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Radlab – Storage that can keep up with their workflow

Company Name : Radlab

Recommended Models :

  • DS1817+ 8 GB
  • E10G17-F2, 2x 10Gbps SFP+ port

Recommended Features

  • 10 Gbit Networking

The Company:

Radlab is a boutique creative / content agency, they have been producing medium to high end content for social media, print and TV working with medium to big companies.Their goal is to make your content great again, with passion and a strong will to go the extra mile no matter what. Does not matter if the job’s big or small.

Radlab is about making long term partnerships and friendships, strong foundations with great communication lead to amazing content. With many years of experience and a few to many Latte’s we think we have the formula down pretty good! The small things count and something as small as a smile can go a long way and we are all about handing them out for free.

Some campaigns created by Radlab:

The Challenges

Media content is constantly becoming clearer, larger, and more vivid, and at 4K and 8K quickly closing in the need for a solution that can store this expanding content and give the performance needed to access, edit and be flexible enough to cater to future growth is in high demand.

Keeping up with the workflow and sustaining high transfer rates when multiple users are accessing is also important, this is exactly what RADLAB experienced. RadLab were facing an issue where their data is stored on one computer where multiple users are concurrently accessing it.

The Solution

“We have heard that a number of people have had great experience with the Synology and dealing with VST in the industry, so we decided to give this option a try”

VST recommended a DS1817+ 8GB with a Synology EF10GF2 10GbE SFP+ network card. This solution is connected via netgear 10GbE switch which allows our team to centralise and access the data via 10GbE network.The solution was cost effective, and allows all our machines to access the centralised storage in a cost effective 10GbE network, this is exactly what we needed in a small to medium sized production house.“There are many options in the market, but the price-tag is just too high, this solution fits right in and well within the budget.

The Result

The previous infrastructure limited us to only one user accessing the storage unit at a time, which drastically slowed down our workflow.

The new Synology gives us te ability to confidently have all our machines accessing the unit concurrently, the 8 bay unit also gives us flexibility and room to grow in to for the future. “Since we’ve had the unit we are now also utilising other features that come with it, such as the remote access functionality and turning this solution into our very own private cloud system. The solution is great and the installer recommended by VST, we are already looking into a second unit as we speak.”

Protect yourself against encryption-based ransomware for Free with Synology

Protect yourself against encryption-based ransomware

The risk of malware infection remains on a constant rise with new infections rapidly spreading every hour, every day. Synology addresses this growing malware problem by introducing powerful security measures such as Security Advisor and Qualysguard Security Scan, as well as offering regular security updates to protect users from potential threats. Recently, we have witnessed new encryption-based ransomware targeting personal files and even network-based devices. Below, we will explain how Synology’s comprehensive multi-version backup solution can rescue your PC and NAS from malicious attacks.

What is an encryption-based ransomware?

Encryption-based ransomware, such as CryptoWall, CryptoLocker, and TorrentLocker, encrypts files stored on computers, and even network drives. Once infected, you are left with the option to either pay the ransom to regain access to your files or give up all your precious data previously stored on the computer or storage device.

Crucial practices against ransomware attacks on your PC

Ransomware has become a growing threat to home users and small offices with less sophisticated defense systems. Put an end to malware infections, here are some tips and tricks to avoid becoming another victim of ransomware.

Update your operating system

Outdated computer systems are relatively more vulnerable to ransomware attacks. This is why it is essential to perform regular software and operating system updates to improve the security of your computer.

Install a reputable security suite

Install a good antivirus software or a reputable security suite to help you detect and fight off malicious threats, giving you an extra form of protection.

Avoid suspicious files

Stay on guard and think twice before opening email attachments or clicking files from unknown sources. Watch out for suspicious files with hidden file-extensions such as “.pdf.exe”

Disable remote access

Malware often target computers using RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol). Keep RDP disabled if you do not require remote access

Multi-version backup, your best weapon against ransomware

Encryption-based ransomware is getting sophisticated and may not be detected by anti-malware software in time. Once infected, you will be locked out from your own data and there is still no guarantee you can retrieve your data even after paying the ransom! It is highly recommended to perform routine backups to restore infected files and minimize damage. Take advantage of multi-version backup — a robust backup solution allowing you to restore previous versions of the infected files.

  1. Backup your computer to NAS using Cloud Station Backup
  2. Backup NAS to cloud
  3. Backup NAS to expansion units
  4. Offsite backup to another NAS

Back up your PC data to NAS

Having a backup version of your data prevents you from having to pay an extortion fee to unlock your own data. Create a multi-version backup for quick restoration. Synology Cloud Station Backup is the perfect solution to back up data stored on your computer to Synology NAS servers. You can retain up to 32 historical versions of a single file, allowing you to restore files to a previous state.

