, that Synology is nothing for the real server environment. So it's just the point of money to invest.

It is an option. But the mentioned Synology devices just do not have the horsepower to deliver adequate performance when going for virtualization.

If you invest in higher tier Synology Rackstations then the situation will be different. These can be equipped with 32 GB e.g. and their processors are far more powerful.

My suggestion would be to in invest in a small business server from the aforementioned manufacturers or an Intel NUC or another mini PC and virtualize the DC and the database server for your customers software.

One NAS could pose as file server and a second NAS would then be the backup target for all VMs and the first NAS as well as maybe the PCs (> Active Backup for Business is free on all Synology NAS devices).
A third NAS I would place at a remote location for offsite backup.

Happy hunting face-smile

Please close the thread if you are satisfied with the answers given.

Regards
Marc
Member: jimmmy
jimmmy Apr 05, 2023 at 10:58:15 (UTC)
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Just thought that NUCs are not really a good choice regarding reliability. And they don't have any raid controller, isn't it?
Member: radiogugu
Solution radiogugu Apr 05, 2023 at 13:41:28 (UTC)
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Zitat von @jimmmy:
Just thought that NUCs are not really a good choice regarding reliability. And they don't have any raid controller, isn't it?

You can use software RAID which has some advantages like ZFS, if the underlying hypervisor supports it (like XCP-NG e.g.).

This would most certainly be only a budget solution and nothing with really professional demands.

This would be some entry level server hardware which I would recommend for small businesses:

https://www.dell.com/de-de/shop/server-storage-und-netzwerke/smart-selec ...

Also it would be possible to take a look at used enterprise hardware. Depending where you are living and operating one of these might be interesting:

https://www.techsupplydirect.com/dell-emc-servers/

https://www.serverschmiede.com/de/server/dell/

Regards
Marc
Member: jimmmy
jimmmy Apr 05, 2023 at 20:37:16 (UTC)
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Zitat von @radiogugu:

Zitat von @jimmmy:
Just thought that NUCs are not really a good choice regarding reliability. And they don't have any raid controller, isn't it?

You can use software RAID which has some advantages like ZFS, if the underlying hypervisor supports it (like XCP-NG e.g.).

This would most certainly be only a budget solution and nothing with really professional demands.

This would be some entry level server hardware which I would recommend for small businesses:

https://www.dell.com/de-de/shop/server-storage-und-netzwerke/smart-selec ...

Also it would be possible to take a look at used enterprise hardware. Depending where you are living and operating one of these might be interesting:

https://www.techsupplydirect.com/dell-emc-servers/

https://www.serverschmiede.com/de/server/dell/

Regards
Marc

thanks a lot!
Member: radiogugu
radiogugu Apr 05, 2023 at 20:40:28 (UTC)
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You're welcome.

Happy Easter face-smile

Regards
Marc