Description of problem / environment
We currently have around 100 GB of CAD files (90k files, 6k directories) stored in a couple of Subversion repositories. It seems an unnecessary hassle / burden to keep this much binary data in Subversion. It's also a burden for people to check in new files as they need to add & checkout a directory before they can commit. The only "advantage", being able to just right click and "update", has the penalty of 2 copies of each file being stored (how svn works), and being very slow. There is no meaningful version history to the files - i.e., the CAD files are not modified further one they are added, or if so, in this particular case it is not data we care about - only the current, latest state, or HEAD...thus exporting the data out of SVN is straightforward. Editing the files is not really part of workflow and is more likely to be accidental, and it involves 5+ CAD systems so I'm not sure a "PLM" type system would really be ideal or warranted.
The current environment of the file server is Windows Server 2003 - that will likely change in 6 months time (either to server 2008 R2 + big RAID 6, or a NAS, probably server 2008 R2 involved either way)
Due to the sheer size, no one really checks out all the parts (or even a given directory) very often and there is already a read-only network share that updates itself once a day from Subversion. The auto-update process breaks all the time (svn working copy gets dirty or in a bad state and needs to be cleaned). That is how the majority of users access these parts so they are fairly used to accessing from share already, it's primarily a change to how parts get added.
What new workflow options are there? Am I missing anything?
I'd like to update our workflow for dealing with CAD files. The current on the table consideration is going to a straight windows network share. Ideally maintaining this read-only behavior, but obviously people need a place to dump new files and have them be added to the share. If the network share becomes the primary source of the data it will be important that people aren't opening, editing, and saving the files all the time. I suppose the importance of that is debatable, but generally if editing, the contract is they copy them to their PC so the "main" copy of a given file isn't modified for everyone else.
Is it not worth the hassle trying to separate adding files from accessing them? (to maintain read-only access of the share)
Setting the share to write but not modify isn't necessarily an option (if maintaining read-only is a core requirement), as CAD systems like Pro/ENGINEER Take CAD file XYZ.prt, and each save increment a number... Eg. XYZ.prt.1, XYZ.prt.2, etc, which will result in many copies if people are accidentally saving to the share.
So far I have a hazy idea that I can script something to handle a writable "drop box" that copies to the share, and for example...denies zip files, and refuses to overwrite any files. This leaves me with the manual duty of deleting any files (occasionally necessary, but rare - or could be given to a select group of users). Maybe despite its imperfection Subversion isn't terrible...I'm looking for some other opinions here. What I don't want is to change everyone's workflow only to make the situation more work for me or the users (30-40 users).