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Best way to share aperture library over network on two computers?

16238 Views 24 Replies Latest reply: Sep 28, 2013 7:46 AM by mozumder RSS
  • CodePlay Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    @Huygens-25, thank you for your discussion. I like your approach of concentrating on the possibilities with protocols and file systems.

     

    Although I have read Apple's recommendation, I am still looking for a better solution than carrying my portable drive around. And you mention RAID, which also is part of my setup. Sharing over the network is in my case realted to storing all on the NAS.

     

    Apple does have a tendency to make things simple and safe for users. That explains their recommendation to use HFS+ and locally mounted volumes. Simple and safe. But that does absolutely not mean that other possibilities would not be safe too. I am still looking for a better solution than what has been proposed on this thread:

     

    - No cable and dangling devices during daily life

    - Data safety (backup, RAID, journaled file system)

    - Occasional need for performance and mobility, where I am willing to do a trade-off on the first two items.

     

    Now, here is my thought. It is a hybrid, i.e. sharing over the network in daily life, and effortlessly resorting to locally attached storage if need be. Now, this is just an idea. But it might work. So, I am throwing this into the ring, and hope to get some feedback from you guys.

     

    I am considering to store the original images on the NAS, and the library with the metadata and previews etc in a sparseimage on an external drive. The external drive can be failry small, but should be fast (I have an 240GB SSD with USB3). Now, the reason for using the sparseimage is that I can attach the external drive to the NAS. When working with teh library this means no moving disks, and USB cables on my laptop. On the couch, in the office, anywhere in the house. Shared via the network, but as locally mounted HFS+ volume.

     

    But if I need performance, or if I am on the road, I would bring the external drive along, and work with the sparseimage off the locally attached drive - on the laptop of choice. This is the case where I accept to "unshare" the library, and to have USB cabels and a dangling harddrive around.

     

    Then while being on the road, new images could directly be imported into the library, and be worked with. When coming home, I would attach the drive back to the NAS, which would immediately get me back into "sharing mode". From time to time in order to keep the sparseimage small, I would relocate any original images to the NAS. I think that would work well. Any thoughts?

     

    With regards to the safety, the NAS stores the original images on a journaled file system with RAID based redundancy. Backed up of course. The external drive is less secured at the benefit of greater flexibility to bring it along when needed. The sparseimage is backed up by some job running on the NAS, when the drive is attached.

     

    Does that approach to "sharing over the network" while still having it transportable sound fair? Or does it make all alarms go off?

  • BB_dad Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I was faced with a similar challenge when working with video. I frequently want to move from the Mac Pro to the MBP and continue working on a project. Final Cut does not support NAS either, only SAN. I have been experimenting with an iSCSI option and it seems to be working well "for me". I am using a Synology NAS which supports iSCSI SAN. I created the iSCSI volume on the Synology and "purchased iSCSI drivers. I have experimented with both ATTO and globalSAN drivers and both are working well. This solution allows me to mount the volume on either mac and work on the projects. I can easily unmount the volume and remount on the other mac in about 15 seconds. So far, everything works well and "I" have not lost any data. Just offering a possible alternative. I have NOT put my Aperture library on this solution, so you should investigate before trying it and have a backup. But I really enjoy the freedom of this solution more than lugging around an external drive.  Also note that you should use a hard wired connection for iSCSI.

  • PTSaputo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Why not store the photos on ext3 or ext4 partitions on a linux server and set up samba shares?  Then use Finder - Go -Connect to Server to access the server shares.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,655 points)

    Why not store the photos on ext3 or ext4 partitions on a linux server and set up samba shares?  Then use Finder - Go -Connect to Server to access the server shares.

     

    The Aperture Library needs to sit on a disk formatted Mac OS Extended.

  • Huygens-25 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi PTSaputo and Terence,

    Why not store the photos on ext3 or ext4 partitions on a linux server and set up samba shares?  Then use Finder - Go -Connect to Server to access the server shares.

     

    The Aperture Library needs to sit on a disk formatted Mac OS Extended.

    Terence is correct, that is indeed what Apple is recommanding.

