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Remote Data Access Solutions? 54

magoldfish asks: "Our company has several terabytes of data, typically chunked into 2-6 GB files, that we need to share among users at sites around the US. Our users range in technical skill from novice to guru, data access needs to be secure, and we require client access from multiple platforms (Linux, Mac, and Windows). These files will likely be accessed infrequently, and cached on local hard drives by our power users. We've been running WebDAV, primarily to accommodate non-savvy users and guarantee access from firewalled environments, but the users are really complaining about download speed — maybe 50 KB/sec serving from a Mac. Any suggestions for better alternatives, or comments on the pros and cons of alternative access techniques?"
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Remote Data Access Solutions?

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  • One word: (Score:5, Informative)

    by Pig Hogger ( 10379 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `reggoh.gip'> on Thursday November 09, 2006 @02:40PM (#16787791) Journal
    rsync [].

    (As always, Google is your friend).

  • by mac123 ( 25118 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @02:41PM (#16787801)
    Sounds like a job for Wide Area File Services (WAFS).

    Here's Cisco's version: WAFS []

  • Profiling? (Score:4, Informative)

    by barnetda ( 42894 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @02:50PM (#16787867)
    I'm no network / data access guru, but this seems like a typical case of profile first, optimize later.

    The idea is simple. Don't just go in and change stuff, first measure the pieces under typical load. Look where the bottle-neck is, address it, and move to the next bottle-neck. Repeat as often as needed.

    Are you disk I/O bound? Buy faster disk / better controllers / spread the load over more machines / .....

    Are you CPU bound? Is the CPU on your server spending so much time with I/O requests, that it has no cycles available to address additional requests? Buy more / faster / better CPUs.

    Are you network bound? Which piece of the network is the hold-up? Your switch? Get a better / faster one. Your ISP? Get a fatter pipe.

    Have you optimized all of these? What about setting up remote servers that are updated hourly/daily/weekly/whatever so the machine is close to the user network-wise for faster download speeds.

    Some of the above adds complexity. Are you equipped to handle that complexity? Can you become equipped to handle it? If not, re-consider your options.

    Hope this helps.

  • go with Novell (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:15PM (#16788389)
    We run NetWare 6.5 (moving over to Suse Open Enterprise Servers). We use web access component of NetStorage. From Novell:"NetStorage provides simple Internet browser-based access to file storage on a Novell network. Users have secure file access from any Internet location with nothing to download or install on the user workstation. Through a browser interface, users can also access file properties and have the options of restoring recent versions and managing rights to files and folders. NetStorage lets users securely copy, move, rename, delete, read, and write files between any Internet-enabled machine and a NetWare server. In addition, NetStorage lets users access archived copies of files. NetStorage also supports Web-based access to files and folders on a NetWare server using Microsoft* Web Folders (Microsoft's implementation of WebDAV). And, with NetStorage installed on one NetWare 6.5 server, users can potentially have access to any NetWare 5 or later server anywhere on a geographically dispersed network. For mobile or remote users who need file access but don't need those files to reside on a local client, NetStorage provides an easy solution."

    You can also look at iFolder ( Also look here: [].

  • by pavera ( 320634 ) on Saturday November 11, 2006 @02:20AM (#16803098) Homepage Journal
    for Unix there is a client called rdesktop that works great (better than the native Mac client, I use it for mac instead of the microsoft rdp client).

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito