11 months ago



EVENT: SYNOLOGY 2018 SYNOLOGY 2018 THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX IF YOU THOUGHT SYNOLOGY WAS ONLY ABOUT NAS HARDWARE/SOFTWARE FOR THE SMALL BUSINESS, THE COMPANY'S RECENT USER EVENT IN LONDON PRESENTED AN IMPRESSIVE ARRAY OF INNOVATIONS TO CHANGE YOUR MIND. STORAGE MAGAZINE EDITOR DAVID TYLER WAS THERE TO REPORT BACK September saw Synology run the third leg of its 'world tour' as the company came to London's Shaw Theatre. This was their seventh such annual event, by the end of which they will have spoken to over 6000 users and partners - and of course the media. Since last year's event Synology has launched over 10 new products including public cloud services, and the most recent version of DSM has been downloaded over 6 million times. The keynote message reinforced the company's core belief that 'data should be administered only by its owner.' This was followed by sales administrator Jeremie Francois whose focus was on the company's productivity apps aimed at the SMB market, including the Moments photo management app and Synology Drive which has been designed to make all data accessible via a single 'portal' approach. Throughout the day it was noticeable that Synology now has a vast breadth of offerings that are aimed at everyone from individual home users right up to enterprise storage administrators. It is to the company's credit that they managed to cover so much ground in the course of a few hours, without confusing everyone present. As UK Sales manager Billy Knowles told us, the event is designed to "Allow users to get an understanding of Synology - of where we are pushing boundaries and moving the market forward. You can see we have these applications we've developed for the home side of the business, but we are also very much looking at the enterprise space with offerings such as our FlashStation all-flash arrays. As a result our audience here ranges from home users through business purchasers to resellers and distributors. Storage is for everyone - which means there isn't really a typical Synology customer." We also saw the Surveillance Station app which allows users to set up CCTV using Synology kit, which has taken off hugely in recent years. The newest version includes links to POS systems and is now built in HTML to allow cross-browser support and greater security and reliability. It was clear from the event that Synology, despite having started out with a SOHO/consumer bent, has grown into a business with designs on the larger enterprise market. As Billy Knowles ^ 18 STORAGE Nov/Dec 2017 @STMagAndAwards MAGAZINE

EVENT: SYNOLOGY EVENT: SYNOLOGY 2018 commented: "That consumer/prosumer market was certainly where we've developed our products and our brand, but we've grown it since then as people's data storage needs have evolved - and we kind of 'caught the attention' of the enterprise. As users got into deploying iSCSI at home, for instance, they were thinking that if they could use this on a 4-bay desktop home model, what's to stop them getting a rack-mount version with a couple of Xeon processors?" INNOVATIONS IN STORE Knowles himself followed the opening presentations with a more in-depth look at what is in the pipeline for the company's core storage offerings. A new snapshot calculator was unveiled for Storage Manager, making it easier for users to create volumes, with a consistent user interface for home and enterprise users. Meanwhile 'smart data scrubbing' has been developed to combine file system scrubbing and RAID scrubbing together in a single step. An iSCSI manager is now built into DSM, and a new 'latency mode' will speed up storage without having to upgrade to SSD hardware. On the virtualisation side, a virtual DSM product was presented as 'effectively NAS-asa-Service', which will target large scale deployments and enhance High Availability. A new HA 2.0 product was announced: if an active server falls over, the 'passive' one will take over seamlessly. The new version is said to be much faster to deploy, with enhanced performance monitoring and security updates applied with no downtime at all. Specific new hardware offerings included a 6-bay NAS, the DS3018XS, and a desktop all-flash NAS, the FS1018. Synology was also emphasising data protection offerings: its agentless Active Backup is being extended to cover PC, VM and public cloud environments - with global deduplication across the entire storage pool - on top of the existing server offering (which will be rebranded as Active Backup for Business). The new cloud service, C2, is currently in beta with the aim to be available before the end of 2017. It will include C2 Backup with staged pricing by volume, and C2 DR as a dedicated package that will replicate a Synology server to the C2 cloud. If they can deliver on the claimed RPO of 1 hour and RTO of 15 minutes, this service will doubtless prove popular. Knowles concludes "Synology started out as a software company, so that has always been at the heart of everything we create. We then developed our NAS offering as we created an almost Apple-like ethos of using our software with our hardware. So all of our key innovations tend to be softwarebased predominantly, and that means our users are able to use all sorts of sophisticated functionality and features that are integrated into our products, that maybe would be more complex to consider with third party offerings. We do all the hard work in the background, so that the UI itself is simple and intuitive - so that users, at home or in business, can do things like replicating to the cloud that they might previously have thought would be too complicated for them to do." More info: @STMagAndAwards Nov/Dec 2017 ^ STORAGE MAGAZINE 19