With all the talk about the Cloud, it’s easy to forget that most businesses require serious on-site storage – the sort of storage that multiple users can access quickly over a LAN that supports fast transfer speeds, has bomb-proof reliability and high capacity. Online storage can’t help due to the internet bottleneck involved. Deploying a full, Enterprise-grade Storage Area Network can be an overkill and is likely to get very expensive fast. Using a local, regular NAS box is far from sufficient. This is where Synology’s FlashStation FS3017 comes into play.
The FlashStation FS3017 is Synology’s first all-Flash, business-grade NAS. It can use SAS SSDs and SATA SSDs alike in a rack that has dual 10Gb/s Ethernet built in and two NIC upgrade slots that can support 25GbE and 40GbE Ethernet if required. Up to 90TB of non-proprietary, any-vendor storage can be added per unit.
With all of that data flying around the FS3017 uses dual six-core Xeon processors and 64GB of Error Correcting (ECC) DDR4 RAM (upgradeable to 512GB).
The whole unit is housed in a standard rack.
Disk redundancy is a key factor of any storage array. If one disk goes down, it can take your whole system offline for varying amounts of time depending on the RAID array used. The FS3017 is compatible with RAID F1, which is a specialist form of writing used for flash-based disks designed by Synology. It avoids having an entire array of disks being worn out at the same time due to constant utilisation of write/erase cycles by writing to the group unevenly. As such one disk is leaned on for redundancy to a greater degree than the other supporting disks, meaning the whole array is far more robust and has improved longevity. As all flash drives have known shelf lives, RAID F1 ensures we know which disk is most likely to fail first, thus securing optimal uptime . If you would like to see more technical information on RAID F1, you can download the whitepaper published by Synology.
The FlashStation FS3017 comes with the latest version of DiskStation Manager,DSM 6.1, and its associated features. Disk Station Manager allows the entire storage system to be managed, backed-up and restored through a user-friendly web browser.
The ‘Btrfs’ files system has been upgraded and now offers self-healing for files with a much faster backup.
The self-healing occurrence is a result of automatically-mirrored metadata and the ability to read and fix broken RAID arrays including types 1, 5, 6, 10 and Synology’s own Hybrid RAID (which can cope with two disks down). New features mean migrating from SHR-1 (single disk redundancy) to SHR-2 (two-disk redundancy) is handled seamlessly.
Server-side backup can become almost instantaneous. If both systems are using the same btrfs volume as processing time is slashed. There are new features on Snapshot Replication, which now allows local, encrypted, shared folders to be backed up and replicated plus performance tweaks like automatic pausing and resuming of backups only occurring when the system is under a suitable load. DSM is also compatible with Apple’s Time Machine where folders and usage quotas can be assigned per user on the network. Synology’s SMB is also natively supported on the latest versions of macOS.
Legacy infrastructure will be catered for as virtualisation solutions are compatible with VMware, Citrix, Hyper-V and OpenStack Cinder. Security is guaranteed with protocols like Windows Active Control Lists (ACL) while remote access is facilitated through standard LDAP and Windows Active Domain protocols. If you need to manage FlashStation FS3017 using existing tools, it’s fully compatible with Microsoft’s System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) solution and as such, multiple Synology FlashStations can be set up as Microsoft storage nodes.
Other features are more evolutionary. For instance, upgrading from previous versions of DSM will mean that space can be saved through upgraded file handling and management efficiencies. Features like Nested Group architecture are supported for enhanced folder management.
There are many security updates, some evolutionary, some minor while some simply add convenience to users and admin alike. All amount to an overall enhancement to the security environment.
One potentially handy feature is the ability to use a single USB device to access all of your encrypted shared folders without having to remember all of the keys they use.
Another is the ability to login remotely in offline mode should the RADIUS server be down for long-term or temporary reasons. This is due to enhanced interoperability between the new offline authentication features and the caching mechanism.
There’s also the ability for administrators to assign permissions for app installation onto DSM systems in order to prevent unwanted apps corrupting or compromising them. This is done through utilisation of enhanced app signing features.
When the FlashStation FS3017 is combined with DSM 6.1, the system can function as a full network management server. Thanks to the Active Directory Server function the FlashStation FS3017 can operate as a domain controller that can manage system updates and software installation to an entire user base.
The Universal Search feature can locate files across an entire network almost instantly, if required. However, it can also be used to discover applications, help find files and other network management components too.
All the while, in the background Resource Monitor keeps an eye on the general health of the system and alerts administrators to any unusual user activity or potential health problems before they occur.
Synology’s FlashStation FS3017 is powerful and flexible enough to handle the storage needs for an entire small to medium scale business at a price that decimates what other, all-flash solutions are offering. When multiple FlashStations are used, the seamless management afforded by the new DSM 6.1 means that even Enterprise-grade clients can use multiple NAS boxes as a full SAN, safe in the knowledge that they are secure, carry low risk of failure, offer configurable redundancy plus a fast disaster recovery.
Should a business be unwilling or unable to replace its entire, existing software operating environment, the FlashStation FS3017 is versatile enough to operate under other industry operating environments. Similarly, existing storage hardware can easily be added into a Synology FlashStation-based SAN thanks to the versatility of DSM.
The FlashStation FS3017 comes with a five-year warranty and Next Business Day swap-outs can be supported.
So whatever your flash-based storage requirements are, and whether you want to overhaul an entire existing SAN, or simply test what adding a FlashStation FS3017 and DSM does to an existing network before committing to a full upgrade, Synology has your storage requirements covered.