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Synology DS207+: Getting NAS Into Your Home

Synology DS207+: Getting NAS Into Your Home
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The Synology Disk Station DS207+ looks a lot like any number of other network attached storage (NAS) devices. You connect it to a data network and save files on it, across as many as two hard drives. Like many new NAS devices designed for the home and small businesses, the DS207+ also comes with some additional functions that turn it into a home server.

Don’t underestimate the utility tied to centralizing data. By collecting information from individual workstations onto one RAID-protected repository, you drastically reduce the risk of losing important files in the event of a crash.

Synology’s solution under the microscope today provides obligatory UPnP support, iTunes server functionality, and a number of user administration options—admittedly, nothing special so far. In order to stand out from the crowd, Synology significantly extends the device’s capabilities. We did raise one question in response, though: does network performance suffer as a result of a device like this with lots of usability-oriented bells and whistles?

Classical File Server Or NAS Device?

When it comes to delivering hardware able to serve up large quantities of data for several networked users, your choices are at least somewhat limited. There’s the ever-popular classical file server based on an aging Intel or AMD system running Windows or Linux. Of course, going this route requires that you know how to set up a RAID controller, install a server operating system, and set up Linux services like Samba. On top of that, you also have to consider the effort involved in installing updates for the operating system.

We’re well aware that this is the direction many enthusiasts will go. But for users who need a reliable storage solution ready to go, right out of the box, rolling your own dependable NAS can be a time-consuming proposition. If you’re looking to recycle old hardware, though, by all means, recycle away. But don’t write off the convenience of a purpose-built NAS, either.

User-Friendliness

This is where NAS devices come into play. They are usually easy to use and don’t require a lot of knowledge about either storage or networks. The configuration is usually achieved through a Web-based interface, which can also be used to load necessary scripts. The user doesn’t have to touch the underlying operating system or deal with configuring the RAID array. There is usually an wizard of some sort that even helps you with the setup, explaining the benefits and compromises of features like RAID 1 and 0. Synology follows the tenets of ease-of-use with it’s own Web-based interface, the "Disk Station Manager.”

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  • 0 Hide
    mi1ez , 12 December 2008 14:51
    I've got an old machine kicking around I kepp meaning to convert into a NAS and folding machine...
  • 0 Hide
    vasthegreek , 12 December 2008 22:13
    This is my first NAS unit. I didn't know what to expect and bought this based on its good reviews it had over the net.

    It has really impressed me. Excellent interface !! Ultra silent and cool (32C) with 2 Western Digital Caviar SE16 750GB SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM (WD7500AAKS) working as RAID-1 !!! And for the developers out there like myself, you can even get the GPL source from Synology and modify it if you wish !!!!

    It has no FTP Client support at the moment (only FTP server) but I am working on porting one into the firmware. This is probably it's main missing feature and the lack of NTFS / FAT support for internal drives. EXT3 is not always easy to read in windows PC's if you do not know what you are doing.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 22 December 2008 16:17
    Well this review states that it uses ntfs, can attach fat32 but not read it? You state ext3 a linux FS.. so which is true?