We are a 3 person design office using Adobe CS4 Prod. Pem for foto and video editing. Have 2 desktops and laptop. We would like to store all of our "asset files" or media on 1 hard drive or server in order to keep all of the assets in 1 place.
We want all 3 computers to be able to access the files & work on differenet parts of a project. What storage and network equipment would allow us to do this?
The simplest solution would be a NAS (network attached storage). These are basically small file servers running a leightweight Linux (don't worry, all configuration is done via a web browser). For your requirements you will need to buy some higehr priced model, though, not one of those "Home Media Servers". You definitely will need RAID 5 for speed and security, meaning the server has at least 3 disks (2 striped for speed, the third for the checksums), but usually 5 disks (4 striped, 1 for checksums). Such stations cost anywhere from 400 to 1000 Euros, depending on the size of the disks, the cooling, hot swap options (change a defective disk while the others are still running), energy consumption and noise levels, all of which refer to the casing, not so much the actual harrdrives (which are dirt cheap). More silent, energy friendlier casings cost a bit more, cheap ones often are noisy and get hot. Also of importance is the number of network ports and the speed of them, which also is usually better with slightly pricier models. Lastly, you should also buy a model that can be extended, i.e. it offers USB or eSata plugs for plugging in more disks or it has a special "service" connector, that connects to otehr NAS of the same make without requiring to configure them separately. Just look around a bit and you surely will find something that fits your needs without getting in teh business of running a dedicated file server.