Over the next few weeks, I’ll be showing you how to expand the capabilities of your QNAP Turbo NAS using external devices. The first of the 3 topics is actually the last tab in the control panel, but arguably the most important to protection of your QNAP and your DATA, UPS.
Choosing the Right UPS
Having a UPS, or Uninterruptible Power Supply, is crucial to your system. A few more minutes of power on back-up batteries during an outage can save your data. It’ll give you time to weather a short outage or shutdown safely during a longer one. Not only do I strongly recommend a UPS, you should get one with management. That management can be either USB or using a couple different networked options. Networked UPS units, especially those with SNMP, tend to be aimed at Enterprise racks and can be very expensive. At 750-800VA minimum, they also tend to be overkill for a small NAS. For the HS-210 up to the TS-470 Pro, I’d recommend something with a USB connection like the CyberPower CP425SLG which offers 425VA and can be had for under $50 on Amazon, but you can find units compatible with your Turbo NAS right here. Let’s take a look at how you integrate your UPS with QNAP.
Installing Your UPS
The first step is shutting down your NAS. You can do this by logging into your QNAP, clicking on the pulldown menu with your user account name (if you didn’t create one, this will be admin), and selecting shutdown. This can take a couple minutes to shut down safely, so please be patient.
Once the QNAP is shut down, unplug it and other devices from the surge protector. You need to decide what devices other than the QNAP to have on battery backup. For me, I have my cable modem and router. I don’t want these resetting if there’s a minor power outage. You’ll have that decision yourself, however depending on your setup. Your UPS should have come with USB cable, plug the Type-A end into your UPS and the other into the USB 2.0 port (the ones that aren’t blue) on your QNAP. Now power up your UPS and then your QNAP.
Very Important Note: Read any warning labels or instructions that came with your UPS. You will probably have to charge between 8 and 24hrs depending on your unit. Follow these instructions exactly or you may damage your UPS.
Managing your UPS with QTS
Now reboot your QNAP. Go to Control Panel and then the External Devices panel. UPS will be the third tab. If you’re connected by USB, the QNAP will automatically recognize your UPS and display its status at the bottom. With USB, it operates in what’s called Standalone mode. the QNAP will support SNMP and Network slave as well, but that is beyond the scope of this tutorial. Click on the Enable UPS Support check box. Do NOT click Enable Network UPS Support.
Next choose between two modes of operation: turning off your UPS after a specified number of minutes (auto-shutdown) or auto protection mode.
Auto shutdown is the the safer of the two options. After a specified amount of time (default is 5 minute) the QNAP will shutdown automatically. Since it will be fully turned off, you will have to manually turn it back on once power is restored. If you have a UPS that is larger than your power draw, you can choose to stretch it out beyond the 5 minutes.
Auto protection will power the NAS to a minimum state and allow it to resume operation when power is restored. However, it is more of a risk. If power is not restored in time, your QNAP will suffer a hard shutdown which could have negative effects on your RAID. For that reason, I would only recommend this if an emergency generator is present and UPS power is a gap filler between the loss of power and the startup of the generator.
Once you have decided, click Apply All. UPS operation should be automatic. You only need to check this control panel again to check on the health of your UPS batteries.
You’re set up your UPS and your QNAP Turbo NAS is now protected against power outages. Over the next few weeks, you’ll also find out how to set up a networked USB printer and how to add USB or eSATA storage. Also check out our other tutorials on How to QNAP if you haven’t already.