Synology Officially Releases DiskStation Manager (DSM) 6.0

Synology released the final version of DiskStation Manager (DSM) 6.0 after six months of beta programs and it was well worth the wait. DSM 6.0 is a major leap in the development of DSM and introduces major enhancements in every aspect including Virtualisation, Cloud Solution, Collaboration, Security, Multimedia, Accessibility and much more. Loyal readers will also have seen our review on DSM 6.0 just a few weeks ago where we had a go with it ahead of time.

There are so many improvements in DSM 6.0 that it is hard to get them all mentioned in a post like this, but I’ll try to bring you the highlights. Should you want to check out more details on the individual new function before you upgrade, then you can visit the official minisite for DSM 6.0 and check up on all the details. One of the awesome new functions that you’ll barely notice except for its usability is the new powerful content indexing service. This effective feature allows you to quickly reach all your data with a full content search for more than 700 file formats including office documents and metadata from your media files. With this, you’ll quickly find the files you’re looking for, no matter where on your NAS they’re located.

The Cloud Station Suite also made file syncing a lot easier, no matter what device you’re using. It is now all in one place and easy to setup and configure. Whether you just want to use it for backups to your personal cloud or sync it with a host of cloud storage services too, the Cloud Station Suite makes it easy.

A lot of the really new features in DSM 6.0 focus on the enterprise users, but the home users were in no way forgotten. DSM 6.0 focused highly on optimizing the multimedia experience. The redesigned Video Station with offline transcoding allows you to watch movies anytime, anywhere. Multimedia mobile apps support multiple devices including the new Apple TV, Apple Watch, and Windows 10. Media storage and access are some of the main reasons for home users to get a NAS and with these improvements you can be sure to have a smooth experience, anytime, anywhere.

The advanced collaboration tools are equally useful for home and enterprise users alike. Whether you are calculating prices for customers or keep track of your household expenses, you can do it all on your own NAS without the need for any local software. Create Spreadsheets or use the advanced Note Station yourself or share, edit, and collaborate with friends, family, and coworkers.

The concept of electronic mail is as old as the internet itself. DiskStation Manager now also comes with the all-new MailPlus and MailPlus Server packages that allow you to set up a secure and reliable private mail server as well as use a modern email client for receiving and sending messages. Again, everything will run on your own server and you remain in full control and don’t need to rely on third-party services. While this mostly is relevant to enterprise users, there are quite a few enthusiasts such as myself that could benefit greatly from this system at home too.

DSM 6.0 also offers a much greater support for SSD cache that ensures a significant boost in performance for those that need more than the average. This is mainly for enterprise users and so is the newly added support for shared folders with over one petabyte of storage space. The Btrfs file system is now also supported on more NAS models than before, which in itself adds a row of great features such as data compression and data scrubbing.

DSM 6.0 also introduces Snapshot Replication to Synology’s NAS’ that offers near-continuous data protection as well as multi-site replication for an even better protection of your files. In addition, Synology’s Hyper Backup package can now perform multi-version backups of all types of destinations.

Consolidating physical servers with virtualization technology can increase server utilization and reduce business operating costs – and it’s also really cool. DSM 6.0 introduces two new features here with Docker DSM and Virtual DSM that enables users to build a reliable and multi-tenant environment on their Synology NAS.

Virtual DSM allows you to deploy multiple virtual instances of DiskStation Manager on the same unit. You can easily live migrate virtual machines to another Synology NAS and test out DSM upgrades in isolated virtual machines before you effectively install it. There is no need to worry about downtimes when upgrading with such a feature. It also adds another layer of security as it protects the physical machine from being affected if the virtual machine gets attached.

Docker DSM is a lightweight virtualization system with data protection where you don’t have to give up system performance. It can be containerized and run on a Btrfs shared folder with little performance impact, yet provide you with a lot of benefits. It only requires 256MB memory for each Docker DSM where Virtual DSM requires 1GB or more each and the only real difference is the whether you need the ability to use iSCSI LUN and targets.

