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Hardware Thread, NAS? in Technical; We have a Media Studies department here that is (for some reason) very popular. It has got to the point ...
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    Norphy's Avatar
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    NAS?

    We have a Media Studies department here that is (for some reason) very popular. It has got to the point where their existing facilities are not suffificent and they need some new kit.

    The primary problem is that they want to do video editing using Premier and similar packages. Of course, these projects are going to take up a huge amount of space which our primary file server won't be able to handle. At the moment they are storing their projects on the local PCs which all have 120GB+ storage but that leaves the problem that if want to do some work on their projects and the PC the project is stored on is occupied then they're pretty knackered. In addition, it means that if that PC dies, bang goes their work.

    So we got to thinking and decided the best solution for them would probably be to put them on a seperate network segment with six or so standardish PCs along with a NAS device. Putting in an extra file server seems excessive, SAN is too expensive and again excessive. So NAS seemed like the ideal solution. I went looking for devices and, well, there is a fair amount of choice.

    On the extreme low end of the scale, we have your consumer level crap like Linksys, Netgear etc with single drives. We have discounted those as they don't offer very fast connections, probably won't handle multiuser loads very well and don't offer any redundancy. Then you have things like Buffalo Terastations and Thecus OS-NAS boxes. Fairly well priced, offers gigabit network connections and RAID 5. However they have been known to use propriatary file systems and don't always integrate into AD that well. Then at the top of the scale we have products like Snapstore servers using *nix derivatives and other solutions (Such as Dell) using Windows Storage Server 2003.

    I'm wondering what people in similar situations do and have.

    Cheers,

    Norphy

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    webman's Avatar
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    Re: NAS?

    We're about to order a Buffalo TeraStation (2TB version, TS-2.0TGL/R5) which seems to fit the bill, at just over £1,000.

    Buffalo Web page

    PDF Datasheet

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Re: NAS?

    I've just ordered a 2TB Terrastore for £1100 in RAID5 form it only gives 1.5TB as it's 4 x 500GB drives but you can plug in 2 external usb drives as well.

    Ben

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: NAS?

    Also got a TerraStation here. Early days yet, but impressed with it so far.

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    webman's Avatar
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    Re: NAS?

    @Geoff: Good to hear What sort of network is it integrated into? Is it just "one big mapped networked drive" to stash everything on?

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Re: NAS?

    How about getting a bulk deal on some external USB 2 drives? With the added benifit that their work can be taken home with them. I don't think I would be too happy with the sheer volume of traffic that several users all trying to work on video files would generate. In fact, editing video over a LAN is proberbly a no-go anyway.
    Unless your LAN is on a decent GB setup and the server\storage is local then I would look at an external solution I think.

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    Re: NAS?

    We've just bought a Terastation Pro 1TB for media studies. Early days, but happy with it so far.

    We're confining all their traffic to a separate vlan (they've got a dedicated GB switch) so it doesn't stray further than it needs to.

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: NAS?

    Quote Originally Posted by webman
    @Geoff: Good to hear What sort of network is it integrated into? Is it just "one big mapped networked drive" to stash everything on?
    You have a choice of Windows Shares, FTP, Rsync.

    The file server is currently using the USB2 interface on it atm. My Linux boxen will be backed up via ftp.

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    ajbritton's Avatar
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    Re: NAS?

    What about working from local disks then backup up to NAS overnight?

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: NAS?

    Oh another thing I forgot to mention about the TerraStation. It's basically a Linux machine. So there are 3rd party firmware hacks avalible if you want to exetend it's functionality at all.

    http://www.terastation.org/wiki/Hacking

    Also, the default filesystem is XFS. This is *unsafe* unless the machine is running with a UPS. You *will* lose data that's unwritten to disk on powerloss.

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    mark's Avatar
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    Re: NAS?

    I have a terrastation here too, use it for overnight backups - happy with that.

    What's the performance like sharing over a network? There's talk of quick cheap extra storage needed and that's my only concern - I heard the processing power is weak. Opinions?

  12. #12

    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: NAS?

    It can't quite pump things out at the full speed of it's nic (1Gbit). This is down to the speed of the disks rather than anything else.

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    Re: NAS?

    To everyone who's already bought on of the popular TeraStation Pros:-

    I'm thinking of increasing our storage capacity for teachers and students with a Buffalo TeraStation Pro. We use Win Server 2003 and AD, like most schools. It look like the TeraStation Pro is a linux box.

    My main concerns are:-

    AD integration - does this mean that I can assign 'proper' NTFS-style file permissions to users home folders on the NAS?

    Speed - we're a small school. There'll probably be only about 100 users online at once. Will the TeraStation Pro cope with this?

    Offline folders - Teacher's synchronise their home folders from their laptops with the existing windown server. Will I still be able to do this if they're moved to the TeraStation Pro?

    Any advice would be welcome - thanks.

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    k-strider's Avatar
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    Re: NAS?

    I would have thought if you were doing Video Editing, saving over the LAN would be SLOW since you are potentially writing GBs at a time..... and local storage would be a lot faster.. though that isn't going to help on the backup front... i've not done this yet so i'm not sure on the best advice

    On the Nas side when ever i have looked at buying a NAS box it has allways for me worked out cheaper to buy a new server and stuff it full of fast discs.. you can also put 2003Srv on it and then you have no problems with ntfs permissions... which always puts me of non NTFS storage solutions.

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    Re: NAS?

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff
    Oh another thing I forgot to mention about the TerraStation. It's basically a Linux machine. So there are 3rd party firmware hacks avalible if you want to exetend it's functionality at all.

    http://www.terastation.org/wiki/Hacking

    Also, the default filesystem is XFS. This is *unsafe* unless the machine is running with a UPS. You *will* lose data that's unwritten to disk on powerloss.
    Geoff,

    How difficult is to change the file system? say to NFS?? Any suggestions.

    TIA,

    Ash.

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