Sorry in advance for the length.
I’ve read the various posts here regarding Synology. Mostly they seem kind of vague. Perhaps because of this, my questions aren’t yet detailed, technical ones. What I’m after is some clarity before I decide how to proceed. Let me explain.
My company, a locally owned daily newspaper, while fairly small, nonetheless spans 3 offices in 3 cities. Thanks to Covid, we now support a fully mobile workforce. When I think back to what our daily operations looked like just a few years ago, I find it all unrecognizable compared to today. Nobody here wants to go back there.
The key to all of this has been ZeroTier. As we’ve grown our virtual LAN, I’ve become a rabid evangelist for the platform. I tell friends and colleagues that ZT has become as fundamental to our operation as wire. This is not an exaggeration. There simply is no better solution for us. All of you at ZT should be very proud of yourselves. You are rock stars.
Replacing our previous strategy of monolithic file servers, rooted as it was in the 90’s, with Synology units has been no less impactful. Among the many benefits has been the ability to give our photographers a proper archiving solution for images. PhotoStation in DSM6 really is world-class. It gives us the ability to have literally decades worth of published photos - hundreds of thousands of them - at our fingertips, all with full IPTC metadata on display. This is only one of the benefits we’ve seen from using Synology. There are many more. This has become a strategic decision that we won’t be able to walk back for some time, if we ever do.
Here’s where things begin to get murky. I get that Synology threw a curve-ball at ZT with the privilege issues in DSM7. They also threw us a curve ball by killing PhotoStation. I’m no happier with some of their recent decisions than you are. Until I can chart us a course away from PhotoStation, we’re stuck on DSM 6.2.4.x. Fortunately, DSM6 will not be EOL until some time in 2023, so I have a little room to maneuver.
My issue is that supporting all of this will present more and more administrative and technical challenges going forward, not to mention trying to explain it all to management.
So, my questions are these;
Is ZT 1.4.0 still OK to use? Do I have to worry about the protocol changing, orphaning a version this old? Will I eventually have to freeze versions on all my clients to keep this running?
Since DSM6 is not EOL until 2023, is there a chance in hell of getting newer, native builds of ZT for DSM6? Screw the GUI. A purely CLI version as a native SPK not requiring Docker would be plenty good enough. I doubt using SSH to join a network would be a serious hurdle for most of ZT’s target audience. Given the spotty nature of Docker support across Synology’s platform, and the number of users I’ve seen on Syno forums also digging their heels in on DSM6, the idea doesn’t seem unreasonable until DSM6 is officially EOL. I doubt I’m the only one who wants this.
If ZT is unwilling to build these newer versions, is a community build using spksrc feasible/acceptable? I thought about trying it, but It’s not something I want to devote resources to if it’s a dead end.
In one of the posts I read here, someone claimed that Synology does allow root access for packages if they’re signed by Synology. Is there anything to this? Do they have a vetting process for developers (like Apple, for example) that would provide the needed code signature, opening the door to native packages for DSM7?
I get that I’m glossing over the use of Docker here. I’ve tried the official, documented procedure on two different machines, multiple times. I’ve also tried several of the recipes floating around on the net. Nothing has worked yet. I’m sure I can get it to work, but before I beat my head against Docker any further, I thought it would be best to make sure it’s going to be my only choice.