Just last week, Synology has opened a new C2 data center in Seattle, USA. More info about it here.
What might have gone under the radar was the fact that Synology now offers one more service connected to their C2 platform, called Express Box.
So what is Express Box?
Considering there is no major commercial or banner on their main page it is easy to miss information about this service. Buried in the FAQ section of their C2 service under the Backup section.
Q: If I want to import or export more than 10TB of data to or from C2, is there any way to speed up the initial data transfer?
A: Yes, Synology C2 Express Box is a physical transfer service that helps users get data to and from C2 data centers faster. Additional service charges apply. Please refer to the Synology C2 Express Box User's Guide for details, instructions, and pricing. To order Synology C2 Express Box service, please contact us through this form.
As we can see, Synology will in a nutshell offer a paid service to help you move a large amount of data so you don't have to do it over your Internet connection. Especially if your connections upstream speed is low and you have a massive amount of data.
Now, this method will have various benefits. It will be faster, more cost-effective and you can also encrypt your data just as you would normally do when backing up to the cloud.
How does this work?
It all starts with a valid C2 account and an active subscription. After contacting Synology using their C2 contact-us web form and filling out all the information needed, paying upfront the agreed price (depending on your need), Synology will then send you a custom-tailored NAS with drives and instructions on how to configure and backup your data to get them ready for the C2.
So just as you would back up your data to C2 via Hyper Backup, the process here is similar. You will also use HB tool to set up a task that you will, later, on re-link to your data in C2 once Synology lets you know that the transfer has been completed on their end.
What is left if that you then open your existing HB task and relink to your data in the C2 cloud. That's it!
The entire process (with images) is in this document, so I will not describe it in detail.
As I said before, this is a paid service. Now, this service is offered by other large cloud providers as well (like Amazon with their Snowball service), but Synology is again very competitive with prices.
At the moment they only offer two options when it comes to Express Box.
Less then 80TB or over 80TB.
Anything up to 80TB in size will cost you €800 (excl. VAT), and anything more than that you will have to come to an agreement with Synology regarding a custom price point.
Clearly, this service is targeted for medium to large businesses that will have no problem paying €1000 for a one-time migration of their data to C2. For anyone not having the need to back up that much data to the cloud in the first place, or simply don't wanna backup to any "cloud", maybe getting another NAS and placing it at a remote location will be a much more affordable solution than this.
If we look at what is covered by this process you will see that 800 is not that much. It will probably be an 8bay NAS with 10-14TB drives in some sort of raid configuration. At current prices, a 14TB drive will be about €400 each, so €3200 just for the drives and on top of that an 8bay NAS. For a one time job, paying, or better yet, renting an 8bay NAS with 8x14TB for €800 is close to nothing.
Again some might say that it is a fair amount for a one time cost, but then again, it is up to all of us how much data we have and how much we value that data at the end of the day.
Personally, not something that I see myself ever using, but it is nice that the service is there and it is positive to see that Synology is encouraging users to utilize their C2 service. With the upcoming DSM7 and Hybrid Share, C2 will become more and more attractive for home and business users alike.