ChannelLife New Zealand logo
Industry insider news for New Zealand's technology resellers
Story image

Synology FlashStation FS3017: Fast, affordable all-flash NAS for businesses

By Contributor
Mon 13 Mar 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

In case you missed it, NAS specialist Synology has recently announced its first flash storage appliance. 

The Synology FlashStation FS3017 accepts both solid state drives (SSD) and SAS-based hard disk drives (HDD) to deliver up to 200,000 IOPS (4K) with 24 drive bays for up to 90TB of capacity.

This first all-flash solution from Synology is currently deployed by enterprises such as the Australian-based Mantra Group.

“The storage array has been proven to be more than capable of going toe-to-toe with what would be classed as an enterprise-class all flash array for a fraction of the cost.”

Mark Pearce, IT Infrastructure Manager, Mantra Group

We take a closer look at the hardware, and examine some of the capabilities that it offers to small and mid-sized businesses.

Enterprise-grade hardware

The FS3017 is a 2U rack mounted storage appliance with 24 2.5-inch drive bays for SAS or SATA SSDs, or 2.5-inch SAS HDDs.

Under the hood, it is powered by two Intel Xeon E5-2620 v3 6-core processors clocked at 2.4GHz, and 64GB of DDR4 ECC RDIMM (4 x 16GB) that is expandable to 512GB by fully populating its 16 memory slots. For redundancy, the appliance is powered by two 800W power supply units.

On the network front, two 10GbE ports can be configured in either link aggregation or fail over mode. In addition, two PCIe slots are available (Gen3 x 16 slot and Gen3 x 8 slot) for additional network adapters ranging from 10GbE, 25GbE and 40GbE.

Note that the FS3017 is a single controller design that incorporates dual CPUs, and is not a dual controller one. On its part, Synology maintains there is no dual controller solution on the market with its price point.

The company says that the FS3017 offers a dollar per GB cost of US$0.65 with a full system with SSDs installed obtainable for under US$25,000 – making it a viable proposition for even small and mid-sized businesses.

This is not to say that FS3017 is a slouch in reliability, since businesses can deploy Synology-centric capabilities such as Synology High Availability in either active or passive configuration, or make use of automatic failover to ensure uptime. We’ll talk more about the various Synology features in the next section.

The Synology touch

As expected, the FS3017 is powered by Synology’s highly popular DiskStation Manager (DSM), which means that all the familiar features of the DSM platform are immediately available.

Synology has recently released its latest revision, DSM 6.1, which offers a long host of refinements to its core data storage and backup capabilities, as well as more granular capabilities and packages that makes it more appealing to businesses than ever.

For one, the mature DSM platform offers high availability configuration as well as a host of sophisticated backup capabilities such as Snapshot Replication and Hyper Backup.

In a nutshell, Hyper Backup is a multi-version backup tool that lets you back up data to local or external locations at the block-level with support for incremental backup support and cross-version deduplication.

Moreover, you can also integrate public cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) S3 and OneDrive for Business by leveraging DSM’s cloud capabilities.

Additionally, DSM 6.1 comes with quite a few on-premises features for collaboration and productivity. These include a brand-new Word-like collaboration application, a Synology-based shared calendar, and a chat platform to help small businesses save money on third-party collaboration services.

While these service providers typically charge only a few dollars per user per month for cloud services, this can stack up quickly for a mid-sized company of a few hundred employees.

Since these services run entirely on the Synology NAS, corporate information remains safely stored on the company premises but without the cost or complexity of enterprise chat solutions.

One of the most interesting feature of DSM 6.1 would undoubtedly be its ability to function as an Active Directory Server through the Active Directory Server package.

This allows the use of DSM 6.1 as a central platform to manage computers and devices running Synology DSM, Linux and Windows.

The package is powered by Samba – so no proprietary implementation to worry about here – and will support commonly used Active Directory features such as user accounts, group memberships, as well as domain-joining with Kerberos-based authentication and group policies.

Physically, the FS3017 looks very much at home to the rest of the Synology NAS family, and comes with USB 3.0 ports. Coupled with Synology DSM, this means that you can use the ports to ingest data from external USB-based storage devices.

Elsewhere, the hot swappable system fan design lets malfunctioned fans to be swapped without the need for tools.

Finally, system administrators can monitor the FS3017 like any other Synology NAS via SNMP, or make use of the VMware plugin offered by Synology to take application-aware LUN snapshots.

To be clear, the FS3017 offers unified storage capabilities, and is equally at home with block-level iSCSI or NFS and file-level storage (SMB) for various use cases such as big data and virtualisation.

And if your organisation is into sophisticated private cloud deployments, the FS3017 is also OpenStack compatible as a block-level storage device in an OpenStack deployment.

Advanced RAID for SSDs

Making a flash storage appliance is more than just slapping SSD drives into a drive enclosure. One consideration of SSDs technology is the finite number of program-erase cycles that flash memory offers, which traditional RAID setups doesn’t take into consideration.

