The DS412+ is a network storage device (NAS) that connects seamlessly to most networks.
The storage is very flexible as there are 4 drive bays that can be populated with different RAID configurations. With the new 4TB drives available up to 16TB of data can be stored on this device. Synology also produce a range of models where up to 424TB of data can be stored on one NAS.
Synology DS412+ Case Study
I first came across the Synology DS412+ when trying to find a cost effective solution for one of our customers who used Microsoft’s live mesh to synchronise files across all PC’s in the company. As you may be aware Live Mesh was withdrawn by Microsoft at the end of February 2013.
The obvious replacement was to use dropbox. However this would incur substantial ongoing costs in view of the amount of data and PC’s involved. From our research the Synology DS412+ proved to be the perfect solution for their needs.
For this project we populated the DS412+ with 2 x 1TB drives but they were configured as RAID 1
This in effect only gave our customer 1TB of storage but all of the data is mirrored in real time to the second drive, so if the first drive fails the other will take over seamlessly. The unit can be configured in various RAID configurations including of course RAID 5.
We decided to take the extra precaution of backing up the data. Synology’s DS412+ gave us a number of options; we could backup directly to the Cloud or we could purchase another DS412+ which would synchronise with the original NAS as a fall over device. The third option (which we decided to go with) was to supply 2 1TB external USB drives which can be connected directly to the Synology’s DS412+. With the software supplied on the NAS an automatic backup can be created which runs every night. The external drives are interchanged every day and taken off site.
Synology’s DS412+ Cloud Station
The compelling reason for recommending this product is the use of one of the many applications found on this NAS device; cloud station. This application can synchronise allocated users with shares setup on the Synology’s DS412+. Our customer required 3 synchronised folders on each PC which would update all the other PC’s and laptops with the same word and excel documents. So when a client PC made a change, added or deleted a document this would be replicated on all the other PC’s and laptops. To achieve this, the cloud station client was installed on all the PC’s and shares with permissions setup on the Synology NAS.
Our customer was very pleased with the result. Very fast synchronisation between the PC’s was achieved without many of the problems found with live mesh. It also gives users the ability to retrieve information from previous copies and recycle bins. The Synology’s DS412+ will also synchronise with mobile smart phones and tablets, so plans are already in place to use these devices in the workplace, at home and on the road.
Synology DS412+ Diskstation (DSM)
The other benefits of Synology’s NAS devices is supplied by the software that runs on it called DiskStation manager or DSM. The software is a web based operating system designed to manage documents, photos, music, video and other applications. When we set up the Synology DS412+ the latest version of this software was 4.1, since then free upgrades have been made available with marked improvements. The latest release at the time of writing is 4.3 which is available this month. Here is a list of some of the features that are included in DSM: –
This cutting edge technology allows a Windows server to offload data transfer to the DiskStation without the need to have your data go through the server host. By using ODX, the speed for data manipulation dramatically increases and since the data transfer is offloaded, the CPU usage of the host server and the network bandwidth utilization shrink to minimum values, allowing the server to handle more important tasks.
- Antivirus Essential
Antivirus Essential is a free application to protect the Synology DiskStation from any potential virus threat. It’s a full-fledged shield with features like live update, quarantine zone, schedule scan and event log. Its ability to find viruses hidden in multiple layers of zipped files gives business a peace-of-mind
- Directory Server
Directory Server provides LDAP service with centralized access control, authentication, and account management. Business can set up stand-alone LDAP server and manage domain accounts directly DSM’s interface – the same account will have access to all other network devices that join the domain. You can easily setup privileges for LDAP domain users and groups, as well as their rights to access applications and services on DiskStation.
- DHCP Server
DHCP Server turns the DiskStation into a DHCP server within LAN to assign dynamic IP addresses and manage DHCP clients.
- Domain Name System (DNS)
Domain Name System (DNS) helps users find Internet applications, computers, or other network devices by translating domain names into IP addresses. With DNS Server, the DiskStation can host multiple zones as well as provide name and IP address resolution services.
- Download Station
Download Station is a web-based download application, allowing you to download files from the Internet through BT, FTP, HTTP, NZB and eMule. With Download Station, you can download files from file hosting sites, and search for torrent files via search engines as well as self-added ones with the BT search function.
- Glacier Backup
Glacier Backup provides a quick and flexible way to back up shared folders on the DiskStation to Amazon Glacier — a secure, durable, and low cost online storage service. Glacier Backup includes options to monitor the status of backup tasks, as well as restore backed up data when the need for recovery arises..
- HiDrive Backup
HiDrive Backup provides a quick and flexible way to back up DiskStation shared folders to STRATO HiDrive online storage. You can then restore backup data when the need for data recovery is required.
