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Today I received a mail from SymForm announcing that they will discontinue the SymForm Service on July 31, 2016:

Announcement: Symform Service To Be Discontinued On July 31, 2016

Dear Symform Customer,

At Quantum, we strive to make great products that deliver a great user experience and solve key business problems. At the same time, we periodically evaluate our products and services in the context of our overall strategic goals and direction.

With this in mind, we have made the difficult decision to discontinue our Symform storage cloud services as of July 31, 2016. We appreciate the many customers who have used and contributed to the Symform service.

We have put together a detailed plan to support Symform customers and partners throughout this transition. For more information, check out the Symform Community site and related FAQs.

Sincerely,
Your Symform Team

On this website there are several descriptions of how to create a virtual Synology DiskStation in VirtualBox. For every new release of DSM there was a new description. The reason to create these descriptions was that there was very little information about how to do this and the information was hard to find. Since then there became more and more sites that specialized them self in just this subject.

There are a couple of sites I use myself to figure out what to do to create a virtual DiskStation for testing purposes:

The descriptions there are more or less like those posted here. Making those descriptions is a couple of hours work and doesn’t bring any extras anymore. That’s why I decided not to create any new descriptions when a new release of DSM occurs. Instead of that you can visit the sources I use mentioned above.

The old descriptions will stay online and can be used for referential purposes. Most of the time the way to virtualize a new DSM more or less the same method of the previous version of DSM is being used. Feel free to use them to help you getting the newest version of DSM working.

With the upcoming release of DSM 6 for Synology DiskStation it seems that you have to say goodbye to Zarafa on your Synology DiskStation. If you don’t own such a high-end DiskStation, you are screwed.

It’s a hard time to have Zarafa running on your DiskStation. It seems that the original developer (Julian Dohle) for the Zarafa packages has abandoned the project. There has been no development for over a year now and it is unlikely that there will be any development in the future. This will leave us with a Zarafa that is at least more than a year old and unmaintained. Despite the fact that Synology has offered you through the package center the installation of Zarafa, doesn’t mean they do the maintenance of it.

With the upcoming release of DSM 6 Zarafa has to be uninstalled from your DiskStation. (This is what the current beta releases shows at the moment.) There are several legitimate reasons for Synology to do so. It might have something to do with the fact that the project is abandoned and it might have something to do with the architecture of the new DiskStations. Synology introduces mailPLUS, mailPLUS server and mobile apps to offer a reliable e-mail solution.

The bad news is that mailPLUS server is (currently) only available for the following models:

  • 16-series: RS18016xs+, RS2416RP+, RS2416+
  • 15-series: RC18015xs+, DS3615xs, DS2415+, DS1815+, DS1515+, RS815RP+, RS815+, DS415+
  • 14-series: RS3614xs+, RS3614xs
  • 13-series: RS10613xs+, RS3413xs+,
  • 12-series: RS3412RPxs, RS3412xs, RS3612xs

That leaves all the other types with no alternative.

Another drawback is the fact that mailPLUS isn’t an Exchange replacement like Zarafa is. Zarafa also lets you manage your contacts and calendar and offers through Z-push an ActiveSync connector to connect all your mobile devices to that support Microsoft Exchange. (Synology offers dedicated apps for the functionality of mailPLUS.) For the calendar and the contacts, I haven’t found any alternative at Synologys website. For this you have to use another third party tool that only will synchronize these items. Last, but not least, you have to migrate your users to the new solution(s).

That brings us to the fact that it’s about time to make some decisions if you host Zarafa yourself. It’s clear that using Zarafa on your Synology DiskStation is a ‘no-go’. The software becomes vulnerable and the newest DSM doesn’t support it any longer. If you haven’t an alternative and rely on Zarafa you shouldn’t update DSM to version 6 until you have migrated your Zarafa users to a new solution. You can consider using Zarafa hosted by a hosting provider. You can even consider to use a hosted Exchange hosting provider, but it’s likely that the Zarafa hosting provider is cheaper. You also can use mailPLUS offered by Synology, but you probably can’t do an inplace upgrade to migrate the users’ mailboxes.

So, self-hosting Zarafa administrators on Synology, there is some work to do!

 

There is a lot of useful information about your DiskStation available spread around the internet. Most of them will be references or Wikis already known. Just to have them collected into a single page is the reason this post exists.

IP Ports

Downloads

Command line interface

Hardware

 Wiki and Knowledge base

A common question of a lot of Windows users is how they can access the shares on their DiskStation without entering a username and a password (aka: Pass through authentication). It’s tempting to use accounts without a password, but please DO USE PASSWORDS on your accounts. Preferably a strong password. Passwords aren’t there to nag you, but to protect your precious data. Use passwords on your desktop computer and use passwords on your DiskStation. Read more about securing your data here. You’ll also learn why you should not use administrative accounts for regular daily use.

Now that has been told, we’ll now look into how to create some convenience in the use of passwords. You weren’t reading this post if you are not looking for a solution to deal with the credentials request when you want to access a share on your DiskStation. It’s assumed you have the Windows file service and the User home service are enabled on your DiskStation.

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Basically this is because your DiskStation has not found the credentials of the currently logged on user of the desktop computer. Either the username isn’t found or the password is incorrect. The first time Windows tries to access a share on your DiskStation, it automatically presents the credentials of the current user. When these credentials are rejected by your DiskStation, Windows will ask for credentials to try again.

The solution for this is simple when you want to use the same username on your desktop computer as on your DiskStation: make sure the username and password for each user you want to grand access to your DiskStation are the same. (The username is not case sensitive.) If you use the same username on your DiskStation and your desktop computer, make sure the password on the DiskStation and your desktop computer are the same.

If, for any reason, your username and/or password of your DiskStation and desktop computer do not match to each other, you can use a different approach. This is where the Credential Manager of Windows helps out.

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Start the Credential Manager.

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Select the Windows Credentials and click Add a Windows credentials.

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Enter in the address field \\{hostname} where {hostname} represents the host name of your DiskStation. In this example the host name is VIRTUALDSM51. The fields User name and Password are populated with the values of the account you’d like to use from your DiskStation. (In this example the account administrator is being used. Remember what is said about using administrative accounts earlier.) Click the OK button to store the credential in the Credential Manager. You can close the Credential Manager now.

If you choose the approach of using the same account on your desktop computer and your DiskStation or you choose to use the approach of using the Credential Manager, in either cases the result of browsing to the DiskStation in the Windows Explorer to \\{hostname} will result in showing the visible shares of your DiskStation without asking for credentials. (Depending on the credentials of your DiskStation being used.)

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