NAS vendor Synology taking on Microsoft, Dell, Slack and AWS

Plans own European data centre for cloudy VM failover from new all-flash rack-mount NAS

Synology RS3617xs+
Synology's RackStation RS3617xs+

Taiwanese network-attached storage (NAS) vendor Synology is about to pick fights with several far larger competitors.

The company offered its first English-language preview of two new rack-mount NAS devices. One, the FlashStation FS3017 is a 24-drive, all-flash NAS with a pair of 10GbE/40GbE ports and claimed 200,000 IOPS when performing random 4k writes. There's also a new 16-disk RS4017xs+ that when filled with 10TB disks and left un-RAIDED can store 160 terabytes.

The new boxes take Synology a decent way out of its nano-NAS ghetto and into competition with low-end kit from the likes of NetApp, Dell and Dell EMC.

Synology is also pitching itself agains Nimble, which puts its cloudy performance analytics service front and centre.

The new NAS also come with what Synology is calling “C2”, a pair of cloud services. “C2 backup to cloud” does what it says on the can – lift your files into the cloud. “C2 site recovery” snapshots virtual machines and, if the NAS goes down, runs the applications in the cloud.

Those services mean Synology competes with Microsoft for cloud backup and site recovery.

They also take Synology into battle with other cloud providers, because the company told The Register it plans to build its own data centre in Europe. We asked if it meant colocation - The Register's Mandarin is infinitely worse than Synology folks' English – and were assured the company intends to break ground for its own bit barn somewhere in Europe. Making it a competitor of sorts for AWS, Azure, Google and IBM. While we're talking IBM, the new NASes also boast a fast file transfer feature that might just overlap with Big Blues Aspera file transfer product.

Just where and when the data centre will be built and will commence operations hasn't been decided, nor has the cost of the C2 services. But we're assured they're coming.

Also inside the new NAS is an update to Synology's productivity suite, which has grown a chat client that in a demo beheld by The Register looks like a pretty close Slack clone.

That's a lot of fights to pick for a privately-held company thought to have annual revenue around US$100m and operating in a shrinking market for small NAS. Synology reckons it can pick them because it focuses on small to medium businesses. So much so that when your correspondent asked if it supports VVOLs we got a blank stare in reply. Or perhaps that was another language-fail moment. ®

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