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Wired Networks Thread, Network storage question - how would you solve this? in Technical; Hello everyone, Got a network query and wondered what others might do to solve this. Our network is used by ...
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    swpmre's Avatar
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    Network storage question - how would you solve this?

    Hello everyone,

    Got a network query and wondered what others might do to solve this.

    Our network is used by Adult Education, so we have a number of different sites, with ICT classrooms across the city. We use Win Server 2008 and Active Directory. Because we have many different students doing lots of short courses, we don't assign specific logons, but generic logons at each site. These are very locked down. Students have access to some network shared drives, for saving work etc, but no access to local hard drives.

    One of our courses is on Photoshop. This requires students to edit very large image files. this is becoming impractical over the network - the files take too long to open / save and require enormous space to store.

    How can we let students edit these files, without allowing them to save to local drives.

    One solution might be to provide each student or PC with a USB hard disk. There are obvious cost issues and the drives might go walkies.

    Another might be some sort of NAS box, in the classroom. I've not got experience of this and worry that it is an expensive solution that might still be quite slow.

    Any other ideas? Anyone do something similar?


    Thanks in advance!

    Martin

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Putting a NAS box in the classroom should make it any better.

    What speed is your network and what disks do you have where the files are sitting?

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    swpmre's Avatar
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    Hi, can't really answer the speed question easily, as this is a very wide area. The connection between this particular site and the File Print server is via various council connections, so it's a bit unpredictable. The building is physically around 12 miles away.

    The server storage disks are, from the specification SATA Models: Embedded SATA with integrated SATA RAID 0,1, SATA transfer rate 1.5Gbs

    Again, I suspect the limiting thing here is the slow network, rather than the drives.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Well in that case a local NAS should help. Also the disks in the server will be a bottleneck

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    swpmre (14th May 2012)

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    Could you not just provide access to specific folders on the local machines even if it means creating a new user just for the photoshop course? You could also put in a scheduled task to delete all content in that folder at the end of the course.

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    swpmre (14th May 2012)

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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    You don't necessarily have to do it with a NAS; if you have an old server lying aroudn you could just stuff that full of 1/2TB disks in RAID 5 and share it in the normal way, and map it on only relevant workstations/users with a script.

    Although if you don't have a spare server, the NAS would probably be cheaper and more energy efficient.

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    swpmre (14th May 2012)

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    partition the hdd so you leave a 10gb d drive they can drop files onto?

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    swpmre (14th May 2012)

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    Create a folder on each PC called C:\Photoshop, then use as a batch file logon script for that course generic username SUBST X: C:\Photoshop, then they will have a drive X:\ in my computer that mounts at C:\Photoshop.

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    swpmre (14th May 2012)

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    The local saving solution relies upon them sitting at the same seat all the time. What about local failure?

    HBJB

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    swpmre's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies. I'd like to go the NAS box route, but that seems unlikely to happen due to the cost. We could create a new partition, but that might mean reimaging the classroom. Think we'll have to go the simple root of mapping a local area for each user, though I take the point that this means they always have to sit at the same PC.

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