What sort of server & network setup would work for a small design business?
July 21, 2012 3:06 PM Subscribe
What networking or server (NAS?) equipment do I need to set up a small design business that will use a lot of fairly large CAD, Rhino, PSD, AI, and other design-type files?
posted by This_Will_Be_Good to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I am in the process of setting up a small design studio. It will most likely be me, and just a handful of employees at the most. However, I will need a few different machines in various locations both for me and my coworkers, but also connected to machines in various odd places hooked up to fabrication equipment. So, I am trying to figure out if I need to set up a small NAS system as a centralized location for all these files. I just read about NAS systems, so assume I know very little.
I currently have a Macbook Pro laptop, and I run XP on a bootcamp partition with a bunch of older software (I am afraid to upgrade because if it doesn't work I couldn't afford to buy some of that stuff again). So, I imagine I will need the system to work for Macs and PCs, running a variety of operating systems, and due to the spread out nature of the machine, it will likely need to work wirelessly. So, here is what I was thinking -- I want to know if this set-up makes sense, and if anyone can give me any ideas/guidance:
- SERVER: Something like a 2-Disk Synology NAS. I just learned about these. I guess the other computers could connect to this over a local network or wifi? I would get two 1TB WD 3.5" drives for this. I would probably also buy a third, so I could swap one off-site regularly. Would the other computers be able to work on files directly off of this? Would a service like Dropbox be a better idea than buying a NAS?
- BACKUP: CrashPlan Pro. I would then back the data on the NAS up with some service like CrashPlan. I guess if I am doing the off-site backup, this may be overkill, but it might be convenient and more fool-proof then relying on regular swapping out of drives.
- NETWORK: Can this all work over wifi? Do desktops these days come with wireless networking capabilities, or would they need some sort of additional wireless component (dongles, cards, etc)?
- COMP 1: My current Macbook Pro laptop. This will just stay the same for now, as I already have it.
- COMPS 2-3: Some sort of new, cheap desktop PCs with Windows 7 that will be able to handle CAD Programs like AutoCAD, 3DSMax. These may also be tied into some fabrication equipment, which rarely uses software (like Mastercam) for the Mac. What is the cheapest processor/setup nowadays that could handle software like that? Would one of those barebones/mini PCs work instead if I am going to store a lot of things on the NAS?
- COMP 4: Eventually maybe a Mac Mini or an Air, if I wanted to get an additional affordable Mac. Are there cheap displays from other companies, that I could use with all of these different computers?
I guess that is a lot to ask, so the most important question is what would people recommend for the file server/NAS question, answers to the other topics would be super helpful too as I am dazing over staring at desktop specs on NewEgg.