Back up NAS data to other destinations

Backing up locally just might not be enough should a more destructive ransomware attack shared folders on your NAS server through accessing file services on your PC. The best way to prevent this is to add another layer of protection by having uninfected backup versions stored in an offsite location. If you fall victim of ransomware, you can still access data stored at different locations.

Hyper Backup

Hyper Backup lets you enjoy a full range of multi-version backup destinations from local shared folders, expansion units, and external hard drives, to network shared folders, rsync server, and public cloud services.

Hyper Backup also offers solid protection for local backup. You can isolate data from internet threats by configuring your PCs’ access privilege to certain shared folders on Synology NAS to further prevent outside forces from accessing critical backup data stored in your NAS shared folder.

Snapshot Replication

The cutting-edge Btrfs file system supports state-of-the-art snapshot technology on select NAS models. Snapshot Replication allows you to replicate data from a primary site to an offsite location up to every 5 minutes and 15 minutes for LUNs, ensuring all your critical data in shared folders or virtual machines in iSCSI LUNs can be recovered quickly in the event of disaster.

Steps to take when discovering ransomware infection

In the unfortunate event that you have encountered a ransomware attack, do not fret. Turn off your WiFi or unplug your network cable—make sure you disconnect yourself from the internet immediately. The next step is to have your computer system completely wiped clean of infection. Make sure your computer is at a clean state before restoring previous versions of files that were backed up via Synology backup features.

Peace of mind for media storage

As the world shifts towards high resolution content the demand for storage space to accommodate these growing file sizes is increasing. Not only the storage capacity, but also the speed and performance for these storage devices has becoming increasingly important. For creative professionals living a life on the go it is essential to have a portable storage device that is not only compact and reliable but also provides the user with high accessibility to their media content. Traditional portable hard drives do not meet the performance requirements for such an application so the hunt for an appropriate device is becoming a challenge.

Portable external hard drives are great for moving small files from one location to another, and can be an ideal portable storage device for home users. But when applying this to the professional field, where redundancy and performance are becoming a necessity, these small portable drives just don’t make the cut. Portable Hard drives normally come with single hard disk, so in an event where this hard disk fails all of your data is be lost. Due to this we recommend having a device capable of running multiple disks in a RAID configuration. Put simply a RAID or redundant array of independent disks allows for the mirroring of data across two or more hard drives to provide a redundant copy of your data that is kept constantly up to date. Now looking in to performance, when accessing a standard portable HDD via USB3 you are limited to the throughput of a single hard drive so your performance will max out at around 150Mb/s in general. The question is what is the best solution that meets your performance requirements while still providing data redundancy?

Enter Stardom. Stardom is a well known brand in the post production and media market, who offer cost effective, high speed, direct attached storage solutions for multimedia designers and creative professionals working in rich media. The eject-able hard drive bay design makes the stardom units more portable than ever before, and their solid aluminium chassis protects them from the wear and tear of life on the go. With a wide range of connectivity to suit, their solutions come in USB, eSATA and Thunderbolt connectivity, in multi drive bay configuration, allowing you to customize your storage to suit your needs. For performance you can set it to RAID 0 and utilise the throughput of 1 or up to 8 hard drives or set it to RAID 1 or 5 for data redundancy saving you from unexpected data loss.  This flexibility allows the content creator to stream and edit high resolution media directly from the device without the need to download files while also keeping your files safe from HDD failure.

Are you able to recover from disaster?

Hacking, accidental deletion, power interruptions, malware, data theft, data corruption and hard drive failures are just some of the factors you have to worry about on a daily basis when it comes to your data protection. Not only can each of these issues cause you to lose your data, but the negative impacts on daily operations can be astronomical, Such as losing valuable customer information, impacting the sales or account management team and the rest cascades down from there. Thinking of a data redundancy plan may be just another headache to think about, but it doesn’t have to be.

These are not the only factors, there are also physical disasters such as fire, theft, and natural disasters to take into consideration. 80% of businesses do not recover from data loss when disaster strikes, so implementing a solution is vital to ensuring your business is always protected and able to recover from any unexpected occurrence.

When implementing a total back up solution there are a few things to consider, platform, capacity, cost, recovery point objective, recovery time objective.

