Thanks to Synology's easy-to-use DiskStation Manager and High Availability, we now have a storage solution we can rely on to provide excellent speed and maximum uptime for our customers. Because the Synology ecosystem is so easy to use, our staff are able to upgrade our hardware and software quickly to meet the ever-increasing demands of our customers. Michael Vandesompel, founder of VDS IT

The Company

Founded in 2010, VDS IT started out by hosting mail servers for businesses. In a short period, their operations grew from 10 clients to hundreds. Following their success, they branched out into providing virtualized services, adding Citrix and VMware virtual machines into their lineup of products. The company now focuses on IT management, cloud computing, hosted VoIP, and software development with Odoo ERP.

The Challenge

After their period of rapid growth, VDS IT wanted to implement a solution to prevent downtime for customers and ensure business continuity in the event of a disaster. While renting hardware in a data center initially sounded like a good idea, in practice, it ended up costing them thousands of euros per month. They needed a trustworthy and powerful solution that would be cost-effective at the same time. This is where Synology came in.

The Solution

More than 120 Citrix desktops hosted using Synology FlashStations for storage

At any given moment, VDS IT hosts between 120 to 150 Citrix virtual desktops. They were looking for a fast and scalable solution to upgrade the storage component for their VDI hosts. They eventually settled on two FlashStation FS2017. These all-flash arrays were specifically designed for latency-sensitive applications. With support for up to 72 drives using expansion units, means VDS IT can easily grow in line with their customers' needs.

90 VMware virtual machines hosted using Synology RackStations for storage

In addition to their Citrix virtual desktops, VDS IT hosts another 90 VMware virtual machines that are used to provide VoIP and ERP services. Running this many virtual machines reliably is quite the challenge. To tackle this VDS IT invested in two highly scalable RackStation RS18017xs+, which provide iSCSI LUNs to their VMware ESXi servers to host the virtual machines. With scalability up to 180 drives using expansion units, these devices were the perfect fit for their requirements, a high performance and scalable storage solution.

The virtual machines are protected using Synology's comprehensive backup solution: Active Backup for Business (ABB). ABB allows for unlimited backups of Windows endpoints and servers, VMware and Hyper-V VMs, and file servers.

For offsite backups, VDS IT uses Synology Snapshot Replication on another RackStation RS818+ with expansion units (RX418) to quickly replicate data to a remote site. Snapshot Replication provides schedulable, multi-versioned data protection, ensuring business data in shared folders and virtual machines stored on iSCSI LUNs are recoverable in the event of a disaster.

Ensuring business continuity with Synology High Availability (SHA)

VDS IT's business clients were highly dependent on their virtual machines and Citrix desktops. For this reason, business continuity was a must. VDS IT leveraged Synology High Availability (SHA) to increase service availability. By teaming up each Synology NAS/IP SAN with another identical unit, SHA clusters provide data mirroring and automatic failover, ensuring near-zero RPO and RTO usually under a minute.

Recommended Models

  • FS2017 × 2
  • RS18017xs+ × 2
  • RS818+ × 2

Recommended Features

  • Synology High Availability
  • Synology Snapshot Replication
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