Synology DSM 4.2 Offers Powerful Business Features for SMBs

    Synology this week released DSM 4.2, the latest iteration of the full-featured operating platform that powers the various NAS (network-attached storage) appliances sold by the company. According to an email I received from the company, DSM (Disk Station Manager) 4.2 brings a wide range of new and refined features to SMB users at an affordable price.

    “Synology has once again pushed the possibilities of NAS servers to new dimensions by releasing DSM 4.2,” wrote CEO of Synology, Vic Hsu, in a statement. “It helps businesses achieve agility as well as productivity in big data storage, and reshapes users’ multimedia experience with a suite of advanced features.”

    I have previously reviewed the NAS appliances from Synology such as the 5-bay DS1511+ and the two-bay DS210+. At that time, I highlighted how its DSM operating system delivers compelling value and makes Synology NAS a worthwhile investment. Synology has continued to steadily improve DSM, and the latest version offers even more business-centric capabilities.

    One notable feature that caught my attention was the support for Amazon Glacier in DSM 4.2. As its name suggests, Amazon Glacier offers long-term data archival for infrequently accessed data. With a cost as low as $0.01 per gigabyte per month, it offers businesses the ability to store data at a highly reliable cloud location at an affordable cost.

    Moreover, DSM 4.2 also improves upon previous capabilities such as Cloud Station 2, which now supports “nearly unlimited” shared folders for file sharing and large files of up to 10GB. Cloud Station also comes with flexible administrative tools and encryption security for easy deployment within SMBs, and could be used to manage file sync between PCs, Macs and mobile devices.

    Another notable business-centric enhancement would be Synology High Availability (SHA). SHA first appeared in the higher-end XS+ series of NAS only recently, and allows for a live system failover from one XS-System to another. SHA is now available on all x86-based models of Synology NAS. Rather than having to pay for expensive SAN devices, small and mid-sized businesses now have the option to greatly increase their business continuity by purchasing and configuring two Synology NASes using SHA.

    Finally, the availability of LUN Clone and LUN Snapshot are also greatly welcomed on the administration front, while the introduction of two-step verification also serves to reinforce security with a pre-defined password and a one-time, six-digit code. For organizations where it matters, x86 models of Synology NAS appliances are now VMware vSphere 5 VAAI certified, as well as certified for Windows Server 2012.

    DSM 4.2 is free to download for users who own a DiskStation or RackStation x09 series onwards. A comprehensive list of device models can be viewed here, and the live demo site to check out the DSM 4.2 can be accessed online from here.

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