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I have a Linux NAS with Samba shares. It is in our LAN and will be accessed by 25-30 machines (most of them running Windows). There are 10-15 different shared folders with different rights for the different users.

In order to simplify for the users, I want to map network drive for everybody, each user will then have up to 15 network drives.

A previous network admin told me that he does not want to do that for resource concern, at that time, I did not question but now I do.

So, was my network admin right or can I go ahead and map drives?

Question of the resource is valid for both the server and client of course.

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The most important question is, what do you want to use this NAS for?

If your users work with small files (few MB), I say go ahead, do it, you most likely won't notice any change in the network.
If we are talking about bigger (for example media) files, that makes it more interesting. You have two important questions to ask yourself. 1) how often do users need to access the NAS and how big are the files they need to use? 2) what is the bottleneck of your network? By this I mean what is the maximum bandwidth of the NAS, switch, etc. If you copy a file from the NAS to your computer, what speed will it download? If 15 users will download a file at the same time, the speed will drop accordingly.

Also you will need a script/program that will have to run at startup and check if the network drives are mapped. At my company we have this method because these network maps can disappear because of users accidentally disconnecting it or the PC looses the network before someone logs in.

If you haven't yet, I highly recommend using RAID, else you will have a high chance of data loss.

  • Thanks for the reply though you do not really answer the question. I know the requirements about having a proper network and ensuring that if 15 people download at the same time, it will hit the ressources. also, if the network drives are not properly connected, then they will simply not work, no worry. And how the RAID thing has anything related to mapped drives or not? – Memes Apr 21 '16 at 8:45
  • @Memes - the RAID was only a suggestion. If the files that your users work with are important, you should minimize the chance of data loss. A NAS contains hard drives that may fail any time unexpectedly. RAID minimizes the chance of data loss if it fails. Your question was if the resources would be enough. I answered that you have to calculate this depending of the bottleneck speed of your network (that is probably the NAS), how frequent your users have to access it, and the size of the files your users work with. – Divin3 Apr 21 '16 at 9:38
  • yes, I understood that, but what is the difference between mapped network drive and standard access with \\NAS-name\share – Memes Apr 21 '16 at 10:52
  • @Memes - Now I understand your question. You were talking about mapped drive vs. unc path. Read this: superuser.com/questions/393397/… it will give you a perfect answer. – Divin3 Apr 21 '16 at 11:12
  • OK, so if I summarize, the only technical issue is the Laptop that is taken out of the network and can not connect the network drive then hangs... As in my office everyone is on desktop, that will then be fine. For the confusion issue or the conflict, that is all solved already by our Admin doing the config for everybody (and nobody going above E:\ by default). Am I right, no other "Technical" issue – Memes Apr 21 '16 at 11:25

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