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Connect Hardware Requirements


markjrouse
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Hi,

 

I was wondering when the Connect manual was going to be updated to reflect the hardware requirements of evidence data at different sizes?  I have been advised that the requirements are very similar to that of Team.  However, in the Intella manual hardware requirements stop at the evidence size of 100-500GB tier.  What about above this threshold?

 

Also, what hardware requriements are needed for 10-25 reviewers when your evidence data is 100-500GBs or more?

 

Regards

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Pending the official response I think the most important component for a Connect server/host is RAM, more is better.

 

If you are planning on using Connect to undertake the indexing as well (which is coming soon I believe) then CPU and HDD speed/configuration will play an important role as well, but if you intend to index on a separate machine with TEAM then upload to a pure Connect server then RAM is the most important component in my opinion.

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Selecting a Computer to Host Your Intella Software
 

It is always important to select a computer with ample resources to run the software that will be installed on the host machine as well as the various tasks it will be supporting. With today’s case sizes this is especially important when you are choosing a computer that will be running any form of ESI processing software. Below are the most important hardware elements to consider when selecting a computer to host Intella:

  • The Processor – The processor or CPU is often the first component that comes to mind when discussing the performance of a PC. The processor carries out the instructions of the applications running on the PC. Any sort of software application that deals with a great amount of data analysis will require a respectable processor. However, when the memory and hard drive used do not meet or exceed the recommended standard, the processor can easily become underutilized. As a general rule, only Intel Core i7 processors meant for desktop or server use should be considered for your host computer. Do not use a processor meant for mobile (laptop) use. More cores and higher specs is always better, but consider investing in more memory and fast disks first before choosing for a high-end processor.
  • Memory – Specifically referred to as RAM, your computer requires a certain amount of memory to temporarily store the data and code it is working on. Simply put, the more memory, the more data your computer can work with at once, otherwise it must constantly utilize your hard disk for temporary storage or postpone certain tasks. This can greatly slow down your computer. Anything less than 8 GB should not even be considered. Also know that since Windows Vista, Windows may use the memory that is considered as “free” as a disk cache. This greatly increases the performance of your PC. While memory chips can come in different speeds, more memory typically beats faster memory.
  • The Hard Drive – There are two important elements to consider when considering hard drives. The first is the required storage space. In addition to the space required for your operating systems and applications, you need room to store your evidence files and for Intella to store its case files.  On average you should allow two times the size of your evidence files for storage space for the case files. It is important however not to overlook the speed of your drives. Example of this is the spin speed of the drive. A laptop, 2.5 size USB enclosures and most eco-friendly drives spin much slower than high performance drives. In simple terms this means it will take longer to read or write data to those drives. Laptops, 2.5 size USB and eco drives such as the Western Digital Green spin at approximately 5400 RPM, upper end SATA drives have a 7200 RPM, and SAS and SCSI have a 10,000+ RPM. The faster the disk spins, the faster it can read/write to or from the disk. Then there is SSD drives that are much faster at read / write based on there being no moving parts. There are other factors such as  the drives transfer rates and hard drive cache sizes. However spin speed is a good indicator of overall speed of the drive.

The installed software is another serious consideration, although the software requirements are pretty straightforward

  • Operating System - Whether you prefer Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, a 64-bit operating system is pretty much required, as a 32-bit version of these operating systems cannot accommodate more than 4 GB or memory. The “Home” or “Starter” editions are not recommended as they again limit the maximum amount of memory and CPUs. Please use the “Pro”, “Enterprise” or “Ultimate” versions instead.
  • Microsoft Office – Office 2007 or a newer version such as 2010 or 2013 is highly recommended if you intend to export your results to a PST file.
  • Lotus Notes – Lotus Notes 9.0 or higher is required for indexing NSF files. Check the user manual for specific minor versions that are not recommended.

Below are some suggested minimum resource specification packages that are recommended for each of our products. It is usually better to exceed the minimum requirements listed. Naturally, larger evidence sets require more processing time and have higher system requirements than smaller evidence files.

