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  #1  
Old 09-10-2007, 12:13 AM
spicyitaliano spicyitaliano is offline
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Default Simple Idea for a Local Workgroup Storage Server?

Hey all -

I don't know about you all, but I'm not really much of an I.T. guy. While I do consider myself a computer "power user," this is one of the areas where I know very little about. But stick with me here. I'm trying to set up something super simple, and I just want to run it past you guys to see if it makes sense, and perhaps where you might suggest improving this setup. Here we go.

Aside from my studio day-job, myself and a couple work partners are making plans to start producing sample libraries. We've got a house where each bedroom will be our own production suite. We're looking for a simple way to have a central server to use as our central network for data storage - just a basic local storage 'server' of sorts. We don't intend to stream any data in real time, but to simply transfer completed elements, backup sessions, and have a central location to serve as the data storage for our sound library elements throughout the production phase.

So here's what I think will do the trick:
1) Central CPU (Our old G5 should do just fine), personal file-sharing turned on, connected to an ethernet router.
2) Firewire or SCSI drives for lots of storage, all connected to G5.
3) Ethernet connections from all edit-suite computers connect to router.

With the file-sharing function enabled on the G5, the G5 should now show up on the desktops of all the computers in the suites. From there, everyone has the ability to navigate through the G5 and all the volumes connected to it.


A couple of obvious issues come up, such as setting user privilages, stress on the disks from being pulled by multiple sources, and the fear that anyone with access to the entire storage server could accidentally delete important files!

Turnkey solutions like Avid Unity come to mind, but these can be very expensive and far too I.T.-heavy for me.

We're really just looking for a simple solution so everyone can read and write to a central location, backup their work, and store the entire archive of data we're creating. Perhaps there's more that can be done with this setup, maybe you really can setup users with privilages with accounts and passwords. But is that really necessary for a simple operation. Perhaps a RAID setup is more suitable, which I know nothing about...


Throw in your 2 cents if you've got it. Maybe you've done a similar setup? Maybe there's a little more to it than I layed out? Maybe I've got it entirely wrong! Looking forward to some input on this one fellas.

Cheers!
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  #2  
Old 09-10-2007, 01:57 AM
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nucelar nucelar is offline
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Default Re: Simple Idea for a Local Workgroup Storage Server?

Hi!
Your idea will work, but I would make it even simpler by using a NAS (Network Attached Storage). It's basically a hard drive that connects to ethernet, So it does not need a dedicated computer.
You could use as many as you need.
There are very cheap ones out there now, practically the same price as a standard external hard drive.
Cheers
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  #3  
Old 09-15-2007, 11:02 AM
Jeffrey Talbot Jeffrey Talbot is offline
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Default Re: Simple Idea for a Local Workgroup Storage Server?

your proposed solution will work just fine!

As far as users and permissions, go, you really have two options, and it will depend on how you work together.. or apart.

1. If this is a totally collabrative effort, and there are no secrets between you, just set up a single user on the server. All of you can be logged in at the same time, create as many folders for as many projects as you wish, and everyone gets to see and share everything... there will be no secrets.

2. if your operation needs some degree of "selected sharing", set up each person as a user on the server. The only way to see other's work is if they put it in their own public folder.

3. Either way, you should check out a program called SharePoints on VersionTracker.com. This would allow you the best of both worlds... create individual users on the server, so secrets are safe, but also allow you to create a folder or folders on the server that everyone can access, all while being logged in as their respective individual users...


While I don't have an issue with NAS, you don't have any ability to perform any type of backup, except from one of your users' computers, and since you seem to have a spare G5, it would be worth it to set it up, and develop a healthy back up routine.

Good Luck!
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  #4  
Old 09-18-2007, 07:07 AM
c.evans c.evans is offline
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Default Re: Simple Idea for a Local Workgroup Storage Server?

Your setup sounds pretty good. I would highly recommend using gigabit ethernet hubs and switches for your setup. We installed a similiar setup in our studio about a year ago with a G4 as the server and it has been invaluable.

We also attatched a VXA backup device to the server and it runs a script via Retrospect every night and keeps all of the data on the server and our workstations archived.

We also have our stereo tracks databased in itunes on the server and we can share the entire library accross the network. This is very useful, and we also have our Filemaker databases on the server allowing us to keep all of our database info in one place and access from anywhere.

