Synology Inc, founded in April of 2000, is an international company that produces network attached storage appliances for the SOHO and SMB/SME. Synology aims to provide people an innovative way of sharing and storing digital contents. Synology servers bear a small footprint, are designed to be energy conscious and are designed to be user-friendly. Synology target customer group are power users, small offices and businesses. The customer’s investment is further protected with free firmware updates, which often introduce new functions, along with an online support staff and a lively community forum, where Synology and advanced Synology users provide mutual support and share ideas relating to Synology products
The Disk Station is a single or dual bay enclosure, similarly sized to an external CD-Rom drive, designed to meet the storage needs of most small offices or home users. Currently, the Disk Station supports either one or two terabytes of total storage, depending on which model is used.
The Cube Station is a quad-bay shoe-box sized storage device, designed to meet the needs of those who require capacious amounts of storage; up to four terabytes of total storage is available to the user. The Cube Station typically black, or white/silver in color, depending on which model is used.
The Rack Station is quad-bay 1U format Rack Mount storage server, designed to be installed in a Rack Mount Environment. Similar in capabilities as the Cube Station, the Rack Station adds the capability of using Hot-Swap Hard Drives.
In general, most of the Synology devices have the same set of features and or capabilities (some of the lower end models do not feature the security capabilities which the higher end models have to offer, such as SSL or ADS capabilities). The differences between all of the models mainly lie in the amount of performance or storage capacities which are required by the user. All products have an Ethernet and USB port, while some models feature an eSATA port for connecting External Hard Drives. By default, users purchasing a Synology NAS do not come with Hard Drives; these will have to purchase separately.
The ability of Synology’s servers evolves over time, as Synology aims to release new capabilities to each of their products. However, the primary purpose of the Synology product is to expand or supplement the storage needs of the user, using the Network Attached Storage structure. Along with expanding storage, the Synology server is capable of performing data back up purposes for Windows users, or to backup to other Synology/ Rsync servers, using the RSync Protocol. Along with these basic necessities, the Synology server is capable of multimedia streaming via the UPnP protocol or it can behave as Print Server. And finally, with its integrated Apache, MySQL, and PHP engines, the Synology Server is capable of being a light-weight web server, or perhaps a small Blog server.