6 Replies Latest reply on Dec 21, 2011 6:29 AM by torch_55

    Peer to peer networking across a networked drive

    torch_55

      FileMaker has this warning on it's home page regarding peer-to-peer sharing, "FileMaker issues a warning if you open a file as a host across a networked drive and the recommended configuration is to locate the files on 'your computer".

       

      The problem with this is that a local drive on a computer is usually not backed up by the network. Where as a network drive is usually backed up nightly. I have hosted a database located on a network drive in a peer-to-peer sharing configuration and have not had any problems. I would appreciarte any experiences that other have with doing peer-to-peer sharing. For instance FileMaker warns that hosting a database can cause performance issues on teh host computer if it is used for other things as well. Again I have doen this without significant issues. Annyone else?

       

      Thanks for your comments.

       

      Rick

        • 1. Re: Peer to peer networking across a networked drive
          databuzz

          Hi Rick,

           

          A couple of quick comments. Apart from the performance issue (FileMaker should be able to read/write to the local drive faster than a network drive) there's also the issue of file integrity. If your connection to the network drive is lost whilst the file is open (e.g. someone trips over the network cable, the server hosting the network drive is shutdown etc) then the file could become damaged and fail to open the next time you attempt to open it.

           

          Obviously having a backup is essential regardless of how you host the file, but if having a copy on the network drive is important for backup reasons then you could still host the file on a local drive and have a copy saved to the network drive periodically. This could happen automatically using the Install OnTimer Script step which saves a compressed copy every x hours to the network drive with a timestamped filename, or you could manually perform a script that saves a copy to the network drive as required.

           

          If you need an example of how this might work check out this example:

           

          http://www.filemakerhacks.com/?p=2805

           

          HTH,

          Andrew

           

          FileMaker 8/9/10/11 Certified Developer

          Databuzz

          - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

          Phone: +61 2 9484 6565

          Mobile: +61 418 468 103

          Email: andrew@databuzz.com.au

          Web: www.databuzz.com.au

          • 2. Re: Peer to peer networking across a networked drive
            jormond

            The key in warning is the 'open the file as a host'.  Meaning you navigate to the network drive and double click that file to open it.  If accessing a network file, the file should be open and hosted on the networked machine and you connect to it via Open Remote (or via a shortcut that does the same thing).  Opening the file directly over a network will cause data corruption.  It will 'work fine' for a while and then you will start noticing little problems that get worse...calcs not calcing properly, missing values, etc.

             

            How are you backing up your file?  NEVER, and I mean never allow a third party software to touch your open FileMaker file.  That will also cause data corruption.  The only safe ways to backup the file are:

            1. Close the file down, backup the file, reopen.
            2. From your local machine, as the file host (file on your local machine), use the 'Save a copy as' command or script step and save the copy to the network drive. Let backup routine run on the network drive.
            3. From the network machine, use the 'Save a copy as' to save a full copy to a folder on the network drive.  Then run the backup on the folder that you store your file copies...but not on the open file itself.  It's not a good idea to have anything else running on a machine that is hosting a FileMaker database.  Especially if you have multiple users.  The machine will be busy with the requests coming into FileMaker, leave it alone to do it's thing.
            • 3. Re: Peer to peer networking across a networked drive
              torch_55

              Thanks, Jormond! Your suggestions are greatly appreciated. By chance do you have an idea on how to delete the old time stamped files after 90 days or so; other than by hand. Would like to make it all simple for end user.

               

              Sent from Rick's iPhone

              • 4. Re: Peer to peer networking across a networked drive
                jormond

                Plugins are really nice for that.  I would imagine you could do it via Send Event on Windows or AppleScript on a Mac.  I'd have to test a few things...never done the delete thing that is conditional.

                 

                You may even be able to run that through the task scheduler on Windows and whatever Mac's equivalent is...but I would need to test it.  Anyone else know of the top of your head?

                • 5. Re: Peer to peer networking across a networked drive
                  s

                  torch_55 wrote:

                   

                  By chance do you have an idea on how to delete the old time stamped files after 90 days or so; other than by hand. Would like to make it all simple for end user.

                  Hi Rick,

                  NOTE: This solution is Mac only and not for the faint of (command line) heart.

                  This article (http://wiki.springsurprise.com/2011/10/15/automatic-log-rotation-in-mac-os-x/) tells how to add your logfile location to OS X's periodic maintenance routines so it gets automatically archived.

                  If you google log rolling os x, you'll get some other ideas how to handle log files.

                   

                  --

                  Steve Moore

                  Cumberland, Maine

                  • 6. Re: Peer to peer networking across a networked drive
                    torch_55

                    Thanks, Steve. It looks like I might just delete the files by had. It isn't all that much bother and better than running amuck.