Storage Advice Needed!

We currently use Lotus Notes for email and databases.  The problem we have now is we are running out of space to store data.  We have tried putting data on another server and having Lotus try to access the data on the other server but run into the problem of a slow connection when trying to access the data which causes problems when trying to connect to the database.  We have the Lotus Notes data on a Dell Poweredge server. I want to know what is a good way to add storage space for our databases and also make sure we have a fast connection to the storage space so we don't have the unable to connect issue due to slow connections and time outs.  We are on a tight budget so we are looking for good cost effective solutions.  Thanks for the help in advance.
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Have you thought about adding a gigabit adaptors/switchs to the file servers ?
You could add external storage to the Dell using an external array like a Powervault.
Adaptec has some decent external systems too.
How much storage are we talking about?

What kind of network connection exists between the mail server and storage server?

Why not just add another hard drive?
They are certainly cheap enough these days.

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Add some more disks to your raid array. This is usually not that difficult if you are using a good raid controller. A raid 5 array gets faster the more disks are added (at least reading gets faster).
simple and immediate would be to add a USB hard drive to your server.  You can get that at any computer store.

next easiest would be expanding the drive array you current have for the server.  takes a little bit more but once you know what kind of drives you need it should be hard.

The last I would go for would be placing the files on another server and then UNC'ing to that server for the space.  The overhead that you have with file sharing just isn't what Lotus had planned when they built Notes.  Local attached storage is best.

Hardest option is to convert to exchange if that's a direction you want to go.
It'll be a "take 'er offline for a bit" job, but...

1 - Buy a good PCI SATA-II RAID controller and a couple of large SATA-II drives.
2 - Take the server offline and copy the entire database to another location.
3 - Make a second copy of the database somewhere else.
4 - Delete the entire database from the server, insuring you have an empty folder when done.
5 - Install the SATA-II goodies.
6 - Start the server, enter the controller's BIOS and configure it for mirroring.
7 - Go on into the NOS.
8 - Enter Disk Management and configure the new drives as mounted drive in the now empty data folder.
9 - Copy the database back to the folder.
10 - Restart all services and restart the server.

All done.  Seems kind of convoluted, but it works well, and your info is still RAID protected, and at a reasonable price.

Good luck.
USB sucks.
It's flakey and in a production environment ,not a very good idea.
I have as of yet used a product from any manuf that I would trust.
Just not ready for prime time.
As said above, obviously you install bigger disks, but since a DELL, you probably are maxed out and cannot.  If you really want to hear the most cost effective solution, relegate the dell to a user who likes the stuff, and buy yourself a NEW system with 4 500GB hard drives, you can get this for under $1500 right now, and it is foolish to try to add highpriced stuff to a DELL when you can buy a clone that will run rings around it.  Sorry to be so blunt about Dell, but I had to service them, until I told dell, "No more!!" your stuff doesnt last.
BTW the comment above mine about USB is exactly correct.  You should NEVER rely on it for dependability.
Rosen500Author Commented:
Scratchcyboy, what kind of system are you talking about getting with 4 500GB hard drives for under $1500?  I would love to know because I have been seeing systems with this kind of storage space for around $3,000.  Thanks
r u considerind a tape backup unit,if not then  your solution can be in RAID.

Why not to think about adding SAN storage to your server. If FC switches and HBA is expensive for you then you can use the latest technology (SCSI over IP) or iSCSI.

You can download iscsi driver free from Microsoft and install it on your server. Then you can connect (over Ethernet) to your iscsi storage system “for performance, try to isolate your iscsi network from your user network).

I will recommend storevault as the best solution for SMB. Storevault recently announced by NETAPP (NETAPP one of the largest NAS/SAN storage companies in the world). This product addressed to small and medium business only.

Also in storagevault, you can combine multiple Ethernet interfaces and trunk it as one big pipe (ex. 2 or 3 Gbit/s) but you will probably hit the disk utilization bottleneck before hitting your network bandwidth bottleneck.

Storevault comes with most of the great feature of NetApp storage such as:

RAID-DP, (double parity) technology prevents data loss in the event of a second drive failure.

Snapshot, technology provides point-in-time images of the entire file system.

FlexVol, which allows capacity to be allocated on the fly without disrupting users or applications.
Check the following URL for more information about storevault

You seem to have a standard template response of 'Buy StoreVault' for all NAS / SAN queries - Are you a reseller ;-)
Plus NetApp StoreVault is currently only sold in the USA so not applicable for everyone.

Definitely abandonded by original poster.
Delete without refund...
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