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Rethink data storage for SMBs

25 May 15

Network-attached storage vendor, Synology, has announced its dedication to the New Zealand SMB space with the company’s enterprise solutions.

These aim to increase business productivity and agility as well as reducing IT overhead, all without crippling an SMB’s budget.

“99% of businesses in NZ have under 50 employees, and most see their data grow tremendously on all kinds of devices.

“They know they need a centralised storage and backup solution, but the cost and maintenance required by traditional servers looks daunting,” says Derek Tu, Synology’s sales manager for ANZ.

Known for its prowess in hardware-software integration, Synology offers a rich ecosystem where data storage, file sharing and syncing, backup, high availability, virtualisation, and more are all done through a desktop-like, easy-to-navigate operating system: the DiskStation Manager (DSM).

Tu says, “It is designed with the mindset that small businesses won’t have to bring in an additional IT person just to manage a server.”

Synology NAS works as a central repository for a company’s most valuable assets, including product information, sales reports, contracts and salary lists.

It’s compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux, so staff can access the data they need from any computer or mobile device.

For those who already have domain user accounts in place, Synology can be integrated into Active Directory or LDAP environment, while the support of Windows ACL provides granular control on who is able to access what.

“A lot of our customers are in the media or post-production industry. They share large files with clients all the time,” mentions Tu.

“This can be done easily through FTP, WebDAV, or generating a simple download link.”

Backup is another important concern for any business. Using traditional enterprise servers for such purpose, however, can be overkill.

Douglas Leung, account manager from Synology’s local channel partner VST, explains, “We see companies that were originally using IBM, HP, or Dell switching to Synology after they learnt of the solution.

“At first, they use it as a second-tier backup storage. Then they find it extremely stable and reliable, so they start using it as first-tier backup as well.”

“It’s natural - Synology does everything it’s required to do, is easier to maintain, consumes less power, and is much more cost-effective,” he says.

Like most other Synology features, backup is done within clicks.

Synology supports Windows Backup, Apple Time Machine, and various third-party applications, so employees can back up their computers to the NAS themselves.

Afterwards, the NAS can be backed up through the network to another server off-site, or to Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Storage, and more cloud services.

A wizard guides users through the entire process, setting up scheduled backup tasks and rotation schemes as well as helping them restore previous files when necessary.

“Cloud storage brings high agility to many business projects, and is an excellent choice for off-site backup. That’s why we are supporting more and more providers,” says Tu.

“Nevertheless, we still hear about their unexpected outages from time to time, and in the case of Nirvanix, a complete shutdown.

“It’s therefore essential for a company to keep at least a copy of the data safely in its own hands,” he says.

For SMBs with more employees or multiple offices to run, Synology’s higher-end models come with a series of advanced features to maximise server uptime, performance, and management efficiency.

Its high availability feature allows another Synology NAS to take over automatically when the main NAS is down, which is critical for businesses hosting websites or online stores on their server.

If a company often has several users accessing the same set of files, SSD caching technology enables it to boost throughput considerably by adding just one or two SSDs, instead of having to invest in an all-SSD infrastructure.

Those who deploy more than one Synology NAS in their branch offices can manage all the servers, apply group policy, or do a batch update from a single point of entry.

Certified by VMware, Citrix, and Microsoft Hyper-V and supporting VAAI and Windows ODX, Synology can serve as an ideal virtualised storage to reduce hardware sprawl and low utilisation rates commonly seen in many offices.

A lot of system integrators and managed service providers in New Zealand are already familiar with such technologies from Synology.

“We held a SI training with VST in April, and were thrilled to see the amount of in-depth knowledge they have about our solutions,” says Tu.

“We will continue to make sure our partners and SMB customers here receive the best service and support on offer,” he says.

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