"The performance of Synology all-flash arrays never ceases to impress us: the team in our US datacenter were looking to get faster, more responsive NFS storage. They decided to evaluate the Synology FS6400 by dialing in to our UK datacenter, and were astonished to find the hypervisor in the US getting better speed and latency from the Synology across the Atlantic than from their existing enterprise storage in the local network . Simon Farmer, General Manager, Drakewell
Gen21 were tasked with designing and implementing a solution that not only met the capacity needs, but allowed for the solution to scale as the virtual machine footprint grew. Beyond high-performance storage, they were also able to provide a backup and disaster recovery method for the virtualization setup, as well as provide a file syncing solution for the team.
High-performance all-flash storage
Drakewell currently deploys 4 x FS6400 units, each populated with 24 x 2TB SSDs as their primary virtual machine storage. The applications are very write-intensive, so Gen21 selected RAID 10 to minimize RAID penalties.
As the FS6400 runs a fully-fledged DSM operating system, they were able to opt for NFS4.1 to present storage to the VMware environment. Just like iSCSI, it allows for multipathing, but provides the benefit of hardware acceleration as it leverages the Synology's processor and system memory for disk writes.
This simple change brings down latency, and makes the storage ultra-responsive, well below the upper limit of 5ms of latency, the "red line" for Jason Windmill, Gen21's Senior Engineer. The Synology storage barely registers in the VMware performance monitoring charts as it averages at an incredible 200 ns!
The most recent FS6400, Drakewell's fourth addition, is fully populated with 24 x Synology SAT5200-1920G SSDs: these enterprise grade disks provide a fully integrated Synology storage experience, encompassing hardware, software and disk management and deployment.
Service backup and disaster recovery
The traffic information and processing which takes place is highly critical, and requires near-constant uptime, and snapshots are regularly taken and replicated to an SA3400 expanded to 24 bays, providing 40TB as a backup target. Should any error occur on a Virtual machine running the database, it can be restored to a healthy version, directly to the hypervisor in a matter of minutes.
File synchronization and test environment for the team's internal use
The series of all-flash arrays and backup targets described above are part of the main infrastructure Drakewell uses to deliver services to their customers.
Gen21 engineers were also able to leverage a previous Synology FS3017 system to provide a solid file synchronization tool to Drakewell employees whether they are at the office, offsite, or simply working from home. Using Synology Drive, they can combine the convenience of similar public cloud solutions with secure access to files, as no remote access via VPN is needed.
The FS3017 is also used as storage for various tools used by the developers, such as test environments or management and monitoring software such as Ansible.
- FS6400 × 4
- SAT5200-1920G × 24
- Efficient storage management for virtualization
- NFS 4.1 support for multi-pathing
- Synology Drive