DiskStation Manager 4.2 Software

After scoping out the DS2413+’s hardware, we fired up the latest version of Synology's DiskStation Manager software (DSM 4.2-3202).

Version 4.2 brings many improvements over 4.1. For example, LUN snapshot and clone support now exist. The former lets you backup and restore multiple versions of LUNs on the DiskStation with minimal impact on performance, while the latter enables virtual copies of data to be replicated so you can create identical deployments in different environments or clone an existing LUN snapshot into a new LUN.

The storage manager has been upgraded to include Global Hot Spare Disks, which means hard drives can be designated as hot spare disks to repair degraded volumes, Disk Groups and iSCSI LUNs by automatically replacing a failed disk. Another feature called S.M.A.R.T. Test Scheduler has been added to schedule S.M.A.R.T. tests at predetermined times. Perhaps the most significant improvement made to the storage manager is the optimization of creating volumes, which is now between 14 and 85x faster compared to the previous version.

DSM 4 sports a revamped user interface and new features such as widgets. By default, a side widget displays system information including the health of your NAS, a resource monitor, recent logs, current connections and your backup schedule.

The update includes many important features, such as Synology Cloud Services for seamless syncing between devices as well as Antivirus Essential, a virus scanner. There is also a QuickConnect option to sync data without port forwarding. DSM 4.2 allows QuickConnect to support more mobile apps, including DS photo+, DS audio, and DS cloud. Furthermore, unlike licensed cloud services, Synology's doesn't have recurring fees.

DSM 4.2 also brings enhanced mobile support with updated apps for iOS, Android and Amazon's Kindle Fire. Synology is launching two of its popular mobile apps on Android tablets: DS file and DS photo+. DS File lets you browse through DiskStation files on a bigger screen and make changes instantly.

There are also various new and improved administrative tools such as iSCSI LUN backup software, enhanced ADS/ACL support, flexible notification system, and improved Apple support.

Of course, old favorites like Download Station and Photo Station are included too. Download Station turns the DS2413+ into a 24/7 download center for BitTorrent, FTP, HTTP, eMule, NZB news server, RapidShare and MegaUpload. Even shutting down your computer won't affect transfers, as files are downloaded directly to the NAS device.

Another cool application is Photo Station, which comes with advanced photo wall and image flow browsing options. In addition, the flexibility of photo theme customization, visitors' privilege settings to view or upload photos, virtual albums of recently uploaded images, RSS feeds, and a 3D photo browsing of Cooliris, make this the ultimate photo sharing center on the Internet. Additionally, the newly-added Google Maps integration lets you geotag your photos and trace your path.

Video Station has also been added to keep the best movies, videos, and TV shows neatly categorized so you can always find what you want. The software also lets you add a USB DTV tuner to the DiskStation for streaming and recording live TV shows.