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How To Create A Windows 11 VM on Your Synology NAS

12 juillet 2021 à 01:10

How to Setup a Windows 11 VM on Your Synology NAS

As Many of you may have heard, Microsoft has formally announced that Windows 11 is coming and after several high-profile presentations and numerous published references online, you are now able to begin the formal process of testing this new operating system to see if it brings any impressive improvements to your existing Windows 10 machine. When it is fully released later this year, you will be able to purchase Windows 11 for your new PC build or upgrade from your existing copy of Windows and onto this new software revision. Many of us have horror stories of bench testing a new OS either in beta or alpha release form, as it can often result in our working processes and workflow to suddenly wobble and fall over. When it comes to testing an entire operating system, not just an individual application or service, it is highly recommended that instead of upgrading your existing system blind, that you choose to run this operating system as a virtual machine. Also more commonly referred to as a ‘VM’, it is a virtual equivalent of a regular PC. Although you still need a physical bare-metal computer to host this VM and software for it to live within, known as a hypervisor, a virtual machine is an incredibly small alternative to a standard computer with all of its hardware specifications merely being a fractional and digital version of the physical computer that it lives within. A virtual machine can exist as a duplicated virtual version of your physical computer or as an entirely new computer that allows you to bench test Windows updates and whole system versions like Windows 11 without putting your existing setup at risk.

Why use a Synology NAS to host a Windows 11 VM?

In the last few years, we have seen a tremendous increase in the number of people that are using a Synology NAS to host one or more virtual machines. Not only because a NAS can be remotely accessed locally via the network or anywhere in the world via the internet, but it features a dedicated virtual machine hypervisor software that allows the system to efficiently host multiple VM and allow users to simply connect via a single portal tunnel and deploy the VM for use. Additionally, NAS VM software such as Synology Virtual Machine Manager allows you to take snapshots to revert a VM to a previous version, configure hardware assets and resources on the system up/down to improve your VM/bare-metal server as needed and also allows you to duplicate virtual machines very quickly and turn one successful VM deployment into many. Therefore if you have a Synology NAS with available resources to spare, it makes a lot of sense to test out windows 11 on your NAS with its free and inclusive software.

What You Will Need to Run Windows 11 on Your Synology NAS as a VM

In order to deploy a Windows 11 virtual machine on your Synology NAS, you are going to need a few things. These include:

  • I Synology NAS, obviously. But a Synology NAS with at least a 4 core Intel or AMD 64-bit x86 processor and at least 4GB of memory
  • A Windows VM beta image. There are numerous methods online to get the windows 10 ISO image file that I will discuss in this guide, that there is also the option to get a Windows 11 licence code directly from their website as long as you have an existing and authenticated copy of Windows 10 available.
  • It is recommended that you have at least 50GB of storage available for the test and likely more if you want to give Windows 11 an extensive preview experience.
  • Ideally, a desktop or laptop computer in order to conduct the steps in setting up the VM as it is a little bit more tricky (the UI) to perform with just a mobile device like a phone or tablet.

That is about it, everything you need to deploy a Windows 11 VM on your Synology NAS will likely already be in your possession if you are reading this guide. I recommend at minimum that you should have a mass such as DS920+ or DS1621+ in order to install this VM and still have sufficient system resources to run the NAS simultaneously.

Setting Up the VM software on Your Synology NAS Drive

The first thing we need to do is set up the virtual machine manager software on your Synology NAS. If you already have Synology VMM (Synology Virtual Machine Manager) on your NAS, you can skip this step and head to the next one. Otherwise, head into the DSM GUI on the NAS and onto the app centre.

From here, scroll down and find or use the search box, for the Synology virtual machine manager tool. It should allow you to click within a single button and it may ask you to install further applications such as the replication tool and system tools, go ahead and allow these as these will help you run the virtual machine fluidly.

After the application is installed you need to open it from the available list of apps and before you can proceed with the tool you will be asked to quickly check that you have sufficient resources available on your NAS in CPU and memory, as well as the system asking if it can create a new virtual network switch configuration. Click ok and allow it to do this as it ensures that the windows 11 VM can access by the network and the internet after it is deployed. If successful, you will be greeted with the Synology virtual machine manager user interface with a list of options on the left-hand side of the screen and a few hints and tips displayed in the middle of the screen. Next, you will need to get a copy of Windows 11 beta which can arrive in numerous forms.

Setting Up the Windows 11 ISO Image

As mentioned earlier, Windows 11 is currently available from numerous sources across the internet (for example) and alongside the ability to download the digital image of the software, more commonly produced as an ISO (which can be mounted vertically or burnt to a physical DVD if you want to install Windows 11 on a physical computer instead). Alongside this, you can use your existing copy of Windows 10 to connect with the Windows beta program (shown above, by searching for ‘Windows Insider Programme‘ in the settings menu) and it will provide you with a Windows 11 licence and means with which to test Windows 11 on your existing system. There are numerous other methods online and a quick Google search will provide you with numerous download sites where you can get hold of Windows 11 beta. For this guide, I have downloaded Windows 11 beta as an ISO at 4.54GB. it downloads as a single file and this is the file that you will need to transfer over to the NAS.

