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#1
Hans van der Maarel

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As part of the move to an actual office (instead of my home office) I also want to revamp my computer setup.

At the moment, in terms of desktop computing, I have a Mac Pro which dualboots between MacOS and Windows and a NAS which hosts my project data and downloaded datasets. The downside of this is that I can't run Mac and Windows at the same time, and big FME processes essentially lock up my entire desktop computing. This is largely due to space limitations here at home: I can't fit 2 tower cases in here.

In my new office I have more space, so I will be adding a dedicated Windows machine. Since this frees up disk space on the Mac, I was thinking of moving my project data and datasets over there (we're talking about 350 Gb) and share that on the network, so that the Windows machine can still access it. I would then use the (or "a", I might keep this one here at home) NAS for Time Machine backups.

Good plan? Bad plan? Am I overlooking something? Any other suggestions?
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#2
Adam Wilbert

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Congrats on the move!

I would personally keep using the NAS for a couple of reasons.

1) Running all of your data off of the internal Mac hard drive means that both machines need to be powered up when you're doing things on the PC. So leaving the PC to run through some complex geo processing overnight keeps both machines from sleeping.

2) I would also assume that would also slow down your work on the Mac, when the internal drive is constantly fetching data for the networked PC while simultaneously serving your Mac OS needs.

3) Not sure about your setup, but I'm assuming that the NAS provides some sort of RAID redundancy which you would probably lose by using only the internal Mac Pro drive. Maybe not, depending on your specific configuration.

You could also just put the GIS-y files on the internal PC hard drive and run them locally. At least in my cross-platform workflow, there is usually a pretty distinct separation between the file types that I only use on the PC, and the file types that I only use on the mac. So it's not a problem to leave shapefiles and grids and whatnot completely in PC land, and let Photoshop & Illustrator & everything else live in Mac land. They're still shared between the machines for when you need to access the files, but will keep the majority of your processing on local files regardless of the platform.

Adam Wilbert
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Lynda.com author of "Up and Running with ArcGIS"


#3
Hans van der Maarel

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Thanks for your comments, Adam. Yeah, I think keeping it on the NAS (or rather, a new one as the one I currently have is running a bit low on disk space) would be best in the long run. It would have RAID1 (mirroring) and with a regular backup that I'm taking home I should be safe enough in terms of potential data loss.
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