One enterprise-level NAS to rule them all? Synology hopes so

Network-attached storage is a mainstay for most small and medium-sized businesses even in this age of the cloud. But what if your SMB needs enterprise-level features in a NAS? That’s a question that’s come up again and again in my discussions with IT pros who support forward-looking SMBs and whose storage needs are rapidly outgrowing their existing storage solutions. And that’s also why I became excited when I heard about the RackStation RS2818RP+, the latest rack-mounted NAS solution offered by Synology. I was happy therefore to be able to talk with Wyatt Fay, a public relations specialist with Synology. Wyatt spoke with me in detail about their new NAS product.

MITCH: Wyatt, thanks for talking about Synology’s new RackStation RS2818RP+ storage solution. What would you say are the most important and exciting capabilities of this new product?

WYATT: Thank you, Mitch! RS2818RP+ is Synology’s first-ever 3U chassis-sized rackmount, supporting up to 16 drive bays and 192TB raw capacity. Scale even further by connecting to an expansion unit for seamless on-the-fly expansion for a total storage capacity of up to 336TB.

To complement its large storage capacity, RS2818RP+ is powered by a new Intel Atom C3508 quad-core CPU and 4GB DDR4 non-ECC UDIMM RAM, which is expandable up to 64GB. The four plug-and-play gigabit Ethernet LAN ports can be expanded with higher performance 10GbE NICs as well, providing over 1,400 MBps sequential read throughput and 26,000 random write IOPS.

RS2818RP+ is also backed with Synology Replacement Service (SRS), Synology’s new next-business-day replacement service that is meant to expedite the replacement process and minimize service downtime.

MITCH: Wow, that’s a lot of storage! What kinds of businesses are you targeting with this solution? How can it bring tangible benefits to them?

WYATT: RS2818RP+ is an ideal storage solution for small- and medium-sized businesses with great flexibility in terms of expandable storage capacity, upgradable memory and optional high-speed NIC support. It fits perfectly as a backup target for distributed businesses, a centralized file server, or a backup target for employee workstations in a growing business.

MITCH: What’s the management interface like? Is it easy to deploy, use, and maintain the product?

WYATT: Like all of our NAS devices, RS2818RP+ is powered by our award-winning intuitive operating system, DiskStation Manager [DSM], which features dozens of software applications that allow you to accomplish more with your data. Easily integrate any RackStation into your existing business environment with support for Windows AD, LDAP, and Domain Trust. Once up and running, Windows ACL support allows admins to fine-tune access controls to files and folders. From there you can set up policies, automate tasks, and maintain large deployments effortlessly using Central Management System.

NASTo see for yourself, take a test drive with our live demo here.

MITCH: Will the RS2818RP+ integrate well into environments that use VMware and/or Hyper-V virtualization technologies?

WYATT: Yes! Synology storage solutions support a wide variety of virtualization solutions, such as VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer, and OpenStack Cinder. That also includes integration for advanced features, such as VAAI and ODX, in order to offload operations from the virtual machine host to the Synology device and greatly enhance performance. We’ve also developed our own high-availability and snapshotting tools, so businesses can make sure data remains safe and easily accessible.

MITCH: Support for VAAI and ODX will definitely be a plus for businesses that need to move large amounts of data easily. What about security though? What kind of security is built into the device?

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Synology

WYATT: RS2818RP+ offers an arsenal of security enhancements and tools to safeguard your data from malicious or snooping parties. You can block threats with the firewall, auto-blocking, and more. With the help of Btrfs file system, our Snapshot Replication tool provides schedulable, near-instantaneous data protection, ensuring business data in shared folders, and virtual machines in iSCSI LUNs, remain safe and available in the event of a disaster.

MITCH: That’s reassuring. How easy will it be for businesses that use older Synology storage products to migrate to using this new RackStation?

WYATT: Migration between two Synology devices is now easier than ever. Once you have backed up your old DSM configuration and migrated your drives to your new RackStation in the same position as they were before, our DSM setup wizard will complete your setup in just a few clicks.

MITCH: Fantastic! On another note, many businesses these days are moving much or all of their storage infrastructure into the cloud. How does the RS2818RP+ fit into the big picture of hybrid cloud platforms?

WYATT: As the cloud grows, we grow alongside it. The cloud is a great solution, but it is not the full solution. From a performance, data control, and disaster recovery perspective, a public cloud solution in many cases doesn’t cut it. When clients need to access their data quickly, maintain complete control of their data, and/or have an agile recovery plan a NAS solution such as the RS2818RP+ answers the call. Our software integrates directly with the biggest third-party cloud services such as AWS S3, Microsoft Azure, OpenStack, and many more to ensure our products provide a seamless integration into a hybrid cloud solution.

MITCH: How does the cost of the RS2818RP+compare with other kinds of storage solutions that small- and mid-sized businesses typically use?

WYATT: Compared to on-prem file servers, the RS2818RP+ offers more for your money thanks to competitive pricing, built-in software, and the ability to choose your own drives. When compared to public cloud services, RS2818RP+ is a fraction of the cost of the monthly/yearly fees of the large public cloud providers. Plus, you own the equipment allowing you to enjoy the benefits of the cloud without giving up privacy or ownership of sensitive business data.

MITCH: Anything else you want to mention about the RackStation RS2818RP+ in particular or about Synology in general?

WYATT: The RS2818RP+ isn’t the only solution we provide. From 1 terabyte to 1 petabyte, Synology offers a whole lineup of desktop and rackmount solutions perfectly tailored to your personal or business storage needs. To learn more about our products and see our full lineup please visit our website.

MITCH: Wyatt, thanks very much for giving us some of your valuable time! Please ask Santa to leave three RackStations under my tree next Christmas and tell him I’ll be sure to leave him lots of cookies and milk in return 🙂

WYATT: Thanks, Mitch! I’ll talk to him and see if we can work something out.

Photo credit: Synology

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