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General Chat Thread, Shared storage - between schools in General; I work between 2 primary schools and HDD space is becomming an issue. With the children now podcasting, video editing ...
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    pooley's Avatar
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    Shared storage - between schools

    I work between 2 primary schools and HDD space is becomming an issue. With the children now podcasting, video editing etc. I have a couple of NAs drives for backups but i'm going to run out of room within 12 months on my server shares etc.

    So I have been looking into iSCSI drives, mainly at a qnap ts-809 with 8 x 2tb drives.

    Now i'm thinking if I was to setup a trust between the 2 schools (both server 2008) I could share the iSCSI device. Thus saving my schools from having to purchase 1 each. The ts-809 should give me more than enough storage.

    Has anyone done this before? Any caveat's / no-no's ? I assume I can lock down specific area's depending on ACL?

    I havent dealt with Server trusts before so any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks

    Si

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    SteveBentley's Avatar
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    I wouldn't like to attempt video editing in that kind of environment, it's painful enough on the LAN let alone on a WAN!

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    wesleyw's Avatar
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    Depends if you want trusts there or not if you use iSCSI LUNs then the servers can connect to the storage as a share on each site and you can decide whether they should both see all the LUNs or just the ones relevant to them?


    Wes

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    pooley's Avatar
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    We don't edit across the lan, it would just be used to save to.

    As for iSCSI Lun's this a new realm for me, the qnap allows 2 x different ip's I beleive so both my servers could attach to it? I could then create a share/area for each school? No need for trusts then?

    is this right?

    Si

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    teejay's Avatar
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    Even if you're just saving completed projects to it, then unless they both have decent speed leased lines, ie 100Mb, then it's not going to work fast enough. Couldn't you look at a cheaper NAS type box that integrates with AD?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pooley View Post
    We don't edit across the lan, it would just be used to save to.

    As for iSCSI Lun's this a new realm for me, the qnap allows 2 x different ip's I beleive so both my servers could attach to it? I could then create a share/area for each school? No need for trusts then?
    You should be able to set up LUN's and attach a number of different servers to the DEVICE but not necessarily to each LUN. Whether you can share a LUN depends on whether the filesystem using the block device that the LUN represents is capable of being used by multiple devices. FAT32, NTFS is not. I think the biggest issue is cost - if people will be storing video (and generally trying to save it all at the same time at the end of the lesson) you will need high speed links between the schools. That's likely to be much more expensive even in the first year, than spending £2K on a decent spec iSCSI NAS device for each school.

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    As others have said video editing or dragging any kind of large number of files over the internet would take forever and might not even be horribly reliable.

    Your best bet would probably be in a QNAP box with iSCSI built in - it would appear as an aditional drive on your server which you could then move all your student data onto. Unlike storage servers from people like HP and so on you can use your own drives (don't totaly cheap out on them though as this is students work we are talking about here and downtime should be limited as much as possible).

    We use a QNAP at one of our Primary Schools for use with Windows Server Backup (runs overnight every night) and it works a treat

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    why not get a 4 bay qnap with 4 * 3tb drives ?

    12 tb per qnap, one for each school ?

    Or an 8 bay qnap, one for each school and just get 4 drives to start with and get more drives later on ?

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    wesleyw's Avatar
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    I'd have to agree with our peers here over a leased line this would be an issue depending on speed however seeing as they are in the same borough and hopefully you are using the LEAs fibre then really you need to check what speed connection you've got 10mb would be the minimum but would be very slow if the cost of say two 8tb QNAPs is similar to 1 16tb i'd go for the two in all fairness. However how big are the videos and podcasts? If small files but just a large quantities then even 10mb may be enough if several 100mb then then 100mb would be my recommendation or two boxes as the extra connection speed will come at a cost.


    Wes
    Last edited by wesleyw; 12th May 2011 at 09:39 AM.

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    ricki's Avatar
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    HI

    This is just an idea you might be better with a 4 drive nas that you can run riad 5 on and have another for the first to backup onto just in case the first fails. I dont know if you will need active directory intergration so be careful think what you need carefully. We use tera station pros which are good when they work but when they go wrong after sales can be an exterience and you have to jump through a lot of hoops. ready nas might also be an option.

    Richard

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    Hightower's Avatar
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    Why not get both schools to purchase one each, and sell it to the schools as an offsite backup? Both schools get an agreed amount of space on the other device used to have a safe, secure offsite backup?

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    pooley's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions guys.

    There is a 10mb link between school, probably to slow (now that its been pointed out to me).

    So now looking (more sensibly) at 2 x TS-459Pro+ qnap, 1 for each school initially.

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    MK-2's Avatar
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    just slightly off topic, but what exactly is the space being used by currently? if its current staff home areas/shared areas, then perhaps quotas and such would be a good idea. if you buy a school 12tb, they will use 12tb, if you buy them 40tb, they will use 40tb.
    i may be being naive but surely 12tb for one primary school is a bit overkill? our primary school uses up about 3/400gb at most, with the majority of that being staff saving school trip photos to their shared drive.
    i'd look more at how space is being used and what could be done if you bought a new storage system in to stop it being consumed so quickly

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    ricki's Avatar
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    Hi could you use rsync to bidirectal sync the nas stations of the school. You might be able to put one nas server in each school and then get each school to backup to that drive. Then the rsync would old copy files that had been changed. This would mean the shared resources could be access locally but both schools have the same files. Beware you will have to have the data backup done on a regular basis just in case someone deleted or changes a file they should not have.

    You could also put a trust in place between the domains and use dfs to sync the shares.

    Richard

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK-2 View Post
    surely 12tb for one primary school is a bit overkill?
    No, I think 12TB is about right - that's for podcasts, video footage, image library, working files and backups of those files. I think every user should get at least 8GB of storage, probably more - users can buy a cheap 8GB USB stick for £10, so they'd expect to get at least that much storage space on any system they use, and online services (Google, etc) offer more (is it up to 20GB-ish?) for free.

    I'd go with ricki's comments above and use rsync to run a nightly backup job between servers. This does sound like a good opportunuty to get proper off-site backups of data done on the cheap. You could have a storage server in each school with, say, a 10-slot disk array - five (300GB?) fast 15,000RPM SAS disks and five slower, 2/3TB disks. Use the fast disks as the live file storage area for user settings and documents, then use the larger, slower array for backups, image storage, etc.

    rsync will work over a secure ssh connection, or you could use a VPN between the two servers. You could probably run an iSCISI connection over a VPN, too, although I doubt it would work quite as intended.

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