A fully functional Windows server is often times a necessary tool for companies and larger nonprofit organizations. These entities rely on it for centralizing user accounts by managing usernames and passwords, centralizing (and backing up) data, and other functions such as sharing printers and controlling who has access to specific information and managing financial information using Quickbooks or another bookkeeping & accounting software platform.
But for smaller businesses and nonprofits, many of the features included in Microsoft Windows Server aren’t used or even needed. Given that the licensing for the software costs hundreds of dollars, and they still have to purchase the hardware necessary to operate Windows Server, and something cheaper could be a very strong alternative.
Enter the Synology NAS device. A NAS (Network Attached Storage) device is a small server that still lets you centralize and backup your data without having to pay for the many bells & whistles that you don’t need included with Windows Server.
Our favorite NAS manufacturer is Synology (we’re certified by them). We’ve blogged about these Synology devices before – you can read those posts at https://developcents.com/2015/10/13/first-look-synology-dsm-6-0-beta/ and https://developcents.com/2015/06/12/synology-nas-review-comparing-ds713-and-ds215j/.
Here’s some of the reasons why we love Synology Devices:
- They have an easy-to-use web GUI (Graphical User Interface) that you can log into and manage directly from your web browser
- They let you setup granular permissions, so that specific users and groups only have access to what they should have access to
- They have some sweet (free) add-on packages, including a VPN server, an Antivirus package that scans for viruses, an iTunes media server so that you can stream music, and even a web server and email server
- They run on Linux and if you’re tech-savvy, you can configure it from the command line – including setting up cron jobs
If your organization is smaller and you have a Windows Server that needs replacing – or if you’re setting up shop for the first time – consider the Synology NAS is a fantastic alternative. Contact us to find the right Synology device for your needs.