[SOLVED] Should I partition my SSD?

Jun 2, 2020
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I have build 2 PCs for my Friends Office. Its an Auditing firm, so a lot of data (but very small in size) are saved every day. There will be pdf, scanned images, scanned documents, excel, spreadsheet, screenshots, TALLY data (Accounting Software), etc. been saved everyday. I build 2 PCs (the rest are laptops).
One have
Silicon Power P34A80 512GB NVMe PCIe 3.0 x 4 SSD
and other PC have
Silicon Power P34A80 256GB NVMe PCIe 3.0 x 4 SSD

My doubt is that should I partition my SSD. I have read that its better not to partition an SSD like HDD. But won't it be difficult to handle the data? If there is any sort of disadvantage if partitioned, I would rather not do it and handle the data by using folders. Please any suggestions are welcomed.
 

USAFRet

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Recommend? No.

But if this turns out to be the actual and only hardware involved...yes.
Maybe a 150GB partition for "shared data". Or whatever size you need. Separate the user data from the shared data.
 

USAFRet

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Do you mean "No Partition" or one partition (C and D)?
The files in the 512GB SSD PC will be shared to all other systems in the LAN Network. This PC will act as server. Do I need to do anything different for this?
Well, it needs a partition. One single space. The C.

But to your second point...the PC being 'the server'....that is a monstrously bad idea if it is also someones workstation.
An inexpensive NAS box, properly set up, would do wonders for this small company.
 
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But to your second point...the PC being 'the server'....that is a monstrously bad idea if it is also someones workstation.
An inexpensive NAS box, properly set up, would do wonders for this small company.
Server in the sense, that all the pdfs, excels, word documents and other files are stored in this PC and they will be accessible by other PCs connected to the Network. Not much PCs are connected to them. Just 1 another PC and 2 Laptops. Its just a file sharing system to be specific. And also an Accounting software called Tally will be installed in this system and that is the server and the same software installed in other PCs and laptops are clients. These are the tasks done by thats Server PC. I called server in the sense of Tally server.
 

USAFRet

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Server in the sense, that all the pdfs, excels, word documents and other files are stored in this PC and they will be accessible by other PCs connected to the Network. Not much PCs are connected to them. Just 1 another PC and 2 Laptops. Its just a file sharing system to be specific. And also an Accounting software called Tally will be installed in this system and that is the server and the same software installed in other PCs and laptops are clients. These are the tasks done by thats Server PC. I called server in the sense of Tally server.
Right. A "file server".
Is this system also a users workstation? If so, I reiterate my comment...this is a monstrously bad idea for a company of any size.
In the light of low cost prepackaged systems that are built for exactly this purpose, bad idea. Way too many things can go wrong.

I wouldn't even do that for my personal files in my house LAN, shared between me and the wife.

And you still haven't made any mention of what the backup situation is.
 
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If that system is NOT also a users workstation, and only the "file server", then the answer to the partitioning question might change.
Forgive my ignorance. I don't even know what a "User Workstation" is. But if you are patient enough you could explain me. It seems you are very kind and helpful person. So I will tell everything that I knew about my office.

Its a new Auditing office. Actually its a very small partnership firm. There are 4 of us at present. There is already 3 Laptops at present. But one will be left as it became too old. I have ordered 2 PC parts for building myself.
So, there will be 2 PC and 2 laptop connected in the network. There will be 1 printer (I don't know whether to connect the printer to the network or to connect to server PC and share it via the network).

The tasks that we are going to perform are very simple and doesn't require much CPU. MS-Word, MS-Excel, pdfs, web browsing (atleast 4 tabs all the time) and TALLY.
The PC that I mentioned as Server is also will be used like other PC and laptops. But the only thing that it does extra is that all the files (excel, pdf, scanned images, TALLY data, etc no file will exceed 5MB) are saved in that PC and those files are shared through the Network to other PCs. Its just giving Read/Write access to the files.

