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NAS and iSCSI

New Member
Posts: 6
Country: USA

NAS and iSCSI

Several have posted that the ACT! Database can be installed on a network attached storage device (NAS) and used as a "mapped" drive in conjunction with iSCSI targeting. Would anyone care to share their experience with this setup? Also, I have not seen a link to a step by step on how to achieve this setup, if one exists. What are the pros/cons? Can remote users access the NAS database, and if so, is this "real time" access, and if so, how? Specifically, what hardware/software configurations currently function?

I am seeking a non-cloud solution to confidential data storage and like the NAS idea, but I just do not know enough about it yet. I am certain there are others out there like me. Looking forward to learning more and contributing my experiences in the future.

JER, esq.
Act 2012 Premium
Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: NAS and iSCSI

Where did you see that it can be installed on a NAS?

You really can't use NAS for SQL Server. SMB/CIFS does not have adequate support for file locking to support a DBMS.

You also don't use mapped drives to access SQL

Bottom line is that you must install the database on a volume that is local to the server operating system.

What exactly are you trying to achieve? Maybe there are better options
New Member
Posts: 6
Country: USA

Re: NAS and iSCSI

http://community.act.com/t5/Sage-ACT/ACT-data-on-a-NAS-device-Yes-we-can/td-p/164672

It may be that what I am trying to accomplish will not be complemented by NAS-based data. I would like to explore the option if others have successfully implemented it. Ideally, I would like a group to be able to access data via LAN, and remote users to be able to access, all in "real time." I cannot use cloud storage due to confidential and private/protected information. I am interested in hearing what solutions others have used, including hardware/software configurations. I have never before set up a VPN, if that is another solution. Would you be willing to provide links to other options that you have considered?

JER, esq.
ACT! 2012 Premium
Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: NAS and iSCSI

You certainly don't need a NAS for local/remote users to access the database and it wouldn't be supported if you ran into trouble,

VPN is also not a good idea... the overhead causes to many performance issues.

Here are a number of ways you can organise remote access:
http://blog.glcomputing.com.au/2009/11/supporting-remote-users-with-act-by.html
New Member
Posts: 6
Country: USA

Re: NAS and iSCSI

Thank you for that. Still, I am lingering on the NAS idea based on apparent built-in redundancy and tangibility. How about hearing from someone who has walked the NAS-based data path successfully or failed miserably?

JER, esq.
ACT 2012 Premium
Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: NAS and iSCSI

NAS won't give any extra remote access or redundancy than an actual server ... either physical or VMWare

My own server has 6 15K drives in a RAID6 config and runs 5 virtual operating systems.
New Member
Posts: 6
Country: USA

Re: NAS and iSCSI

When you use the term "server," are you referring to a web server, file server, or your primary desktop computer?  The reason I am asking is because I cannot visualize how my desktop computer can fit six (6) hard drives, i.e. 5 drives plus a "hot bay" like the 6 bay NAS units that are currently advertised.  Is there a particular piece of hardware that you would be willing to recommend and/or software are you using to maintain this array?  There are several packages being offered, e.g. ReadyNAS by Netgear, appearing to be loaded with software, including MySQL.  As I understand, you have indicated NAS is not supported by ACT, but would MySQL loaded on such a NAS device allow for a functional database? 

 

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3382266&SRCCODE=WEBGOOPA&...

 

JER, esq.

ACT! 2012 Premium

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 6,652
Country: USA

Re: NAS and iSCSI

The answer is no. ACT! MUST have the ACT! program including MSSQL loaded on the server because the database must be installed on a local drive. MSSQL requires the Windows operating system. None of these requirements can be met with a convential NAS setup. MySQL can't be used with the ACT! program.

Roy Laudenslager
ACT! Certified Consultant
ACT! Report Expert
Durkin Impact Report Designer
www.techbenders.com
royel@techbenders.com
541-343-8129
Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: NAS and iSCSI

No, not referring to a web server ... I mean a Windows server with local drives. Any server calls machine can support the drive sub-system you want. I use a DELL PowerEdge T410 - but that might be overkill for you.

ACT! uses MSSQL, not MySQL
Silver Super Contributor
Posts: 2,328
Country: USA

Re: NAS and iSCSI

You can actually use the combination of iSCSI and NAS with ACT!.  iSCSI makes the NAS look like a local drive to windows and you can put a SQL database on the NAS device using iSCSI which is why a conventional NAS device doesn't work but one using iSCSI will work.

 

Basically you install ACT! on a computer and install the database on the iSCSI device and then the other users in the office use the computer that ACT! was installed on as a SQL server to access the database.  Multiple users share the database through the one SQL server.

 

When you set this up you should make sure that you put in a GigE ethernet network and you should use server class NIC cards.  You will be moving a lot of data over the network so the more capable the hardware the better.  You should also disable the printing functions, etc. on the NAS server, unless you are using them, to reduce traffic.  There are a number of documents on the web with recommendations on how to set up an iSCSI device to support an SQL database.

 

Stan


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