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I have 600 tiff files of aerial imagery (180MB each) on an external thumb drive. I need to transfer the tiff files from my desktop PC (Windows 7 pro) to a network attached storage (NAS) device attached to my virtual server (Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard). I have a 20 Mbps broadband connection on my desktop PC and a 1 Gbps connection on the virtual server. I have tried the following workflow:

  1. Create VPN connection to virtual server
  2. Map the NAS attached to the virtual server
  3. Pull up two Windows Explorer windows: one for the tiff files on my PC and another for the destination folder
  4. Copy the tiff files and paste to the mapped destination folder on the virtual server.

This method is painfully slow. What is a better, more efficient method to transfer files between a PC and a virtual server? Unfortunately, attaching an external drive to the VM host computer is not an option.

  • Are you on the same network as the virtual server? – oldmud0 Jun 19 '15 at 23:09
  • @oldmud0 No, I have to connect to the VM via a VPN connection. – Borealis Jun 19 '15 at 23:10
  • Do you own the NAS, or is it in a datacenter? Can you connect to the NAS itself with a non-VPN connection on the same network? – oldmud0 Jun 19 '15 at 23:11
  • @oldmud0 It is in a data center and I work remotely, so I cannot directly upload the files. No, I am forced to connect via a VPN connection. – Borealis Jun 19 '15 at 23:15
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I did it with USB, You can plug it into Your PC, copy files on it, after finished, add it to the virtual machine.

Pro: fast

Con: no direct connection

For more solutions read this

EDIT: if You have only 20 Mbps upload speed on the desktop PC, then you will not be able to directly upload with more than 2.5 megabytes/second over the Ethernet. So You need to have a physical access to the PC running the virtual server/NAS. Than You can speed things up with the USB solution.

  • It is the "add it to the virtual machine" part that I am trying to optimize. – Borealis Jun 19 '15 at 23:11
  • what kind of virtual machine are You using? – Divin3 Jun 19 '15 at 23:12
  • It is a VM running Windows Server 2008 R2 hosted at a data center. – Borealis Jun 19 '15 at 23:22
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Since your NAS is located in a data center, you have very few options:

  • You could compress the images into a significantly smaller format, such as JPEG (set to 100%), PNG, or even RAW. That would make your life much easier, especially when you have to download all that back onto your desktop.
  • Put it all in a compressed archive (7z) and send it through. It would go slightly faster since it is one huge file rather than many tiny ones (and thus the upload would not
  • If it is allowed, contact the datacenter to coordinate mailing in a 150 GB drive containing all your imagery (180 MB x 600 = 108 GB).
  • Don't put it in the data center, and just keep numerous offline backups of the data instead.
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As @oldmud0 suggested, TIFF is a very inefficient format - you might get traction by converting the files to PNG (which won't loose the quality but is way smaller), or by compressing the files using ZIP before transferring them.

Another solution (which will be slower, but does not involve tampering with the files) would be to set up a VPN between the computer the files are being uploaded through and the server - the trick will be to turn compression ON on the VPN. You can, however drag and drop the files and get a substantial speedup.

Something else to be aware of - you have not specified the type of connection you have. Lots of connections (ADSL, VDSL in particular) advertise a speed which is the DOWNLOAD speed - the upload speed is very often only a small fraction of the upload speed. Thus if you have an ADSL connection with a 20 meg download, it is quite likely your upload speed is only 1 megabit - and this will be causing significant slowdown.

Another option which might be worth looking at - depending on your country etc, might be to go somewhere which has a high speed Internet connection and just upload the files from there (For example an Internet Cafe or Library connected by Fibre - there may or may not be issues with the amount of bandwidth you intend to use depending on the establishment and connectivity between them and the server.

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