Now coming to Tally. Tally is an Accounting software. I said server PC in the sense that this PC acts as Tally Server. We buy Tally Gold Edition. It is a multi-user edition. But you can install in only one system and that will be Server system. The rest of the systems are installed the same tally but they will only act as client. That means if server PC system is in off state then those client systems cannot access TALLY and other files.
It also have remote access upto 10 users. But this Tally is as simple software as a MS-Office. The server PC is not something like used in small business organisations. Its like any other PC but will share files and also acts as server for Tally data.

So, I think you understand the setup. These are the 2 PCs that I am going to build for the office.
https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/my-first-pc-build.3614202/
Everyone around me says the Server PC is an overkill for this basic task. But many from these forum says it is underpowered. But as you knew the requirement, you say whether it can handle this task. Because the firm that I worked before uses i3-2nd gen, 4GB RAM, HDD and is still used for the server purpose that I mentioned. But it is dead slow.

I want answer for 3 questions.
  1. Can my PCs handle the job?
  2. Should I connect the printer to router or server?
  3. What should I do for backup? (Even if we work for whole year the file size won't exceed 50GB)
Thank you for reading patiently.
 
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USAFRet

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4 users, 4 systems.
This means that the PC doing the "file sharing" is also someones PC.

Consider this situation:
Users - Bob, Carol, Ted, Alice.
The system Alice uses is also the "file server", and everyone else connects to it.

Bob has a file open, or the Tally client application.
He goes home for the day, and leaves that file open. And leaves his PC running, knowing he will come back to that file first thing in the morning.
20 minutes later, Alice goes home. As she leaves, she turns her PC off. That open file (or worse, the database) has a good chance of getting corrupted by this sudden shutdown.

This WILL happen. Bob's whole day of work, lost.

Or, Ted comes in later that evening to catch up on some stuff. His files are trapped in Alice's system, which is OFF.

A central 'server', does not have to be powerful, will fix most of that.
Just a box that everyone connects to, and your files are not subject to the whims of Alice's client system.

A 2 bay Synology or QNAP NAS, and a couple of drives, under $500.
---------------------------------
Backups.
This is a second/third/fourth copy of your critical data.
And the means to recover that.

Carol's son sends her an email, carrying a ransomware.
She opens it...poof...all your data, locked away and held for ransom. Recoverable for one easy payment of $1200 in Bitcoin. Maybe.
Yes, this happens. And not just to small companies. Large companies and govt organizations have been hit by this otherwise easily recoverable malware.

Or fire/flood/theft.
Backups are like car insurance. When you need it, you really need it.


The basic concept is 3-2-1.
3 copies of your data, on 2 different media, at least 1 of them offsite and/or offline.
 
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USAFRet

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Are you a "PC guy" or an "Accounting guy"?
I ask, because sometimes, it pays to spend a bit and hire a specialist. They hire you guys, because you are good at what you do. Accounting.
This might be the time to bring in a local consultant for a few hundred $$, and have him spec out a small network for you.

Just like you hire a plumber or car mechanic.
 
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Bob has a file open, or the Tally client application.
He goes home for the day, and leaves that file open. And leaves his PC running, knowing he will come back to that file first thing in the morning.
20 minutes later, Alice goes home. As she leaves, she turns her PC off. That open file (or worse, the database) has a good chance of getting corrupted by this sudden shutdown.
You got almost most of the points perfectly. Except one thing that I forget to tell. In Tally, we don't need to save anything. The data never loses in Tally. It autosaves till the last key stroke. Its a powerful accounting solution. Thats why none of the Auditing offices here uses Servers separately. And second thing is that in every auditing office, this server PC is the one that is ON first and OFF last. This is what they follow. Because the printer is connected to this system and so everyone gives print through Network but ultimately comes to this PC to take the output papers.
Do you still think that I need a NAS? I completely understand your point but this is unheard off in small offices like us. My friend will laugh at me if I say this to him. Because even bigger offices than us with around 10 users don't use such things.