This means that using RAID on an all-SSD system could result in multiple SSD drives being worn out and failing at the same time, potentially resulting in data loss.

Synology worked to address the situation by creating what it calls “RAID F1” that was designed to write more parity bits onto a specific SSD to wear out a system-assigned SSD at a time.

According to a white paper Synology published, RAID F1 is based on RAID 5 and hence offers single-disk resilience to failure. Only a minor tweak was made to achieve this outcome, which in our view is good as complicated or built-from-scratch implementations are far more likely to incorporate nasty bugs.

For those who are more technical, RAID 5 writes parity blocks evenly across all drives by rotating them round-robin style. RAID F1 does the same, but writes an additional parity block on the selected SSD on each round-robin cycle to wear it off faster.

In theory, this means that the impact on performance should only be evident under periods of extremely high number of writes – or during rebuilds. Synology says there is no impact on CPU utilisation between RAID F1 and RAID 5.

Deployment scenarios

What are some usage scenarios for an all-flash storage device? Obvious applications would be organisations that require high IOPS or high throughput storage such as virtualised infrastructure, big data analysis, video production and enterprise applications. Indeed, existing virtualisation environments can expect a big boost in performance by using the FS3017 as a SAN.

For instance, SMBs can leverage the FS3017 to make snapshots on iSCSI volumes holding the images of virtual machines, or to copy backup files from servers over the built-in 10Gbps network link at up to 2,822MB/sec.

The Australian-based Mantra Group have been using the FS3017 over the last several months in its two main data centers for a variety of tasks including time critical database backups and restore validation, their business intelligence systems, and VM replication of production systems.

