NAS devices (Network-attached storage) 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.
Setting up Synology’s Cloud Sync
You need to create three things:
- a public key
- a secret key
- a bucket name
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. 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.
- If you just installed Cloud Sync, navigate to your list of installed apps where you’ll see it listed.
- Launch Cloud Sync.
- You are asked to select a public cloud to use. Navigate to S3 Storage.
- Your S3 Server should be a Custom Server URL. Fill in objects-us-west-1.dream.io for the Server address. Once you provide your access key (public key) and secret keys, all of your available DreamObjects buckets will populate in the dropdown list. Select the one you want to use (you might only have one.)
- Give this sync job a name and tell Cloud Sync which directories to include. You’ll also need to choose which direction your sync should operate:
- Upload local changes only: 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.
- Bidirectional: 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, then click Apply.
- Your personal data is now syncing to DreamObjects.
- Finally, a confirmation message confirms everything is up to date.
Restoring your data
To restore your data after a colossal breakdown, just repeat this whole process on new Synology hardware with the “Download remote changes only” option.
More traditional backups
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 greatly limits its functionality.