When a business starts to grow my clients often come to me and ask if they are ready to deploy a Windows Server. In the past this was typically an easy answer. I would tell them that if they have five or more workstations purchasing a Windows Server would greatly benefit their business. Since then there has been an increase in the functionality of Synology network attached storage devices. This has made me question my previous position.
With the advancements in Network Attached Storage devices over the past couple of years I find myself at a crossroads. In the past these devices were little more than glorified external hard drives. That has changed and now they are so much more.
I was introduced to Synology Network Attached Storage devices a few years ago. I thought that I was purchasing a simple device that would allow my clients to store their data on a centralized device. I was wrong. The device contained a lot of other useful features.
These devices now contain very sophisticated operating systems of their own. Not only can you share data but you can install a ton of apps. These apps provide you with a ton of increased functionality. For example, you can use your Synology device as a DVR base station for your security system. You can also install apps on your mobile devices that will allow you to access your data from anywhere! Synology devices can host VPN connections, websites and much more. So with all this functionality and a cost that’s much less expensive than a traditional server why not just choose one of these devices over a standard Windows Server? That’s a good question and while we feel Synology devices can replace a Windows Server in some instances that’s not always the case.
The first and most important difference between a Windows Server and a Synology device is the ability to host database programs such as QuickBooks or Act. Many businesses are moving these types of databases into the cloud so this many not create a problem. If you still rely on a server based database to run your company though you won’t be able to replace that Windows Server just yet.
The second features that I feel a Windows Server has over the Synology device is Active Directory. Synology does have a security database that allows you to create users and then grant those users access to certain features but it’s not as powerful as Active Directory.
The bottom line is that these devices are becoming more powerful and are able to replace Windows Servers in some small business environments. We are selling them left and right and the clients are in love with them. Maybe these will work for or maybe they won’t but if you have any questions please feel free to contact us. Tomlin Technology is Silver Certified by Synology and would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
You can call our office at (410) 861-6278 or visit our Contact Us page and fill out the form there to have one of our representatives contact you.