There’s always a decent flood of information that erupts from CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, as various vendors provide new or improved solutions to the market. One company that tends to catch my eye, Synology, will be showcasing their newest release of DiskStation Manager (DSM) – version 5.0. I’m a long time fan of their tech – all of my NAS boxes have been extremely reliable and powerful, with a boatload of features that tend to take me by surprise due to my rather modest list of requirements for the lab. Synology has formed the foundation of my lab for running virtual machines and providing raw storage for the family.
I took a moment to chat with Thadd Weil, PR Specialist for Synology, to review the relevant public details around DSM 5.0, which is being lauded as “the most significant update to the DiskStation Manager in years” and has a public beta program shortly following CES. Here are my impressions, and based on our conversation, a big congrats will be in order to the folks over at Synology!
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Both the Synology DS411 and DS2411+ are in my lab and are running DSM 4.3 – you can view the details or ask a question in the comments.
Beefing Up Cloud Station and QuickConnect
One of the slick features that is included with a Synology NAS box is the Cloud Station package. Once installed, it allows your NAS to act as a shared repository for files in a very Dropbox-like manner. The Cloud Station client is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux workstations, and includes the ability to specify where to drop the sync’ed files. The system will also version files and allow previous version restores to occur from DSM.
QuickConnect, a feature released with DSM 4.0, further streamlines this process in two ways: it puts a friendly name on the back end repository and removes the need to configure port forwarding. Once QuickConnect is installed and connected on a Synology NAS, you can create a customized ID that better describes your situation – such as “family storage” or “lab NAS box.” The NAS unit can than do outbound connections to your remote device, rather than requiring a remote device to hit a port that has been forwarded on a router.
Synology claims that DSM version 5.0 will put additional emphasis on the functionality in Cloud Station. One improvement will be the ability to sync files between multiple NAS boxes, making it “possible to keep data at work and at home current with one Cloud Station account.” Furthermore, DSM 5.0 will give package management a much needed polish with the ability to optionally enable automated updates. The application icons within DSM will also sport new badges and push notifications for when specific activities have been completed or need attention.
For those looking for a more enterprise-scale file sync and share solution, check out Egnyte’s Storage Sync for Synology DiskStation offering.
Laundry List of New Features in DSM 5.0
A plethora of other features are planned in DSM 5.0. For the home user or lab enthusiast, you may be interested in these:
- Hybrid Cloud Syncing, with Google Drive and Dropbox
- Facebook & Google+ sharing of files and folders
- YouTube uploading straight from PhotoStation
- Customizable status widgets
- 4K capable interface with touch input, for the next generation in display technology
And for the more business minded consumer, Synology has shared these new features:
- Scale out Storage Cluster enabling businesses to expand from TBs to PBs
- Central Management System with unified monitoring, remote administration, and policy based configuration
- Robust data protection including snapshot manager and more
While I mainly use my Synology as a back end storage to run virtual machines for the Wahl Network lab, I also use many of the more enthusiast / home user features on my DS411 unit – such as Cloud Station. These are really handy for keeping tabs on my multimedia files, utilities, ISOs, and so on.
I’m excited to hear about DSM 5.0 and look forward to signing up for the public beta once it goes live. Keep your ear to the ground. 🙂