Making Synology work for you
As cool and flexible as Synology NAS is, it can be relatively expensive for what is offered and deploying it for certain functions may not go as planned. In one of our previous articles, we discussed the benefits and drawbacks of cloud hosting on Microsoft Azure.
The cloud helps you move faster and innovate in ways that were once nearly impossible, such as the delivery of computing services over the internet by using a pay-as-you-go pricing model. Azure provides a wealth of cloud-based services like remote storage, database hosting, and centralized account management. Repurposing Synology for Azure allows you to optimize both and get the best bang for your buck.
Bonus: Check out our extra Synology resources at the end of this article!
Understanding the Azure/onsite hybrid solution
Our suggestion is repurposing Synology for Azure; in other words, a hybrid Azure/onsite Windows server–caching solution. With the Synology investment in mind, we want to take advantage of the storage available as well as possibly make use of the Synology feature set for additional backup retention and redundancy.
The main storage in phase one would remain local in order to facilitate a seamless and timely cutover. The idea is to use the cloud as the hub over time to remove possible regional and WAN bottlenecks. This method also allows for cost–effective archiving and backing up of data onto the archived Tier Blob storage.
Quick summary of benefits & typical use case when repurposing Synology for Azure
- Client has multiple sites
- All sites have a Windows server version 2003 and up
- Sites have various bottleneck factors, mostly related to WAN links
- Client requires varying degrees of local caching, with the ability to specify per site
- Design should factor in the requirement of remote users
- Estimated 200GB growth per day reported
- Existing investment in Synology storage
- “Hot” storage only accounts for roughly 1TB
- Archived accounts for roughly 51TB
Azure Blob vs File Storage use cases
If you’re considering repurposing Synology for Azure, you’ll need to know about Azure Blob storage and File Storage – Azure’s two solutions to the high demand for cloud storage.
With Azure Blob storage, it’s possible to store unstructured data (including serving documents and images/videos) with a reasonable level of cost-effectiveness and scalability. You can also store data from the browser, making it easy to secure and back up your files.
File Storage only allows you to store structured data, but the uptime of network shares is increased because of the ability to share files and networks to the cloud with certain applications. Essentially, File Storage is a centralized share location for files that can then be accessed globally.
The sites, based on use-specific cases, will allow for site–specific caching profiles. There are options to cache on initial download or to schedule a more proactive caching profile where files will be cached in quiet times without file download required to initialize this process.
For outsourced users, we will work with you to test various proposed solutions to see the best fit.
What about the Azure’s billing?
The Azure component of the solution can be cancelled without notice due to the flexibility of Azure’s billing. We recommend setting up three sites of your choice and suggest choosing sites that act as examples of the other site designs (i.e., a larger site, a medium site, and a small site).
Our estimate per site would be 5 hours per site, but this includes the initial hub setup from the source site.
Repurposing Synology for Azure Summary
While Synology is great as an NAS, we believe its potential is even greater when combined with Azure’s cloud storage capabilities. Anyone considering this option should also consider the websites they currently have and what their storage needs are.
If you or your business could benefit from this creative solution to maximizing Synology’s potential, let us know how we could help.