 

So, it might be time to upgrade your Synology NAS. You can find a full list of applied models for each function and check out the full software specification too if you want to know more. As a user that already had the pleasure to play with DSM 6.0, I can highly recommend it.

QNAP Launches TDS-16489U Dual Xeon E5 Double Server

QNAP’s newest server, the TDS-16489U, is an amazing one that sets itself apart from the rest in so many ways. I want one so badly even though I have absolutely no need for this kind of power. This must be how a normal person feels when they see a Bugatti Veyron. But let us get back to the new QNAP dual server.

The TDS-16489U is a powerful dual server that’s both an application server and storage server baked into on chassis for simplicity and effectiveness. It is powered by two Intel Xeon E5 processors with 4, 6, or 8 cores each while supporting up to 1TB DDR4 2133 MHz memory with its 16 DIMM slots. These are already some impressive specs, but this is just where the fun begins.

The dual server has 16 front-accessible drive bays for 3.5-inch storage drives as well four rear-facing 2.5-inch drive bays for SSD cache. Should this not be enough, then you can expand that further by use of NVMe based PCI-Express SSDs too. The system has three SAS 12 Gb/s controllers built-in to couple it all together.

There are just as many connection options as there are storage options in the TDS-16489U. It comes with two normal Gigabit Ethernet ports as well as four SFP+ 10Gbps ports powered by an Intel XL710. Should that not be enough, then you can use the PCI-Express slots to expand with further NICs of your choice. The system supports the use of 40 Gbps cards too. It also comes with a dedicated IPMI connection besides the normal networking. The PCI-Express x16 Gen.3 slots can also be used with AMD R7 or R9 graphics cards for GPU passthrough to virtualization applications. A true one-device solution for applications, storage, and virtualization.

The TDS-16489U combines outstanding virtualization and storage technologies as an all-around dual server. With Virtualization Station and Container Station, computation and data from the guest OS and apps can be directly stored on the TDS-16489U through the internal 12Gb/s SAS interface. Coupled with Double-Take Availability to provide comprehensive high availability and disaster recovery, backup virtual machines can support failover for the primary systems on the TDS-16489U whenever needed to enable data protection and continuous services. QNAP Virtualization Station is a virtualization platform based on KVM (Kernel Virtual Machine) infrastructure. By sharing the Linux kernel, GPU passthrough, virtual switches, VM import/export, snapshot, backup & restoration, SSD cache acceleration and tiered storage.

“Software frameworks for Big Data management and analysis like Apache Hadoop or Apache Spark can be easily operated on the TDS-16489U using virtual machines or containerized apps, and with Qtier Technology for Auto Tiering the TDS-16489U empowers Big Data computing and provides efficient storage in one box to help businesses gain further insights, opportunities and values,” said David Tsao, Product Manager of QNAP.

With all the above, we shouldn’t forget that it still also runs QNAP’s QTS 4.2 operating system that provides everything you know and love from that. Included is the comprehensive virtualization applications that we’ve also seen on our consumer models, but this is where you truly can take advantage of what QNAP created and run multiple Windows, Linux, Unix, and Android-based virtual machines on your NAS. All the backup solutions and failover, from local to other NAS or the cloud. You can do it all. Share files to basically any device anywhere is made as easy as possible.

Should you still not have enough storage in this impressive unit, then you can expand with up to 8 of the QNAP enclosures and reach a seriously impressive 1152 TB raw storage capacity controlled by this single 3U server unit. The CPU power, dual system capabilities, virtualization options and impressive storage option will let you deploy an impressive system with a very tiny size and total cost of ownership compared to traditional setups.

Key Specifications

  • 16-bay, 3U rackmount unit
  • 2 x Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 Family processor (with 4-core, 6-core and 8-core configurations)
  • 64GB~1TB DDR4 2133MHz RDIMM/LRDIMM RAM (16 DIMM)
  • 4 x SFP+ 10GbE ports
  • hot-swappable 16 x 3.5″ SAS (12Gbps/6Gbps)/SATA (6Gbps/3Gbps) HDD or 2.5″ SAS/SATA SSD, and 4 x
  • 2.5″ SAS (12Gbps) SSD or SAS/SATA (6Gbps/3Gbps) SSD;
  • 4 x PCle slots;
  • 4 x USB 3.0 port

The new QNAP TDS-16489U dual-server is now available.

