China Railway Liuyuan Group Co., Ltd.

"Since China Railway Liuyuan owns various business systems and lots of equipment, there needs to be efficient, high-standard backup and management to process vast amounts of data. Traditional backup systems can no longer meet the demand of businesses due to a lack of product variety, complicated backup methods, large amounts of duplicate data, and low resource utilization. Synology NAS is easy to use and easy enough to operate. We used Synology Drive to build a private cloud, realizing anytime, anywhere data access for our employees nationwide. We also used Synology Active Backup to back up VMs. The test result showed that the data which formerly took up 4.4TB only needed 2.34TB of space, saving as much as 47% storage space. Space savings make future data migration and backup even more efficient, reducing large backup size and lengthy migration time. Much to our surprise, Synology Active Backup for Business went beyond our expectations by realizing fast VM backups and RTO in seconds." Wei-Long Zhang, Administrator of Information Management Center at China Railway Liuyuan Group Co., Ltd.

The Company

As one of the subsidiaries of China Railway Group Limited, China Railway Liuyuan Group Co., Ltd. (henceforth referred to as CRL) is an enterprise group dealing in survey, design, supervision, project management, and EPC contracting of mass transit and municipal engineering. Large numbers of employees, complex departments, and varied business operations produce vast amounts of critical data. To better protect and manage these digital assets, CRL opted for secure, stable, and reliable NAS system solution after testing and comparing various well-known local brands. CRL can therfore conduct efficient, convenient backups with better control, ensuring continuous business operations and preventing losses caused by system failures.

The Challenge

ZHANG, WEI-LONG, Administrator of Information Management Center at CRL said that they had deployed multiple physical servers to build a VMware virtualization platform to handle the varied, wide-coverage business systems and massive amounts of data that needs to be backed up. Yet traditional backup systems can no longer meet the demand of businesses due to a lack of product variety, complicated backup methods, large amounts of duplicate data, and low resource utilization. A hasty overhaul of the old backup system comes with unknown risks and extra training costs. CRL decided to adopt Synology's NAS solution after knowing that Synology NAS is feature-rich, realizes rapid backup and RTO in seconds, and consolidates data on PCs, VMs, and Windows servers into one place with an intuitive interface.

The Solution

Hedge your bets – Employees can back up and manage their data on their own, rendering simplified IT operations and maintenance

When it comes to backup and recovery, many enterprises may face system compatibility issues, installation of required plugins, one-by-one individual client restore, and complex, confusing user interface. CRL deals in various business operations and owns 700 PCs, 13 physical servers, and 49 VMs.

Traditional backup methods present some major challenges: data synchronization across devices and platforms, and file syncing between servers and PCs, both of which result in lower efficiency and higher costs, and thus can no longer meet CRL’s digitalization demands. The efficient, convenient, centralized backup solution, Synology Active Backup for Business (ABB), however, grants CRL better control over system recovery and data backup so that they can bid farewell to difficulties and concerns over vast amounts of data.

CRL deployed a Synology NAS in 2017 and 2018, respectively. After downloading Active Backup for Business from Package Center, they could conduct specific backups for business PCs, servers, or VMware VMs and manage these backups on a centralized platform. Compatible with Windows and Linux, ABB is an agentless backup solution that can back up all enterprise endpoints. In addition, you can perform bare-metal backup and restore for PCs or servers and effectively monitor all backup tasks from one single console. In case of an emergency, minimize downtime by instantly restoring VMs to the backup host via Synology Virtual Machine Manager (VMM).

What really reduces IT effort, though, is the ease-of-use, a near-zero learning curve, and the intuitive user interface. You can see all the backup tasks at a glance from a single console. IT admins can only target and back up specific data on any device or perform bare-metal restores on all devices, realizing effective, centralized management. Besides, ABB grants employees permissions to back up their devices or restore a document to a previous historical version, thus easing the burden on IT personnel and humanizing data management with great flexibility to enhance data backup efficiency. Besides, ABB grants employees permissions to back up their devices or restore a document to a previous historical version, thus easing the burden on IT personnel and humanizing data management with great flexibility to enhance data backup efficiency. “Small as it may seem, Synology NAS is feature-rich and easy to use, which is exactly what we need,” said Wei-Long Zhang at CRL.


