Exploring Server setup.

I’ve been using OpenSUSE and Linux in general for quite some time and I am about to start exploring out of my comfort desktop zone and explore setting up servers.

I currently have 2 QNAP NAS, at home, and 1 laptop and and 1 desktop at the office. All of these are provided with their own IP addresses I can access remotely globally thanks to being registered by DNS.

Sometimes I set up a laptop at home, and to access it. I need to ssh into one of the NAS then ssh locally into the laptop.

Now I know nearly nothing about setting up servers and I want to learn.

First question: How and where can I register a domain/name so that I can access a specific machine globally with name/domina/IP address?
Also, what are some of the things I should look into for bulking up the firewall since I anticipate a lot of attacks on a static server.

I can not really follow the story, based on the story I think there are 2 NAS servers at home and the desktop at the office. The laptop is sometimes at home, sometimes at the office.

Sometimes I set up a laptop at home, and to access it. I need to ssh into one of the NAS then ssh locally into the laptop.

So to access A you need to ssh from A into B and then from B into A?

Please be aware that the word “server” is a rather loose expression. E.g. used by journalists for every computer that is outside the scope of handhelds, laptops and desktops. In Unix/Linux there is the client-server concept and both sides are implemented by software. Server software runs on most Unix/Linux computers (including on your own Tumbelweed ones, think about CUPS print server and you mention yourself the SSH daemon). When the main task of a computer is running server programs, then they are often loosely referred to as “servers”. But that does not say anything about what they serve: Web pages (e.g. Apache), data-base storage and retrieval (remoteMSySQL), file storage (NFS), you name it.
So saying you want to run a server is rather vague. And for Linux you do not even need a special operating system, just use Linux. And you still can run a desktop environment on it when you want that (or need that to manage your server applications).

I guess what I wrote was mostly misleading. Let’s simplify to this:

I want a static server that I can access remotely to function not only as a remote storage device but also as a fully functional computer that can also serve as a VPN and IMAP/SMTP points.

Via Yast you can set up a Mail Server (IMAP/SMTP), a Samba Server (remote storage) and a VPN gateway.

I would try to get the mail/samba server running for the local network first. Then try to get a VPN tunnel working.

After that, read some more about remote access and you will find that is the difficult part, not only the basic setup but more how to do it safely.
I think the best secure solution is to set up a VPN and use that VPN tunnel to access the mail/samba server.

I think the first question really for me, is how could I register for an IP address globally accessible?

You mean a domain that can use something like dyndns, you can run the client on a local computer, some routers have the ability built in, this will match up to your external ip address and resolve to the domain.

Okay, so that wouldn’t interfere with the opration of my NASes?

Trust me, I am very new at this server setup and will have lots of questions.

I think you should use your favorite search engine to search for “dyndns explain” and review the articles and/or youtube video’s on what it means.

If you understand that and you understand how your network looks like you should be able to answer the question if dyndns interferes with your NASes.
If you are not 100% sure on that, feel free to post the reasoning here and you will get feedback if that is correct or not.

Are you running a separate application to find your QNAP NAS devices? I’m also assuming the when you say contacting your NAS devices, this is beyond your local network (your reference to globally)?

I either acces them through the QNap website using a web browser or use the IP addresses to ssh into them and the I use the IP addresses that are assigned to them as seen from the QNap profile from a terminal which is dynamic.

So my configuration right now is as follows:
Router = static (dynamic on demand with 1 phone call to the IPS) and connected to
-> Laptop 1 (static local IP address, but not directly accessible from external)
-> NAS 1 (dynamic IP address assigned by QNAP, very different from the router’s IP)
-> NAS 2 (dynamic IP address assigned by QNAP, very different from the router’s IP)
-> Misc. devices [printer, projector and etc.] through wifi network (static local IP addresses, but not directly accessible from external).

At my workplace:
Primary server:
-> Department server
->->Desktop 1 (static global address with registered name and domain, example: user@thiscomputer.department.primarydomain.com and also by user@123.456.789)
->->Laptop 2 (static global address with registered name and domain, example: user@thiscomputer.department.primarydomain.comand also by user@123.456.789)
and of course we have professional ITs maintaining the primary and department servers and all I have to do is ask them to make the machine with this MAC address to be accessible by some name.

There are many steps I do not understand with my home setup, especially the fact that the NAS has different IP addresses than the router and from each other. I knew from maybe 25 years ago I remember there being some kind of subscription procedure to buy/rent a domain.

I just did that. It confused me more than when I started the thread…

Do I have to subscribe to a DDNS somewhere, or is this just natively available for anyone who has a functioning router? There seems to be a lot of descriptions online on which client to use and how to use it once you have acces to it already.