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Sync your Synology NAS to DreamHost’s DreamObjects

Sync your Synology NAS to DreamHost’s DreamObjects thumbnail

Got a Synology NAS device at home or work? No? Why not? They’re awesome!

Having a quiet, low-power box full of hard drives in your home network is a great way to store all of your media! It’s an easy way to share your music, videos, and pictures to every device in your home.

NAS devices are great, but what if your house goes up in flames? You could stand to lose everything! Family photos from years ago, all of your music, videos, tax returns, digital financial documents . . . all gone!

That’s why you should back up your NAS regularly. Synology’s made this easy by providing both native cloud backup functionality and an optional (free) cloud “sync” app.

Today we’ll look at setting up Synology’s Cloud Sync.

You’ll first need to create a private “bucket” on DreamObjects — this where your data will live. Doing this is quick and easy, and at the end of the process, you’ll have three things: a public key, a secret key, and a bucket name.

The process to create a bucket on the DreamObjects control panel is pretty straightforward, but if you need a little hand-holding, our wiki’s got you covered: DreamHost Wiki: DreamObjects User Guide.

Once you’re all set on the DreamHost side of things, log in to your Synology device. Doesn’t matter if it’s a RackStation or a DiskStation, or whatever! The great thing about the Synology platform is that every model runs the same DSM management software.

Click over to the Package Center, navigate to the “Cloud Sync” app, and click to Install/Open it.

Synology Cloud Sync

If you just installed Cloud Sync, navigate to your list of installed apps where you’ll see that it now stands proudly, beaming beneath a spotlight while twinkles of newness surround it on all sides.

Cloud Sync App Icon

Launch Cloud Sync.

The first thing you’ll be asked is which public cloud you’d like to use. Navigate to “S3 Storage.”

S3 Storage

Why S3? Simple! DreamObjects is compatible with S3’s API, meaning that just about any app written for AWS S3 will work flawlessly with DreamObjects. The same goes for OpenStack Swift, but for this demo, we’ll be using the S3 API.

Cloud Sync credentials

Your “S3 Server” should be “objects.dreamhost.com.” Once you provide your access key (public key) and secret keys, all of your available DreamObjects buckets will populate the dropdown list. Select the one that you want to use (you might only have one.)

Now you’ll need to give this sync job a name and tell Cloud Sync which directories to include.

Select your source

You’ll also need to choose which direction your sync should operate — if you’re counting on DreamObjects to maintain the latest copies of all your data silently in the background until disaster strikes, “Upload local changes only” is what you’ll want. If you intend to make some changes to the data within your buckets directly (this is not likely if you’re using DreamObjects in this context), go with “Bidirectional.”

Data Encryption is an option that you should consider enabling. Your files will be encrypted before they’re ever transmitted to DreamObjects, and not even DreamHost will be able to decrypt them for you — all encryption is handled automatically on your end by the Cloud Sync app.

Note that Synology’s data encryption comes with one disappointing shortcoming: your file names will not be encrypted.

Now select which subdirectories you’d like to include in your sync.

Pick a directory!

Click Apply, and you’re golden!

If all goes as planned, you should now see a screen like this:

syncinprocess

Your personal data is now syncing to DreamObjects, and you can kick back and never worry about having to retrieve it until you have to!

Soon you’ll see this screen, and all will be right with the world.

All done!

To restore your data after a colossal breakdown, just repeat this whole process on new Synology hardware with the “Download remote changes only” option. Easy!

Synology’s own Backup & Replication app is another option for performing more traditional backups. However, while it also supports S3, it doesn’t allow you to specify your own hostname! This one fatal flaw limits its functionality terribly.

We’re hopeful that Synology will someday expand their ability to offer their users a wider choice in public cloud storage. When that happens, we’ll be right here with another tutorial!

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About the Author:

Brett's the VP of Corporate Communications at DreamHost and definitely not a robot. He tweets as @TremendousValue and it's not great.