 

Intella 100

 

INT100.jpg

 

Intella 250

Larger evidence files require more processing time and have higher system requirements than smaller evidence files. This is why the Intella 250 version requires additional memory.

 

INT250.jpg

 

Intella Professional / TEAM Manager / Connect*

Intella TEAM Manager and Intella Connect allow you to share your case data with multiple users simultaneously, either via Intella Viewer or a web browser. Intella Professional, Intella TEAM Manager and Intella Connect all allow in principle for unlimited case sizes (the hypothetical maximum size is entirely determined by the hardware, evidence type and type of use). These factors together add even further demands on the host computer.

A hard drive RAID configuration can add redundancy and fault tolerance to your computer so that if one drive fails, your data is not lost. A RAID configuration may also increase the speed of your read and write operations. Whether you get fault tolerance, speed improvements or both depends on the specific RAID configuration. How to configure a RAID setup is beyond the scope of this guide.
 

TEA_PRO_CONNECT.jpg

 

It is Vound’s expectation that processing and exporting will be undertaken on a different system to the system hosting the shared case with Intella TEAM Manager or Intella Connect. 

 

The Connect Server* will match the minimum specifications of the computer recommended above. However it does not require the Evidence and Optimization disk drives.  It should also take advantage of a fast network connection to ensure the best reviewer experience. 

The specifications above relate to a 500 gigabyte case or below. Cases above 500 gigabytes should add 32 gigabytes of RAM per 500 gigabytes of ESI indexed (Example; a 1TB case should have no less than 64 gig and appropriate hardware specifications).

 

 

 

Intella Viewer

 

INTV.jpg

Intella Connect client PC

The client PCs used to review a case hosted by Intella Connect should have a minimum of 4 GB RAM and have an up-to-date web browser installed. All major web browsers (Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome) are supported. See the online documentation for notes on the limitations of specific browser versions, most notably Internet Explorer 8.

 

Configuration Considerations

Case file storage and access:

 

Dev-Spec.jpg

 

Network storage:  in principle Vound does not recommend using network storage. This is due to the amount of errors seen in support caused by interrupted network traffic or permissions. While using fast network storage is an option, users should know that any network issue big or small can potentially cause irreversible database corruptions.

 

Case file size requirements:  for each case that is processed, the amount of recommended space depends on the number of items indexed, total size of data as well as the type and length of the expected reviews. As stated earlier, you should allow two times the size of your evidence file set.
 

Windows Server:  some organizations require Intella or Intella Connect to run on Windows Server. While it is technically possible to run the software on Windows Server, Intella or Intella Connect will typically not benefit from running on a server OS, unless you reach the maximum amount of RAM or CPUs supported by the desktop OS.

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Thanks Adam. 

 

At the moment I get asked a lot "with our current server, how many reviewers can log into the system"?. It's hard to know until I can know how much data is involved.  My last case involved 1TB of data so it was difficult to assess if my current server would handle it.  There are no official guidelines for Connect!

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Hi Mark,

 

We get this question a lot. The issue with answering it accurately is as follows.

 

In our opinion there are five factors to a successful job. Ignore these five factors and even highest specification system may not be enough to ensure success. 

 

The user/reviewers experience

An experienced user can get away with a much lesser computer if he manages that system correctly. If they plan the case and trains the reviewers to not undertake tasks such as  tag 1 million items for no real need. Not to export unnecessarily and not to tax the system with other applications.  In short to understand and to think about the effects of his/her action on the other reviewers.

 

The evidence

The 80/20 rule can apply here. 80% of your data will be fine and index with no issues. 20% will take as long as the other 80% if it has corruption or does not play well with others. The users experience applies here, they will need to know how to spot, identify and repair any issues.

 

Example: If you are not checking the data how will you know that something has not been missed or needed pre processing before indexing. Perhaps your AV has blocked 20% of your data, or you needed to preprocess some files so that Intella can read them. Encrypted, OCR, custom metadata fields and some older mail formats come to mind).  

 

There is also the makeup of the data to consider. If you have 100 gigabytes of zipped files that contain 1 gig + text files that can affect the case dramatically. Again the user needs to understand the data they are indexing. 

