The 10GbE GIS data server

I’m looking to add a NAS device with dual 10GBE ports to my work network to host GIS data (some being large datasets) and would like some advice. I’ll be getting two new PCs and an 8-port 10GBE switch (depending on which option below) when I get the NAS. We currently have a Windows 2012 Server that stores our data. The GIS data will be moved to the NAS. The rest of the data will remain on the server.

The two new GIS PCs will be spec’d with fast hardware. I was wondering which option below would be faster and by how much.

Option 1: install dual 10GBE network cards in the PCs. Connect the PCs to the new switch and have the NAS connected to the switch via dual 10GBE ports. Connect the PCs to the existing GB switch via internal NIC.

Option 2. install single 10GBE network cards in the PCs. Connect the NAS directly to each of the two PCs via single CAT 7 cable. Connect the PCs to the existing GB switch via internal NIC.

First of all the 10GbE is backward compatible and you can directly connect 10G switch to the existing 1G or 5G switch. You can also find switches with both ports. A second thing to look for is the weakest link in the chain. Each 10GbE port will potentially offer 1Gygabyte bandwidth per second. If your project files are around this size- this might be all you need. Otherwise, you can get 2GB per second with aggregated ports. This requires a smart switch and windows pro version. Also very important is to have all bays filled with SSD drives for maximum speed. DS1817 tests results show 1695.40MB/s and DS1618+ with a dual 10G card more than 2000MB/s. Same boxes with WD PRO drives might achieve 60% of the speed.

So if your project files are around 1G in size go for single 10G option otherwise go dual.


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