User introduction From casual user to industrial deployments...

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User introduction From casual user to industrial deployments...

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I am new here and would be interested to hear if anyone else is using Synology in industrial environments.

I inherited my first Synology about 7 years ago – DSM 4-ish. It was clunky by today’s standards, but a lot better than my existing experiences with almost everything else. We started using them for backups, and I bought an 1812+ for home use to experiment with.

Fast-forward to today, and I feel like I am some sort of Synology evangelist. We support a lot of remote oil-and gas sites. In the past these sites would have had hundreds of thousands of dollars in servers, SAN’s, remote-access infrastructure, NVR’s, etc.

We still have routers (“security appliances” now) of course. Large server stacks are now replaced with dual-node Hyper-converged systems. Almost everything else…. Replaced with Synology.

At first I thought I was crazy – and so did everyone else.

“We are putting in this box. It will handle the backups. It will sync the backups off-site. It will handle your security cameras. This box will run a bunch of Docker containers that will handle some tricks we need for SSL-proxy access to RDP sessions. One of these Docker containers will also collect health data on your plant network and serve it up to our central Grafana dashboards. It will also be a log-aggregator. Also, this box – I swear to god – if we experience a total server failure, we will literally act as a hypervisor and boot up the latest backup of the HMI server and RUN YOUR WHOLE FREAKING PLANT until we can get someone up there for repairs (we have done it). “

“Also – this box – costs a few thousand dollars. Cheaper than 1 month of the support contract you had on your old gear.”

I thought I was crazy, but now we have nearly a hundred deployed – including almost every model imaginable. Sure – we have had a few fail – their failure rate has not been any worse than the enterprise gear we used to buy. And it is cheap enough that we can ridiculously over-spare.

If you have a gas-plant in the middle of nowhere that is down, and I have a Synology there – I will be able to get it running somehow.

So – I have seen the track record. Have I just been lucky? Am I actually crazy? Or are these things the swiss-army knife of the IT world?

Has anyone else been this brave/stupid with these types of deployments?


Curious – and interested in hearing about other experiences.

My wish-list:
- They should have continued advancing the EDS14 track. A din-rail mountable DC-powered version would be a game-changer.
- Rugged fanless enclosures. At one time there was a company making these for Synology. Can't find them anymore.
 
Welcome to the forum!

Glad you are happy with the products that Syno offers. We use it in our business (bank system) only for slow, cold storage (archives) and to run some minor tasks. The level of performance that is needed, no Syno system can compete with a proper SAN setup and ent class hypervisors, but sure, they can have a decent purpose depending on the workload and operations needed.

Have I just been lucky?
Not at all. Products are solid, and if configured correctly (and provisioned as intended and needed) there is no reason that they will not work great.

are these things the swiss-army knife of the IT world?
They can do a lot sure, and again, it all depends on the needs. Just looking at the sheer package collection and Docker options, swiss-army knife might be the right name for them :D.
 
So – I have seen the track record. Have I just been lucky? Am I actually crazy? Or are these things the swiss-army knife of the IT world?
With that much deployed your luck will eventually run out if they’re not good. So I’m leaning toward saying that they’re solid (and a sprinkle of good luck on top won’t hurt too) :)

What’s commendable is that you’ve been able to cut through the IT red tape and managed to deploy them. Usually, someone somewhere (higher authority doesn’t want to be blamed for anything) will object saying something about support, warranties, reputation and more.
 

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