Recently one of my hard drives in RAID setup failed on my DiskStation, resulting in RAID 5 volume being degraded. DSM did a nice job by sending an e-mail to my mailbox. Unfortunately, my work email has been flooded by updates of different divisions and it was really difficult for me to notice the important notification. After I came home, my wife said the beeper of my DiskStation has been annoying her for the whole time, but she didn’t know how to turn it off. So she forcefully unplugged the power cord to make this annoying machine shut up.
If I were to receive this notification earlier, the hassle would have been avoided.
Nowadays mobile devices are connected to the Internet – I mean, they keep connected to the Internet to get the latest events that interest you. For example, when you install the Groupon app on your iPhone, you can receive messages about new group purchasing events, via the iOS push notification service.
I am pretty sure the notifications of the critical event from your DiskStation is much more important than Groupon discount events, and that’s why Synology builds the push notification service in the upcoming DSM 4.0. We didn’t just build it for fun.
In fact, Synology DSM had already featured the push notification service before DSM 4.0. It’s our old friend SMS. Every mobile phone is connected to a cellular network to receive messages instantly. The only problem is that when you select SMS as your way of sending notifications from DiskStation, you will be charged per message by your mobile operator.
Believe me or not. SMS is dying, and largely due to the rise of Internet-connected mobile devices. Today there are lots of apps on smartphones that utilize mobile operating system’s built-in push notification service, to provide instant messaging over the Internet. Even Apple was on the bandwagon to have their own messaging service called iMessage in iOS 5 – to let users send and receive messages without being charged by operators.
Our push services include mobile devices, Skype and Windows Live Messenger. You can install Synology DS finder app on your mobile devices to receive push notifications. In DSM 4.0 beta, we now support iOS devices like iPhone/iPad and iPod touch. You can install apps that provide Skype/MSN instant messaging if you’re using mobile platforms other than iOS. If these IM apps support native push services built in the mobile OS, you will be able to receive instant notifications whenever a critical event happens on your DiskStation.
Having DS finder installed on your mobile devices will enable you to see more details by launching DS finder directly. For my case I have described above, I could easily identify what happened to my DiskStation and take measure using DS finder or DSM mobile right on the spot.
One thing for sure: DiskStation sends notifications only when it is alive. But what happens if your DiskStation encounters unexpected shutdown due to blackout or hardware failure? If your DiskStation has signed up for the new DDNS service by Synology in DSM 4.0, The Heartbeat function in Synology’s MyDS Center can make you stay alert even when your DiskStation goes offline unexpectedly. Synology’s MyDS service will constantly monitor your registered DiskStation and send push notifications to you once it found out that your DiskStation hasn’t had a response for a long time.
How about Android and Windows Phones? Yes, we are considering DS finder on more platforms to support push notification service. If you are the IT administrator that manage DiskStation devices in your office, having an app to keep you alerted of what’s happening in the DiskStation becomes really important. And we are aware of that.