Synology is also branching out into the SMB market with a few new devices that offer the same platform as their home units, but with rackmount and redundant power options. The upshot is that it's possible to plunk down only a few thousand dollars to get a multiterabyte storage server that supports Microsoft AD authentication, CIFS, NFS, AFS, FTP, and HTTP file sharing, all wrapped in a RAID5 package with SATA drives. It certainly won't hold a candle to a high-end SAS storage server, but it's also about one-tenth the cost for reasonable performance. The big storage vendors are also seeing this lower-end push; NetApp, for example, is currently steering its StoreVault line to the SMB market.
In the larger datacenter, these devices may not be suitable for mission-critical storage due to their lower performance as compared to their higher-end cousins, but they can still be used in a wide variety of applications that don't require high throughput. Disk-to-disk-to tape backups; image storage for PC and laptop images; nearline backups of highly available central storage; a holding ground for test/lab VMs from Xen, VMware, or any other virtualization platform; a catalog of music to be pumped at midnight during planned maintenance on datacenters; whatever -- there's always a need for big, cheap storage in every organization.
At the end of the day, no matter what the EMC sales rep says, you don't need to store backups of ex-employees' mailboxes on high-end Fibre Channel storage arrays -- a Synology RS408 is likely to be more than adequate.
Speaking of the Synology RS408, I'm currently testing one in the lab now for an upcoming review. All I can say so far is that the new AJAX Web interface for the Synology NAS line may be the most attractive, navigable, and usable appliance interface I've ever used. It really is impressive.
So as the high-end consumer and low-end enterprise storage offerings merge, and you suddenly realize that you've exhausted the storage on yet another external hard drive, remember that friends don't let friends run RAID0. Same goes for colleagues and especially IT directors.