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Applies To



Article Information

Reference #: KB 00040
Author: MarkJ
Created: 05.03.13
Last Revised: 08.03.15

Network Attached Storage (NAS) and StudioPlus Spectra


Applies To

This article applies to StudioPlus Spectra Express, Standard, and Professional users. The article does not apply to myStratus users.



Are you currently storing your StudioPlus Spectra database on a NAS or considering it?

In order to get the most trouble-free performance from StudioPlus Spectra, you must store your data in the best possible environment. While there are a number of factors that can influence Spectra performance, it all starts with where you store your shared database. We’ve had a number of customers with NAS devices experience problems with Spectra. After moving their data to a hard drive with a true Windows® operating system, most of their problems were resolved. In our research of NAS devices, we have read article after article advising against keeping any type of multi-user database, like Spectra or QuickBooks™, on a NAS drive.

For those that want more of an explanation, here goes! Most NAS drives use a lighter disk operating system, such as Linux®. At best, these operating systems “emulate” the file permissions, locking, and sharing used by Microsoft® Windows® operating systems. Emulation is never as good as the real thing! So why is this important for a multi-user database like Spectra? Think of it like this…Let’s say you’re running Photoshop™ on ten computers and all ten open the same image file on your server, modifying it and saving it at the same time. The operating system on the server plays the role of traffic cop to prevent collisions and file corruption. If the operating system does its job, the file will be fine. Otherwise, you better have a good backup because there's a very good chance your file will be corrupt! In reality, you may never experience the Photoshop situation just described, but you will have multiple people accessing your Spectra data at the same time, putting your Spectra database at risk of corruption.


So what do we recommend? Here are several suggestions:
  1. Pick one Windows computer that you can leave on all the time. Create a shared folder on that computer called "StudioPlus Data" and move your SAMDB.mdb into that folder. Use the Database Utility on each workstation to attach to the SAMDB.mdb in the new location.

  2. If you are adamant about using an NAS, make sure you have something in writing from your NAS manufacturer stating that they have tested and verified that their devices are compatible with Microsoft Access databases in a multi-user environment.

  3. Back up, back up, back up! Make sure you:
    1. Have DAILY backups of your data.
    2. Store your backups on a different device than your database computer or NAS device.
    3. Keep a copy of your backup off-site.
Better yet, use the StudioPlus DataSafe automatic online backup service! It's not a matter of if you'll ever need a backup, it's really just a matter of when! Check the references section below for more information.


Additional Information

+ Article: "Spectra Database Backup Best Practices"
+ Learn more about DataSafe