Synology DSM 5.0 is out, meh…

April 2, 2014 at 10:30 pm Leave a comment

Back on March 10th, Synology released DSM 5.0 to the world, post-beta.

I’ve been running it now for about two weeks, and I’m fairly happy with it.  There were no issues with upgrading to it from 4.3, and even installing 5.0 Update 1 a few days after the initial 5.0 upgrade went very smoothly.  It’s been just as stable with the 5.0 as it had been under 4.3, which is to say VERY.

First off, the main feature you’ll notice is the new coat of paint.  They already had the most advanced UI for a NAS on the market, but they’ve been pushing the boundaries anyhow.  The icons are now more colorful and generally simpler in design.  Really, it looks like they gave DSM the IOS 7 treatment.  It appears the devs are moving toward the Mac style, right down to the Launchpad look-a-like that shows up each time you hit the equivalent of the Start button.  Good news if you have tablets at home, the UI is now touch-capable.

For small businesses, the new DSM supports a central management tool allowing you to see all your NAS devices in a single app.  Haven’t tested that, as I only have one Synology NAS, but this sounds like a great new feature for small businesses that have multiple NAS devices.

Cloud Sync is a new feature allowing you to sync your Google Drive, Drop Box (and perhaps other) storage accounts with your NAS natively.

From a functionality standpoint, they claim to have sped up the performance of both AFP and SMB file transfers. Oh, and if iSCSI is your thing, they claim it is up to 6 times faster.

Personally, I’m not very excited about this new upgrade.  Yes, the speed enhancements are very nice, but most of the new features weren’t really aimed at users like me.  The new UI was really unneeded at this point, either, since it was already better than anything else you can get in a NAS.

What would I have rather seen?  It may be boring to the people at Synology, but more high-quality apps.  Work with the third parties out there to make all the apps on Synology devices better.  For example, I understand the built-in video station does some hardware assisted transcoding.  It would be awesome if they would give specs to the Plex guys on how they could incorporate that into Plex also.  If they did that, perhaps I wouldn’t have moved Plex from my Diskstation to my Mac Mini (my main workstation).


Entry filed under: General, Storage.

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