QNAP’s HD Station Just Got Better With JRiver Media Center Support

QNAP continues to improve the experience for their customers and the newest incentive is an upgrade to the HybdridDesk Station 3.0 app that now comes with integrated support for the renowned JRiver Media Center and thereby provides even more options and choices for the users when it comes to their media experience.

The HybridDesk Station, for those who don’t already know it, is a combination of technologies that allows you to use your NAS unit as a PC by simply attaching a keyboard, mouse and HDMI monitor to it. Among others, it uses multimedia transcoding, Virtual Machine (VM) integration, cloud integration, NAS connection technologies, and more.

JRiver Media Center is perfect to manage a large library of media files and even multiple media servers within the same network. The media center features cover art and metadata art to make the management easier and users can use the powerful media player for flawless direct-streaming of every multimedia format as well as multi-zone multimedia streaming.

JRiver Media Center doesn’t just stream video, you can also use it to record directly with yourself. It also covers music and files besides the motion picture features. It has functions such as equalizer, tempo, pitch, and sample rate available to satisfy audiophiles’ tastes too.

The HD Station 3.0 is supported by QNAP’s TS-x51, TS-x51+, HS-251/251+, TS-x53 Pro, TVS-x63, TVS-x71, TVS-871T, TS/TVS-x80, TS-x70 and TS-x79 series with QTS 4.2.0 or above firmware.

QNAP Releases Quad-Core TS-x51+ Series SOHO NAS

QNAP released the new TS-x51+ series of high-performance SMB NAS units consisting of the TS-251+ 2-bay unit and the TS-451+ 4-bay unit. The TS-x51+ series is built around a powerful Intel Celeron 2GHz processor and comes in two versions with either 2GB or 8GB DDR3 memory installed. The TS-x51+ series is an affordable and scalable solution with QvPC and Container based virtualization.

With the TS-x51+ series, you get dual Gigabit Ethernet network connectivity and the NAS supports both volume and folder encryption and the NAS is able to deliver up to 225MB/s throughput and up to 205MB/s transfer speeds with AES 256-bit encryption. You get two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, and an HDMI-out for a monitor and direct usage.

The QvPC feature allows you to use the NAS as an HTPC replacement where you simply attach a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to use it as a cheap PC replacement where you can view the web, browse the local content, and much more. With Container Station support, users are able to run multiple virtualization systems from Windows over Linux to Android. With LXC and Docker lightweight virtualization, you can also download systems from the built-in Docker Hub Registry.

The TS-x51+ series also features the highly anticipate snapshot function, but that requires a minimum of 4GB RAM. The QTS 4.2 Storage Manager can easily create snapshots within seconds for both volumes and LUN.

The QNAP TS-x51+ series also supports real-time and offline transcoding and features all the amazing streaming capabilities from Apple TV over Chromecast to ordinary DLNA and Bluetooth devices.

Both the TS-451+ and TS-251+ support the QNAP UX-800P and UX-500P expansion enclosures for easy expansion of the available storage and get close to 100TB or raw storage out of these NAS.

The new QNAP 2-bay TS-251+ and 4-bay TS-451+ NAS should be available now, but I could not find a price listing yet. Expect them to arrive at your favorite QNAP reseller very shortly.

ASRock Rack 2U & 3U Server Solution Supports the Latest NVIDIA GRID 2.0

Nvidia recently released their GRID 2.0 at the VMWorld and ASRock Rack now announced that their 2U and 3U server solutions support just this. Nvidia GRID 2.0 is a big step up as it delivers double the application performance as well as double the user density over the previous version. Not only that, it also offers support for Linux OS and blade servers to provide unprecedented speed and efficiency for virtualized graphics. Users can work from almost anywhere with virtually no delays and thereby increase their productivity. IT departments can equip workers with instant access to powerful applications, improving resource allocation. And data can be stored more securely by residing in a central server rather than individual systems.

