Bensalem Township School District modernizes their file sharing solution

"The Synology RackStation units are simply the best, most cost-effective solution with incredible features and functionality."

Kurt Von Schwedler, Network Engineer, Bensalem Township School District

The Company

Bensalem Township School District is a public K-12 school district located in Bensalem, PA, just outside of Philadelphia. This district is a premier educational institution in Bucks County that is comprised of 1,100 staff and 7,500 students. Their mission is to provide first-class education to help students discover a passion for learning.

The Challenge

Bensalem needed a centralized solution for day-to-day file management that would support daily access on and off campus from district office administrators and high school students on Windows, Mac, and mobile devices. Their security department, which manages several hundred IP cameras around the district, also needed an efficient way to store and access surveillance videos from anywhere.

Unfortunately, they often struggled with backups failing on the Windows file sharing servers and many hours of downtime due to problematic Windows updates. Also, with the end of Windows support for their aging 2008 servers on the horizon, Bensalem faced the hassle of facilitating Windows updates, regulating user permissions, and migrating data.

Then, Bensalem suffered a malware attack targeting a Windows file sharing server that forced them to restore their data from a backup. The strenuous, time-consuming restoration process was the final push for Bensalem to search for a new, long-term file sharing solution to minimize IT hassle and maximize uptime. 

The Solution

The IT department at Bensalem eventually implemented numerous Synology RackStation devices as file servers for multiple business departments. The RackStation RS3412xs was the first Synology unit that Bensalem deployed as their primary IT file storage to support access from Mac, Windows, and mobile devices. Then, they implemented two RS3614xs+ appliances with 30 TB capacity each for their high school OTN department as a media server and archive for 30 students. Next, they installed another RS3614xs+ unit with 17TB of storage for their district office administration building. The 40-50 staff members there have their own shared folder in Synology Drive so that they can access their data on and off campus. 

Finally, Bensalem purchased 3 x RS18017xs+ devices: one to upgrade their original IT file server, the second to act as a student document file server, and the third to be used for their security department's surveillance video storage.

Bensalem's IT team conveniently manages all of their RackStation devices via Synology CMS (Central Management System). Bensalem also backs up four servers nightly with Synology's Active Backup for Mac, Business.

The Benefits

Their new Synology deployment provided the perfect user experience for the Bensalem IT team as well as their end users.


Anywhere access boosts productivity for students and staff

Bensalem administrators and students can now take their devices off-campus and easily access the files they need from any device without having to connect to a VPN. Anywhere access greatly benefitted the Bensalem security department as well; instead of wasting time saving video files on a Windows server for administrators to copy to their laptops, staff can now store all their footage on one device and access it anywhere via Synology QuickConnect.


Reliable hardware and user-friendly software reduce IT hassle

DiskStation Manager (DSM), Synology's web-based operating system, makes management easy for Bensalem's IT team. They no longer experience hours of unexpected downtime from OS updates, as DSM can be updated quickly in 15-20 minutes.

Bensalem also has peace of mind knowing that their Synology hardware is extremely reliable. With eight RackStations deployed in six years, they have not experienced any hardware issues.

More than a file server

For Bensalem, an additional benefit of Synology are the add-on packages available on DSM, which bring them incredible functionality – more than a traditional file server. They've found packages that run on DSM and seamlessly integrate with their previous cloud storage and backup services.

Overall, Bensalem has been impressed with how much potential their Synology solution offers for the cost: reliable, expandable storage, streamlined collaboration, and easy management and maintenance. 

Recommended Models

  • RS3614xs+ × 5
  • RS18017xs+ × 2
  • RS3412xs

Recommended Features

  • File server supporting anywhere access from 200 students and staff
  • Cross-platform support for Windows, Mac, and mobile devices
  • Simple, centralized management of 5 servers
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