Supported storage types
FotoWare do not test their software with or recommend specific NAS systems, but many FotoWare customers work successfully with NAS devices. Below are some general guidelines that should be taken into consideration when planning your storage architecture.
FotoWare applications depend on a feature in the SMB file sharing protocol that allows instant detection of file changes. This allows Index Manager to detect a change made by any other application, whether it is a FotoWare or third-party application, and is essential for the FotoWare system to show up-to-date information to users. Examples of such operations are metadata updates from FotoStation, copying a file to a new location using FotoWeb, resaving a file from Photoshop, reorganizing files in the Macintosh Finder or restoring files from backup on the server.
Instant detection of file changes may or may not work depending on support in the vendors' implementation of SMB. Also, many devices support alternative protocols such as HTTP/FTP/NFS/AppleTalk. If used, they do not work with instant detection, and Index Manager can therefore not detect changes made via these protocols through other means than background scanning. Background scanning in Index Manager is run continuously, and the volume of data on the share IM is accessing will determine turnover time (and thereby detection time).
Learn more about file discovery mechanisms in Index Manager.
Some devices automatically migrate data from fast to slower storage areas depending on use. Index Manager cannot work with systems that migrate data onto slow storage such as tape, optical media, or cloud storage. Systems using a mix of fast and slower hard drives will typically work (e.g. from SSD via SAS to SATA). However, since Index Manager and other FotoWare applications frequently need access to the high-resolution file for metadata updates, image processing and download, files will typically be kept in the faster areas of the disk system and never/seldom be candidates for migration to slower storage (e.g. a reindex operation in Index Manager will access all file data of all files in the archive).
If using a non-Windows server for storing files you should be aware that file system changes that are not made through SMB will not be forwarded to clients over SMB. For example, a Unix file server where files are input over FTP will not notify clients connected over SMB of file updates. The same is the case if a FotoStation Client for Mac updates files on a Mac server over AFP. No Windows clients connected with SMB will then be notified of the updated files. A NAS may support forwarding of file system notifications across protocols, but there's generally no way to know this for certain without testing it.
FotoWare does not support storing data in Object-based Storage Systems that only offer API/HTTP REST access (also known as BLOB storage).
In general, FotoWare recommends using local storage on a Windows Server for all archives with a high turnover of files, while static archives with mostly read-only access work fine on most high-end NAS devices.