The two ASRock Rack solution compatible with the new GRID 2.0 are the 2U2N-F and the 3U8G-C612 and both are configurable with four to eight GPU cards; and four are the recommended minimum. Next to the up-to-eight Tesla M60 GPUs, the server units also feature numerous other PCIe slots for further expansion and acceleration by PCIe SSDs, Remote Direct Memory Access by SFP+ or InfiniBand, NVR or facial recognition systems by capture cards and much more.

ASRock Rack fans might have noticed that the mentioned 2U2N-F is a new rack unit. The 2U rack-mounted server features eight 2.5-inch HDD bays and redundant 1600W Platinum PSU. The server supports Intel Xeon E5-2600/4600 series with a TDP of up to 120W and narrow-type CPU cooler. The eight DIMM slots support up to 2133MHz and you’ll also get an ASpeed AST2400 onboard graphic solution with dedicated Realtek IPMI network connection. The 2U2N-F is definitely worth a closer look if you’re about to set up a new powerful virtualization system or plan to upgrade the old.

QNAP Is Beta Testing QTS 4.2 and It Looks Great

QNAP already has a very impressive operating system for their NAS series called QTS, but they aren’t resting on that and keep on improving and adding things. The newest version, QTS 4.2, is almost ready and it is currently being beta tested. That also means that you can try it if you have a QNAP Turbo NAS.

The new QTS 4.2 adds container virtualization snapshot, multi-zone multimedia control and other exciting new features. It also comes with a revamped user interface and will provide a smarter, smoother, and more spectacular cloud experience with strong security.

“QNAP continues to break the barriers of devices, platforms and geography to bring optimized cloud experiences to business and home users alike,” said Tony Lu, product manager of QNAP, adding “We have taken the lead in incorporating cutting-edge technologies like containers, snapshots and multi-zone multimedia streaming to extend the possibilities of QNAP NAS. With QTS 4.2, users are limited only by their imaginations.”

The revamped user interface will be the first thing you notice, it has a more flat design that reduces loading times and elevates the user experience with translucent login window, frameless media viewer, and new recycle bin. Multimedia is one of the big reasons to get an NAS in the first place, as you need a place to store everything. Your QNAP NAS can now be a multi-zone multimedia system with central control media streaming to different areas from a single device via HDMI, DLNA, Chromecast, Apple TV, Bluetooth and USB devices. The revamped Photo Station provides an excellent browsing experience with gallery and management modes and enhanced sharing mechanisms. Video Station now features online subtitle search while the HD Station now supports multilanguage and multitasking with new apps including Skype, Libre Office and Plex Home Theater.

QTS 4.2 also introduces an industry-leading hybrid virtualization solution with Virtualization Station and Container Station. The upgraded Virtualization Station adopts software-defined networking concepts and brings greater benefits for flexible networking. The new Container Station exclusively integrates LXC and Docker lightweight virtualization technologies, allowing users to operate multiple isolated Linux systems on a QNAP NAS as well as downloading apps from the built-in Docker Hub Registry. The FileStation can now directly browse and transfer files between their NAS and public cloud services as well as mount folders from a remote NAS.

There are a lot more improvements such as optimized storage management and cloud backup, higher data security with 2-step verification, shared folder encryption, instant notification to mobile devices, and VPN server. If you got a compatible QNAP NAS, then the new QTS 4.2beta is surely worth to check out.

QNAP’s Compact TS-453 Mini NAS Now Available

It’s only been about a month since QNAP introduced us to their new top loading 4-bay mini NAS. Now it has been officially released, has arrived at stores, and can be yours.

The system is built around a quad-core processor and offers a lot of storage options at a tiny footprint. The vertical design allows it to take less space and fit into smaller areas, making it perfect for non-spacious office environments, dorm rooms, and similar.

It is available in two models, one with 2GB and one with 8GB memory pre-installed. Upgrading memory is a piece of cake on this unit as it’s conveniently accessible from the bottom. No need to take the entire unit apart anymore.