The Cloud is a popular term on the market, it gives you an infrastructure free, offsite designation to back your data up to you for a monthly description, but how effective is it? The Cloud is accessed via internet, and based on a variety of factors, implications such as performance, reliability, bandwidth all pose problems to give you an optimised backup solution. Because backups from the cloud may hog bandwidth, this can also impact your recovery time, and cause vital tasks to be interrupted or delayed.

Having many versions to recover from is essential, this feature allows you to recover from different points and different versions from different dates, incase of accidental deletion or corruption.

So what is the other option? Synology NAS provides local storage that can be utilised, customised, and configured to individual needs, because every disaster recovery plan is different. Being on site, performance is the least of your worries being attached to your local area network you can optimise performance with out hogging bandwidth across your network.

Not only does a Synology NAS offer a high performance backup solution, but it also gives the flexibility to create your own recovery point objectives that suit your individual requirements, as well as choose from a range of comprehensive back up features to save space or have a fast recovery time.

Having local infrastructure allows you to stay in control of the amount of data you back up with Synology’s Hyper backup featuring de-duplication technology you can save space if capacity is a concern at no additional charge.

Not only can Synology provide a back up solution for the office computers and servers, but it can also create a total disaster recovery plan, utilising it’s ability to become a hybrid cloud, seamlessly linking your current or future cloud solution with the NAS as a one-stop portal and dual redundant solution but back ups can also be done to another off-site NAS creating a disaster proof recovery solution.

For more information contact one of our staff on 09 444 8448

Cost-effective, High performance backup – Write Limited

Write limited Company Name:
Write Limited

Recommended Models:

  • 2 x DS412+
  • 2x DS415+

Recommended features:

  • High availability (HA) Cluster
  • Hyper Backup
  • CloudSync


The Company:

Write is a world-class plain language consultancy, helping businesses and organizations to achieve their strategic goals through clear and efficient communication


The Challenge:

Previously we (the company) had a Microsoft Small Business Server and Microsoft Exchange Server.  We did not have the skills in our company of 28 staff to maintain this equipment ourselves, and could not justify employing a new staff member specifically to do it. We used external IT providers, who were not only expensive but were often not immediately available to trouble shoot problems when they arose.When major problems occur, the network could be down for hours. Offsite backup consisted  of carrying an external USB drive back and forth from work

The solution:

My husband suggested we replace the Microsoft Small Business Server with a Synology NAS and move everyone’s email over to Microsoft Outlook Online. Initially, there was skepticism that a tiny, relatively cheap NAS could possibly provide the same level of functionality that we had previously. However, with the assistance of Ascent Technology, our IT supplier, and the excellent support provided by VST NZ Ltd, the distributor of Synology products in New Zealand, we were able to make the change to the NAS quite painlessly. In fact, it has turned out that the NAS can do everything the old servers could, and much more. The most important improvements have been increased in redundancy, ease of use, reduced cost, and excellent support.

The Result:
Redundancy: We now have a level of redundancy that we never had before. Each of the two NAS’ devices in the HA cluster has mirrored drives. In addition, all the data is synced in real time using CloudSync to an offsite NAS. The NAS is backed up using multi-versioning to a separate NAS every 3 hours and then nightly to Amazon Drive. There would need to be 12 independent hardware failures in three physical locations before any data loss occurred.

Ease of use: Because the company did not have the expertise to manage their previous server. In contrast, Synology’s NAS management interface DSM is easy to understand and is continually improving. New features are added regularly, for which there is no additional charge. The apps that come bundled with DS have allowed us to easily do things we were unable to in the past – such as run our own inhouse wiki (MediaWiki) and set up a help desk system (OSTicket). In addition, because of the way Synology has enabled remote access, staff can easily access the NAS when working from home (or anywhere in the world), while retaining sufficient security to prevent unauthorized access.

Cost: We saved approximately NZD 30,000 annually by moving to the NAS


Whenever we had questions which could not be answered by online documentation, Synology has been extremely helpful. A system for submitting help requests is built right into the NAS operating system. And the support we have received from the local authorized distributor VST NZ Ltd has been outstanding. Our NAS’ is now several years old and out of warranty but they have continued to provide assistance whenever we have asked for it.

“It is satisfying to know that, even with hindsight, we absolutely made the right decision to switch to a Synology NAS” – Lynda Harris, CEO, Write Limited.


Is Your Workflow Optimized?

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Workflow is one of the most crucial parts to any form of business, especially when it comes to the creative industry, from massive post production firms doing video editing to photographers. With the current 4K, moving to 8K and higher resolution still images for photographers, being able to quickly offload these files to a real time storage device with a level of redundancy on said storage is becoming a challenge, not to mention meeting deadlines without interruptions.

