I need help choosing an approprate NAS server to hold AutoCad files that are accessed via local computers running versions of AutoCad 2007. There are 10 people that need access to the server at one time. They currently have a HP DataVault that is causing more issues than good. The OS is truly slowing down their productivity due to the server having to "load balance." I believe a NAS would be much faster to access as well as being in RAID for faster disk access. Their network is fully gigabit and the server is the true problem. What would be recommended for something like this minus the files being directly located on each persons computer.
Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.
For general NAS reviews, my favorite site is smallnetbuilder.com. They provide fairly comprehensive coverage, and have covered most of the available NAS units.
However, for a company that is large enough to have 10 user's - I would suggest a real server, running a RAID 5 built with proper (10-15k rpm) server hard drives. The robust data protection offered from this option is not readiliy available otherwise.
That HP DataVault has a lot of drawbacks... it is limited to 10 total users, runs slower 7200 rpm consumer class hdd's, and worst of all it's based on windows home server and does not provide true raid capability. It's simply not an enterprise class unit. There are better NAS units available; but I would seriously consider an actual server.
Thanks for the resource entropist, What would the advantages be to going to an actual server? What OS? All the company truly needs is a storage drive that can be seen by all employees. I am open to going with a server as well, my guess is depending on what I make I could possibly put the network license of AutoCad on that server as well. I do agree that they need a RAID 5 system in whatever I end up purchasing for them.
I am all open to ideas and want to make sure that the lag issue they are having now goes away.
this is a question that can not be answered so easily by us, more than by your company and the money you are able to spend for having a good wroking solution!
I consider that SmallNetbuilder is a famous site for getting a quick overview for those things, but it is not abswering detailed qestions at all.
A NAS is mostly not so powerfull like a server and can´t be hucked up to a stronger unit likes a real Server!!!!!
The questiuon is not only pointed to have a new NAS or storage, it is more the qestion to have also a very good backup strategie to safe all th machines, the servers and a lot more than this what kind of switch or switches you are using!!!!!
A good, well formed and/or high performance NAS from the last generation of QNAP or Synology will be well suitted for your doing´s and/or your work. But a server can be assembeled with more powerful heavy CPU´s, much, much more RAM, RAID controllers and many server network adapters!! Also a right server OS that can handle this hardware easily and smooth is a angle point of the planning.
If you are using a small layer 2 switch and the main work routing work in your company network is done by the router or firewall, perhaps better to start now a planning that is not only based on the idea to use a nas, perhaps it will be better to start thinking over the whole internal network infrastructure !!!
As a basis to access fast the files your company is working on will be a good layer 3 switch with fsp or fsp+ ports
a storage server can be connected to the switch, by using many server lan adapters and creating a LAG for having
the best throughput to acccess the files!!!! It is enough good equipment on the market to realise this, but on the right way it will be also more stable and securely for the whole company!
Layer 3 Switch with sfp or sfp+ ports
Supermicro mainboards with 2 or 4 cpu´s
Adaptec raid 6805 adapter one or two
Intel server network cards
ecc/reg ram modules
real server hdd´s
MS Storage server
- It is more stable than the nas and can be easily upgarded with mor powerful cpu´s and ram!
- It can be easily backuped with a LTO streamer or RDX drive, single or integrated in a libary
- It can serve more than 10 users or 10 users with more power, speed and for a longer time periot!
- It´ll be easier to upgarde with a SAN/NAS for holding the stoarge as a single nas machine will offer
- It´ll be more software solutions on the market to handle the backup processes better.
Surely it´ll be also more expensive, but a NAS that is offering more than 2 GB network interface cards
are also around 1000 till 2000 euros + the money for the extra adapter!
As an example:
QNAP NAS TS-1079
+ 10 Server hdd´s
+ 10 GB NIC
Layer 3 Switch
That is even chaeper than the server variant but this is also the end where you can´t speed it up any more.
With the server you will be able to stich in 2 adaptec 6805 RAID controllers and 3 or 4 Intel server network adapters or better Intel fiber natwork adapters.
What you are doing is your thing, but having a stable basis in the network and also prfessopnal hardware is nothing without a good backup startegie and also backwards!
So I would consider to go with a good layer 3 switch in combiantion with a real server solution, for having a better stable basis.
I think you've basically hit the limit of NAS drives with 10-users constantly tapping it. They are great for small firms up to 5 users, after that you hit a performance wall. You need a better more robust solution that only a File Server with a more robust Server OS can handle. If it's a matter of cost (Microsoft's Server OS is not cheap), consider the Linux approach.
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