Synology's new DS720+ is a $400 (without disks), two-bay NAS (expandable up to seven bays with an additional external Synology DX517 expansion unit), that is designed to get your business started with a small, relatively inexpensive NAS, which can grow as your data needs grow.
Here's the Tech
The DS720+, which is an updated version of Synology's DS718+, is a solid, well-built device that is super quiet. If you read my review of Synology's DS220j you may recall that I complained about how much noise that NAS made. So much, in fact, that there's no way I would have worked with it in the same office that I'm working in. The DS720+, which has the same footprint as the DS220j, has no such issues. Supremely quiet, the device has been sitting in my office for a week, making only occasionally audible sounds.
The device supports 2-3.5 or 2.5 standard SATA hard drives, which aren't included with your purchase, and has two bays on the bottom for NVMe SSD drives. It's important to note, though, that the two SSD drive bays on the bottom are meant for caching only, so they can't be used to upgrade your available storage. To do that you'll need to use one of the aforementioned expansion bays. The device also ships with 2 GB of DDR4 RAM, which is user-upgradable to 6 GB.
For external ports, the DS720+ has 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports that can be bound together using Disk Station Manager (DSM) for load balancing and redundancy, two USB 3 ports, an eSATA port, and a Kensington security slot to make sure the NAS doesn't grow legs and walk.
For storage, this DiskStation supports a single storage volume of up to 108TB, which can be accessed by up to 2,048 local users and 256 group accounts. Bind it to your directory server and you're only limited by the licensing requirements of your directory server.
DiskStation Manager is the key to all that is amazing about any Synology DiskStation. DSM is the core OS of the Synology universe and offers a host of features you'd expect from any server and many more that you wouldn't expect to have access to unless you bought some kind of add-on package. Powerful, and for the most part, easy to manage, DSM is an all-in-one solution and offers a significant number of features, from basic file serving to a full office suite, Active Directory server, synchronization of files between devices in the office and in the field. Plus you can seamlessly synchronize data to other Synology servers you own anywhere in the world.
DSM now includes a new Central Management System that allows you to remotely manage any Synology DiskStation you're responsible for. Central Management System lets you check any DiskStation remotely, verify that software is up to date and run those updates if they aren't, and make changes to shared folders and volumes.
Apps Built Right In
DSM has several powerful applications built into the OS, including free virus protection, word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation tools, a calendar server, notes server, contacts server, mail server, and the Synology Chat Server, which allows you to have a private, internal Slack-like chat service. Additionally, you'll find a multitude of media hosting options from an iTunes music server to a video station.
I played with Synology's office applications, which I found to be on par with anything Google has to offer by way of Google apps. Which is to say, I'd rather not use either of them, but they are perfectly serviceable applications and, in the case of Synology's built-in tools, they are free and your personal data isn't being scraped for advertising purposes.
This Disk Is In
Synology's new DS720+ is a solid entry-level NAS. Small and inexpensive, it's perfect to get you started on a small budget, but powerful enough that it can easily expand to meet your growing business needs. As is the case with every Synology NAS, the hardware's core OS, DiskStation Manager, provides a solid foundation for meeting all your needs, whether that's as simple handling all the media you need to stream or as complicated as managing all your business documents and synchronizing them to every one of your offices across the country or the world.
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