Despite the smaller size and the mini name, the TS-453mini offers all the things you want and expect from a QNAP devices. You get dual LAN, USB 3.0 connectivity, and direct HDMI out.

QNAPs QPvC technology allows you to use the NAS as virtualization station and install other operating systems such as Linux, windows, or android directly on the NAS. Connect a monitor, mouse, and keyboard and pack away that old HTPC. Direct media playback and other HTPC functions are equally supported just as remote controls are.

You still get 24TB raw capacity with the four drive bays at your disposal and the 6TB hard disks that more or less has become the norm these days.

The Intel Celeron 2GHz processor is able to deliver up to 220MB/s transfer throughput and can be expanded all the way up to 96TB by the use of the UX-800P expansion enclosure and 8TB hard drives – because they are equally supported.

Business users don’t miss out either as it supports VMware, Microsoft and Citrix virtualization solutions, cross-platform sharing, Windows AD, LDAP and ACL, Rsync, RTRR, and cloud backups.

TS-453mini Key specifications

  • vertical design, 4-bay
  • Intel Celeron 2.0GHz quad-core processor (burst up to 2.41GHz)
  • 8GB/2GB DDR3L RAM (max. 8GB)
  • 3.5”/2.5” SATA HDD/SSD support, hot-swappable
  • 3 x USB 3.0 and 2 x USB 2.0 ports
  • 2 x Gigabit LAN ports
  • 1 x HDMI v1.4a output
  • IR sensor

The 2GB RAM model currently costs £481.00 on Amazon UK while the 8GB RAM model will set you back £601.89. We are currently in the process of reviewing just this unit and I can already reveal that it’s an awesome unit.

QNAP’s New TS-453mini NAS Is Packed With Great Features

QNAP has presented their newest SOHO NAS and it is a little different from the network attached storage units we usually see. The new TS-453mini is a vertical top-loading unit that can take up to four hard drives. Usually mini means that you’ll only be able to use 2.5-inch drives in the unit, but the TS-453mini can take four normal sized 3.5-inch drives. With current 6TB hard drives that would equal to 24TB of raw storage with a footprint that is just 151mm wide and 200mm deep.

The elegantly designed for SOHO device features a stylish piano black finish, a whisper quiet heat exhaust, easy tool-less hard drive installation, simple accessible RAM upgradability, and is packed full of cutting-edge features and apps for file storage, backup, sharing and entertainment needs. A lot more than you’d expect from such a tiny unit.

The new QNAP unit also features all the connection abilities you want from an NAS. You get dual Gigabit Ethernet for failover and link aggregation, two USB 2.0 and three USB 3.0 ports as well as an HDMI out for direct usage.

QNAP’s TS-453mini is built around an Intel quad-core Celeron 2.GHz CPU with a burst speed up to 2.41GHz. The unit has two RAM slots and will be available in two version right of the shelves, one with 2GB memory pre-installed and one with 8GB memory. The unit also features an IR sensor for an optional remote and can be expanded up to 96TB storage capacity using QNAP’s UX-800P USB 3.0 expansion unit.

You don’t need to opt for the model with 8GB RAM right away if you don’t know if you’ll be needing it. The NAS has one of the easiest memory upgrade systems possible with a small hatch on the bottom with direct access to the modules. Upgrading the memory of you NAS has never been so easy. The drive trays feature equal easy mounting as it all snaps together without the need for screws and tools.

The HDMI out allows you to use the NAS as a direct media hub, but it does more than that. QNAP added their QvPC technology to the unit, which allows you to use it as a full-fledged PC thanks the use of virtual machines.

The new QNAP TS-453mini will be available soon and we’ll also have a review of the unit ready for you as soon as it’s available. The German e-tailer Redcoon already has the unit listed and in stock, but that must be a wrongful listing as it isn’t released yet. It does however give us the price of €457.12 incl. VAT.