Once you have downloaded your Windows 11 ISO, simply access your NAS file manager as you normally would and then drag and drop the windows 11 ISO file into a NAS directory that you have access to. Depending on your upload speed this can take from seconds to minutes, As soon as that is done, make your way back into the Synology virtual machine manager tool and continue with the installation of Windows 11 on your soon to be created brand new virtual machine.

Creating Your Synology Virtual Machine for Windows 11

Once you have made your way back into the Synology virtual machine manager application. Select the side bar option called ‘Image‘. 

At the top, you will find an option that allows you to add a new image. Select option and when prompted, select the option Synology NAS.

The list of available options on screen will be the ones that you have on your NAS and you just need to browse through the folders to find the one where you uploaded the windows 11 virtual machine ISO earlier. Click this ISO and then go-ahead to the next step.

Now head up to the top of the menu at ‘virtual machine’ and click create.

Then select the option for Microsoft Windows as the Virtual Machine Type

Then select the storage volume on your Synology NAS that you want the Windows 11 Virtual Machine to live/run-in

Next, You need to assign how much storage in GB/TB that you want the windows 11 Virtual Machine to use

Next, you need to assign the Windows 11 Virtual machine to a network. Synology Virtual Machine Creates a new virtual network when the software is installed, so you can use this or create a new one if you choose.

At this point, the virtual machine creation window will appear. You will need to assign CPU cores and Memory amounts to this VM. It is recommended that you dedicate at least 2 cores of your x86 64bit CPU and 2GB of memory, however, Windows 11 will run much, MUCH better if you can assign more hardware to this VM. Just remember that in order for the NAS to run smoothly (and there for the Virtual Machine Manager Hypervisor software to run well), you should leave sufficient CPU/Memory to the NAS.

From here you will need to connect the Windows 11 ISO/image you added earlier (should appear in a drop-down) and it is recommended that you use the Synology Windows Guest Driver ISO into the 2nd mounted drive too (as shown). You can also assign USB ports to the VM to allow you to connect devices physically to the NAS and then they will be accessible/visible to the Windows 11 VM.

Next you will need to let the Synology NAS know which users can access the Windows 11 VM. A list of the current NAS users/groups will appear and you can put a tick next to the users whose login credentials will allow access to this VM.

Then you need to confirm that the settings are correct, then you can confirm and the Synology Virtual Machine Manager will create the VM with the Windows 11 ISO/Image mounted for the first time setup.

When the Synology Virtual Machine manager displays the VM as available/powered off, you can power it on from the options at the top and connect to it in the web browser

When you connect to the VM at start up, much like a physical PC, the system will read from the mounted ISO/Image (as a normal PC would boot from the DVD drive to check from media) and you will boot straight into the Windows 11 installation screen.

If you are using the Windows 11 ISO/Image and do not have a product key, but still want to test out the Windows 11 system, you can click the option at the bottom to install without a licence.

Then just select the version of windows you want to install:

Then the area of storage you created in the VM setup on the Synology NAS will appear and you can select it to install the Windows 11 operating system on to.

From there installation will begin and it will be a relatively fast process, depending on the power of the VM resources you gave it and the speed of the storage media in your Synology NAS

After this, the VM will reboot and then go straight into the Windows 11 Setup tutorial

If you do not want to supply your Microsoft associated account details to this VM and Windows 11, you can do it without entering them by clicking the option to sign in another way

Then clicking the offline option:

Then just entering local/offline security information. However, do remember that this will limit some features of Windows 11 that require a Microsoft account.

Then you can proceed with the setup and the system will apply the settings you created:

The Windows 11 desktop will then be displayed and you can go ahead and have fun with your new VM

By default, Windows 11 will display via the web browser in a lower resolution (in case it cannot be displayed to users with older tech. But you can change this quickly by right-clicking and selecting display options

Then you can increase the resolution, which will make the screen bigger in your browser VM access too:

Additionally, if you want to access the VM OUTSIDE of the browser, the best way to do it is with the Remote Connection tool on a local PC:

And remember to keep an eye on memory and CPU use on your Synology NAS whilst the Windows 11 Virtual Machine is running

And there you have it. You now have a windows 11 VM on your Synology NAS hypervisor software:

 

If you have already installed Windows on a brand new computer before, then all of the steps necessary to install Windows are very familiar to you. Even then, you may need a refresher, so use the video below for my guide on how to set up Windows 101on a NAS after the virtual machine and ISO have been created. Although this guide is for Windows 11 on a Synology NAS, the steps for setting up a VM are are remarkably similar to other brands.

