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Synology talks storage and surveillance management software

FEATURES: NZ Security, June 2016

Sky City Synology workshopSky City Synology workshopSynology, along with authorised distributor VST NZ Ltd, recently hosted their 2016 Auckland storage workshop. The Sky City Conference Centre event was the latest in a series of workshops, following hot on the heels of similar events in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.

Synology has long been a well known name in the IT and surveillance industry, boasting the number one NAS box in the industry and the award winning DiskStation Manager (DSM) data storage platform. Found on every NAS, this powerful intuitive web-based system also comes with free surveillance management software that allows the user to manage the IP cameras in their network.

It’s a well-established trend: IP camera solutions are becoming more popular and more affordable. With the switch to IP solutions and higher resolution cameras there are ever increasing demands on storage. To add to this, we’re also witnessing unprecedented demand for management software with intelligent video analysis.

With big storage and software being what it does best, Synology appears to have the software side well and truly covered – for projects big and small.


From small retail to big corporate

DSM’s Surveillance Station provides a simple plug and play solution, which supports over 4300 models of IP cameras from 90 brands, giving the user the ability to integrate with their existing solution or to choose the camera they desire. With easy to use cross-platform software support, recorded and live footage can be managed and played back via a browser-based interface.

The DS Cam smart phone application allows for footage to be viewed from anywhere for easy remote access.

DSM’s live view feature supports a 64 channel live view feed at 720p and a wide range of intelligent video analytical features that can send the exact kind of alerts or locate the exact footage needed in a flash. It also has ‘action rules’ and I/O module integration that effectively provides an automated surveillance system. Tasks can be automated to be carried out when a predefined event occurs, reducing the need for human intervention.


Pay as you grow solution

The Central Management system (CMS) capability provides an easy scale up solution, allowing users to expand their surveillance capabilities. Starting small, the user can add more Synology NAS to their deployment as the need arises. This allows the user to pay as they grow and split resources and data to different units, and to receive notifications on a single screen. Even for massive architecture with hundreds of cameras, everything is unified and readily available.

Finding and playing back footage on a large deployment can be painful and time consuming, and this is when DSM’s Smart Search features really come in handy. With Smart Search, the user is able to track any change during their IP camera's watch time, and customize search parameters to narrow down a search to avoid false alarms.

Alerts can be set for motion detection, camera occlusion, missing objects, lost objects, foreign objects, and for objects that stay in the camera’s no-idle zone for over a set period of time. Utilising the Timeline panel, a user can select a date and time and then play back recordings and from up to 64 channels concurrently or non-concurrently. With on-screen tools, customizable layouts, and many other features, events can be pinpointed with relative ease.

As one accumulates an enormous amount of recordings from multiple cameras over time, Surveillance Station provides tools allow the user to manage their recordings and to choose what can be deleted or archived.


Simple to use, cutting edge technology

Solutions with all the bells and whistle are sometimes either too good to be true or require a PhD degree to operate, but the Synology Surveillance Station 7.2 comes with a GUI befitting even the most technologically challenged user. Easy to setup and not demanding in-depth product knowledge, it minimises the learning curve by providing well defined functions.

On the administration side, remote setup can be established allowing the user to interface via web browser.

All Synology units come with free periodic updates that can download manually or automatically, so staying up to date with the latest Synology software and features is hassle free and with a price tag.


I have my own VMS or surveillance software

Adopting a Synology doesn’t mean that you have to discard your current surveillance system. With the coming of age of HD recording, the demand on storage has increased dramatically, and one has to consider a range of potential issues, including stress on hard disks due to excessive heat and vibration.

Synology has that all covered. Ranging from a 1 to 180 bay solution, they have overcome some of the most demanding storage challenges of data protection and overheating. With a NAS unit as core, the system supports SMB/CIFS, AFP and NFS protocols, allowing the system to be mounted easily to a surveillance server.

Synology also supports iSCSI protocol, affording the ability to setup an iSCSI target and mount it on a server with ease. Synology NAS systems support the automated RAID management system, Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR), giving you the benefit of easily upgrading your hard drives when more disk space is required.

With the ability to scale up by equipping expansion chassis on some models, running out of storage space is a worry of the past. The folk at Synology recommend running at maximum capacity and maximum bandwidth using Link Aggregation, which is supported by most Synology units.


Protect your surveillance footage with Synology

Rather than focusing on surveillance applications, the Sky City workshop was more squarely focused on storage, providing insight to new innovations that provide market leading data replication, disaster recovery and business continuity solutions.

Synology has a comprehensive backup solution to ensure data safety. With the new DiskStation Manager 6.0, released in March, users can benefit from the new Hyper Backup and Snapshot Replication features, which provide the capability to back up data to another Synology unit either on or off site.

Hyper backup is an advanced feature that supports the ability to back up the Synology NAS to different types of destinations, so that the user can choose a strategy best suited to their needs. This feature also has a cross-version de-duplication capability to minimise storage usage.

Snapshot replication is another beneficial feature that is designed to help replicate data to another Synology unit every five minutes. This feature provides a super efficient way to back up data offsite, so that when disaster strikes you can regain access to the data within minutes.

The specs are impressive, and one can visit to check them out. What they amount to is a system that allows businesses to start with a lower upfront cost and to scale up storage capacity as requirements grow, all the while investing less time on storage management. As such, it’s a compelling package.

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