Installation - Quick Install Wizard - Part 2 / NetBak Replicator
Before committing the changes to the configuration, the setup provides one last opportunity to stop before formatting the disk, losing all data that may preexist on the drive. Clicking OK initiates the final stages of setup, applying the server name, updating log in information if changed, setting the server time, updating the encoding and network options and initializing the hard drive.
After the process completes, the Wizard offers to map a network drive for access from remote PCs. There are several default locations to map, with Public being the typical folder choice. Additional folders specific to users or groups can be configured as well.
Once the location you want to map has been selected, the username and password needs to be entered, which is stored so the connection is automatically restored when the computer is restarted. Last, the drive letter of the mapped location can be chosen and the final stages of the setup are complete, with the unit appearing as a network drive under My Computer, in our case as drive Z.
One major function of both the TS-101 and TS-201 NAS devices is a backup server. To implement the backup process, QNAP offers their Netbak Replicator software, which is a basic backup software product with scheduling functionality. Once started, simply choose the drives, directories or specific files to back up and either start the process or setup a schedule to run at a later time.
There are several features missing, however, that limit the benefits of the software. First, it is not entirely autonomous, requiring user input to complete if a file is detected as locked or in use. Ideally, there should be the option to automatically skip files if certain conditions occur, as it is highly unlikely the user is going to be watching the entire backup process while it is running. Additionally, there are no incremental or differential backup options, which would allow only files that changed since the last backup to be backed up (incremental) or backing up files that were created or modified since the last backup (differential). One last issue with the NetBak Replicator package is that on every reboot of the PC, the software presents the user with a log in screen that must be clicked in order to allow the backup software to load. This was most annoying and if there was any interruption in the connection to the NAS unit, the NetBak message remained on screen until it timed out on its own and could not be manually terminated. Ideally, this process should retain log in information, loading automatically during Windows startup and perhaps should be run as a service.