And there you have it, you can now test out Windows 11 as a virtual machine on your NAS without fear of it leading to problems on your existing Windows 10 PC. It is worth remembering that this is still a beta of Microsoft’s brand new operating system and therefore you can expect there to be a few hiccups along the way. Additionally, bear in mind that the performance of the VM will also be hinged in a big way on the hardware resources of your NAS and depending on the amount of resources you assigned to the VM ,and therefore the amount of resources you left to your NAS to run in the background will dictate how well Windows 11 will run. So do bear that in mind

 


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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.   This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today’s video. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases

6 Things You Can Do With Your NAS Other Than Backup Storage

23 juin 2021 à 16:00

Cool Things You Can Do With Your NAS other Than Backup Storage

The main motivation for most users who purchase a new network-attached (NAS) storage device is often a means to create an alternative to Cloud services, backup several devices safely and really just to make sure that there is a mean to keep their data safe and sound, but also within reach when needed. The majority of NAS brands perform this function well and if you are looking for a NAS just to do these functions, then you will always be successful, regardless of the unit you choose. However, there is actually a huge number of things that a NAS can do and with the evolution of modern NAS hardware from brands like Synology and QNAP, most users do not even realise the cool things they can do with their system to maximize their investment or simply to have a little fun. So today I want to go through some of the best things you can do with a NAS drive that are more than just using it as a simple backup storage system. Let’s go!

Important – All of the things below that I recommend for your NAS drive are available on the majority of NAS systems from Synology, QNAP, Asustor, WD My Cloud or Terramaster. However, the extent to which they can be done and the overall performance that you will achieve will be based on the power of the NAS drive that you own and the number of simultaneous processes that you run. So if you are already using more than 90% of the existing hardware to run a large-scale simultaneous backup operation, that will not leave a vast amount of resources to run anything else. So just bear in mind that the extent to which the below fun things you can do with your NAS also depend on the hardware resources at your disposal.

Use Your NAS to Build Your Own NetFlix

Probably the most well-known thing about NAS that is popular for home users is that you can use the system to watch media over DLNA in your home. However, a lot of users do not realise the extent to which you can enjoy movies and box sets on your NAS. It’s one thing to have a big pile of files that you can access in a breadcrumb file/folder level over the network. It is another thing entirely to create a complete slick and well-designed user interface, with all of your decades of TV shows and movies displayed in a form similar to the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. However, this is exactly what you can do if you take advantage of PLEX media server or Synology Video Station. These applications allow you to index (ie scan and catalogue) your existing collections of media, then they search online databases for box art, reviews, cast lists, trailers and more, which then allows you to automatically present this information on your smart TV, tablet, console or phone in beautifully designed and intuitive software menus. Indeed, Plex Media Server and Synology Video Station are available on the majority of everyday internet-connected media devices and both of these applications are free or included in the cost of your NAS. Find out more about Plex media server on your NAS using the media you own, as well as connecting online multimedia services, in the video below.

It is also worth highlighting that your own personal Netflix on your NAS experience is not limited to just been connected to by you, as you can allow family and friends to access your NAS with this sleek and intuitive user interface anywhere on the network or remotely via the internet too.

Use Your NAS to Build Your Own Google Drive Shared Cloud

Most users think of a NAS as a giant hard drive that they connect to their devices remotely in order to back up their data. In most cases, a home user who purchased the NAS did so to move away from Cloud services like Dropbox and Google. However, some users are still blissfully unaware that you can use a NAS to host your very own version of Dropbox or Google drive for hundreds or thousands of users if you choose. Taking advantage of the file and space management services of a NAS in conjunction with online browser-based access and you can present areas of storage on your NAS to users with their very own login information, area of space that can be changed on the fly, controlled file types/sizes and the whole thing presented as an easy web browser-based cloud platform. Although this is available on the majority of NAS brands using their own software and client, Synology Drive provides this in the best way and is by far the most similar in design, ability and execution to DropBox and Google Drive. Find out more about Synology drive below:

The number of simultaneous or concurrent user that you can provide individual private cloud space to is only really limited by the NAS and the total available capacity, but even very very modest NAS systems at a few £100 can support hundreds of users at once. 

