UNESCO centralises backup and virtualisation across 70 countries with Synology


Thanks to Synology's reliable and powerful solutions, UNESCO benefits from a unique infrastructure that spans across 70 countries worldwide.

Chief Technical Officer, UNESCO

Need for standardization of IT solutions across global offices

UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. With 70 field offices spanning across Europe, Africa, United States, South America, and Asia, UNESCO needed to standardize its IT solutions among its headquarters in Paris, France, and field offices around the world. The organization was thus seeking a reliable, secure, and easy-to-deploy solution that can work seamlessly with its existing infrastructure.

Low bandwidth and lack of local redundancy

Since some of the offices have low-bandwidth Internet connections due to technical or financial constraints, it would take lots of time to access files from the HQ. Therefore, UNESCO hoped to deploy a new system to store the virtual machines on each of their offices for local redundancy purposes.

What's more, they also needed to back up some of their PCs/servers at the headquarters. These challenges and requirements are what drove them to look for an alternative: a cost-efficient and reliable solution that can fulfill their virtualization and backup needs.

DiskStation Manager (DSM) adopted as the secure and reliable IT system for seamless data management worldwide

Seeking a solution suited to their multiple needs, UNESCO chose Synology to build a new system. Synology stood out because the RackStation servers are much more cost-effective compared to other competitors. Furthermore, Synology's built-in operating system, DiskStation Manager (DSM), provides UNESCO with a reliable and secure solution to manage their data all over the world.


Map of UNESCO global office locations


Synology RackStation deployed as LUN storage and 4-bay NAS’s as LUN backups

Each of the 70 UNESCO offices uses a system composed of two Windows servers configured as Hyper-V clusters, an RS3617xs, which serves as the LUN storage for six virtual machines, and a 4-bay NAS (e.g., DS412+, DS415+, or DS418) that performs continuous backups of these LUNs.

Topology of Hyper-V Cluster


Synology FlashStation installed at HQ for iSCSI storage and NAS for PC and server backup

To obtain high performance, the UNESCO HQ leverages a Synology FS3017 to build iSCSI storage and a hyper-converged infrastructure. 

Topology of Active Backup
Furthermore, UNESCO used a DS918+ to back up 50 PCs and servers. With the license-free, centralized backup solution, Synology Active Backup for Business, they can now better manage all their backup tasks from one simple console.

The Customer

UNESCO seeks to establish peace through international cooperation in education, science, technology, and culture. UNESCO's programs contribute to achieving sustainable energy objectives adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015. The mission of UNESCO is to reassert the humanitarian values of education, science, and culture.


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