Simplify QNAP, FreeNAS, & Synology Access Management

Written by Jon Griffin on January 11, 2018

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Many IT organizations have Network Attached Storage (NAS) platforms. These systems are often leverage the SMB/CIFS networking protocol and can be classified as Samba file servers. QNAP, FreeNAS, and Synology are three of the most popular examples of Samba-based NAS solutions on the market. As IT organizations look to integrate these on-prem storage systems into the IT infrastructure, figuring out how to simplify QNAP, FreeNAS, and Synology access management is a critical step in that integration.

The Need For On-Prem Storage Persists

Despite the popularity of cloud storage solutions such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, and many others, there is still a large need for cost-effective on-prem data storage solutions. The reason these solutions are still required can range from the need to manage large files on-prem, to regulatory requirements, or to the need for on-prem backup solutions. Whatever the use case, NAS solutions have been extremely popular for their cost-effectiveness, reliability, and ability to tightly control access.

Out of those benefits, one of the key reasons for NAS solutions popularity is the tightly controlled access it offers. This is because digital assets are some of the most valuable assets there are within an organization. Ensuring that only the correct people have access to specific information is paramount to protecting the company. This means controlling access to data within an organization, as well as blocking any unauthorized access. This process is one of the core functions of IT, and the capabilities NAS devices provide fits right in with it.

NAS systems are able to have this tightly controlled access because of the way that they can be integrated with an organization’s identity provider (IdP). This setup makes it so a user’s core credentials are then necessary to access the directories or files. This is an important part of a file server, and critical for IT admins.

Integrating NAS systems with an identity provider has most commonly occured with the legacy IdPs OpenLDAP™ and Active Directory®. With this solution, many IT admins were content as it provided the security and access control they needed. However, the IT environment soon began to change. IT infrastructure began to move to the cloud, different operating systems like Mac and Linux were entering the workforce, the network began to move from on-prem to WiFi, and more. With all of these changes, this setup began to lose its viability. NAS devices were built to operate in an on-prem environment, and as more of the infrastructure went to the cloud the NAS devices were able to interact with them less and less.

When Identity Providers Move to the Cloud

While connecting QNAP, FreeNAS, and Synology NAS appliances to on-prem identity providers has worked well in the past, when IT organizations shift their identity management infrastructure to the cloud it all starts to fall apart. So the question becomes, can these on-prem Samba file servers and NAS devices still authenticate to a cloud identity provider?

With JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service®, the answer is yes. As a matter of fact, the whole process actually becomes much easier for IT organizations. IT admins simply need to point their NAS devices to the cloud LDAP solution, and JumpCloud takes care of the rest. With the cloud identity provider, IT admins no longer need to manage an on-prem OpenLDAP™ or Active Directory® instance either. All of the heavy lifting is done by JumpCloud and IT admins simply populate their users and point any IT resources they want to the cloud hosted directory service.

This approach simplifies QNAP, FreeNAS, and Synology NAS access management and helps to easily step-up security for access to on-prem data. Organizations can continue to make the transition to the cloud, without needing to worry about their on-prem storage devices slowing them down.

On-Prem Storage Access Management with JumpCloud

If you would like to learn more about JumpCloud’s ability to simplify QNAP, FreeNAS, & Synology access management, reach out to us. We would be happy to answer any questions on the topic, and can even set up a demonstration so you can see the process for yourself. Alternatively, if you are more of a hands on person, you can also sign up for a free account of Directory-as-a-Service. We offer 10 users free forever, with no credit card required, so you have a risk-free opportunity to experiment with the platform. Check it out today, and see the directory of the future.

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