Synology DSM 3.1
In the next few paragraphs we would like to help you familiarize yourself with the Synology DSM 3.1 Storage Management Web UI. The Data Storage Management (DSM) 3.1 is a sleek and robust task-handling Web User Interface. Synology has coupled this with enriched applications that you can easily manage using the Web UI, as well as simplifying otherwise time consuming tasks with a revolutionary drop down menu that allows easy access to key features such as the Storage Manager (used for managing RAID Arrays), System Information, and many other useful operations.
The first thing you notice about the DSM 3.1 is the interface and the functionality of the Icons for selecting features vastly differs from the other conventional NAS devices. The interface seems to be akin in looks and feel to many of the operating systems UI’s we have been used on our personal computers. The outstanding characteristic of the Synology has to be its Multi-Tasking capability. Allowing access to multiple functionality windows cuts the wait time that would otherwise be associated with single window loads.. You can add Shared Folders quicker than ever, integrate with AD, whilst working on other window panels all at once this feature we have only seen in the Synology range, although QNAP is trying hard to emulate. Synology have also implemented a couple of key features that make this UI easy to learn and use. The Quick Start wizard gives you hassle free initialization of your unit and allows you to create a basic RAID array rapidly. Synology has also implemented a Quick Search feature; this is a boon to inexperienced users as it allows you to enter what you wish to do and like magic voila!, it happens.
The redesigned Control Panel consolidates the entire system settings into one area. You no longer have to waste time searching for differing system settings. You can simply open the control panel and change whatever you require. The Control Panel also adds a home button, so you no longer need to keep selecting the back key for getting back to the main menu!
DSM 3.1 includes one of the industry’s best RAID protection utilities. With the new Storage Manager, you can now select from a vast selection of RAID arrays to better suit your needs. Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) is a RAID array that allows you to maximize the use of different size HDD. In traditional RAID the storage volume is created using the smallest HDD capacity; therefore, if you use a 500GB hard drive and then the rest 1TB hard drives, every hard drive will be formatted with the capacity of 500GB, thus wasting 2TB of space and rendering that space unusable.
SHR enables you to use differing size hard drives as it allocates the unused space and reformats it in increments of the smallest HDD. Thus not wasting any space and allowing you to maximize the potential of your HDD space.
Expansion is also easier with SHR. In classic RAID all disks must be upgraded to the higher capacity disk before the full volumes potential can be reached. With SHR as soon as two disks are upgraded the RAID array automatically allocates the space usable so you can reach the maximum potential of the RAID array.
DSM 3.1 also allows you to create multiple volumes on one RAID array. A very useful feature as until now to achieve this you had to create multiple RAID arrays to accommodate multiple Volumes. Volume management is very useful for IT professionals as they require flexible storage allocation for different usages. With DSM 3.1 volume size is no longer bonded to a RAID array and you can split the space under one RAID array to as many volumes as are required.
DSM 3.1 also has Surveillance capabilities built in. You no longer have to purchase a separate box for your IP cameras and surveillance requirements. Surveillance Station also extends live-viewing mode to be able to view your cameras at all time. In addition to this feature Surveillance Station is also the first of its kind to extend cross browser support. You are no longer bonded to using Internet Explorer any more.
Synology now also extend mobile apps to their users for access to their NAS units. This is a very big deal as most users now have smartphones or tablet PCs. The mobile apps are specifically available on iOS systems and Android systems. Most smartphones have limitations to 32GB of space. That makes it almost impossible to store all of your music collection on your smartphone. Synology Audio Station application now allows you to access terabytes of music on the go with live streaming. As long as you have 3G/Wi-Fi connection you can access your NAS and your terabytes of music on the go. No finicky remote access setup needed.
DS Cam is also available for the above platforms. This enables you to view all your IP cameras on the go no matter where you are in the world. DS cam is not only limited to live view however, you can also take snapshots of your camera, and if the camera function allows you can touch the screen to move/tilt the camera to the position you would like. In addition to those fantastic features you can also view previous recordings on the go as well.
DS Files is an app that allows you to remotely access the files stored on your NAS for remote viewing. You can also download the files for offline viewing. The main feature of DS Files is that it allows you to move, copy, and delete files within the NAS; a further enhancement is that you can create new sub-folders for new uploaded files so your NAS can always stay organized.
DS Photo+ enables you to access all your photos remotely. You can now view photos and videos on the go. You can download pictures to your Mobile Device and have them for offline viewing in addition to being able to send an e-mail link to share the photos with whomever you like. You can also create new albums and remotely upload photos for safe keeping from your Mobile Device so they are backed up.
iOS devices also now have AirPrint capabilities enabled. DSM 3.1 now introduces support for AirPrint, if you have an AirPrint enable printer paired with your iOS device you can now print files from your Synology via your iOS device. You can print from just about anywhere in your house/office.
All in all we very impressed with the latest generation of the DSM software from Synology.