Synology CloudStation in the Corporate Environment

Synology CloudStation in the Corporate Environment

If you've invested the time and money into Synology RackStations then your probably going to want to take advantage of some pretty cool embedded features. One such feature is CloudStation and its associated CloudStation Sync and CloudStation Backup, which collectively allow for realtime'ish local file synchronisation with a server which provides up to date files for remote users, a multiversioned backup for desktops and laptops and realtime sync between servers across sites. There is however one serious flaw in the plan that you need to be aware of before you go and roll this out across the business and that's SSL. 

When you setup your RackStation(s) you probably setup SSL and would have used the build in 'LetsEncrypt' support which promises a valid certificate every 90 days or you would have installed a paid certificate which renews annually in most cases. Having setup your SSL certificate you would of course want your clients to use SSL when connecting to the server so the transfer is a little more secure, but here's where it all goes down the tubes; If you did make the mistake of selecting SSL when you setup the clients then every 90 days (or annually) all the clients are going to silently stop working and no one is going to notice for weeks. 

If a user actually opened CloudStation Backup to restore a file then they will be met with

And should they click on Version Explorer they get the equally stupid

In fact there is no way out of this without going into Settings then Connection and re-entering the User/Password and Applying and of course in a corporate environment the end user may well know be privy to the Synology User/Password but even if they were its now too late because the CloudStation Backup hasn't been backing up since the last certificate renewal. The ONLY way around this is to turn off SSL or you'll be back here again before you know it. It's a real shame that you cannot use SSL as it's a nice feature but you just can't.  

We met this very scenario recently with a customer that had around 60 CloudStation clients on a network and it took us just over a day to round up all the clients, remote on to their PC's, update the settings, turn off SSL and then check they were sync'ing again. This created a massive issue with duplicates because when the client stopped sync'ing with the server then the clients made changes remotely and the office staff made changes locally to the same files on the server meaning there were two or more copies now which we couldn't resolve without someone actually opening both versions and manually merging them which took the customer weeks. 

So this is one to watch for before you end up with a nightmare on Synology Street. 

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Sunday, 17 December 2017

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