Living with a Zyxel NSA210

Sharing my experiences of puting a Zyxel NSA210 NAS box to work on a small office network.

picture of the nsa210

Introduction and First Impressions of the NSA210

A few months ago I purchased a Zyxel NSA210 Network Attached Storage appliance (often referred to in the technical press as a "NAS box")  in order to replace an ailing general purpose server that had grown to be an important tool in my working life. The old server was a decade-old desktop PC unit running Ubuntu server software that was still operating reliably but showing signs of impending failure of the hard disk and fans.  Another good reason for considering replacement of this unit was its power consumption of 70 watts – not ideal for a unit often left running 24/7. Generally the installation and setup of the NSA210 to meet my needs has been quick and painless, but there have been exceptions. Therefore I have put together a short series of articles accompanying this one in order record the problems and their solutions for the benefit of anyone else using this piece of equipment.

Read more ...

NSA210 Setup and Orientation

The following are answers to the sort of questions I had on setting up and configuring the Zyxel NSA210. The information is based on an installation and setup of the version 4.10 firmware on the NSA210.

Read more ...

Migration of a Gallery2 installation to the NSA210

One of the reasons I chose to use a Zyxel NSA210 rather than any other "NAS box" was that it is advertised as supporting the Menalto open-source web image gallery ("Gallery2"). The servers that preceded the NSA210 here had run this same software for many years, accumulating a classified and annotated collection of approaching 5,000 photographs and images, and I wished to be able to transfer this image gallery intact onto the new NSA210 NAS box/server.

Installation of an empty Gallery2 was quick and easy – transferring an existing Gallery2 installation from the old server on to the NSA210 was not!  However I managed to achieve this eventually and have documented below the steps required. Hopefully this will make it rather easier for anyone else trying to carry out this same procedure.

Read more ...

Restoring Data from NSA210 Backups

The Administrator pages of the Zyxel NSA210 provide options for backing-up "Shares" to external media via USB, FTP etc. It also offers the means to restore these backups to the original or alternative locations. However there is a weakness in this tool-set when it comes to protecting the data held on your NSA210. This weakness is that should the NSA210 become faulty, damaged, or otherwise unavailable, then the backed-up data is inaccessible

Fortunately it is possible to recover files from an NSA210 backup - even in the absence of a functioning NSA10. However due to the unusual archive format used in the NSA210, it does require you to  deploy some specialised tools.

Read more ...