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Consolidate 3 computers' hard drives into one big one. (NAS/SAN)

Posted on 2007-03-20
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Last Modified: 2010-04-19
Hi there,
I'm running a Windows server machine and I have 3 other servers with a 500 GB drive. I want to consolidate the hard disks in all these servers so they appear as one big hard disk. I'm new to this SAN/NAS stuff.

Also, it would be awesome if I could somehow run a RAID 5 set between these 3 different computers so if one fails I could replace it.

Transfer speeds do not need to be too fast. Its only for offsite storage.

Can either of these be done? How?
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Question by:the_cyman
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 18761772
The only way I can think of to create a RAID 5 out of multiple computers would be to setup each existing server as an iSCSI target (no free software for this that I'm aware of for business), and then create a software RAID.  I really wouldn't recommend it, but I THINK it could be done.

NAS/SAN are storage technologies that require special hardware and/or software.  You'll have to buy a device or run a different operating system on at least one system if you want to do this.

The best way to do what you want is to take all three drives, put them in one server, and make the RAID 5 there (backup first, because you're going to have to wipe the drives to create the RAID 5).
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pgm554 earned 500 total points
ID: 18765111
You could just implement DFS(cheap way)

Otherwise I would look at Veritas Storage manager

http://www.symantec.com/enterprise/products/overview.jsp?pcid=1020&pvid=203_1
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 18787660
Your question doesn't really state what it is you are ultimately trying to achieve here.  Yes, you say you want to consolidate the hard disks in all these servers so they appear as one big hard disk.... but the question is WHY?  What will be achieved by this?

If this is just a science experiment, then that's fine... but please let us know that's what we're helping you with.  Otherwise, what's your real goal here... are you trying to create redundancy?  High Availability?  Reliability?  

Thanks.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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