Sponsored: A Deep Dive into the New Safety and Performance-Enhancing Features of Synology DSM 7.0

Master your own data, Synology helps you with that in the latest Disk Station Manager: version 7.0. Security for your data is perhaps one of the most important topics of the moment in the tech world.

That is why it is becoming increasingly important to remain in control of your own data. That is a big challenge, because on the one hand you want easy access to your data and on the other hand it is important to protect your data as much as possible. This may seem contradictory at first glance, but Synology offers you with its solutions the possibilities to have a grip on your data and to store it securely. DSM 7.0 offers a host of new features to further enhance safety and performance.

1,2,3 is the base

In recent times, there have been many attacks by cyber criminals targeting corporate data. Although any security can be cracked, it is important to always keep in mind that data must be secured in a good way. One of the rules of data security is that you must have at least three copies:

  1. the data you work with;
  2. a backup of the data;
  3. a backup of that data that is in a different location, preferably separate from the internet.

That is the basis for a good data strategy. It sounds simple, but often step 3 is forgotten and then there is an immediate problem if, for example, a fire breaks out in the office or other disaster is approaching you. Step 3 is more or less the insurance for when everything has gone wrong. The easiest method for that step is a physical copy on an external drive or other storage device.

The disadvantage of this is that a copy on such a physical disk cannot easily be kept up-to-date and that if the data has to be restored, you are always behind the times. That’s why it’s often smart to add other steps: backing up your NAS to another NAS in a physically separate location: another office, a data center or Synology’s own C2 cloud service. Then you have the option to quickly restore data, although step 3 is always necessary for the most important data. C2 offers Synology Hybrid Share, among other things, which we go into more detail in this previous article.

Meer and RAID

With its NAS devices, Synology already offers an enormous amount of options to safely store your data. Most models can hold more than one drive. This allows you to use different RAID levels. RAID 1 for models with two disks, RAID 5 and above for models with four disks or more. Different RAID levels provide protection against hard drive failure. Although that risk exists, in practice it is not too bad, provided the NAS is in a safe, stable place. Vibration and high temperatures can negatively affect the life of hard drives.

You can think of hard drives and RAID as the physical layer of your storage. There, storage is arranged and protection is provided for problems with the drive itself. Where with RAID 5 and RAID 1 you are protected against the failure of one disk and can continue to work, with RAID 6 you have protection against the failure of two disks. Of course, that takes some storage capacity. The associated costs are always a matter of discussion. The question is also: what is your data worth and to what extent (and for how long) can you afford system and data outages? There is a price to everything and that is a choice that must be made. An important improvement of DSM 7.0 is the much better RAID 6 performance for Intel-based NAS systems. The Broadwell, Purley and Grantly based systems are up to eighty percent faster with random traffic and if there is a volume problem, performance is 70 percent faster.

Choose BTRFS

On top of the RAID system, you have a choice of different file systems. By default, Synology offers you the choice between EXT4 and BTRFS. The first does not contain any extra tricks to store your data more securely, the second does. BTRFS has the ability to take snapshots. It does this unnoticed and that means that you can easily recover files, even that one file that you accidentally overwritten. Using BTRFS is sometimes a bit like rewinding in time.

The snapshots are taken every five minutes on a Synology system. The system also makes two copies of a file’s information. This can be reverted to if a sector on the hard drive containing that data is damaged. Errors can arise in a file system and BTRFS solves that automatically. Therefore choose the BTRFS file system when you set up a NAS.

DSM 7.0

DSM 7.0 also includes a large number of new features to optimize the security of your data. That starts with an overview of your data. This overview can be found in the new Storage Manager. Here you have an even clearer overview than before. You can also easily replace broken discs here. If you add a new drive to the system in an empty bay, you can replace a failed or problematic drive without affecting users. Compared to previous versions of DSM, this process is also much faster.

If you delete data from a drive, it takes time to recover this space. DSM 7.0 offers you the possibility to have this moment take place when the NAS is less intensively used. For example, you can do it at night, when users are less busy with the data.

For harsh environments, the addition of fiber channel support is relevant. Support for this protocol can be found in DSM 7.0 and UC 3.1. You can use this in Synology’s UC, SA, XS, and XS+ series.

Faster with small files

Better performance with small files by adding an SSD for caching is becoming more and more relevant. Earlier versions of DSM already supported this function. With SSDs becoming cheaper, the step to add one or two cache drives is becoming more and more attractive. More and more models from Synology offer space for M.2 NVMe cache drives in addition to 2.5” SATA drives, eliminating the need to sacrifice disk space.

Here too, certainty comes first. Once you add two SSDs for caching, it becomes possible to speed up both write and read actions. However, if you start working with a lot of small files, you will notice that the NAS is less fast than you would expect. One of the new features is that you can cache the metadata of BTRFS. Working with small files, but also applications such as Hyper Backup benefit from this.

Here too, an accident is always in a small corner. If there is a problem with the ssd cache, the data will be written back. DSM 7.0 does this as much as two hundred percent faster than the previous versions.

Better audit capabilities

If you go to file services, you can now also log who has changed the permissions for files.

Open files cannot be opened by other users. Administrators of a NAS can now also easily close the files so that other users can get started with them. This feature can be found under Resource Checker.

Separated tasks within accounts

Especially in larger environments it is good to think about the management of the accounts. The more rights someone has, the greater the risks are. That is why it is good to think about the rights structure and only grant the rights that are necessary to perform a task and to really separate functions where necessary.

DSM 7.0 offers a finer-grained account structure through delegated management. This can be found under User and group.

Synology Drive

The new management environment of Synology Drive gives you more overview. Clear graphs provide you with a clear picture of usage and you can also see which devices are currently connected and which files have been used the most recently.

Multi-factor authentication / 2FA

DSM 7.0 supports multifactor authentication, or 2FA. This naturally goes hand in hand with the additional options for delegated management. You can use both a software token and a FIDO2 hardware token. If you choose FIDO2, http, direct IP and quickconnect traffic will be disabled. As an extra, Synology offers its own Sercure SignIn app.

Three login methods are available. This is possible with username and password, as you are used to; you can choose to log in only with a token, and you can choose the best combination, which combines password and token. The option to set up 2FA can be found in your personal settings of DSM.

And last but not least

DSM 7.0 offers a wide range of features that help you to handle your data even more securely. Partly due to better management and two-factor authentication, you are even more assured that your data is safely stored on your NAS. In addition to being more secure, DSM 7.0 is also more efficient, allowing users to benefit from even better performance on new and existing hardware.

Source: Synology

Source: Hardware Info Compleet by nl.hardware.info.

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