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High speed shared storage for two creative professionals (NOT video editing), slower for colleagues and clients plus redundant RAID and backup

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Adam Salter
High speed shared storage for two creative professionals (NOT video editing), slower for colleagues and clients plus redundant RAID and backup
on Oct 3, 2017 at 1:31:22 pm

Hello,

First off, please pardon my ignorance, I do some IT for a University but I don't know much about networked storage.

A couple of brothers who I know here in Italy have a small communications firm that mainly does graphic design.

They currently use Macs with Thunderbolt 2 and (SSD or hybrid) DAS drives which they just physically plug and unplug from their laptops one at a time.

They are looking for one solution that can provide:

1. Extremely fast direct connected storage that only the two of them can use simultaneously for editing large graphical files (they are insistent that they prefer this to NAS for the two of them)
2. Slower connection to the same shared storage for other colleagues and clients (via !0G or regular ethernet or wi-fi)
3. They want this storage to be in a RAID configuration that includes redundancy
4. They want normal backup in addition to the RAID redundancy (from what I understand this will require another external backup drive)
5. They would also like remote access to this storage
6. CHEAP (haha that's the least reasonable demand, when added on top of the other requirements)


I read as what I could find on the issues and came up with a couple of ideas

I suggested a NAS with RAID (with 10G ports and a 10G switch if they want more speed) but they are very sure that for the two of them they want a direct connection via Thunderbolt or USB 3. Basically a shared DAS, ie. an external drive they can both plug into and use simultaneously (I know that's generally not possible without SAN).

I then suggested that since they only needed the direct connection for two of them that a cheap solution might be to just connect one DAS to one of their laptops via thunderbolt, share it and connect their two laptops together with a thunderbolt bridge. They think this is too complicated and wouldn't be reliable, probably they are correct.

The only products I have found that seem to do everything they want out of the box (except for additional backup) are the QNAP thunderbolt 2 models with simultaneous dual thunderbolt 2 access. Guess the cheapest is the TVS-682T. It's still more than they want to spend but I am going to suggest it as the cheapest ready-made solution. Obviously they'd need to buy the drives as well.

If anyone could give same general pointers, and tell me how I'm getting this all wrong haha, the three of us would greatly appreciate it!

Adam Salter
Rome


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Bob Zelin
Re: High speed shared storage for two creative professionals (NOT video editing), slower for colleagues and clients plus redundant RAID and backup
on Oct 3, 2017 at 9:32:18 pm

The TVS-682T is only a 4 bay - so you will get limited speeds. You are not getting 1000 MB/sec or above connection speed with only 4 SATA drives. And if $1800 US is too expensive for a shared storage system, then there is a simple answer - your client does not need shared storage. Work on local drives. This is the cheapest price in history, and if it's not cheap enough, well, then no shared storage for them !

They are not going to connect with USB3. They can connect via thunderbolt 2, 1G or 10G. 10G will be the fastest.
If they think that they are going to plug in their thunderbolt cables, and it will auto mount like a Thunderbolt drive, they are fooling themselves. The QNAP has to be configured, and assigned static IP addresses for thunderbolt bridging. "Why can't they make a product that just plugs in and works without all this techno mumbo jumbo".
Because, that's why !

Everything they want to do is going to be too complicated for them. They need someone qualified to set this up for them. End of story.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Adam Salter
Re: High speed shared storage for two creative professionals (NOT video editing), slower for colleagues and clients plus redundant RAID and backup
on Oct 3, 2017 at 10:53:28 pm

Thank you so much, Mr. Zelin.

Luckily they aren't clients but just friends so I'll have no trouble sharing your free advice and blunt wisdom with them!

I didn't expect a magic solution but they begged me to try to find an answer from a real expert like yourself since they had such a hard time believing they couldn't find a cheap external drive that does everything they think they need.

I'm sure they can judge whether it's a necessary investment to purchase such a system and have it properly set up for them.

I appreciate you taking the time to respond!

Adam Salter


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