I’m a bit late in writing about this, but Synology DiskStation Manager 4 (DSM 4) left beta and was officially released a week ago on March 6th. I’ve been using the DSM 4 beta since I started using Synology (ignoring a day or two with the pre-installed DSM 3 to makes sure all was well with the new hardware) and I really like it. Like I said, my experience with DSM 3 is nearly non-existent so I can’t make any comparisons. Since I first wrote about the DS212j I’ve added a DS1511+ and I’m liking that one too. The DS1512+ has just been released with updated hardware so if your buying be sure to either get the latest hardware (DS1512+) or a discount on the older model.
While things have been slow this month on the osquest I have been exploring the Synology NAS so once articles start appearing again they’ll probably be Synology related.
Some features that I’ll be exploring more…
- Synology gets into the cloud buzzword game with the new Cloud Station and ezCloud options. I claimed my exCloud names (one for each NAS) during the beta so managed to get some nice short ones. But I haven’t really dug into this and explore it as a personal cloud option. It’s on my shortlist of things to do.
- I did get the Synology NAS set up as a backup destination for my web server using rsynch. It’s much faster than my FTP options, more reliable and uses less bandwidth.
- I’ve also set up an iSCSI target and mapped it as a drive to my Windows Home Server and I’m using it as a backup destination for the Cloudberry Backup add-in.
There are numerous other apps and features, enough to keep me occupied for a year, but these three are my primary uses.
I’ve been considering using the Synology 1511+ as my primary server but so far I’m still coming down on the side of keeping my Windows Home Server 2011 box as my primary file server. Synology is still just used as a backup and file archiving destination. The biggest thing WHS 2011 has going for me is rather unique for me. I have replacements for all the hardware already available in my house. If a drive fails I swap it out and restore (no RAID). If a server component fails I can move the drives to an identical Microserver I use for testing. With the Synology NAS I get RAID so can recover from a drive failure quicker, but if a Synology component fails I’m down until I get it replaced or restore the files to another device. I like the hardware safety valve although the features of the Synology NAS are growing on me. The second biggest thing WHS has going for it is it’s PC backup ability and it’s Cloudberry backup Add-in. Both are more polished and capable than DSM but there are alternative backup solutions and strategies.
Synology DSM 4 highlights are available on the Synology website. I was happy to find I could update from the DSM 4 beta to the official release through the built-in updater in Control Panel and was good to go in short order.