Going light is on-trend right now – Deduplication works like magic and saves 47% storage space.

In effect, backup is no easy task since most of the data in the drives is redundant. Routinely unfiltered, full backups consume too much space and lead to prolonged migration time, falling short of modern businesses’ requirements for business operational efficiency. One of the advantages of Synology Active Backup for Business is deduplication. It can save plenty of storage space, boost backup speeds, enhance storage utilization. “The test result showed that the data which formerly took up 4.4TB only needed 2.34TB of space, saving as much as 47% storage space. Space savings make future data migration and backup even more efficient, reducing large backup size and lengthy migration time,” said Zhang. 

The global deduplication technology in Active Backup for Business supports cross-device, cross-platform, and cross-version deduplication to reduce the required storage needed for backup. In addition, ABB also supports Changed Block Tracking (CBT). Except for a full backup for the first time, it only performs incremental backups of the blocks that have been changed since the last backup task, and therefore significantly reduces backup size and time. After running tests on VMs, CRL found that the second backup only took 1 minute 36 seconds. ABB also supports various recovery methods that fit different scenarios to get services back up and running in the shortest time possible. It only took less than 5 minutes to restore 500GB of data. “Much to our surprise, Synology Active Backup for Business went beyond our expectations by realizing fast VM backups and RTO in seconds,” said Zhang. 

Efficiency is king – Easy permission management, real-time synchronization, and efficient collaboration add more value to business

Work efficiency and quality hinge on how well CRL integrates Synology NAS into their existing network infrastructure, manages permissions for different staff and departments, and realizes data synchronization and collaboration. As a digitalized enterprise where work is closely tied to data, how to protect the privacy of business data while allowing real-time sharing for teams has always been a conundrum.

With Synology NAS, CRL charts a new path of data application for its employees. Individual storage space, on-demand storage expansion, and convenient, secure team file sharing, Synology Drive helps employees quickly build private cloud storage, assign permissions to different departments and employees, and match existing accounts in Windows AD domain server, eliminating the burden of remembering multiple credentials. With an existing fixed IP address and domain name, employees dispersed across the country can access and back up documents whenever and wherever they want. As for system compatibility, the operating system DSM supports AD/LDAP so that you can directly join it to your account system.  

In addition, Synology Drive helps enhance productivity. The mobile workforce trend has changed the way we work. No longer do we have to use a PC to complete our work. File syncing on Drive allows team members to access the same sets of files no matter what device they’re using – be it Windows, Mac, Linux PCs, or Android and iOS mobile devices. Synology Drive introduces a whole new way of collaboration to CRL. Employees can collaborate on files on PCs, mobile phones, tablets – nearly every electronic device around them. “Collaboration” is the greatest value that Drive yields to our business. Syncing data on multiple PCs and collaborating and leaving comments on the same files without needing to send files back and forth effectively expedite cross-departmental communication. It not just a boost in cross-departmental, cross-office collaboration, but a huge success in statistically improving business collaboration.

The Benefits

Synology delved into data backup and management issues facing CRL and provided them with a tailor-made NAS and data management solution. With the advantages such as extensive compatibility, intelligent, efficient backup technologies, online collaboration, Synology NAS solution enables convenient, efficient backups for over 700 PCs, 13 physical servers, 49 VMs to assist CRL in easily dealing with a wide array of data management challenges, thereby enhancing work efficiency and core competitiveness and making a giant leap forward in realizing business value.
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Recommended Models

  • RS3617RPxs
  • RS2416+
  • RX1217RP

Recommended Features

  • The deployment of RS2416+ comes with Synology Active Backup for Business that backs up physical servers, VMware virtual machines, and 700 employees' PCs
  • The CBT and global deduplication technologies in Synology Active Backup for Business saved up to 47% storage space
  • VM backup and recovery performance improved considerably, and it took less than 5 minutes to restore a VM – 2X faster than the previously adopted backup software
  • Deploy Synology Drive to build private cloud storage quickly and realize office collaboration via Synology Office
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