One disadvantage of local storage is that it ties users to a single client. If you run a hot-desk office where people move between client PCs, you’ll need to investigate ways of housing user data in a central location, so when users log in from any client hardware, they immediately have access to the latest version of their data, applications and settings.
This kind of approach is particularly suited to so-called ‘thin clients’ where most of the heavy lifting is done by your server. What storage you’ll require will ultimately depend on the type of server you have set up. Those running cloud servers should focus more on ensuring everyone has a decent network connection and fast internet access to reduce latency – the storage needs here will be met by your cloud provider.
However, if you’re keeping everything on-site with a local server, then look to invest in RAID-based storage. RAID arrays comprise two or more hard drives working in tandem for both data redundancy and performance purposes. By configuring arrays to pull data from multiple hard drives at once, read times are much improved. But you also need to ensure you provide adequate network bandwidth.
To do this, you’ll need a server with multiple Ethernet ports and support for ‘teaming’ in addition to RAID capabilities. Teaming works by grouping multiple physical adapters into one super-fast virtual adapter to speed up the transfer of data to and from clients, plus it can prevent bottlenecks developing when multiple clients attempt to connect at once.
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