Palmaz Vineyards

“Synology gave us the speed and scalability to effectively analyze our winemaking data.”
Christian Palmaz, CEO, Palmaz Vineyards

The Company


Palmaz Vineyards is a family-owned Napa Valley winery that is entirely encompassed inside Mount George. Unique to Palmaz is its own propriety ML software developed by Christian Palmaz, CEO. FILCS (pronounced "Felix"), stands for Fermentation Intelligence Logic Control System. It gives insight on fermentation by measuring variables in the process, then adjusts the temperature and rate of fermentation as needed. Another system, VIGOR, or Vineyard Infrared Growth Optical Recognition, monitors the health of the vineyard and adjusts irrigation accordingly throughout the growing season.

Christian's software allows winemakers to save on time spent simply collecting data. Florencia Palmaz, Co-Founder, explains, "A lot of their tasks were spent focused on things that really didn't define their talent. They were worried about mundane details in the process of winemaking. FILCS allowed them to spend less time worrying about the health of the fermentation." It opens up more creative time for winemakers to taste and interact with the wine.

The Challenge

"In our first year working with FILCS, we realized just how much data we were dealing with. Suddenly, the winery had to start operating like a datacenter."  - Christian Palmaz

With the vast scope of data collected and analyzed by FILCS daily, Palmaz faced a huge storage problem. One fermentation tank alone brought in 1GB of data per hour, and it was necessary to maintain years' worth of this data. FILCS' ML algorithm constantly cross-checks current and past vintage data to predict the future and make necessary adjustments. Information needed to be readily available to be analyzed and curated.

Christian considered using cloud services to house the system. However, he quickly discovered that the cloud was not the right fit for the winery, as it limited scalability, access speed, and usability of the data. Computations would be processed in the cloud, but due to latency issues, FILCS's complex solutions would take hours to compute. As fermentation is such a dynamic process, and fermentation data is so time-sensitive, critical data associations created by FILCS would become irrelevant before they could be computed. As the data sets grew, it became challenging for winemakers to work with data relevant in time to act. All the while, monthly cloud fees spiraled quickly. 

The Solution

Eventually the winery decided to move the system onsite, with Synology NAS devices providing storage for virtual machines running Christian's software. FlashStation units provided high-performance IOPS optimized for virtualization environments, while the RackStation units provided cost-effective, scalable storage.

Two FlashStation FS3017 units deployed in high-availability handle 70% of all data requests and computations, housing data related to the current vintage over the past year. Three RS18017xs+ units house older data onsite, so that FILCS can access both data sets without creating overhead on the FlashStation units.

Another two RS18017xs+ units satisfy the need for offsite backup thanks to Synology's built-in block level replication software. These units act as offsite targets for replication and disaster recovery. From there, all data seamlessly syncs from the RackStation to AWS.

The Benefits

The onsite solution eliminates any cloud computing bottleneck, allowing FILCS to arrive to solutions faster. It ensures that vintage data was more readily available and that all information was accurate and relevant. As additional fermentation data continue to grow year over year, FILCS will get smarter as it has a larger learned database to compute against. 

"Finding an end to end solution that provides extremely fast IOPS for advanced computational science in a scalable design that is user friendly was not easy.  Synology's solutions including FlashStation and RackStation allowed me to spin up affordable storage resources needed to take FILCS to the next level."  - Christian Palmaz

Palmaz is now able to own large data pools at a dramatically lower cost, while having the flexibility and scalability necessary for FILCS to continue to collect data, learn and evolve. 

Recommended Models

  • FS3017 × 2
  • RS18017xs+ × 5

Recommended Features

  • Virtualization Storage
  • Hyper Backup
  • High Availability
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