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Audio Media

Audio Media A/S is very satisfied with the acquirement of both the Synology DiskStation DS1513+ and the RackStation RS812RP+. They fulfil their respective roles as a file server and the hardware part of the backup solution perfectly. DS1513+ as well as the RS812RP+ are very easy to administrate using the user friendly DSM-operating system. They are both extremely reliable units that also are very scalable solutions, which are expected to be expanded in line with the future development of the publishing firm. When relating to the DS1513+ the publishing firm is especially happy about the low energy consumption, and the good speed characteristics this NAS-server has on the network. Carsten Soerensen, Technical Editor

The Company

Audio Media A/S is one of Denmark's oldest publishers of specialized magazines in the field of technology. The publishing firm is divided into five editorial offices; Alt om DATA, Datatid Tech Life, Windows Magasinet, Quality Magasinet and the daily newsletter: IT Update. Other spheres of activities include management, sales, production, administration and accounting. Besides this, there are also regular freelance writers associated to each editorial office. The magazines are represented in print, online and social media. Another important business area is client publishing, where Audio Media A/S has acquired significant experience in carrying out tasks restated to the needs of its clients.

The Challenge

The publishing firm's activities mean that one deadline continuously follows the other in an eternal cycle. At each editorial office, deadlines overlap and material for the magazines, websites, Social Media and for client publishing must constantly be written, edited and disseminated. The workflow of the individual editorial offices are carefully structured and organized. The workflow ensures that the material passes many hands in the process, and the material in question is stored several times en route to the final version. It raises important challenges to the used storage solutions. It is important that there is always access to the many documents that are constantly running through the system. The constant deadlines require high uptime of the storage solutions, while the storage conditions must be flexible. The storage solutions need to be ready for development in the context of the growing diversity of the tasks the publisher assumes. There are also demands towards a reliable backup solution in addition to the above requirements.

The Solution

Before the publishing firm turned to Synology, their file server was a traditional Windows 2000 server consisting of a desktop computer with the hard drives needed for the task. There were several reasons that led to the decision to replace it. Firstly the publishing firm was on the brink of upgrading to a Windows 2012 server environment. The computer used as a file server would have to be replaced due to the fact that it was not ready to run Windows 2012. Apart from that the file server had reached an age where it had to be replaced soon anyhow. It was assessed as a considerable risk to continue to use the file server as it was, because it was starting to show signs of instability. The speed of the file server did also not match the power consumption of the file server.

In this context it was decided that the publishing firm would bet on two NAS-servers from Synology due to their experience with NAS-servers that had been tested in-house. The decision was primarily determined based on the experience with the Synology DSM operating system. DSM ensures an easy and low-maintenance administration. The advantage of two NAS' with the same operating system is that it simplifies the overall administration.

The two NAS-devices that were wagered on had to complete their tasks in each of their own environments. They would have to be flexible NAS servers with powerful performance and could evolve when the business needed them to.

The DiskStation DS1513+ would fit right in to the new server environment, and is particularly suited to the task because it can be customized exactly to the needs. It was decided to start with four 3TB Western Digital hard drives in a Synology Hybrid RAID configuration. Should the need arise the drives can be replaced with larger hard drives later, or it is possible to connect up to two Synology DX513 NAS-server expansion units to the DS1513+, which can triple the total storage capacity and go up to 75TB in total. Another important feature of the DS1513+ is that it has four 1 Gbit/s LAN ports that support link aggregation. This later makes it possible to increase the network speed of the file server in both directions, should the need arise due to excessive load on the network connection to the file server. Yet another advantage by acquiring the DS1513+ instead of acquiring a new desktop computer in the role as a file server, would be the low energy consumption of the DS1513+ and the desire to simplify the administration of the file server. A final criteria was also included in the selection of the DS1513+..It is the fact that this NAS is very quiet under normal conditions. This is a priority because the DS1513+ was not necessarily intended to be placed in the publishing firm's server room.

In regards to the backup issues, the publishing firm sought a rack based solution to replace the existing server rack in the server room. The backup solution should have many of the same qualities as the storage solution. The previous backup solution was a tape-based backup solution that had a capacity of 8 tapes located in a belt carousel. Synology RackStation RS812RP+ was chosen as a backup solution, on the basis of the experience that had been gained with the old backup solution. The main priorities of the publishing firm was increased reliability, here there were periodic problems with the tape solution, which sometimes had outages for mechanical reasons. RS812RP+ has no moving parts apart from the hard drives themselves and the fans. Another virtue is the additional possibility of using link aggregation via the two LAN ports. Furthermore the NAS has redundant fans inside, which further ensures a high degree of reliability. Another point that was taken into consideration was the desire to achieve significantly higher backup speeds, than was possible with the old band solution. A final reason to choose the RS812RP+ is that it is possible to connect an RX410 rack based NAS to the RX812RP+, making the backup solution scalable. This means that the backup solution in the future will be able to evolve, with the possible extension of the primary storage solution in the form of DS1513+ in mind.

The Benefits

Audio Media A/S is very happy with their new NAS solutions from Synology that has worked flawlessly since installation. It has been quite straightforward to implement both NAS servers in the existing server environment, including the transition to a Windows Server 2012 environment. The configuration of both the DS1513+ and RS812RP+ has been quite straightforward according to the system administrator, thanks to the Synology DiskStation Manager operating system.

Synology DS1513+ has played a major role in improving efficiency to the workflow of the 15 permanent employees, as well as facilitating the affiliation of the many freelancers. The FTP server function provides a platform for the editorial offices that allows the exchange of content between editors and freelance writers and layouters. The support for iSCSI and the opportunity for virtualization are important for the integration in the network of the publishing firm. The physical framework of the DS1513+ plays a crucial role in its own right. The increased storage capacity compared to the old file server makes it unnecessary to perform maintenance on the file server at regular intervals. Overall the publishing firm attaches great importance to the flexibility that Synology DS1513+ offers. The possibility of adding an additional hard drive or replacing drives installed in the NAS with larger capacities, without losing access to the stored data is important. DS1513+ is also a future-proof solution, because it is possible to increase the storage capacity by connecting up to two DX513 expansion units to the DS1513+. There is widespread satisfaction with the speed of the file server at Audio Media A/S. Even more important from the company's perspective is the built-in redundancy, which means that should a fault occur on a connection, there will still be unlimited access to company data.

The RS812RP+ has filled the role of the hardware part of the backup solution to full satisfaction. Audio Media A/S uses a third-party backup program for backup purposes in conjunction with the RS812RP+. In everyday life, this has meant that the backup routine today is much more reliable than in the past. The publishing firm is no longer affected by the sudden outages that could occurred before. There have been no problems with network connections for the RS812RP+ at this time. If something in this direction occurs, the RS812RP+ can make sure that backup will not be affected. This is due to the dual 1 Gbit/s LAN ports with link aggregation and associated failover. Redundant power supplies with redundant fans makes the company even more confident that should a fault arise, the RS812RP+ will always be accessible for backup purposes. The acquisition of RS812RP+ as the backbone of the backup solution has meant that full backup operation, which takes place at intervals, is now completed much quicker than before. The need for a backup solution with a larger capacity is nowhere near at the moment, but luckily RS812RP+ NAS is scalable. It will be relatively easy to double the storage capacity for backup purpose by adding a Synology RX410 expansion unit to the rack.

Recommended Models

  • DS1513+
  • RS812RP+

Recommended Features

  • File server
  • Backup
  • Scalability
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