But your backup idea is a very must one it seems. But almost all of the Cloud storage are subscriptions which is too much for our data. There are one time storage but they are unreliable companies. At maximum, we won't even cross 100GB a year. Is there any cheap solution less than $5 or $10 for a year for 100GB? I don't want any monthly subscription. This will be secondary copy. I will have a 1TB HDD as third copy. That is more than enough.
 
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Are you a "PC guy" or an "Accounting guy"?
I have completed my Bachelors in "Information Technology" 4 years ago. But started doing "Charted Accountancy" after that. Now doing my 3 year Articleship under my friend (he is a Chartered Accountant). I am not an expert in this Networking field as most of our bachelors is all software side and that too I didn't read well (I read for an hour or two and clear exams. That easy). But capable enough of understanding these tech related things. So, any of your suggestions are welcome. I am from India. So, these PC parts are around 30% - 40% pricier than US.
The 1st PC that I linked in the above comment costs $662 and 2nd PC costs $370.
 

USAFRet

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You got almost most of the points perfectly. Except one thing that I forget to tell. In Tally, we don't need to save anything. The data never loses in Tally. It autosaves till the last key stroke. Its a powerful accounting solution. Thats why none of the Auditing offices here uses Servers separately. And second thing is that in every auditing office, this server PC is the one that is ON first and OFF last. This is what they follow. Because the printer is connected to this system and so everyone gives print through Network but ultimately comes to this PC to take the output papers.
Do you still think that I need a NAS? I completely understand your point but this is unheard off in small offices like us. My friend will laugh at me if I say this to him. Because even bigger offices than us with around 10 users don't use such things.

But your backup idea is a very must one it seems. But almost all of the Cloud storage are subscriptions which is too much for our data. There are one time storage but they are unreliable companies. At maximum, we won't even cross 100GB a year. Is there any cheap solution less than $5 or $10 for a year for 100GB? I don't want any monthly subscription. This will be secondary copy. I will have a 1TB HDD as third copy. That is more than enough.
"In Tally, we don't need to save anything. The data never loses in Tally. It autosaves till the last key stroke. "

'never loses' is an absolute fallacy.
What you seem to be saying is that it performs a "save" on every keystroke? Not gonna happen.
And I can't conceive of any client/server application where that is remotely a good idea. But, whatever.

A NAS box is cheap insurance. And far more efficient on users time and effort.
On mine, you can set up a Home folder for each user. Their stuff, and only their stuff.

Backups? 2x external USB drives, swapping weekly. One of them offsite at all times.
 
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"In Tally, we don't need to save anything. The data never loses in Tally. It autosaves till the last key stroke. "

'never loses' is an absolute fallacy.
I literally doesn't mean the same. But its close to that. We never save in Tally. We work and we exit. Even if we switch off the power while working the data won't get lost. We can continue where we left off. That why I mentioned about keystroke. But thats is just to emphasis how well that software works. Not literally mean that.
 

USAFRet

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And I stand by my initial comment of using a users workstation as the office server is a bad idea.
No matter what outdated concepts your competitors are sticking to, and no matter how good your software might be.

The cost of one more PC (the NAS box) makes things soooo much easier.
You data hub, your backup hub, etc.
 
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And I stand by my initial comment of using a users workstation as the office server is a bad idea.
The cost of one more PC (the NAS box) makes things soooo much easier.
You data hub, your backup hub, etc.
I will definitely take this to my friend. I know what he will tell. We planned to take 2 more employees in a years time. He will say that we can do it that time as he would have earned enough by that time. I hope that for now this will hold good.

So, now do you recommend partition or not for this setup? It seems like Azure charges little over $1 per month for 20GB. But I don't know whether that 20GB is cap or 20Gb will add up every month.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Recommend? No.

But if this turns out to be the actual and only hardware involved...yes.
Maybe a 150GB partition for "shared data". Or whatever size you need. Separate the user data from the shared data.
 

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