One might think that their 8TB or 10TB USB portable hard drive from the local retail shop is already top dog for their workflow, as it can offer them capacity and portability, but increasing your storage capacity is not the only factor to take in to consideration. Transfer speed, redundancy, and future proofing are just some of the aspects which contribute to an optimized workflow. Lets look at the technology behind it first.

USB 3 has long been a standard and well known to many. It has a theoretical data transfer rate of 5Gb/s or around 600MB/s – it might all sound impressive but ever wonder why your portable hard drive is still taking ages to copy your files when it has such impressive speeds? 600MB/s is only the potential throughput, or to put it in simple terms, how big the pipe is. We also have to consider the max transfer speed of the single hard drive inside. A normal desktop hard drive has transfer speeds of around 140MB/s – 220MB/s, and that’s the max it will reach on average. More realistically your USB 3 portable hard drive sits at around the 40-125 MB/s and that’s not consistent either, the speeds will fluctuate or peak depending on what you are copying (Please see the below image for USB 3 Portable Hard Drive speed test.)

blackmagic Fig 1: USB 3.0 Speeds using Black Magic Speed Test

On the other side there is Thunderbolt storage. You might have come across these terms from the Apple store, but what makes it different? Thunderbolt works entirely different from USB, it comes with active cable chip set to control data flow to ensure that it’s performance is consistent. Thunderbolt 2 (the previous generation) can offer up to 20Gb/s and the new Thunderbolt 3 can offer 40Gb/s of data transfer rates, 8 times that of USB 3!

R8 Speed test

Fig:2 Pegasus3 R8 Speed test using AJA speed test

Now earlier we talked about it being pointless having a huge data transfer rate when the bottleneck is still relative to the single hard drive. Most Thunderbolt storage devices come in multi-bay options. Having a pool of hard drives working together concurrently allows you to increase the load on more hard drives as opposed to just one – you are simply writing to all the hard drives at the same time which increases performance dramatically. Normally they will also be working in a RAID group which will offer you hard drive redundancy in an event that causes 1 hard drive to fail, meaning you won’t lose your data, as well as additional storage ranging from 12TB, 24TB, 32TB and 48TB.

The Promise Pegasus3 is the newest generation of Thunderbolt storage that can cater for all the crucial workflow aspects mentions above with only the few clicks of a button. Already well known in professional media circles from video editors to photographers, the Pegasus3 is now available from your local NZ distributor. Talk to one of our sales representatives that understands the IT storage market with 20 years of experience, get the support in your same time zone and work hours and take the opportunity to upgrade with the current promotion offer.

Future Proof Your Storage,  Take Advantage Of The Free Thunderbolt 3 To Thunderbolt 2 Adapter.
Experience Peace Of Mind With An Optimized Workflow Even With A Thunderbolt 2 Device.
Promotion Ends 30th June 2017


For more information on the Pegasus range please contact VST NZ Ltd on 09 444 8448 or visit us at WWW.VST.CO.NZ

Fig 2 sourced from:(Mac Otakara. (2016, November 17). InterBEE2016:Promise Technology、Thunderbolt 3接続対応ソリューション「Pegasus3」「SANLink3」を展示.
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Are You In Control When Disaster Strikes?

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The fast pace of technological development, raises the question: what happens next and when? Information Technology will continue to develop and revolutionize the way tasks are managed and implemented. Becoming the necessity it has, IT handles even the most critical business tasks such as communication, security as well as productivity, and a well established IT system can help play a big role in the success of a business.

Information Technology has become the backbone of every day business tasks and is used to produce critical data regularly. But when disaster strikes that data can be wiped in an instant and without a recovery plan you will be left in the dark. 40% of businesses never re-open after a catastrophic data loss, so a contingency plan is vital.

Data can be affected in a multitude of ways from something as small as power cuts, and ransomware to something as big as an earthquake or any other natural disaster. Taking control of your IT and producing a contingency plan requires 2 main solutions to disaster, storage and back-up and there are 2 terms commonly thrown around to provide a quick fix, ‘external hard drives’ or ‘the Cloud’.

External hard drives, offer both back up and storage for critical data, but can be damage, lost, or corrupted just as easy as your computers hard drive. The Cloud is another story, the Cloud offers, storage for a fee, but is often limited to space. Storing on the Cloud does eliminate the risk of data loss in case of corruption and physical damage, but it does pose other risks such as data security and connectivity issues, connectivity disruption disrupts data access and productivity. One of the disadvantages of backing up your data to the Cloud is that the process can be slow, even when using broadband speeds. The more data you have the more sluggish the speeds, when sending data to the cloud, or try to execute a full HDD restore.

