Netserv FAQ and Network Data Storage Information
- What are the advantages of combining CD/DVD storage with network attached storage (NAS)?
- What are the disadvantages?
- What is a CD/DVD server?
- Why should I buy a PrimeArray CD/DVD server?
- What is a CD/DVD tower?
- When would I benefit from a PrimeArray CD/DVD tower / loader?
- Why not just copy the CD/DVDs to our file server?
- How easy is it to get the CD/DVD server up and running?
- Can I set create multiple shares with different user access rights?
- Can I categorize my CDs and DVDs into user friendly folders?
- What if some of my CDs and DVDs require that they be run from the machine's local disc drive?
- What if there are licensing restrictions on sharing the information on my CDs and DVDs?
- What if my CD or DVD data is subscription based and is updated on a regular basis?
- What if I load my entire CD/DVD collection and my hard drive fails?
- How scalable is the PrimeArray CD/DVD server?
What are the advantages of combining CD/DVD storage with network attached storage (NAS)?
By combining CD/DVD storage with NAS, you are centralizing like data and simplifying administration and support as opposed to maintaining separate systems. It can be very efficient to share the same storage space for both types of data -- for example, in the case where data is stored on the NetServ and periodically burned off to CD or DVD and then reloaded as a disc image. The storage load doesn’t change much, but the form switches from data to disc image.
Some organizations want to have a dedicated system for CD/DVD based data and don’t want to "muddy the waters" by combining multiple applications or types of data together. For these situations, the ServStation products are the ideal solution.
A CD Server or DVD server is a specially designed network attached storage device that shares information stored on CDs and DVDs with others in your organization or those who have access to your network. This network storage server connect directly to your Ethernet network, saving the cost of a separate server and network software license.
When you place a CD or DVD disc into the server's optical drive(s) it automatically copies an exact disc image onto the server's hard drive. The original CD or DVD can be put away in a safe place as users will now have access to the disc image.
Everyone's situation is slightly different, but in general, you can expect to reap the following benefits by using a CD/DVD server:
- Eliminate the time and frustration spent searching for lost or borrowed CD/DVDs
- Eliminate the cost and time spent to replace damaged CD/DVDs
- Back up your CDs and DVDs - By their nature, PrimeArray servers back up your discs
- Put all your CD/DVDs online at once, rather than having to swap CD/DVDs in and out
- Allow multiple users to access multiple CD/DVDs simultaneously - no waiting
- Access data much faster -- a hard drive is faster than accessing data from an optical disc drive
- Increase information access - have the information available wherever you are - another desk, another floor, another building, another city, another country
- Centralize the management and control of your valuable software/data
- Maximize your investment in the software and data stored on those titles by making it easily available to those who need it when they need it
- Simplify CD and DVD license management
- Lower your costs while enjoying an easier way to manage CDs and DVDs
We refer to a CD tower or DVD tower as a device that has only optical reader drives (CD-ROM and/or DVD-ROM), with no hard drive. These non-caching systems have as much capacity as the tower has drives. So a CD tower with seven CD-ROM readers in it would be capable of putting seven discs online at one time. A benefit of a CD tower is that to update a disc, you merely open the drive and swap the new disk for the old one.
PrimeArray sells tower - or CD DVD Loader - models that either connect directly to the network (Proserver CD & DVD Server and Loader) or connect to another server via a SCSI cable/adapter (Maxtet CD & DVD Loader).
PrimeArray offers pure CD and DVD loaders as well as combination CD and DVD servers and loaders. These "towers" can be configured with up to 12 DVD reader drives for simultaneous direct data access or data loading. You would benefit from a tower / loader configuration if:
- You have many discs that need to be loaded and shared - and you want to get the job done quickly. See the ProServer CD & DVD Server and Loader.
- You have hundreds of discs on hand - or receive at regular intervals - that you simply need to load onto an existing server or a staging area. See the Maxtet CD & DVD Loader.
For customers in an enterprise using high-end servers with RAID arrays, it makes sense to move CD- and DVD-based data to a CD and DVD server. That frees up valuable space on their production servers, keeps the data online and potentially provides a CD/DVD-based backup for off-site storage.
Enterprises have found that dedicating application-specific storage resources ensures that they will maximize the ROI of their storage expenditures. In addition, when a file server is used for multiple tasks, an increase in data requests to one application may greatly impact the performance of all other applications hosted on the server. That's why only the smallest organizations can afford to make the performance trade-off involved with running multiple services on their servers.
Simply insert your CDs or DVDs into the server's optical drive(s) and an exact disc image is automatically copied onto the server's hard drive. A typical disc takes 5 to 10 minutes to copy. The disc(s) will automatically eject when finished.
Yes, it is easy to create multiple groupings or sets on a PrimeArray CD and DVD server. The same disc image can exist in multiple shares without any duplication. Use PrimeArray's sophisticated disc management software to organize your discs and set up user permissions.
You can group CDs and DVDs into various folders with our web based administration software. All content can be organized and managed remotely so that your users will have an intuitive way of viewing the data.
DVD Network Storage, CD Backup, NAS Devices and More
What if some of my CDs and DVDs require that they be run from the machine's local disc drive?
It is true that some CDs and DVDs are created in such a way that they have to be physically placed in a PC's local reader drive in order to work. The PrimeArray CD/DVD server addresses this issue with its remote mapping feature, which allows copied CD and DVD images on the CD/DVD server to appear as if they are in the user's local reader drive. This is far superior to the old method of handing CDs and DVDs out to users requiring them to run them in each PC.
There are various types of licensing restrictions in use. We strongly encourage that you comply with them. PrimeArray systems provide administrative tools to control access or limit the number of simultaneous accesses, making it straightforward to comply with the terms of the license.
Some discs, such as Hollywood movie DVDs, are usually encrypted to limit copying or sharing. These discs cannot be loaded into a PrimeArray CD & DVD server.
The content of subscription based media changes on a regular basis - often monthly. Every time a new subscription arrives you simply insert the disc into the PrimeArray CD/DVD server's optical drive and it automatically uploads and replaces the outdated disc while maintaining user access rights.
No worries. Your PrimeArray CD/DVD Server offers protection in the rare case of hard drive failure. All your data is "mirrored" to a second hard drive or an array of hard drives to guarantee your CD and DVD images are never lost or corrupted. Once you load your CDs and DVDs you should never have to load them again.
We know that digitized information can grow exponentially. Fortunately, the PrimeArray system will easily keep pace with your organization's growing needs. Hard disk capacity can start as small as 160 GB and be upgraded to 16 TB within a single system. That means you can share up to 4,000 titles or simply archive valuable information - all on one system. You can purchase a configuration that will let you add more reader and writer optical drives if the need arises.