One of my IT clients is a non-profit Christian ministry that has been around for some time. We took over their IT duties from a single guy, who actually seemed to know what he was doing (which is rare) due to some health issues. By the way, I’ve always said that the best ways for us to get new clients is if their current provider moves, royally screws up or dies.
In any case , when we took over one of the first priorities was to replace their aging, woefully specced Dell PowerEdge server running SBS 2003. When I say woefully specced, I mean it had 1GB of RAM. So, we started evaluating the functionality that this server provided and quickly determined that the only thing this behemoth did was to serve files and provide DNS and DHCP services. They no longer used Exchange, there was no Intranet site or any of the other features of an SBS server. Their line of business application was purely file based and resided on one file share.
We proposed the solution of replacing this foot stool with a small Synology NAS device which could serve all their needs and take much less power. Also, because this is an established organization with little to low expectation for staff expansion, we ended up going with a Synology DS212 with two 2TB hard drives. The NAS device also handles their DHCP and DNS services as well as gives them PLENTY of room for growth. After implementing this about six months ago, we’ve had no problems other than a few power outages but other than a UPS what can you do? Does a generator make sense for a single NAS? Probably not.
So the next time you’re looking at replacing a small SBS server, think about using a NAS device instead. So far, it has worked out well for us.
I am looking to change our existing SBS 2003 server with a DS712 unless you think i can use a smaller one. my concern was i wanted anything synology could offer. we currently have the SBS server and four work stations all running WIN 7 Pro. I am a Paralegal according to my degree, but I am the IT person here also. I enjoy working with computers and have learned a lot over the last few years. The current server is a file server, internal email, and our outlook calendar. My concern is how we are going to be able to share the boss’s calendar if i switch over to a NAS. Any thoughts.
So if you’re using Exchange with your SBS server going strictly to a NAS will not work. Synology offers a simple mail server but it does not integrate with Outlook or the MAPI protocol. If you’re dead set on going with a NAS, I would look at moving your firm to Office 365 for email and calendaring and then you can take the file server functionality to the NAS. As for the model, it really just depends on your needs, I used a DS212j.