Yesterday, Synology showed off the latest update to its NAS server operating system; DiskStation Manager (DSM) 4.3. The new release ushers in a host of significant enhancements for home and business users, including improved SSD storage efficiency, better customisation and a range of completely overhauled multimedia features. Here's a look at the highlights.
With DSM 4.3, it's obvious that Synology is going to some effort to provide an intuitive and customisable NAS OS with an emphasis on productivity tweaks for enthusiast users and slicker, more user-friendly applications for the consumer set.
Among the major enhancements, Synology has tweaked its private cloud service (AKA Cloud Station) with customisable data syncing. Users can now pick and choose which sub folders and file types they want to keep synced across their devices. In a boon to open source users, the Cloud Station update also adds Linux compatibility.
File Station has also received some love, with enhanced share capabilities via folder-level link sharing. Users can now generate a link for selected files or entire folders; the link can then be offered to others to download. In addition, users can download files directly from their DiskStation by dragging and dropping them from the File Station app onto their desktop.
Another key improvement provided by DSM 4.3 involves the way it handles solid state drives (SSDs). With the release of DSM 4.3, Synology is touting itself as one of the first NAS manufacturers to offer TRIM support, a command that allows the operating system to inform an SSD which blocks of data are no longer considered in use and can thus be wiped internally. This allows for more efficient SSD performance and also boosts the life of SSD drives, making them faster and more cost effective.
Another significant enterprise storage tweak is the addition Windows Offloaded Data Transfer (ODX) support which allows users to offload the resource consumption required on the host server to Synology DiskStation. According to the vendor, this allows the new OS to deliver "up to 10 times performance gain and saves up to 99.9% of storage space" when coupled with Synology Advanced LUN technology.
Shiny, Pretty Apps
DSM 4.3 provides revamped versions of its Photo Station and Video Station web applications. Photo Station Version 6 allows users to customise how their photos are viewed with options for chronological groupings, a Metro-like tiled interface or a traditional thumbnail view. Photos can be scrolled through smoothly via either mouse or touch screen (if available).
Synology’s Video Station has also been updated to include support for the streaming player Roku TV, along with options for definable permissions. Users can also create libraries from directly within the app.
The DS Audio iOS app has received an extensive overhaul too. The new version sports a completely redesigned interface with the option to illustrate albums with cover art, create playlists in-app and display lyrics onscreen during playack.
DSM 4.3 will be available as a free download to owners of compatible NAS servers within the next fortnight. It will be compatible with all 10-series Synology NAS hardware and higher. You can find out more about the new OS at Synology's website.