Synology seeks to bring the cloud to your office

Anthony Caruana
22 September, 2015
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Taiwanese technology upstart Synology has been in business for a little over a decade. Since releasing their first product, a single drive NAS in 2004, they’ve focussed on engineering and ease of use as their key differentiators. The hardware and software they are releasing over the coming weeks adds to that growing tradition and reputation.

As Apple fans are well aware, a great technology experience isn’t just about hardware or software – it’s how the two work together. Synology’s newest NAS software, DSM 6.0, adds cloud-based applications for email, notes and spreadsheets into their software.

Bringing the cloud to you

Although you can do the same with Microsoft Office 365, Google Apps and Apple’s iCloud, Synology’s solution gives you control of where your data is held. In other words, you get cloud-based software with assurance of where your data is stored.

The three apps Synology showcased at an exclusive media briefing yesterday were MailPlus, SpreadSheet and Note Station.

MailPlus offers cross-platform support and comprehensive management features, while keeping absolute control over their data privacy. Furthermore, MailPlus Server provides an active-active high-available framework that can guarantee uninterrupted service and maintain high productivity for enterprise users.

SpreadSheet makes collaboration easy and offers tag and privilege management features. It also retains unlimited historical versions so users can easily restore previous versions of themselves.

As well as capturing notes and allowing users to embed spreadsheets, images and graphs, Note Station has a presentation feature that makes it a cross between a world processing app and presentation software. A Chrome extension makes offline editing possible as well.

In addition to the new software features, there’s strong integration with business virtualisation platforms such as HyperV and Vmware. And Synology’s VirtualDSM makes it possible to move files between different storage arrays easily without any service interruption. We watched a demonstration where a high resolution video was moved from one server to another, while playing and not missing a frame.

Files stored on the newer Synology hardware can be indexed by Spotlight – an important feature that is lacking in many NAS devices we’ve tested.

Hardware releases

Synology started their business with storage devices but that’s not all they do.

In 2009, they released a surveillance solution including a camera and this year, they are adding the Synology Router RT1900ac to their line-up.

The user interface takes its cues from the NAS software offering a desktop-like interface that is quite elegant and easy to use. Synology touted performance of up to 1900 Mbps combined transfer speeds and supports beamforming which can maximize Wi-Fi signal for specific devices as well as application-based traffic control and DNS-based, customizable web filters.

Unlike many routers that try to be all things to all people, Synology ships the router with essential functionality that can be easily augmented by downloading extra software packages such as VPN Server, Radius Server, and Download Station. A USB port lets you connect storage to the router and turn it into a personal cloud.

The new DS716+ NAS server has the Intel Braswell quad-core processor reduces power consumption by 40% and is capable of executing real-time video transcoding with the ability to transcode 4K video on the fly. It can hold up to seven hard drives by connecting their DX513 expansion unit, offering massive storage capacity.



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