[SOLVED] Fast and Economical Small Office File Sharing Server

Feb 22, 2022
1
0
10
0
Hi,

My team and I are working on a new project, that requires group access to a single locally stored stock library.
Each team member would be working on a video and they would source the footage that they require from our stock library.
They would need to access the library via the network, visually look for the appropriate clips and then copy them to their respective PC to add into their video.

What is the best, most efficient, and cost-effective route to achieving this?
  1. We are a team 5, each person would simultaneously need to access the drive/storage
  2. The footage in the library ranges from 200MB to 5GB per file (Total size being 2-3Tb)
  3. Each video would make use of 20-50 clips of footage i.e. 4-15GB of footage would need to be transferred off the server/library to the team members' PC at a time.
  4. We are all working in the same office, with everyone connected via ethernet cables to a router and a collection of switches.
How can we set this up so that multiple users can easily access the server/library, visually find the clips they require and copy them over as quickly as possible i.e. transfer speeds of 150-300MB/s?

I've researched 4 potential options, I am not sure which is the best and what potential bottlenecks will appear, not the best with network-related issues.
Option 1: NAS
I know a NAS is a decent solution the only issue is that they are quite expensive, mainly cater for HDDs and for backup storage hence they don't have great file transfer speeds, I read someone on a forum was getting 15MB/s which is pretty bad.
(I would say please recommend a cost-effective NAS but unfortunately, we don't have many affordable options in South Africa)

Option 2: Plug an SSD into a USB 3.0 Router on our Network
This would be a great cost-effective route as we already have a USB 3.0 Router but I've read that 1. adding a USB storage device into the mix can affect your overall network speed of our router 2. there are limitations as to what speeds you can achieve over the network
(Maybe we can consider upgrading the router? - can anyone recommend a Router that has great USB transfer speeds over the network?)

Option 3: Build a DIY server from an old/basic PC load it with SSDs for boot, file transfer, and HDDs for backup storage connect it to the network and share the appropriate drives to the team so they have access.
(What kind of speeds can I expect and what configuration should I use to increase that speed?)

Option 4: Install a new NVMe SSD into my main PC (best specs in the office) and just share the drive over the network for everyone to access and copy files from
(What kind of speeds can I expect and will this cause my PC to lag?)

Thank you to any brave soul that read that!
Thanks in advance to anyone that can assist or offer some guidance!

Kind Regards,
Oliver
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
What is the best, most efficient, and cost-effective route to achieving this?
  1. We are a team 5, each person would simultaneously need to access the drive/storage
  2. The footage in the library ranges from 200MB to 5GB per file (Total size being 2-3Tb)
  3. Each video would make use of 20-50 clips of footage i.e. 4-15GB of footage would need to be transferred off the server/library to the team members' PC at a time.
  4. We are all working in the same office, with everyone connected via ethernet cables to a router and a collection of switches.
How can we set this up so that multiple users can easily access the server/library, visually find the clips they require and copy them over as quickly as possible i.e. transfer speeds of 150-300MB/s?
100+ MB / user means that each workstation has 2.5Gb or 10Gb ethernet. Do you already have a 10GE or 2.5Ge network ? If not, then everybody will be limited to about 100MB/s max.
You can have a gigabit network switch with 10GE for the NAS. That would allow multiple users to have full gigabit speed. BUT you are then limited to disk speed. If you want high speed and 3TB of data then you would have to have an a large SSD. Newer NAS units can use NVMe SSDs as cache. So a pair (yes you need two) 1TB or 2TB NVMe SSDs could be used as a cache on a Synology or QNAP NAS. Then you need 10GE from the NAS to the switch.
 

punkncat

Distinguished
Ambassador
The biggest issue I see is saturation of your network and everyone's speed being lowered overall due to the demand on the system moving that large a file(s) between all users PC. One of my first concerns would be the possibility of update to the network itself to accommodate this demand. IE, like if you are on old fashioned 10/100 network much of your time is going to be spent waiting.

I would consider something like a prebuilt NAS with multiple network interface, or a purpose built or (re) purposed PC with the same upgrade to the network card. This seems like a great shoe in for a purpose built server as well. Obviously of some consideration would also be redundancy or drive type and speed. Even if you have a super fast network upgrade, if all the users are trying to pull the file(s) from the same HDD you will run into a different bottleneck.

Is your work of a type that has an IT department or (other) that you can bring these concerns to and avail of their professional knowledge of the issue and site limitations?
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
What is the best, most efficient, and cost-effective route to achieving this?
  1. We are a team 5, each person would simultaneously need to access the drive/storage
  2. The footage in the library ranges from 200MB to 5GB per file (Total size being 2-3Tb)
  3. Each video would make use of 20-50 clips of footage i.e. 4-15GB of footage would need to be transferred off the server/library to the team members' PC at a time.
  4. We are all working in the same office, with everyone connected via ethernet cables to a router and a collection of switches.
How can we set this up so that multiple users can easily access the server/library, visually find the clips they require and copy them over as quickly as possible i.e. transfer speeds of 150-300MB/s?
100+ MB / user means that each workstation has 2.5Gb or 10Gb ethernet. Do you already have a 10GE or 2.5Ge network ? If not, then everybody will be limited to about 100MB/s max.
You can have a gigabit network switch with 10GE for the NAS. That would allow multiple users to have full gigabit speed. BUT you are then limited to disk speed. If you want high speed and 3TB of data then you would have to have an a large SSD. Newer NAS units can use NVMe SSDs as cache. So a pair (yes you need two) 1TB or 2TB NVMe SSDs could be used as a cache on a Synology or QNAP NAS. Then you need 10GE from the NAS to the switch.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
154,953
11,345
176,090
24,163
  1. NAS - this is the way to go
  2. SSD on the router. No. The router brain is tiny, and will struggle under this load
  3. DIY server. Only if you already have the spare parts around. If you have to buy. see #1.
  4. SSD on your desktop. No. Now YOUR PC is 'the server'. Must be on all the time, user permissions are a hassle, etc, etc.
I have a QNAP TS-453a
Transferring over a standard gigabit LAN results in ~113MB/s transfer speed.
This also has 4x ethernet ports, so I could, if desired, have different systems on different ports. Not clogging up a single port.

Remember...performance depends on the slowest device in the chain. HDD or SSD in the NAS makes no difference if all you have is a gigabit LAN.

My QNAP jsut turned 5 years old. running 24/7, rock solid performance.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS