I recently installed a Synology DS212j NAS and one of the first things I tested was using the Synology for Time Machine backups. Setting it up was easy and so far it’s been working fine. I set things up initially using Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM) 3.2 although the screen shots below are from DSM 4 Beta. The upgrade from DSM 3.2 to DSM 4 beta didn’t require any changes.
Apple’s Time Machine will continue to fill up a disk as long as there’s data to be backed up and space to put it. Only when it runs out of space will it delete the oldest backups. While it is optional, my first step was for me to create two volumes on the DS212j. One for Time Machine and one for everything else. Dedicating a disk volume to Time Machine is not required, but I wanted a way to limit the space used by Time Machine. Because it made more sense in my mind I used Volume 1 for everything except Time Machine and dedicated Volume 2 to a Time Machine share. Since I was setting up a new NAS I simply started fresh with two volumes. A user’s disk usage across an entire volume can also be limited using a quota, which would include Time Machine usage so this would be another way to go, but it wasn’t my choice. The screenshot below shows my volume configuration (click for full size).
I probably would have been better off starting with a smaller volume, leave some free space, and expand if I needed the space. This is because shrinking the volumes isn’t possible and I may not need all that space for Time Machine. But I can also put other files on that volumes. Plus, I suspect I’ll be rebuilding this test box a few times,
Once I have a place for the the Time Machine share it’s time to create it. This is done through the “Shared Folder” selection in Control Panel.
Then just fill in the information for the share. You can call the share anything you want and the description is optional.
Encryption and hiding the share are optional and I don’t use them myself. While Time Machine can encrypt local backups it won’t encrypt network backups so you may want to use this encryption. Click OK to create the share. Then select the new share and click the “Privileges Setup” button.
Select the user(s) you want to have access to the Time Machine share. You can use the admin account if that’s what you want. But I create an ID for each person accessing the Synology NAS. The same ID can be used from multiple PCs
Now it’s just a matter of going to the Macs and selecting the share as the destination. It will automatically appear as a possible destination, just select it and go.
I’ve been running Time Machine backups from to Macs, both running the latest version of OS X Lion.