Editors' note: This post was update at 11 a.m. August 12 to include information that the availability of the beta was delayed till August 16.
Owners of Synology NAS servers, I have some good news.
Synology, the maker of award-winning NAS servers such as the Synology DS209+ NAS server or the Synology Disk Station DS409slim, announced Thursday the beta program of the third major release of its operating system (or firmware) for DiskStation NAS servers, the DiskStation Manager 3.0. The company says that this new NAS OS will bring new features and tools to enhance the remote access experience and simplify network administration.
I have reviewed multiple NAS servers from Synology and found that even the first version of the DiskStation Manager was by far the best Web interface of advanced NAS severs. Synology NAS servers also offer the best performance and the greatest number of features, which are organized into different "stations," such as Surveillance Station, Photo Station, Audio Station, and so on.
Nonetheless, Synology has been at work at improving the operating system for its NAS servers. Less than five months ago, the company released version 2.3 of the DiskStation Manager, which offers loads of improvements over the previous version.
According to Synology, the new 3.0 firmware will focus on offering customizable desktops for rapid access to frequently used tools; multitasking for faster task switching; and support for Access Control List for NTFS-style permissions, allowing for more granular file-level control.
On top of that, together with the new firmware, Synology says it will also offer better support for mobile devices including newer apps for the iPhone and the release of apps for Android-based smartphones. These apps include DS Photo+, DS Audio, and DS Cam. The first two allows mobile users to access their photos and audio stored on the Synology NAS server on the go, and the third app enables them to manage the NAS server's Surveillance Station over the Internet.
The final version of the firmware is slated to be released by mid-September and will be made available for free for the following Synology NAS servers: DS411+, DS1010+, RS810+, RS810RP+, DS410, DS410j, DS710+, DS210+, DS210j, DS110+, DS110j, DS509+, RS409+, RS409RP+, RS409, DS409+, DS409, DS209+II, DS209+, DS209, DS209j, DS109+, DS109, DS109j, DS409slim, RS408, RS408-RP, DS508, DS408, DS108j, RS407, CS407, CS407e, DS207+, DS207, DS107+, DS107, and DS107e.
Future NAS servers from Synology will ship preinstalled with this new version.
Synology says that, starting August 16, those who want to test out the beta can sign up and download it at Synology's Web site. The company planned to release the beta August 12 but decided to delay it because of a major bug found at the last minute.
To encourage the beta testing, Synology will award a DiskStation DS110+ to three beta testers who provide the most valuable assistance and feedback during the program.