I have at the time of writing this, 2 synology NAS servers. I have one in Sweden and one in Spain for backup purposes and I am planing to buy my third one very soon.
Managing two synology NASes is not difficult, depending on the use, but adding a third one, the administration would become painful if it wasn’t for CMS, synology’s own Central Management System.
What is a CMS and why do I need it?
If you have multiple synology NASes and you want to manage them from just one location or server, this is the application for you.
I absolutely adore this little app.
To be able to install CMS on your server and manage others, all synologies have to have DSM5.0 or higher.
If you can upgrade to DSM5.0 you need to buy a newer model.
Installing CMS is as easy as installing any other Synology package or app:
- Navigate to the Package center
- Search for “CMS”
The synology where you install the CMS app, will act as a master or host, where the other ones will act as slaves.
Once you have configured your CMS, the app will give you an overview of the systems it is managing and if any actions are needed.
As you can see in mine, I am:
- Managing 2 servers
- with 4 disks in total (2 each)
- I have 3 volumes (as one server has RAID and the other doesnt)
- And I have two updates pending (we will look at how to upgrade below)
The server tab will give you a lot of information about your servers as well as the possibility to add new ones, delete, edit, ect…
Lets go through the different tabs:
The general tab will give you the basic information about the selected server in the list above:
The network tab will give you all the information you need for the network settings of you NASes:
The volume tab will give you information about the capacity used on your NAS.
(Now you know why I need a third one!)
Will give you information about the hard drives available in your NAS.
I am using the following ones in case you are interested in buying the same.
Here you will get an overview of which applications have been installed in your server:
Add a server to CMS
So, you might wonder now, how do I add a new NAS to my CMS list? Here is how:
- Click on Server
- Click on “Add”
- You can add, an existing server or
- add a new one and install DSM at the same time, (Neat!!!)
And now, more neat features:
When you add a new server you can chose between:
- Add one from your local network ( it will find it for you)
- Add one from the internet (you need to provide IP address or Quickconnect ID)
- or upload a list!! (Extra neat!!)
To add a server you need the ip, or quickconnect as well as your credentials and you are done!!
Let’s move on to Notifications
The notifications tab, is supposed to give you all notifications from all your NASes, according to the settings on your Notifications center ( I show you that in a second), but as you can see, my notifications panel is empty (always have been, even though I have turned on all notifications for CMS).
To specify which notifications you want to receive on the CMS app, you go to:
- Control panel
- And then you tick under CMS the notifications you wish to receive.
As yo can see all are ticked for me, still I get none (??) not a biggie though,….
Next up, Log
The log does what you expect, it logs all the actions taken by the CMS app, either manual actions (started by the user) or automatic actions (started by the DSM, marked as admin).
On the update section, you can update the DSM and Applications or packages for all your synologies from here. How neat is that?
If you want to update the DSM, you click on:
- DSM Updates
- and then Update or Update ALL
and if you want to update the packages, you click on:
- Package Updates
- and then Update or Update ALL
Group and Policy
Again, this is a great feature because it allows you to configure multiple server features and settings from one place.
Group: Allows you to group synology servers that should have the same settings and properties.
Policies: Allows you to set the same policy for the servers belonging to the same group.
Example, lets say that we want all our synologies to hibernate after 20 min of inactivity.
On the group or servers that should hibernate, (Important that you click on the folder so the policy applies to all servers),
On the General tab, give it a name, a description and click on “Edit Policy” to configure the policy.
You will know that the policy has been applied to all servers if it is located at the bottom.
If you want to apply a policy to just one server, then click on that server and then create >Policy and it will be added to just that server:
And finally, the storage settings:
The page at CMS > Shared Folder displays shared folders on each managed server, including information such as name, description, and the volume on which each shared folder was created.
If you want to change the settings of an individual shared folder, you can select it and click Manage. This action opens Control Panel on the managed server, where you can view and modify settings of the shared folder.
The page at CMS > Volume displays volumes on each managed server, including information such as name, status, storage capacity, free space, and RAID type.
fter selecting a volume, you can also view the drives that compose it, and check the status, storage capacity, and device on which each drive is installed.
If you discover an error or want to change the settings of an individual volume, you can select the volume and click Manage. This action opens a new browser window and redirects you to Storage Manager on the managed server, where you can view and modify settings of the volume.
The page at CMS > Disk Group displays the Disk Groups on each managed server, including information such as status, RAID type, storage capacity, and free space.
After selecting a Disk Group, you can also view the volumes and hard drives that compose it, and check the status, storage capacity, and free space.
If you discover an error or want to change the settings of an individual Disk Group, you can select the Disk Group and click Manage. This action opens a new browser window and redirects you to Storage Manager on the managed server, where you can view and modify settings of the Disk Group.
The page at CMS > HDD/SSD displays hard drives and solid state drives that are installed on managed servers, including information such as model, storage capacity, temperature, storage interface, and status.
If you discover an error or want to view more details of an individual drive, you can select the drive and click Manage. This action opens a new browser window and redirects you to Storage Manager on the managed server, where you can view and manage of the drive.