NAS specialist Synology makes enterprise play

As part of their annual press tour, Synology recently unveiled a strategy change, as well as some new products and service to go with that.

The RT2600ac router

ITWeb got the chance to catch up with the brand's two-month-long, globally spanning Synology 2017 event in The Netherlands to find out what they have in store for the near future.

For years, Synology has globally been topping the charts as the number one Network Attached Storage (NAS) manufacturer for home and personal use, thanks to a distinctive and impressive array of features embedded in its NAS-products. However, Synology hasn't been equally successful in the enterprise market and plans to change that.

During Synology 2017, the company announced a new corporate user and enterprise environment strategy, focusing on what made them a popular NAS-brand in the first place - which is to excel in versatility and functionality.

As a result, most current and all new Synology products will feature extensive online sharing/collaboration functionality such as an embedded, fully working word processor, spreadsheet, calendar, encrypted chat and even some serious e-mail features. Anyone who already owns a Synology device, and would like to try out the new features right now, can do so by joining the Synology beta-programme. 

New storage devices

FlashStation FS3017 FlashStation FS3017
Synology also demonstrated two new enterprise-level storage solutions. The first one, FlashStation FS3017, features an all-flash approach. This means no more conventional HDDs, which produce significantly more heat and noise while delivering less performance and reliability. The FS3017 can house 24x 2.5-inch SSDs and runs on two Intel Xeon E5-2520, 6-core CPUs. The server also has two 10-gigabit connectors and two free, internal PCI-E slots for future upgrades.

The second new product is the RackStation RS4017xs+, which is Synology's first 3U NAS enterprise server. It runs on an 8-core Intel XEON CPU and can facilitate up to 16x 3.5-inch HDDs. Like with the FlashStation FS3017, internal memory can be upgraded to a max of 512GB in order to meet even higher performance requirements, while it also features the two integrated 10-gigabit Ethernet connectors for high transfer speeds. Exact availability and pricing of these two new devices is currently unknown.

For more information on the official pricing and availability in South Africa, take a look at the COREX (official distributor) page.

Second generation router

RackStation RS4017xs+ RackStation RS4017xs+
Synology also announced a new version of their current router. The RT2600ac is targeted at medium-sized offices and features the new 2600Mbit/s protocol to efficiently support a large number of connected users. In addition, the RT2600ac router supports state-of-the-art multi-user MIMO beaming technology, which enables Wi-Fi devices to directly connect to each other for even higher data throughput speeds. The RT2600ac also features an upgraded 1.7 GHz dual-core CPU to better handle large amounts of traffic. Apart from all the hardware improvements, the new RT2600ac router comes with some interesting new possibilities, like enhanced VPN support, better intrusion detection and a detailed traffic analyser.

The Synology RT2600ac should be available in SA at the end of the year, official retail price unknown yet.

Office, collaboration and cloud

In line with the new enterprise user focus, the company recently introduced Synology Office. This new version of their Microsoft Office compatible productivity suite includes a fully functional word processor, spreadsheet and calendar option. Each change made in a document will automatically be stored on, and synchronised with, other NAS in the background. The new suite also facilitates sharing and online collaboration within the same document. To improve workflow and communication, there's even a built-in chat app.

The Synology e-mail solution called Mail Plus has also seen some profound enhancements. Under the hood, there have been some interesting tweaks. During the Synology 2017 event, a demonstration of their new file transferring protocol named Presto was shown. It enables the use of the new SITA-engine, which stands for Synology Internet Transfer Accelerator. According to some early tests, Presto could deliver three times the performance when directly compared to the currently implemented TCP/IP protocol.

Other novelties include a much faster universal-search and the option to deploy the device as a Windows Active Directory server. Apart from fresh hardware and software, Synology also announced it will spread its wings and become its own cloud service. By combining their Synology private cloud and public cloud services, a new cloud-based service called Synology Cloud2 will be created. By doing so, Synology will partially transform from a pure private cloud supplier to a hybrid-cloud solution.

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