"Our profession is unique. Firefighters need to have access to the latest and most reliable technology, as every minute counts and lives depend on it. Thanks to the ease of installation and management of Synology solutions, we managed to set up our infrastructure rapidly and easily without large service interruptions. The use of MailPlus by our 370 staff members also helps us communicate safely and reliably."

Arnaud Brouwers, Director of Communications and Emergency Planning – Zone NAGE

The Challenge

In 2015, when the rescue zone was created, several fire stations that were historically independent were grouped together. Each of these fire stations had its own IT infrastructure, with different specifications, making it challenging for IT personnel to manage.

Zone NAGE rescue zone set out to consolidate all of its systems and to replace it with a simple to deploy and manage infrastructure. Modifying the current infrastructure takes time and requires lengthy administrative processes, which prompted them to seek out a system that was scalable and cost-effective. Synology solutions fit the bill perfectly, allowing the Zone NAGE rescue zone to have a modern and easily expandable infrastructure so that they can focus on saving lives.

The Solution

Safe and reliable communication between 370 employees with Synology MailPlus

Improving collaboration and communications between the 370 firefighters and supporting personnel was the objective of the rescue zone, as they handle over 20,000 missions a year. They looked to Synology to provide a reliable and secure communications platform. Synology's collaboration suite: Synology MailPlus, Synology Chat, Synology Drive, and Synology Calendar, helped synchronize and improve the efficiency of communications between the four fire stations. The intuitive design of the applications and tight integration between them allowed for a smooth and simple transition. 

One solution to backup everything

Zone NAGE rescue zone deals with a substantial amount of data scattered across multiple sites, such as video surveillance data, PCs, virtual machines, and various databases. With the help of Synology Active Backup for Business, they could centralize all backup tasks. Synology's cross-platform solution allows the organization to back up their Windows Server installation containing two SQL databases and 17 virtual machines hosted on VMware.

Solid infrastructure

With lives at stake, the firefighters at Zone NAGE needed a trustworthy system that was always accessible. Using high availability clusters with Synology High Availability (SHA), the entire deployment could be protected from any single source of failure. The primary foundation of the new infrastructure consists of four RS18017xs+ and two RS1219+, distributed into three high availability clusters. The RS1219+ cluster powers lighter-weight workloads such as Synology Web Station and Synology VPN Server, while the two RS18017xs+ clusters were deployed to tackle heavier workloads such as the collaboration suite solutions and Synology Directory Server for authentication. This setup enables the infrastructure at Zone NAGE to be highly resilient, ensuring communications and even the dispatching system, which is set up on Synology Web Station, to be available at all times.

For backups, Zone NAGE also incorporated Synology Hyper Backup into their infrastructure plans. Synology Hyper Backup supports backing up data, system configuration, and installed packages. For example, the Synology Directory Server is not only installed on two RS18017xs+ in a high availability cluster but is also backed up to an RS2416+ using Hyper Backup. If there's an issue with the network or power availability for the RS18017xs+ cluster, they can locate the backup data on the RS2416+ and restore it onto the RS2416+ itself or another Synology device elsewhere to resume services.

The Benefits

Synology offers a comprehensive solution that is reliable and easy to implement. The service reliability provided by the SHA clusters gives Zone NAGE a dependable infrastructure for storage and also powers their dispatching software. The communications and productivity suite provides intuitive and modernized tools to allow firefighters to synchronize and collaborate with different fire stations, even if they are located in different cities. Synology's portfolio of solutions is designed to tackle not just data storage, but also the difficult challenges that all organizations and businesses face in a cost-effective and easy to deploy way.

About Zone NAGE

Established in 2015, Zone NAGE "rescue zone" (Zone de secours NAGE) is one out of 3 rescue zones in the Namur region of Belgium. The area covers 10 municipalities and protects over 210,000 civilians, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The zone is served by four fire stations with over 370 staff members. They run over 20,000 fire and ambulance missions each year.


Recommended Models

  • RS18017xs+ × 4
  • RS2416+ × 5
  • RS1219+ × 2

Recommended Features

  • Synology High Availability
  • Synology MailPlus
  • Synology Chat
  • Synology Drive
  • Active Backup for Business
  • Hyper Backup
  • VPN Server
  • Synology Calendar
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