Turn your ASUSTOR NAS into a PC with new VirtualBox App

ASUSTOR released a new App for their Portal, and you can now turn your NAS into a computer with 24/7 availability and tremendous energy efficiency. The new VirtualBox app allows you to run a long list of virtual machines directly from your NAS. No matter if its sending emails, editing Word, Excel or PowerPoint files, or even Skype, all can be done on one machine, your NAS.

There are a few limitations as to which of the NAS devices support this new feature as it does require some CPU power as well as RAM to run properly. The supported models are the AS50, AS51, and AS57 models and it is recommended to have at least 4GB RAM in the system. The ASUSTOR Portal can also just run one virtual machine at a time, but it’s still really awesome.

Due to license limitations, users will also need to install the VirtualBox extension pack for USB 2.0 devices and Virtual RDP. You can get the pack on VirtualBox’s website as well as see a full list of supported operating systems.

The VirtualBox should satisfy all your virtual machine needs. From the numerous supported operating systems, importing and exporting virtual machines, creating virtual machine snapshots to designating physical NAS network ports for use by specific virtual machines, all can be done with VirtualBox.

Valve Points To A 2015 VR Headset Release, Teases With SteamVM Platform

Virtual reality and VR headsets are not mainly focused on gaming, but more on the experience it gives the user. Those who have tried it do know what it’s about and what potential it offers. And it seems Valve’s VR lead, Michael Abrash, is one of the few people who see the upcoming VR potential.

“Not only could VR rapidly evolve into a major platform, but it could actually tip the balance of the entire industry from traditional media toward computer entertainment.” said Michael.

Michael predicts that the VR headset will overcome any traditional media interaction methods, such as TVs, theaters, movies, etc. and although this seems far away, Valve is pointing to a launch date in 2015 for their version of VR headset. He has also described in detail how the VR experience should be and even came up with some basic guidelines at the Steam Dev Days event.

The first and most important thing about VR is the “presence”, as Michael mentioned. It creates a new and detailed reality to the extent that it fools even the human brain. And the closer the experience is to reality, the better the user experience gets.

“It’s the sense of being someplace else while in virtual reality; many people feel as if they’ve been teleported. Presence is an incredibly powerful sensation, and it’s unique to VR; there’s no way to create it in any other medium.” Michael stated. “Most people find it to be kind of magical, and we think that once people have experienced presence, they’ll want it badly,” he added.

We can’t deny the fact that VR is already here, and almost perfect. Take the Oculus Crystal Cove prototype for example, with minor adjustments it will be ready for consumer use in no time. This is where Michael pointed out some target specs during the Steam Dev Days event required for the VR headset user experience. And this is why Valve is working on their own prototype VR headset.

Together with its SteamVR platform, it aims to revolutionise how we play games. SteamVR beta is already available in Steam’s Big Picture mode. Although Steam only demoed their VR technology to developers, the feedback given so far is quite positive. We are now looking forward to more information about what Steam has in plan for the future, and maybe even a public demo of their VR headset and how it works in the SteamVM platform.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of Endgadget

Google Releases Dart 1.1, Improves JavaScript Performance

Google released its own JavaScript alternative, Dart, a couple of months ago, while claiming to be just as good if not better than the common JavaScript. While Dart is really good in its own V8 JavaScript engine, it did not perform as well when compiled with the help of its own dart2java tool in a normal JavaScript code. And since no browser do not use native Dart applications, it did not look so good.

But it seems that Google released a new version, Dart 1.1, which Google developer Seth Ladd states it fixed the performance problems with the converted JavaScript code. It now shows an increase of around 25% or more (depending on the benchmark) compared to previous code from Dart 1.0.

“Dart2js now generates JavaScript that performs as well as, if not better than, the idiomatic JavaScript equivalent,” Ladd wrote in his article.

Ladd also mentions that there is increasing interest in using Dart for server-side applications. The new Dart 1.1 comes with extra features, including support for large file, process signal handlers, file copy, as well as accessing the UDP networking protocol and terminal information, making it easier to write streaming media applications.

Furthermore, HTTP stack has been optimized, along with decrease in latency for various I/O operations. The Dart language spec as well as other documentation has also been updated to meet the new changes in the newer version.

Thank you The Register for providing us with this information