NAS (Network Attached Storage) such as Synology are local storage that offer massive storage capacities and powerful solutions to help store, protect and back up your data and allow you to take control over your own disaster recovery plan. With hard drives and power redundancy measures to counter hardware failure such as hard drives dying and power  supplies failing.


Data centre in NAS

Your own Private Cloud Data center, at a fraction of the price.


When disaster strikes storing on premises can be compromised,  but Synology inbuilt proprietary software provides comprehensive methods to replicate and back-up your data to an offsite location at no additional license or software cost, depending on the level of redundancy you require. whether that be to another NAS at your home or another Branch. In addition you can utilize the cloud as well as your local storage device to create a ‘Hybrid Cloud’ allowing you to remain as an owner of your storage rather than a tenant. The local copy can be used as day-to-day access and a back up copy stored on the Cloud as a back-up destination, ensuring your data is protected from physical disaster as well as virtual threats.

Because data is more often than not mission critical, storage and back-up are not the only important factors to consider when up time for your data is crucial. Renting space on the Cloud for your main source of storage does not always guarantee this due to a wide range of factors that can disrupt your internet connection. Taking control over your IT means that you can ensure your always up and running. Synology’s high availability application runs an active and passive server, if your active server for what ever reason goes down, the passive server picks up where the other one left off, giving you total control over your productivity. Instead of duplicated all different hardware in your IT environment, paying additional licensing fee or service fee for multiple devices why not take a look at how Synology can make your business IT simple by simply consolidating multiple systems in to an all-in-one solution.

For more information on how a NAS solution can help you take back control over your IT and prepare a disaster recovery plan that you have complete control over contact

VST NZ Ltd on 09 444 8448.

Half Cut Visuals – Fast and Reliable

16707208_1368480973217712_5076795690344822399_oCompany Name:

  • Half Cut Visuals

Recommended Models:

  • Stardom DR2-TB2
  • Stardom iTank i310-SB3


Recommended Features:

  • Fast, Thunderbolt 2 Connection
  • Small and  Versatile – easy to travel with
  • Plug and play, with support for RAID 1





“We need something that is space friendly, sturdy, and portable if the need arises. We also require a high level of Reliability and Redundancy.” – Taylor Wilson, Chief Videographer, Half Cut Visuals.

The company:

Half Cut Visuals focus in Photography and Videography for Nightclubs, Music Festivals, Events, and Product Branding. Although reasonably new on the scene, they have contributed and in most cases edited for premier New Zealand music events such as Our:House 15th Birthday Extravaganza, Hidden Valley 2016, and Rhythm and Vines 2016. Some of their clients Include Remix Magazine, Resident Clothing, and Our:House.



Taylor, Equipped with his Sony A7s, Canon EF 17-40mm Lens, and Zhiyun 3-axis Gimbal at Rhythm and Vines 2016  (Image courtesy of Peter Peterson)

The Challenge:

Half Cut Visuals latest project was filming and photographing at Rhythm and Vines 2016/17 over the New Year. Being a music festival, this was very different from shooting in a studio or on set, so it was not practical to take a laptop and storage setup on-site as there were few secure locations to store the gear. Instead, the laptops and storage gear had to be kept off-site.

The Solution:

After speaking with the sales team at VST (NZ) Ltd, the Half Cut Visuals team were confident the Stardom DR2-TB2 and i310-SB3 was a great fit for them. A 2 Bay thunderbolt 2 storage unit supporting RAID 0 and 1, with a carry handle and small form factor to make it more portable, it was the ideal solution for main storage, while the single bay iTank was a great enclosure to use for back-up.

The Results:
Since the team were staying off-site, the 2 bay DR2-TB2 unit was used for backups, and to make redundant all of the footage and photos (~500GB Total) There was a 2nd Copy of all data stored on the Stardom iTank i310-SB3 1 Bay Enclosure, fitted with a 2TB WD Red NAS Drive. This enabled the team to minimize the memory card usage over the course of the music festival, and also reduce the risk of catastrophic data loss. The units took up minimal desk space, and the Thunderbolt 2 Connection also made it possible to start editing while away from home, without having to worry about capacity on the laptop.

Overall, the Half Cut Visuals team were impressed with the reliability and cost effectiveness of the products, and would recommend the product range to Photographers, Videographers, and anyone else in the Media Industry.




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