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How Can I Make Use of XPEnology?


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I guess you mean a publicly accessible website running on a machine in your domestic environment?


There are lots of ways you can achieve that with Xpenology/Synology your main limitation will be the power of the server and the speed of your broadband connections most ISP's don't give very high upload speeds. You will not get anything like the speeds a data centre provides.


You would need to enable the Web services in the DSM to create the Webhost share which will be the public root of your hosted services.


Then you can use something like Joomla, WP or Drupal as your CMS system alternatively you can write your own html pages. You can install phpMyadmin to manage your databases.


You can use your server to store the media you're using locally which maybe OK for images but video and audio streams could be rather slow for your visitors.


Another approach would be to use your local server as a development platform for your website and host the live site on a server in a data centre. That would probably give your visitors the best experience and would probably give you a better quality of service.


You can also use the server to manage your own email solution.


You could use your server to store content that you want to keep secure on your own hardware.


There is way too much that you can do with an Xpenology system once it's up and running to explain briefly. You also need to consider whether using an Xpenology server is the best option in a production environment as it has zero official support and doesn't always behave as expected on thirdparty hardware. Having a good understanding of Linux is a major advantage. If you think you will need support then you should probably consider buying a device from Synology, which will give you a number of advantages over Xpenology, if you need to rely on the system.


One thing to keep in mind is the security implications of opening ports to public access. Xpenology/Synology do a pretty good job of hand holding for the novice but it's not a substitute for a real server admin that knows what they are doing security wise.


The best thing to do is set-up a system and get your hands dirty, you will learn a lot in the process and then you can decide which approach to take from an informed perspective.

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I use a local development environment on xpenology for building and testing websites and a server in a rack at a data center for live sites. My ISP runs a NAT that prevents inbound connections to my systems and it's mobile 3g/4g so it would be useless for serving up web pages anyway. A domestic fixed line connection wouldn't be great either unless you have really high upload speeds. Last time I read a TOS for a domestic connection there were clauses excluding web hosting on their service (British Telecom), that was a while ago and things may have changed since then? Some ISP's block ports which can be a real pain in the butt as well.


My Xpenology machines are HP N40L's and to be honest they aren't really quick enough to develop websites on at least not for CMS based sites like Joomla etc. Both machines have 8 GB of RAM. All my serious work is done using a WAMP stack ( Uniform Server ) on other machines which have more memory and Intel i5/i7's with some data served from the Xpenology machines. All the source material, dev and live site backups go to the Xpenology machines.


That's not to say that you can't do everything on a machine running Xpenology. For me it's not a viable options given the limitations of my hardware and connections speeds etc. Other people may have had better experiences?


You would probably gain some knowledge if you get your feet wet and you can certainly use Xpenology to experiment with in a whole host of ways. For example you can use the CMS systems in the package center to easily test drive them among other things. The performance of the CMS systems isn't so bad once the data is cached and there is nothing else taxing the server resources. You can easily run your own Email system and you can exchange files and share data with other people in different ways which can give you levels of control over who sees what and when etc.


The only thing you have to lose is time.

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