- High Availability
High Availability is a solution designed to reduce interruptions of services caused if one NAS malfunctions. By installing the package on two NAS boxes, a high-availability cluster can be formed and when one of them fails, the other one will take over to ensure critical service operations can stay uninterrupted.
- iTunes Server
iTunes Server allows you to share the music and videos on your DiskStation with all iTunes clients within a local network, and to browse and play these multimedia contents with iTunes. iTunes Server also provides the Smart Playlist feature, enabling you to create playlists containing songs that match the criteria you specify.
- Mail Station
Mail Station provides a webmail service for you to access emails stored on your DiskStation. You’ll be able to use a web interface to send and receive mails. By enabling multiple SMTP service, you can switch between your different business accounts. Or set up multiple POP3 service so you can receive mails from different services, such as Gmail or Hotmail.
- Mail Server
Mail Server is a mail service solution to setup a stand-alone own mail server. Businesses are entitled to exclusive management right and data privacy. Mail Server allows hosting a centralized mail server with your own business domain name. Other supported features include multiple domains support, email alias, SMTP relay, and auto-forwarding/reply.
Media Server provides a multimedia service for you to browse and play the multimedia contents on Synology DiskStation using DLNA/UPnP home devices. With Media Server, you can easily connect those devices such as TV sets and stereo systems to your home network, and stream multimedia files stored on DiskStation to the devices to enjoy music, photos, and videos.
Photo Station is an online photo album integrated with a blog for you to easily share photos, videos, and blog over the Internet. The package offers in-depth integration with various social networking sites. You can browse photos saved on your DiskStation via any major browser and mobile devices.
- Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS)
Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) is a networking protocol that provides centralized authentication, authorization, and accounting for wireless network access. In addition, both Active Directory and LDAP server can be the source for RADIUS server.
Surveillance Station is a web-based application that can manage IP cameras to safeguard your home or office environment. With Surveillance Station, you can watch and record live view videos, set up scheduled recording, playback recorded events via web browser, or mobile device for remote monitoring. Notifications can also be sent to you whenever important events occur.
Syslog Server offers an easy solution for gathering and displaying log messages from network devices. With this package installed, DiskStation acts as a syslog collection point which helps IT administrators to monitor device status within the network. Notification support is available to raise flag on anything that requires staff attention.
Time Backup is solution that backs up DiskStation data in multiple versions. The package leverages “snapshot” technology to deliver a backup solution that can be performed while the server is in use. Backup versions are intelligently optimized to avoid the redundant copies clogging up the storage space.
Video Station lets you browse and organize all video contents stored in your DiskStation conveniently. Videos are categorized automatically through identifying metadata on Internet database. USB DTV tuner allows TV programs to be live streamed or recorded onto DiskStation. Video Station is accessible via PC, Mac, and iOS devices
VPN Server offers an easy VPN solution that turns your DiskStation into a VPN server, providing a secure way of connecting to a private LAN at a remote location. IPSEC, PPTP and OpenVPN services are supported. With Synology’s VPN solution, employees can easily access resources – documents, websites and devices – located in office branch, client or partner’s network, without breaching security protocols.
xCloud turns your PC into personal cloud storage. xCloud makes your file transmission between your phone and PC rapid, stable, secure with easy handling features.
phpMyAdmin is a software tool designed to manage MySQL databases stored on the DiskStation.
DVBLink TVServer lets you record and stream TV programs live, so you won’t miss any of your favorite shows. All that is required is to plug a DTV tuner into the Synology DiskStation. In addition to streaming TV content to a XBMC or DLNA compatible device, the DVBLink mobile app lets you watch live TV and manage timer recordings while on the go. The app is available for iOS, Android™, and Windows Phone® users. The DVBLink TVServer package is compatible with a wide range of digital TV broadcast standards which include DVB-S2 and DVB-T/T2, and supports up to 4 DTV tuners.
Since we installed and configured the DS 412+ at our customer site in February we have not had a single problem. The unit works quietly and efficiently in the back ground of the office. The only task we have undertaken is to install the latest improvements from Synology. The next project involving the DS 412+ will be to connect tablets and mobile phones and install some security cameras. Besides the list of applications highlighted above there are many others that software developers have designed that can be downloaded from the Internet. The beauty of the software is that it runs on the majority of the Synology NAS solutions whether it’s for a large business or a home user. The only choice you have to make is which NAS hardware platform is suitable for your needs and future demands.
If you require us to supply and setup a Synology DiskStation for your business or home please contact us on tel 0117 9311144 or visit our website www.infolinkservices.com
Jack Pursglove IT Consultant for Infolink Services Ltd
Mobile 0797 440 1316 11/7/2013