Haltwhistle Community Campus

The DS1512+ has proved much easier and faster to setup than our previous NAS solution, with improved power management and significantly better active directory integration so we can secure our backup storage appropriately. Chris Wilcox, Head of Campus Services

The Company

Haltwhistle Community Campus is a 3 to 13 federated campus comprising the upper, lower schools and the early year unit. There are over 150 computers and laptops in use across the Campus, holding pupil and staff work in excess of 200GB.

The Challenge

The main challenge was to provide fast and reliable backup and file storage for computer network, and to ensure that there's a 100% reliable and automated disk-to-disk solution - something the Campus has never succeeded in creating with alternative products. "These products often had less-than-advised data transfer rates. Their NAS to NAS backup/sync can be unreliable so we refrained from adopting it as a secondary backup," said Chris Wilcox, Head of Campus Services. Wilcox also wanted to replace their aging CCTV server which does not have the capacity, reliability or ease of access that would be preferred to have in order to ensure improved Campus security.

The Solution

Wilcox decided to implement a Synology DS1512+ NAS server, kitted out with five 3TB SATA drives using Synology Hybrid RAID - which gives the campus network sufficient capacity for storage and backup. With the storage all setup and running, Wilcox was ready and looking to improve the overall performance and efficiency for the campus' backup service and surveillance.

"Since the campus' file servers perform daily backups of all user work alongside full server backups on a weekly basis, the dynamic link aggregation feature of the DS1512+ is configured and provides a superb transfer speed, " said Wilcox. In the upcoming future, Wilcox aims to implement a second DS1512+ with the same disk capacity - which will be placed in a separate building, connected using 1GB network. This will allow them to sync the two DS1512+'s backup storage and make a second off-site backup available for critical backup files. Lastly, the NVR software, Surveillance Station, has been trialed and proved easy and reliable. Wilcox said, "We are looking at purchasing camera licenses to cover all 8 of our IP cameras." 

As a result, with its many features, the DS1512+ was able to meet the need for fast and reliable backup. Furthermore, the ability to customize hard disks for the device allowed Wilcox to fit sufficient storage to cover a number of years. "Because we can expand the capacity simply by adding one or more Synology DX510 expansion units, we also know that we would never have to replace the DS1512+ in the future if we require additional storage," said Wilcox. 

After the implementation, Wilcox immediately saw the benefits of using the DS1512+ as its primary backup solution. The link aggregation support means that DS1512+ takes well under half the time to backup the same amount of data as their previous solution handled. "Our data storage grows daily, so the ability to back this up faster means we can still run our preferred backup scheme without having to worry about backups running during the working day, impacting network performance," as quoted saying by Wilcox. On top of that, the Synology Hybrid RAID feature for the hard disks can also further enhances data security – if a drive fails the unit will continue to operate, allowing IT staff to hot swap a replacement drive which will then be automatically built into the RAID array. 

The DS1512+ has also been excellent with its proprietary NVR software, offering a much easier solution to manage the recording of footage. Because the access to the software is entirely browser-based, it is easier to maintain than having to install client software on each computer that may need access to the recordings. "The software handled everything we need, from motion detection to configuring how long recordings should be kept and/or how much disk space can be used for the recordings," said Wilcox. "It is likely that we will migrate all eight of our IP cameras to the software – this will allow us to centralize our storage needs and save energy by turning off our current old, large, CCTV server."

Recommended Models

  • DS1512+

Recommended Features

  • Synology Hybrid RAID
  • High performance backup
  • Comprehensive NVR solution
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