Remote file sharing/server access
uptoolate
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#1
12th May 2007
Old 12th May 2007
  #1
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Thread Starter
Remote file sharing/server access

This might be an odd question to post here, but I though I would come staight to my fellow slutz before going anywhere else with this.

I work in the Music Arts Dept. of a new church and I need to set up an archive of music files (.wav or mp3) on our network that can be accessed by others in my department. Every time we perform a song, I want to save it to disk and create a library that is stored in one place. This can be on the exixting church server, or on it's own dedicated server.

The complicated part is the fact that we sometimes office from our home studios and need to access the server remotely.

My only experience with this before was with a VPN which was ok for regular documents, but was just too slow for even mp3s. I don't know if it was just my connection (cable internet) or what, but it was just unusable for transfereing music files.

Is there technology that allows users to access a server remotely and work with relatively large files (.wav) in an efficient manner?

If so, what should I ask for when I call our network rep? I'm asking you guys first because this is a relatively small city (150,000) and some of you guys will likely know more about this than he does.

We all have cable modems at home and my guess is that connections speeds will vary. We don't have fiber, or anything like that yet in our area.

Thanks!
#2
12th May 2007
Old 12th May 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by uptoolate View Post
This might be an odd question to post here, but I though I would come staight to my fellow slutz before going anywhere else with this.

I work in the Music Arts Dept. of a new church and I need to set up an archive of music files (.wav or mp3) on our network that can be accessed by others in my department. Every time we perform a song, I want to save it to disk and create a library that is stored in one place. This can be on the exixting church server, or on it's own dedicated server.

The complicated part is the fact that we sometimes office from our home studios and need to access the server remotely.

My only experience with this before was with a VPN which was ok for regular documents, but was just too slow for even mp3s. I don't know if it was just my connection (cable internet) or what, but it was just unusable for transfereing music files.

Is there technology that allows users to access a server remotely and work with relatively large files (.wav) in an efficient manner?

If so, what should I ask for when I call our network rep? I'm asking you guys first because this is a relatively small city (150,000) and some of you guys will likely know more about this than he does.

We all have cable modems at home and my guess is that connections speeds will vary. We don't have fiber, or anything like that yet in our area.

Thanks!
While there are protocols which will enable a remote session, to cache files that are accessed often (a technique which will speed up any remote session, even over dial-up!), your data files are generally not affected by this technique. If you need to work with large files via remote access, then the only solution is to provide sufficient bandwidth. In addition, your connection speed will always be limited by the slowest link in the chain. So if DSL, or Cable, or Fiber, or IP over Power aren't available in your area, then the only options remaining are Dial-up or Satellite. IMHO, it's hard to pick between 'slow & low cost', or 'fast & expensive'.

Sorry ... maybe someone else will think of something I missed.

FYI: It sounds like the limiting factor in your previous experience using VPN ... was the other connection, since you have cable. VPN is a method of encrypting your data as it is transmitted across the internet - it has nothing to do with the speed of your internet connection. VPN will perform the same function, whether your internet connection is dial-up or broadband.
#3
12th May 2007
Old 12th May 2007
  #3
Gear interested
 

I agree with KingDaddyO. Bandwidth is not cheap and is usually the heart of the problem.

There are a few other things can impact the performance of the download. From a server perspective, you should optimize its performance by using GB NIC's that are TOE enabled (if it is a Windows server), use 15KRPM SAS disks that are dedicated to just file storage, quality RAID controller and lots of memory, etc.

As stated before, the pipe from the server to the outside word is your next bottleneck. Business class links tend to be expensive but usually carry performance guarantees. If price is an issue Verizon offers FIOS (Fiber) in limited US locations. If, as you mentioned, you can not get fiber, get the fastest DSL you can. Sometimes faster speeds are available but not advertised. (Additional cost) Get two DSL circuits and team them at the server.

If more than one person is VPN'ed into your server this will slow things up. If you are running any other I/O intensive activities while you are connected such as a tape backup, this will slow things up.

All of the above can be expensive. An alternative is seek out a hosted solution which may be more affordable. Good luck.
#4
12th May 2007
Old 12th May 2007
  #4
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minus-sounds.com's Avatar
 

Except for the music production and sound engineering, I do IT support and consulting so I know my stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kjypeace View Post
... Get two DSL circuits and team them at the server...
I am sorry but this is not working 99%. To make it work, it has both lines to come from the same provider and to be bridged at the provider too. If it is offered it is going to cost extra. If the lines are from different providers, then only load balancing and redundant failover are going to be expected as benefits but they have to be supported by the router at your facility.
In other case the upload is going to be the bottleneck, that is why is called Asymmetrical DSL (aDSL). You may consider sDSL (symmetrical) but they cost more.

An other solution is wireless and I mean at a municipality level. If you have optical contact between the two sites it works. If not, you may have to add another or two stations in between to connect them. You need high gain antennas and weather proof boxes to put the little equipment on the roofs. You can check the equipment at Fleeman, Anderson & Bird, Corp.
There are many other places too.

Check also wireless networks at municipality level at
NYCwireless
FrontPage - Seattle Wireless
Internet Archive: SFLan

Also check the local laws and permits. More common is free or for a small fee. Then the cost is only for the equipment. With 801.11b equipment you could have up to about 5mbit bidirectional and with 11g or 11a about 25Mbits. With line of sight and small number of wireless networks at your area, you could cover from 5 to 10 miles per link easily. So you could go very far.

On the wireless side there are also laser links but they are very expensive and usually they cover about 2 to 5 miles.

Good luck.
uptoolate
Thread Starter
#5
12th May 2007
Old 12th May 2007
  #5
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uptoolate's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Thanks for the input. I'll be checking intok this on Monday.

Any other advise?
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