Use Your NAS to Setup a Enterprise-Grade Surveillance System at Home or Work

Most people who are even vaguely aware of modern NAS will hear the word surveillance thrown around quite a lot. They sort of know that they can have some cameras about the place that can send recordings to their NAS drive, but above and beyond that, they don’t really know much about it, don’t know how easy it is and ultimately decide not to really look into it. However in the most modern examples of network-attached storage, not only do the big brands all include surveillance software that is genuinely on par with the best and most premium grade NVR and CCTV software (Milestone and Axis Nvr), but also the cost of IP cameras that connect to your home or office network cost way, WAY less than you think. Even the compatible range of cameras that you can use that are supported arrive in the thousands of models and as long as the camera supports ONVIF, it will work. Many affordable Wi-Fi cameras and even solar-powered cameras that connect to your NAS over the network internet can be purchased for as little as £30 and once connected to the NAS surveillance software, with its remote access architecture and easy-to-use graphical user interface, you can set up a surveillance and protective security system in your home/business for very little money than you already spent on the NAS. Here is how Synology Surveillance station and QNAP’s QVR Pro software compare. Just remember that both of these programs are included with the cost of your NAS, which brings any expense on your NVR setup even lower:

The maximum number of cameras you can run at any one time, the total picture quality and the size of recordings generated will depend on the power and size of your NAS, but even affordable one day NAS solutions can be quite effective as a surveillance network video recorder.

Use Your NAS to Create a Virtual Machine for Work, Rest and Play

The use of virtual machines (VMs) used to be something that was only deployed and understood by big business. However, in 2021/2022, they are now being used to a highly productive and effective degree by even small home users as remote connecting systems. In essence, a virtual machine is a digital image of a physical computer. It needs to live within the confines of another computer, in this case a NAS, but its hardware specifications are represented as digital equivalents and this virtual version of a computer can be accessed remotely via the network or internet. Many users who purchased network-attached storage devices simply for backups will one day find out that they are using a mere fraction of the total available hardware inside their NAS. A great way to take advantage of this hardware available and put it to better use while your NAS is on 24×7 is to create a virtual machine within the NAS and then use it for business use, for personal centralised computer use or even or numerous fun tasks. These can include testing an operating system that you’ve never used before, running a legacy operating system like Windows 98 or XP in order to play old games or software, or even create light Linux VMs to deploy bespoke custom applications and retro games via emulation software like Retroarch and LaunchBox. Virtual machines are now painfully easy to deploy and all of the current modern NAS brands include their own first past the VM software. Take a look below at how Synology and QNAP compare in virtual machine support on their mass.

A particular stand out of this is QNAP with three separate virtual machine tools (Virtualization Station, Linux Station and Container Station) and within each of them, the ability to simply download numerous virtual machine images (from within the software GUI) for near-instant deployment in around 2 clicks of the mouse. Taking care of the entire setup and allowing you to just start having fun or doing business with your new virtual machine.

Use Your NAS to Farm and Plot Chia Coin Cryptocurrency

Although many people would agree that the latest change in the cryptocurrency market towards more environmentally friendly methods is a good thing, there are plenty who would argue that the Chia cryptocurrency wave that is massively affecting the storage market right now is pretty dreadful. The appeal of taking advantage of high-performance SSD and high durability hard drives in order to plot and farm potential Chia coin is constantly growing in popularity and for those users that want to jump on this potentially lucrative bandwagon, many are not even aware that they already have the hardware to do so. As long as you have a NAS that supports multiple hard drives in a RAID storage array and allow the installation of containers, then your NAS can be used in the Chia crypto processes. Executing it is by no means straightforward and although it is easier on some NAS browns than others, it still does require you to have a decent amount of available storage space and a fairly decent array of default resources in the NAS at your disposal. Nevertheless, once you overcome over the initial steeper learning curve, afterwards your NAS is largely self-governed and you don’t have to interfere with the system in the running of Chai based processes. Take a look below at how to set up your chia machine on a QNAP NAS (QNAP UK have a great video on this):

It is also worth highlighting that QNAP even has a third-party app that you can install on your system to marginally make this process even easier. It is available in the unofficial app center, but worth a look:

Use your NAS for Medical Science and Human Innovation

Sometimes users can tend to feel a little guilty that the NAS they use simply for storage and backups is left on for days, weeks or months at a time. There is of course the matter of when your electricity bill arrives, which is arguably quite a small some thanks to modern efficient design, but there is nevertheless the feeling of the environmental impact and the fact that you are leaving a system to run idle between the sporadic times that you need access to its resources. NAS drives are not alone in this (though there is arguably more wasteful resource computer hardware out there) but to combat this there are actually several more altruistic ways in which you can use your NAS to help others and maybe the betterment of society. Currently, there are several different installable apps or deployable containers that you can install and run on your NAS system that (although modest in their power consumption) will allow the idle time that your NAS is left on to be used for a better purpose. From research into deciphering genetic and DNA coding to algorithms breaking and medical research, there are numerous different charitable and positive organisations out there that are able to take advantage of the aggregated extra hardware of hundreds and thousands of different machines remotely in efforts to achieve their goals.

If the idea of donating the unused resources of your NAS for more human benefiting methods interests you, use the links below to find out more (Click Below):

 


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.   This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today’s video. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases
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