There are a few things in life that are certain – but one of them is the fact that the creation and consumption of data will continue to grow exponentially.

“Data is the lifeblood of all businesses,” comments Chihhsi Hu, Regional Sales Manager at Synology. “The data market is changing, but the volumes never seem to decrease.

“And so organisations constantly require more and more storage space, better flexibility and better access to their data. Most importantly, they need it to be secure.”

Network-attached storage (NAS) ticks all the boxes, Hu points out. “It meets all the storage requirements for the modern enterprise, with flexibility, accessibility and security.”


A question of security

Security and data ownership is arguably the biggest benefit that NAS offers, she adds: “Despite the growth in cloud adoption, businesses are still opting for on-premise storage.

“We suggest a hybrid-cloud deployment” she hastens to add. “Since some organisations have less of a sense of security with cloud storage. And in many instances, they need to, or prefer, to include  on-premise storage solutions in their infrastructure.”

The overriding drivers for on-premise storage solutions are better control of data, ownership and better security, Hu points out.

And she ought to know: Synology is a market leader with its NAS solutions and has an enviable security reputation. “We always ask our customers for feedback and we can reliably say that no Synology NAS installation has been hacked – going right back to 2014.”

Hu attributes this remarkable achievement to the overriding priority that Synology gives to its NAS products. Not only do internal researchers embed security in every part of the product development, but they actively attempt to hack the devices themselves as well as conducting regular penetration testing.

“We are always looking for loopholes and immediately fixing any that come to light,” Hu explains. “We also intensify our efforts by co-operating with external people, inviting researchers with Bounty Programme to try to find gaps in our security.

“In addition, we participate in an annual competition where we put our products out there and contestants try to break them.”

Chihhsi Hu, Regional Sales Manager at Synology, and Nicolene Samigan, Synology product manager at Rectron.

Synology complements its vulnerability identification with a really quick-fix programme, she adds. “We want to minimize, or almost completely eliminate, the chance of zero-day attacks so if there is a loophole or bug, we can generally fix it within 24 hours – which is way faster than the industry average of 60 days.”

For cybersecurity attacks that compromise other parts of the enterprise, such as ransomware or phishing, Synology NAS helps organisations to secure their data so they can recover quickly and with the least damage.

“When businesses are targeted by ransomware, social engineering, phishing, business email compromise, and more, the important thing is for them to quickly overcome the consequences of the disaster. This is why it is so important that they always backup their core data so they can recover quickly in case the primary source is compromised.

“Synology NAS has a big role to play here,” Hu says. “We have a consolidated backup solution for all size of businesses, which includes backup for pcs, physical servers, virtual machines, SaaS accounts and Synology NAS with flexible restore options. The protection is comprehensive, and best of all, the application is totally license-free.”


NAS and its place in the storage mix

With numerous storage options available, organisations often struggle to determine the best-fit solutions for their specific use cases. Among the crucial components of a comprehensive security strategy, Network Attached Storage (NAS) plays a central role in the system, as explained by Hu.

“You need to position your primary storage as close as possible to where the data is, and if you require a high level of computing performance, you can achieve it with NAS. You can equate it to the brain to your digital assets – it’s where you put everything that is valued to your company. And it should be the place where you can put all your data safely.”

Synology offers an extensive range of NAS products, catering to every customer’s needs, from entry-level to enterprise solutions, including optical and all-flash configurations. Hu states, “From edge storage to multi-location businesses, you can always find the right solution among the Synology portfolio.”

And recognising the growing significance of cloud computing in organisational IT journeys, Synology ensures that its NAS products are interoperable and compatible with public cloud providers. Hu emphasizes: “Your cloud data can be backed up to your Synology NAS. On the contrary, NAS as the storage for all your end points and devices, can also be backed up to any public cloud services.

“At Synology, we focus on promoting a hybrid mode for this backup solution,” says Hu.

Adopting a hybrid storage solution with Synology is not only easy but also cost-effective. Hu explains: “What’s not very well known in the South African market is that we offer multiple license-free packages. As long as you buy a NAS, the application is free to use. Simply install an active version and you can back up end points or applications between on-premises and cloud platforms.

“There is no need to buy additional licenses or third-party applications to do quite high-level things because it is all already included with Synology.”


The South African context

NAS solutions are particularly relevant for South African organisations for its Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA). “There are a lot of smaller businesses in this market that are not aware how easy it is to build a private cloud for your company and how cost-effective it is compared to the cloud subscriptions now available in the market,” Hu points out.

“The local market is very price-sensitive, so starting from the basic, we need to introduce NAS to let people aware the benefits for data ownership and security it provides.


The Rectron value-add

Synology has partnered with Rectron as its distributor in the South African market for the last seven years.

“This partnership is crucial to our success in this region,” Hu says. “Rectron brings Synology to South African businesses in a way that we couldn’t do on our own.

“Because Rectron has a strong presence in South Africa, it is able to talk to most of the reseller partners operating in this market – there can’t be many resellers who don’t know about Rectron and work with them in one way or another.”

Rectron’s strong marketing and technical expertise is another feather in its cap, helping Synology to gain more awareness and provide excellent service to customers.

Nicolene Samigan, Synology product manager at Rectron, adds that the distributor brings a full team of pre-sales, post-sales, and marketing experts to the party.

“We assist our resellers along every step of the way,” she says. “Some of our reseller partners are literally ‘mom and pop’ stores that don’t have the skills to do configuration for their customers, so we take responsibility for that doing the specification and assembly. We hold the resellers’ hands the whole way – all they have to do is literally take the full solution we supply and plug it in for the customer.”

Stockholding and price protection are important functions that Rectron is able to deliver, Samigan says. “We have buying power with Synology and we are able to bring in healthy stock so that we can offer the best possible price.

“Together, this buying power and technological expertise make us a preferred distribution partner.”

And, because Rectron offers a variety of solutions in many different industry and technology verticals, it is able to specify Synology storage as part of a broader solution.

“So we are not just selling products, but helping customers to deliver solutions,” Samigan says.

The proof of this approach is seen in the fact that Synology has witnessed significant growth compared to last year, Hu says.

“We are very optimistic about the coming years,” she says. “We have a stringent focus on the South African market and expect to increase market share as we promote Synology for the value it offers.”

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