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What is a good entry level scalable storage solution that is rack mountable?

We have been talking about slowly implementing a paperless office, and this has got me looking into my options for a storage solution that is scalable as our needs increase. I have seen various NAS, SAN, & DAS enclosures that look something like what I am looking for, but they seem to be extremely expensive. We only have a hand full of users accessing the information. Can anyone suggest a solution that would support the following

SBS 2003 Server
RAID Support (For redundancy possibility ...RAID 5)
Capability to add 1TB SATA drives as needed
Rack Mountable


http://www.nas.com.hk/images/Storage/s50.gif
This is the kind of device I have seen.

I am not sure I need the space for 12 drives right off the front end, but 4-8 to start with.

If there are any other specifics needed please let me know.

Thanks
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Bluelude1
Asked:
Bluelude1
1 Solution
 
garycaseCommented:
I gather from your comment r.e. "... they seem to be extremely expensive ..." and your other comment that you "... only have a hand full of users accessing the information ..." that you're looking for a reliable, but inexpensive solution.

You may want to check out UnRAID ... a product that allows you to add multiple drives of varying sizes, but retains a parity drive so it will tolerate any single drive failure.   From an error-correction perspective, this works just like a RAID-5 array; but it does not stripe the data across multiple drives, so the bandwidth is much lower ... you'll get read performance equivalent to a single drive; while write performance is about 1/4th that.

They sell pre-configured servers -- all you have to do is add your drives.
http://lime-technology.com/wordpress/?page_id=49
... or you can build your own server and just buy the UnRAID software.

The server is accessed via your network as \\Tower by default; but you can change that.   I've got a media server which I've named as \\Media to store my media collection (DVDs, music, etc.).   Currently has 12TB (9 1.5TB drives), but can grow to 22.5TB with additional 1.5TB drives or larger with the new 2TB drives.

Note that the pre-configured servers they sell don't include any rack-mounted systems;  but I believe they have rack-mounted options available (just no on the web site).   If not, it would be easy to build your own system using a nice rack-mounted chassis ==> this is very popular for large storage arrays for media servers:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811219021    That chassis with an appropriate motherboard, 1GB of memory, a CPU, and SATA controller card would make an excellent UnRAID server.
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