We have no secrets here so our network is setup to read/write on all systems.

Good luck!

Chad
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  #5  
Old 09-25-2007, 01:53 AM
Ginger Ginger is offline
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Default Re: Simple Idea for a Local Workgroup Storage Server?

Your solution will definitely work as others have stated. I recently found this though, which might be simpler for you but with additional features. It has built-in admin software and would allow you to setup groups and users, it has an iTunes server on it which could be useful in your particular situation and you could potentially go wireless with an airport extreme or other such wireless router. It's NAS so no computer required, it has backup software also built-in and expansion capabilities and you could access remotely via the internet & ftp. It's pretty cheap too - $369 w/ 1TB.

I can't speak to this product directly because it's brand new and I don't have it yet but I remembered seeing your thread and thought I would mention it. I'm looking for something like this myself but for a different application than you.

Your proposed setup is definitely more powerful and expandable but also more costly and time consuming. This thing can be admin'd from the web.

I just found it tonight and thought I'd toss it in here.

And no, I don't work for MicroNet.

IHTH and please let us know whatever you end up doing. With storage getting to be more and more of an issue, I think this will be coming up a lot in the near future.

Good luck.
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  #6  
Old 09-25-2007, 09:34 PM
Jeffrey Talbot Jeffrey Talbot is offline
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Default Re: Simple Idea for a Local Workgroup Storage Server?

Ginger is right.. this device looks pretty cool.

The only thing holding me back would be the lack of AFP support. While you can connect via CIFS/SMB(Window's networking protocol) or FTP, Apple's implementation of the former can sometimes make data transfers very slow. FTP on the other hand, should be as fast as AFP.
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  #7  
Old 09-27-2007, 12:14 AM
spicyitaliano spicyitaliano is offline
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Default Re: Simple Idea for a Local Workgroup Storage Server?

This is great guys. I've looked into all the options we've discussed here and I think I've got a solid, affordable, and efficient plan. Thanks for the input, and I hope this post will help others too -
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  #8  
Old 09-27-2007, 09:16 PM
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Chief Technician Chief Technician is offline
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Default Re: Simple Idea for a Local Workgroup Storage Server?

Quote:

A couple of obvious issues come up, such as setting user privilages, stress on the disks from being pulled by multiple sources, and the fear that anyone with access to the entire storage server could accidentally delete important files!
If you are not running OS X server, you will need to create the same users, in the same order, on each client and the server to avoid strange permissions issues that will drive you mad. Leopard server will be out next month, and like Tiger, will have Access Control Lists (ACLs), which allow for finer control over permissions than the standard owner/group/others model of the client version of OS X.

A RAID would only provide redundancy. It is not a backup. You may wish to look at BRU, Retrospect, or the bevy of other ways to backup files in case someone "accidentally deletes important files".
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  #9  
Old 09-28-2007, 11:33 AM
vancalot vancalot is offline
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Default Re: Simple Idea for a Local Workgroup Storage Server?

Quote:
Hi!
Your idea will work, but I would make it even simpler by using a NAS (Network Attached Storage). It's basically a hard drive that connects to ethernet, So it does not need a dedicated computer.
You could use as many as you need.
There are very cheap ones out there now, practically the same price as a standard external hard drive.
Cheers
One little issue that arises.. files copied over the 'net via AFP will change the modified date/time. Sometimes an issue when using versions and backup software...

v
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  #10  
Old 09-28-2007, 11:45 AM
vancalot vancalot is offline
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Default Re: Simple Idea for a Local Workgroup Storage Server?

Quote:
Quote:
Hi!
Your idea will work, but I would make it even simpler by using a NAS (Network Attached Storage). It's basically a hard drive that connects to ethernet, So it does not need a dedicated computer.
You could use as many as you need.
There are very cheap ones out there now, practically the same price as a standard external hard drive.
Cheers
One little issue that arises.. files copied over the 'net via AFP will change the modified date/time. Sometimes an issue when using versions and backup software...

v
Also...

Studio Network Solutions makes a nice 1 TB SAN that runs over CAT5/iSCSI..the X-4, depending on the number of clients needed it's quite affordable and very, very reliable. I have one and it just works, with no issues.
v
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