Synology bakes word processor, groupware, into its NAS OS

Faster VM clones, too, for those who don't care for advanced share 'n' sync

Synology is about to release version 5.1 of its Disk Station Manager (DSM) NAS operating system, and has baked a word processor and groupware inside.

Synology's already gone a long way down the road of building share 'n' sync into its small business NAS. Adding Note Station, as the word processor is known, looks a logical extension because it means Synology boxen also offer content creation tools.

From the demo given to The Reg, Note Station offers a simple, blog-style, WYSIWYG editor. There's also a simple method of creating user accounts – or linking to other authentication tools – to share documents among users. Versioning tools make it possible to roll documents back to previous states and track edits, which may be handy as collaborative editing is also on the menu. Documents can also be given absolute URLs, making them accessible from outside the office. Apps for iOS and Android allow remote document editing or creation.

To The Reg's beady eye, Note Station looks like a nice-to-have for small businesses concerned that the collaboration tools from the likes of Box or Evernote aren't quite as secure as having a box of their very own to administer.

Those who appreciate Synology as a vendor of NAS capable of providing shared storage in virtualised environments also get something to consider in DSM 5.1, namely the addition of NFS VAAI support. That addition means that cloning virtual machines can happen entirely within the NAS, instead of requiring a virtual disk to migrate up into the hypervisor and then spawn back to shared storage. The resulting reduction in I/O will be welcome.

More granular cloud sync will also be welcome: it's now possible to choose just which folders on a Synology box are saved into which public cloud.

There's also a new DS415+ model powered by a server class, 2.4GHz, quad-core Atom, which Synology says outperforms a Xeon-powered server for file transfer speeds. That's hardly an apples-to-apples comparison, but what is for a NAS with a built-in word processor?

DSM 5.1 is in beta now, with signoff and full release imminent. ®

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