     

    Most (if not all) features supported by HFS (or HFS+) are also existing in ext4's Linux filesystem (actually ext4 is technically a much more modern and advanced file system than the outdated HFS(+)). So feature wise if Aperture library can reside on an HFS volume it could reside on an ext4 volume. However, one cannot speculate how the Aperture's developers have implemented the read/write mechanism for the Aperture library. And even though another filesystem could support this library, the software might not be able to store it properly.

    And as you propose to share over Samba the volume, this is even more true. Depending on the Samba version (server or client), you might have or not support for advanced filesystem feature (such as metadata or symlinks/hardlinks, etc.) you would need to make sure that both the server and client support the right set of feature to be feature compatible with what the Aperture library requires. But as mentionned above this is no guarantee that the developers's implementation of the Aperture IO routines can take advantages of the proper features in the "filesystem" (Samba is then considered as the local filesystem) is it differs from HFS.

  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,400 points)

    And even though another filesystem could support this library, the software might not be able to store it properly.

    The software simply will refuse to do it. WHen I try to open an Aperture library on a Samba Share volume, I get this message in Aperture 3.4.5:

     

    Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 11.09.53.png

    Aperture cannot switch to the ibrary, because the Filesystem is not supported.

  • Joel 29 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I also had the same issue using a Synology Nas (using afp protocole to connect). Then I let my library on the Hard disk and transfer my projects from my MBA to Imac one by one upon my needs.

    My originals are stored in the NAS without any issue up to now.

    Can you explaine a little more your previous message in this post (10 nov. 2012 12:45) :

    Capture d’écran 2013-08-16 à 20.38.58.png

    What does  "but not keep the identity of the refernce files" means? Will it apply to a NAS configuration?

  • PTSaputo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Ideally the library would be moved to a linux server.  However, we achieve most of the objective if the photos are stored on a linux server and the library is stored locally.  So long as the photos are set up as referenced, much of the goal can be accomplished - the bulk of the storage is not local.  Only the referenced library is local.

    Are we aware of any problems with this setup?

  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,400 points)

    What does  "but not keep the identity of the refernce files" means? Will it apply to a NAS configuration?

    An Aperture library package contains many alias and references to other files and folders in the package. When you upload a library to Dropbox, it will create a copy on the server, with a different filesystem. And when you work with your local copy of the library, changes to individual files and folders  will be synced to Dropbox, but it will not be synced consistently across all references in uploaded library. Meanwhile Dropbox has announced a beta release of the software that promises to sync iPhoto library correctly. So this might work with Aperture libraries as well.

     

    The NAS does not sync but store remotely. The problems are different: An ancompatible filesystem, that may cause problems with files that cannot be written and database inconsistencies caused by transmission errors and broken database transactions. And you will need a very fast NAS; otherwise Aperture may be slow, if you have to access the database files inside your Library and not only the referenced originals across a network.

  • Joel 29 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Aperture is already slow when the library is stored on the on the local driver!

    Anyway, I understand that store the original in a NAS (Linux server?) but keep the library locally with referenced is safe and stable.

    I can continue to sleep well!

    Thank you.

  • SierraDragon Level 4 Level 4 (2,665 points)

    Aperture is not slow except when hardware is poorly chosen or improperly set up.

  • mozumder Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    The big problem with Aperture is that it uses TinySQL for it's database.  TinySQL databases isn't really meant to be shared among multiple users in parrallel.  You can't have more than one person open/read/modify/write TinySQL databases at once.

     

    Apple really needs to implement the Aperture database in a more robust database, such as MySQL, MariaDB, or PostGRES.  At that point it would be possible for Aperture to have multiple users on different computers open up a shared database on a network server (or on a local computer).

     

    It really shouldn't be too hard for Apple to convert to a more robust multi-user database though, as TinySQL is pretty much a subset of MySQL/MariaDB/PostGRES.

     

    As a magazine, I need for dozen or so people to open up my single Aperture database at once, to operate in parrallel.  Maybe the photographer imports the data from his computer onto a server, and other editors are reviewing photos seperately from their computers while reading from the main server.

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