Businesses that have a network-attached storage (NAS) have greater flexibility with storing their data, but there are times where the needs of the business may fast outstrip the capabilities of their current setup. While the answer may be as simple as adding more disks to the bays of your NAS system, there is the risk of wasting space and slowing down performance. This is where Synology NAS servers can help.
So what exactly is Synology for? Synology NAS Servers are a specific type of NAS setup where the RAID system (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) uses drives of different storage capacities more efficiently. This makes Synology NAS servers a necessity for businesses that want to maximize their existing storage space while improving their fail-safe against drive failure and system slowdown.
Synology And RAID
To understand why the Synology NAS system can be such a valuable asset to your business, you need to have an understanding of RAID or the Redundant Array of Independent Disks used in NAS systems. While not necessarily a key component of every NAS system – most home systems don’t really employ one – the core principle of RAID is simple: it’s a way for your data to be recovered in case your NAS drive fails.
This is a concept in data storage known as redundancy, where you set aside storage space that you won’t use so it can act as a backup in case the storage that you’re using gets corrupted or fails in some way. There are several types of RAID setups where your data can be protected by an increasingly sophisticated fail-safe, though their core function is the same. With a RAID system, your data is protected even if one or more NAS drives fail, which can be crucial for businesses that regularly store and process a lot of data.
The Fault With RAID Systems
RAID systems are an excellent fail-safe for safeguarding your data against loss, but they have one glaring flaw with their storage capabilities: they can only register storage capacities of the same size. This means that if you have 4 different NAS drives with different capacities, your NAS system will only allocate and use storage on the hard drive that has the lowest capacity.
So it doesn’t matter if you have one 1TB drive and three 4TB drives in your RAID setup – your NAS system will only give you the lowest possible storage to work with. This can be frustrating at best and detrimental at worst since your storage capacity will never reflect the exact amount of space that you have to work with. Typically, you’re looking at wasting more than half of your total combined storage space, regardless of the size of your individual disks.
This also means that you can’t scale the RAID system that you’re using without having to physically take apart the array, rebuild the data from scratch, then restore the data from the backups that you’ve made. This means that you need to take down the server for a long time – usually around a day or two, depending on how much data that you have – which can effectively put your operations on hold until the entire process is done.
Overall, a standard RAID system can give you multiple reliable drives to restore your data from, but it hinges on the assumption that your entire array uses storage devices of the same size. If it doesn’t, then you’ll need to reset your entire setup whenever you add a new drive, which can have costs that stack up considerably in the long run.
How Synology Solves The RAID Problem
A Synology NAS system uses a proprietary RAID setup called Synology Hybrid RAID server, which can automate the process used to store data in your NAS setup. At its core, it functions similarly to your standard RAID system, as far as data storage, writing, and protection is concerned.
However, its biggest asset is that it can process disks of different storage sizes independently, which allows you to get the maximum amount of usable storage from your disk array. This is regardless of the size of your disks, which can give you several redundancy options without having to sacrifice performance or increasing the costs of upgrading your system.
This makes the Synology Hybrid RAID server more efficient for businesses that are in the middle of expanding their NAS servers or who have plans of changing their setups in the future. Since you can scale up your server’s storage space without taking it apart, it’s easy to respond to an urgent need for increased storage space without having to pause operations while you get it done.
In fact, Synology Hybrid RAID servers can survive even when more than one disk in your array fails, because storage spaces are calculated efficiently. If you haven’t filled your entire RAID array past capacity, you can always rely on a data backup being available whenever you need it.
Other Advantages Of The Synology System
The Synology Hybrid RAID system pushes Synology well above other NAS systems in terms of data reliability and performance, but it also has other advantages that a business can leverage:
- Mobile compatibility: Synology NAS applications support mobile devices, allowing you to access your server with a tablet or smartphone without experiencing performance issues.
- Cloud server setup: With Synology Drive, you’re able to create your own personal cloud storage which allows you to sync data across multiple devices in real-time, either through the Internet or anyone connecting to your local server.
- Ransomware protection: Synology’s Snapshot Replication automatically saves a version of your NAS data regularly, which allows you to bypass a ransomware attack by restoring a version of your NAS setup before it happened.
- 2-factor authentication: For especially sensitive data, there’s also the option to program your Synology NAS server with the capability to force multi-factor authentication on any device connecting to your network. You can also set permissions for which devices are allowed access without it.
Overall, Synology NAS servers provide you with a flexible way to manage your data without the need for expensive downtime in setting it up and upgrading it when needed. You can enjoy plenty of options with how your network is set up, and it takes significantly less time and effort to scale your system when you need it. This makes it one of the best choices for a business with a growing NAS server, or an institution that wants to efficiently manage its data.
Protect Your Data With Abacus Managed IT Services
A Synology setup may be the best way for you to get the most value out of your NAS storage, especially if you happen to be using a RAID system for redundancies. It combines the essentials of keeping your data safely backed up yet still maximizes the different storage systems your units may have, which can be crucial for businesses that are expanding their NAS systems. With the capability to perform fast and keep your data secure at the same time, Synology NAS servers can be a valuable asset to your IT systems.
With a long history of data protection and IT management, Abacus Managed IT Services has helped plenty of banks and other financial institutions with their IT requirements. By implementing cutting-edge solutions and innovative strategies, we can make your data secure without impeding access or interfering with your usual operations. As experts in security solutions and IT management, we strive to deliver a comprehensive managed IT experience for all our clients. Contact us today to learn more about our services.