Organisations looking for larger deployments will be interested to know that Synology plans to support up to two expansion units of the FS3017 for a total of 72 drives for greater storage capacity. The FlashStation FS3017 is currently available for sale.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Red Sift
Entrust expands strategic partnership with Red Sift
Entrust has expanded its strategic partnership with Red Sift to make it easier for businesses to adopt Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) standards for email identification and security.
Story image
Phishing
Vishing attacks reach all time high - Agari and PhishLabs
"Hybrid vishing campaigns continue to generate stunning numbers, representing 26.1% of total share in volume so far in 2022."
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
Barracuda expands cloud-native SASE platform
"The expansion of Barracuda's cloud-native SASE platform for hybrid deployment models and IIoT environments solves a number of challenges."
Story image
Cybersecurity
 Asia Pacific plagued by sophisticated bad bots - report
The three most common bot attacks were account takeover, content or price scraping, and scalping to obtain limited-availability items.
Story image
Data Protection
Information management capabilities to meet privacy requirements
Organisations with customers or operations across more than one country face a spate of new and proposed privacy and data protection laws.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Noname Security partners with Netpoleon to target API issues
Specialist API security firm Noname Security has appointed Netpoleon as its distributor in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
Mobility
Tyson Beckford partners with Element Case on new AppleWatch band
Celebrity Tyson Beckford has collaborated with STM Brands' Element Case brand to create a rugged new accessory.
Story image
SaaS
Maintaining secure systems with expectations of flexible work
Most office workers feel they've proved they can work successfully from home, and as much as employers try, things aren't going back to the way they were anytime soon.
Story image
Sony
Sony launches LinkBuds S - the latest model in the series
Sony says the LinkBuds S will give users a unique sound experience through sensor and spatial sound technology, even in AR games.
Story image
Digital Marketing
Similarweb acquires SEO and rank tracking company Rank Ranger
Digital intelligence company Similarweb, which specialises in analysing web traffic, has acquired Rank Ranger, a market leader in SEO and rank tracking.
Story image
Cybersecurity
NCSC advisory highlights poor security configurations
The GCSB's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has released a cyber security advisory identifying commonly exploited controls and practices.
Story image
GapMaps
GapMaps Live to improve brand decisions on physical locations
GapMaps has released its latest service GapMaps Live, giving more insights and features to help brands make better decisions about physical locations.
Story image
Surveillance
Motorola Solutions acquires Videotec S.p.A for security portfolio
Motorola Solutions has acquired Italian ruggedised video security company Videotec S.p.A, along with its portfolio of highly versatile cameras.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Comcast to use ThreatQuotient for cybersecurity operations
Comcast, the parent company of NBC Universal and SKY Group, has chosen ThreatQ Platform and ThreatQ Investigations to meet their cybersecurity needs.
Story image
Gaming
Hands-on review: WD_Black SN770 NVMe SSD Game Drive
Western Digital expands its WD_Black range of NVMe solid-state drives with the WD_Black SN770 Game Drive.
Story image
Ransomware
Alarming surge in Conti Ransomware Group activity - report
A new report has identified a 7.6 per cent increase in the number of vulnerabilities tied to ransomware in Q1 2022.
Story image
Digital Signage
MAXHUB's Digital Signage range to bolster boardroom productivity
The new MAXHUB Digital Signage technology is purpose-built to make every kind of team meeting more effective.
Story image
Microsoft
Global cybersecurity insurance market worth $11.5b this year
Future Market Insights finds the cybersecurity insurance market is expected to reach USD$11.5 billion in 2022, growing to $61.2 billion in 10 years.
Story image
Silver Peak
The path to an adaptive, modern network
Managing and securing the network looks different than it did just two years ago—especially given that most of these networks are made up of multi-generations of infrastructure stitched together over time.
Story image
Wireless
Hands-on review: Technics EAH-A800 Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones
Designed in Osaka, Japan, these headphones just exude quality. They aren’t heavy, but they feel well built and solid.
Story image
ChildFund
ChildFund launches new campaign to protect children online
ChildFund says WEB Safe & Wise aims to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse online while also empowering them to become digitally savvy. 
Story image
Wireless
Cradlepoint expands its Cellular Intelligence capabilities
Cradlepoint has announced additional Cellular Intelligence capabilities with its NetCloud service.
Story image
Ransomware
CERT NZ releases first Cyber Security Insights for 2022
CERT NZ has released Quarter One: Cyber Security Insights 2022, which offers an overview of reports about cybersecurity incidents affecting New Zealanders.
Story image
Getac
Getac and Optalert expand partnership to promote industrial safety
Getac’s ZX70 Android tablets will be used to support Optalert’s Eagle Industrial early-warning drowsiness detection system for use in mining and transportation.
Story image
Nozomi Networks
Nozomi Networks, Siemens reveal software integration
Nozomi Networks and Siemens have extended their partnership by embedding Nozomi Networks’ software into the Siemens Scalance LPE local processing engine.
Booster
Booster Innovation Fund. A fund of Kiwi ingenuity – for Kiwi investors.
Link image
Story image
Sustainability
Legrand unveils Nexpand, a data center cabinet platform
Legrand has unveiled a new data center cabinet platform, Nexpand, to offer the necessary scalability and future-proof architecture for digital transformation.
Story image
Surveillance
i-PRO releases smallest AI-based surveillance camera on the market
The new i-PRO mini network camera is now available, with a pocket-sized form factor and full AI analytics functionality.
Story image
Employment
Tech job moves - Forcepoint, Malwarebytes, SolarWinds & VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 13-20, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Training
Delinea enhances partner experience with new training initiatives
Delinea has announced a range of training and certification initiatives to help scale the capacity of VARs, System Integrators, MSPs and MSSPs to meet the demand for PAM solutions.
Story image
Vectra AI
Understanding the weight on security leader’s shoulders, and how to shift it
Millions of dollars of government funding and internal budgets are being funnelled into cybersecurity to build resilience against sophisticated threats, indicating how serious this issue has become.
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
RedShield leverages AWS to scale cybersecurity services
"Working with AWS gives RedShield the ability to mitigate significant application layer DDoS attacks, helping leaders adopt best practices and security architectures."
Story image
Training
Infosec unveils role-guided cybersecurity training roadmaps 
Infosec Skills Roles maps hands-on training and certifications to the 12 most in-demand cybersecurity roles to maximise training efficiency.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
SAS announces new products amid cloud portfolio success
Analytics and AI company SAS is deepening its broad industry portfolio with offerings that support life sciences, energy, and martech.
Story image
Manhattan Associates
Shortening the click-to-customer cycle through smart technologies
Speed of delivery without accuracy is a dealbreaker for consumers. How can retailers operating in an omnichannel environment overcome the challenge of click-to-customer cycle times.
Story image
Cloud Security
Aqua Security createa unified scanner for cloud native security
“By integrating more cloud native scanning targets into Trivy, such as Kubernetes, we are simplifying cloud native security."
Story image
Data Protection
Barracuda launches new capabilities for API Protection
"Every business needs this type of critical protection against API vulnerabilities and automated bot attacks," Barracuda says.
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Lightspeed
Lightspeed launches all-in-one marketing platform in A/NZ
ECommerce provider, Lightspeed has launched a new all-in-one marketing solution, Lightspeed Marketing & Loyalty in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
Cybersecurity
BlackBerry offers Kaspersky replacement cybersecurity for the channel
BlackBerry advises that users of Kaspersky software in Australia and New Zealand undertake a rigorous risk analysis of their current security posture.
Story image
Microsoft
New Relic enters multi-year partnership with Microsoft Azure
New Relic has announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft to help enterprises accelerate cloud migration and multi-cloud initiatives. 
Story image
Vectra AI
Vectra’s inaugural Partner of the Year Awards revealed
APAC companies Baidam, Firmus, ShellSoft and Macnica have been recognised in Vectra AI's inaugural Partner of the Year Awards.
Story image
Ransomware
Employees on the frontline of cyber defense - report
In the first quarter of 2022, employees found themselves more than ever at the frontline of cyber defense, according to a new report from Kroll. 
Story image
Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity prompts upgrade for 1.3 billion electricity meters
ABI Research finds Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and cybersecurity concerns are prompting the upgrade of 1.3 billion electricity meters by 2027.