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Robert Nichols
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:07 pm    Post subject: Teamwork Server and NAS Reply with quote

I've been looking into moving our small mac-based office's data onto NAS storage unit for ease of file sharing, RAID setup, and off-site synchronization. We're currently using Mac OS X Server, which is essentially an unsupported product and making me crazy/nervous for many reasons.

But a large proportion of our data is represented by Teamwork project files. If Teamwork is unable to work with NAS, then it's not a smart solution for our office.

I know GS recommends local storage for TW server, but I think that recommendation is mostly to make sure volumes are mounted when BIM Server starts up. This could be managed.

Is anyone out there using TW with NAS? I'm particularly considering Synology 1515+.

The self-contained RAID and connectivity features are very compelling. But I don't want to have one data strategy for TW and another for all the other uses.

If not NAS, what are other small offices doing to keep data fast, safe, and low-maintenance?

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Istvan Moharos
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Teamwork Server and NAS Reply with quote

Hi Robert,

Basically, the disk is the most important component for the BIM Server because its operations are highly I/O intensive. We usually do not recommend external disks, because in most of the cases these disks are not enterprise level solutions, and cannot meet the necessary requirements.

- BIM Server needs at least 100 MB/s read AND write speed for the proper operation.
- The connecting cable(s) must be able to handle the above speed as well. E.g.: connecting with one 1 GBit Ethernet cable is not enough because that means circa 125 MB/s for the read AND write operations, which would be only 62 MB/s for each.
- The BIM Server must have full access to the disk.
- As you mentioned, the disk must be mounted before BIM Server starts and the disk must be accessible at all time > because of this the best if the external solution has an own power supply.
- If other applications also use the same disk – for example you want to use the same disk as a file server, which operations are also highly I/O intensive – then the disk and the cable must be able to handle the load when teamwork users and file server users use the disk at the same time (the file server and the BIM Server will be competing against each other for the resources).

The mentioned solution – Synology 1515+ – meets the above, so if you choose reliable and fast HDD into it (min. 7200 rpm), then it is okay.

Otherwise how large project do you work on in teamwork? If you have many large projects (average 2-3 GB), then maybe a RAID solution connected by thunderbolt directly just to the server machine is a better choice (e.g.: Promise Pegasus, LaCie).

Kind regards,
Istvan

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    Matti Heikkinen
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    PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:33 am    Post subject: Re: Teamwork Server and NAS Reply with quote

    Struggling with same question here.

    I'm thinking about ditching the Mac Server with Promise Pegasus R6 (a horrible interface on that one, it's fast alright) and replacing it with a NAS – preferrably a QNAP since we've had one earlier and I really liked it. Just I can't figure out exactly how powerful of a NAS we'd be needing.

    We have a environment of about 20 workstations and we'd be using the NAS primarily as a file server for regular ArchiCAD projects and other stuff but if it works, then for the BIM server as well.
    So which processor / amount of RAM / RAID setup?
    I've been thinkin about the QNAP TVS871-i3-8G with 2TB 7200 rpm disks on RAID6 (or would RAID10 be more convenient since we're dealing with highly I/0 intensive work?) – but like Istvan mentioned, easiest would be to connect the BIM server with thunderbolt – TVS871 it lacks the thunderbolt. The one with thunderbolt would be TVS882T-i5-16G but it's twice as expensive.

    Asked a local IT support provider what they would suggest: QNAP TS1685 with 2x10Gb LAN and 1TB SSd drives on RAID 10. It would be cool, but the price tag is quite ridiculous.

    Maybe just to get the TVS871 for fileserver and backup purposes and then continue using the Pegasus with a Mac and backing it up with TimeMachine to the new NAS?
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    sboydturner
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    PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:45 am    Post subject: Re: Teamwork Server and NAS Reply with quote

    With more than about 4 users I would go with a dedicated server, how do you control security, access, email, backups etc with just a NAS? Failure and recovery?
    A reasonable out of the box server from Dell or HP could be had for not much more than a reasonable NAS. We use our NASs for archive, backups (in addition to remote backups) and photos but not for storage of active project files.

    Scott

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    Matti Heikkinen
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    PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:26 am    Post subject: Re: Teamwork Server and NAS Reply with quote

    sboydturner wrote:
    With more than about 4 users I would go with a dedicated server, how do you control security, access, email, backups etc with just a NAS? Failure and recovery?
    A reasonable out of the box server from Dell or HP could be had for not much more than a reasonable NAS. We use our NASs for archive, backups (in addition to remote backups) and photos but not for storage of active project files.

    Scott

    – control security
    As we're doing now; using firewall and VPN connections.
    – access
    The nas has access control. We have really simple file access structure.
    –email
    We use Office 365.
    – backups
    QNAP has backup software with versioning by default.

    One thing I forgot to mention: now we have 100% OSX environment and one (maybe the only) thing I've liked about OSX server is that it's light and easy to use.
    What I'm trying to avoid is Windows server – I think it's a really good option if you have bigger and more complicated environment but for us it feels too heavy, clumsy, and complicated. I'm not too thrilled about the licensing model MS has on server either.
    Plus most NASs have AFP sharing by default. SMB performace on Macs isn't that good.

    NAS feels simple enough for us and I like to keep things as simple as possible.
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    Erwin Edel
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    PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Teamwork Server and NAS Reply with quote

    I'm rather clueless about server setups and whatnot, but can tell you that mac with windows server using SMB is a pain in the behind.

    We use both windows workstations and macbook pro in our office and the macbook have a dodgy connection to the server with SMB due to (as I understand it) poor implementation of SMB by Apple.

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