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Using Hard disk space of individual computers on LAN

Posted on 2012-04-03
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Last Modified: 2012-04-04
We have approx. 100 Computers in LAN, windows environment. Most of the capacity of hard disk of computers is under utlized.

Can I do some thing where I can utlized the share of all individual hard disks to give one picture of one single space - some thing like "Grid Computing". Though Grid computing used processing power, I here want to used - hard disk space of all computers and - give picture on single space.

Plz advice about different ways.

Regards,
Ashish
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Question by:Ahishkumar
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9 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Chetan Khurana
ID: 37800581
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LVL 6

Accepted Solution

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awaggoner earned 200 total points
ID: 37800910
Would you want to keep all 100 computers on 24x7?  In addition to the power usage, you would have issues when some computers are off.  Data needs to be available when it is needed.  Plus, you would have the challenge of backing everything up and preventing the local users from deleting the unknown files/folders on 'their' computers.

I always purchase PCs with as small of a hard drive as possible.  Plus, I will soon be implementing VDI and thin clients where there will be no local hard drive at all.

You can get Terabytes of storage with QNAP SAN/NAS servers for very little money.
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LVL 69

Assisted Solution

by:Callandor
Callandor earned 75 total points
ID: 37800996
Bad idea - hard drives in desktops are nowhere near as good as enterprise class drives.  As mentioned before, if you put a database on all these drives, what happens if one of them goes offline?  Unlike cpus, you can't do load balancing on hard drives if the data resides on a particular drive.
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Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 75 total points
ID: 37804895
as said - it does not look like a good idea
reasons :
-you have different disk models and speeds
-you need a  connection at disk speed between them
-what if a disk fails, or develops bad sectors?  how to find the bad one?
-where to backup ?
-do they have the same OS and Filesystem ?


there maybe other reasons as well
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LVL 18

Assisted Solution

by:BigSchmuh
BigSchmuh earned 100 total points
ID: 37805791
Good idea for specific usage like archives, backups, files that do not require a low latency access

Many sw exists to support that kind of feature. AMHO, none of those are mature enough ... but they may worth a try.
Most of them are available from googling "desktop storage grid"
BitDew can be a good open source challenger.
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LVL 17

Assisted Solution

by:Gerald Connolly
Gerald Connolly earned 50 total points
ID: 37808460
This question has been asked a lot and although there is some software out there, i agree with @BigSchmuh its nowhere near mature enough, and why would you want to go to all that hassle and with all those problems (see comments by @awaggoner, @Callandor & @nobus) when a low cost NAS box will easily provide an equivalent capacity but without all the issues.
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Assisted Solution

by:awaggoner
awaggoner earned 200 total points
ID: 37808471
Not to mention the potential security issues.

Could you imagine trying to explain how your personally identifiable information is secure even though it is spread out over 200 desktops without the same levels of physical and logical security as your data center?  Especially considering the fact that it would not be as secure.
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LVL 18

Assisted Solution

by:BigSchmuh
BigSchmuh earned 100 total points
ID: 37809126
Your files can be secured...encryption and redundancy allow both confidentiality and reliability.
Some "desktop storage grid" handle those features...
I'll give one example:
-take a blockbuster movie file that should be on the public domain for years ("Cinderella" ?)
-share it on a "good" P2P network
==> A few minutes after starting the P2P seeding process, your file is stored at so many locations that you can't loose it any more. Sustaining this process is not that complex in a managed environment...and you don't need to backup as well.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Ahishkumar
ID: 37809616
Thanks every one..!!!
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