"Because of its low-cost licensing and intuitive interface, we were able to quickly deploy MailPlus across the entire company."

Robert Pinnow, Managing Director of RISE FX GmbH

The Company

From concept to mastering—RISE | Visual Effects Studios is one of Germany's largest VFX companies servicing the film and television industry. Clients like Marvel Studios, Netflix, and Sony Pictures, commission RISE to create VFX shots and bring their fictional characters to life.

The company has grown rapidly since it was founded in Berlin in 2007. With locations now in Munich, Stuttgart, Cologne, and Berlin, their staff include around 150 visual effects artists, 40 back office employees, and a small team of developers dedicated to specialized software solutions. They also have a 500-node render farm that processes visual effects work throughout the day.

The Challenge

The studio was searching for a fast storage solution to support their visual effects production workflow. They also wanted an on-location solution to provide previsualization services for their clients. The on-location solution needed to be fast, highly portable, and offer good data protection.

In addition to storage solutions, RISE was also looking to upgrade their mail infrastructure. Storage space offered by existing mail providers was limited, and when scaled to larger capacities became too expensive. RISE needed a solution that not only had a good price to performance ratio over the long term, but also better security and privacy than cloud-based solutions.

The Solution

Through the recommendation of an employee, RISE deployed Synology DiskStations to backup their visual effects work. As storage demands grew, additional Synology DiskStation DS1515+ were installed in almost every one of their offices to host the company's picture archive.

Satisfied with the performance of their DS1515+, RISE decided on the DS918+ for their on-location solution because of its small footprint for portability requirements. It proved itself day in, day out to be a reliable storage solution. When on one occasion a crew member accidentally lost a portion of their data, the DS918+ was able to restore it all in a short period of time.

For their mail infrastructure upgrade, RISE used a RackStation RS3617RPxs with Synology MailPlus to host their own private mail server. To optimize for performance, they leveraged SSD caching.

Every Synology NAS, including the RS3617RPxs, comes with five free MailPlus licenses. This allowed RISE to first test the mail server and assess whether it was suitable for the company. RISE identified that they needed automatic email signature management and a way to display email conversations individually. After consulting with Synology, these features were built into the software and RISE was ready to go. They now use MailPlus across their company, providing email services to over 190 employees.

RISE continues to add to their fleet of Synology devices. They recently added a RackStation RS1619xs+ for data transfer between separate networks, and will soon deploy a second RackStation RS3617RPxs to add high-availability to their mail server. This creates a backup mail server that automatically takes over if the first one fails, reducing downtime to almost zero.

Recommended Models

  • RS3617RPxs
  • DS918+
  • DS1515+
  • RS1219+
  • DS1819+

Recommended Features

  • MailPlus
  • Scalable storage solution
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