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Enterprise grade storage

we are looking for some ideas on storage for our back solution.
-          Capacity of 25TB to 35TB
-          No tape we are looking for disk
-          Cost is a factor
-          Performance is not an issue  
-          Scalable would be nice but not a must
-          Redundancy would be nice but not a must
-          Support doesn't have to be top notch
-          iSCSI no fibre channel

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3 Solutions
Make yourself an iSCSI appliance similar to what many cloud vendors do.  
 1) Use one of the flavors of opensolaris like illuminos.org or nexenta with a 6Gbit LSI SAS-2 JBOD controller
 2) buy enterprise-class SATA drives in 2-3 TB RANGE, and a pair of the smallest SSDs you can find (32GB is plenty).
 3) configure it any way you prefer.  Read up on ZFS.  You can do hot snapshot, expansion, multiple RAID levels, and if you need a performance boost, you can mirror that pair of SSDs into the RAID pool and it will work as a write cache.   A

It will be highly reliable.  google up on zfs and software raid to familiarize yourself.  If you want hand holding, buy a nexenta-based solution.
Syed Mutahir AliTechnology ConsultantCommented:
ZFS Based :

Above is a ZFS Based storage solution, community edition offers 18TB free (So you can build two boxes if need be) ; You would have to get in touch with the vendor to get a quote really, as solutions, requirements, budget and other aspects come into play when designing a storage solution

You can also contact www.netapp.com (they offer some good boxes and are loaded with useful features too).

As I am not clearly aware of your budget, I think a good thing to do would be to try the nexenta community edition or the trial from there website, get to know and match it against your requirements - you can then contact the nexenta people to see whether they fit your budget.


Another option (Considering that you don't need much of what or why a Storage box is graded as Enterprise) ; You can build a custom box :

For E.g. supermicro chasis and purchase SATA 7200 RPM Hard Drives and use Nexenta / ZFS on it, http://www.supermicro.com/index.cfm 

You can purchase a 4U Box and use 1TB x 25 or whatever expansion you get on that chasis and controller.

Check there website out and give them a call to find out which chasis suits your storage requirements.

You would also need to consider good amount of RAM (minimum 16GB to start with or I would recommend 24GB RAM atleast) but you can start from minimum and increase if need be.

Hope that helps
DelmirocAuthor Commented:
really great suggestions and ideas, thanks guys. we are looking for a box fully assembled something that we can plugin, configure it and go. I will check out the netapp.com guys, are there any others. Our budget is limit so I would need to keep this under a "reasonable" cost for storage.
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HP MSA. (Series depends on disc size, speed etc) or possibly 2of them. Easy to set up and scalable. Plug in another unit hot and configure it and double your size with no down time etc.
What is your budget?   Also lots of good stuff you can buy used.
DelmirocAuthor Commented:
no budget has been set for this project. I'm just trying to see what options are out there. used storage where ? :)
Local used computer dealers.  It is a buyers market.  Frankly I could put together everything you need for a few thousand dollars and you would end up with what was once a $20,000 HP server maybe 5 years ago.
Syed Mutahir AliTechnology ConsultantCommented:
What is the ROLE you intend to assign to this storage ?

Is this a backup storage for some of your data or ?

You can also look into freenas, openfiler (google the names and you will find them)

I would vote for ZFS based storage, you can also install OpenIndiana (opensource)

All Free Software to setup ZFS based storage :


A recent free-lance project I did for a charity org. which required around 10TB, I simply bought a Intel Mobo and Processor, it had 6xSata Controllers on-board, plugged 5 x 2TB HDDs (7200RPM), a 80GB SATA as a BOOT Drive and installed OpenIndiana, then used nappit web based gui to configure there storage.

Corei3, 16GB RAM

The above costed around 900USD.

So, looking at the above, you can also get a corei3 with 16GB RAM, 2 x GB NICs, 5 x 2TB, 1 x 64GB SSD, 1 x 80GB OS BOOT DRIVE, I would recommend a SATA Disk Controller Card so that you can plug more hard drives or get a Intel server board which gives you around 7 - 8 SATA Connections with a good PSU too.

Once you have that, you can then create a Storage pool or you can simply purchase a Supermicro box with your required number of hard drives (calculate) and then install OpenIndiana with nappit.

Hope this helps
.. zfs is an absolute must.
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