 

Mail will take more resources than loose docs. The system specifications needed for 1TB of mail may be very different to 1TB of loose documents.

 

The system specifications and usage

Spec the system to the importance of the job and the other four factors. Don't understand the data makeup? Have inexperienced users who click first and ask questions later?  When the lawyer / reviewer insists on adding a million items to a tag followed by exporting all million to PDF / TIFF so he can print them off - when he is one of eight reviewer on the case. Add a hardware buffer and offer training.  

 

The software

How well the software performs will impact on the computer needed. But again the best software on earth when faced with inexperienced users and data corruption can sometimes have issues.  A high spec machine is no guarantee of a perfect case. 

 

 

The deadline - A.K.A the 2am factor

Often the biggest factor or no factor at all. If the case really, really has to be done in a week. 

 

  • Spec the computer to ensure it will not be a problem.
  • Plan the case. What tags will be used. What will be tagged.  When and what will be printed / exported by who and so on. 
  • Ensure the users are trained to be able to follow the best practice you specify
  • Look at the data. What is the make up. Does it have a lot of files that will be of no use to you. Can you de dup ahead of indexing.
  • If you are using load files have you agreed a format prior to accepting / creation of the load file. Cannot tell you how often we get support questions that start with "My load file is not working"  
  • Finally - BACK UP THE CASE. Failure to do so will end in tears. 

 

 

So when we are asked what computer should we use for 1TB of data the above is why it is hard to answer.  What would save us a lot of time would be to offer a blanket answer such as. Get a Dell720 with 256 RAM or equivalent other brand ($15K-25K+) . It will ensure the computer is up to the task but in many cases overkill and out of many peoples budget. 

 

Hope this helps in some way. 

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Thanks.  This is very useful, and much appreciated.

 

Just one question: we have a server with an Intel® Core™i7 Six Core Processor i7-5930K (3.5GHz) with 15MB Cache, 64GBs of RAM, an SSD for Windows 8.1 Pro, and two internal SATA WD Red disks.  I have a spare Seagate 3TB internal SATA drive which I could add to the server to use for the Indexing Optimzation Folder.

 

In terms of the number of reviewers that can log onto Connect, is there a specific number I can advise on if we had 1TB of evidence data (based on reading the above post 1TB would be the upper limit)? Could 10 reviewers log on and use the system with out expreience any slow down, or should it be limited to 5 reviewers?

 

With our current server I want to be able to say that the maximum amount of data it can handle is 1TB of data and x number of reviewers.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi all,

Having read this thread and also other posts, I guess I have a clarity as to what specs are needed for the processing unit of Intella Connect (I personally use the Pro version).

I consider however separating of processing machine from hosting one, which is as I understand a solution recommended by Vound Software...

However with respect to the hosting machine I don't have clarity about the minimum/ required/ recomended specs. 

Most suggestions in this thread seems to refer to only processing or mixed processing/ hosting units, which clearly need much more power than a purely hosting unit.

Under the heading 'Case file storage and access', which I believe refers to hosting IC cases, VS writes primarily about hard drives (internal vs. external, etc,), OS and network connection, ommitting any suggestions/ requirements for server's CPU and RAM...

Of course, the more powerful machine, the better, but why to pay for another state-of-art machine, if it's not needed from technical perspective?

I also understand that there is no simple answer about specs without adopting prior assumptions about number of cases, their size or number of reviewers or experience of reviewers.

AdamS in host post suggested that RAM is key for hosting.

Can any of the admins confirm this and if possible explain this matter a little broader, please?

Thanks

 

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Hi Questa,

 

We recommend the following. 

 

CPU: Multiple CPUs and cores
RAM: 32 GB RAM or more
Drives: Two Disks - 
SATA3 or RAID highly recommended

  • One SATA 3 physical disk for OS
  • One SATA 3 physical disk for Case File

Network: Faster the better

 

The Connect Server* will match the minimum specifications of the computer recommended above. However it does not require the Evidence and Optimization disk drives.  It should also take advantage of a fast network connection to ensure the best reviewer experience. 

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