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Need a reliable, scalable, network storage solution

Posted on 2013-01-18
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Last Modified: 2013-02-01
I am looking for a network accessible storage solution.  I am currently using a NAS to store backups.  I am looking to set up another one somewhere else on the LAN.  I will need the ability to add storage space to this NAS when necessary.

My question is, how to configure the new one when I pick it out.  If I go with a NAS that has many drive bays, I am assuming that to expand storage space it is not as simple as inserting another drive if it is configured in some sort of RAID.  All of the NAS I have seen so far have been running a RAID of some sort, and I like the idea of having some data redundancy in case a drive fails.

So in other words, I would like a NAS that I can run with some sort of a RAID configuration, but one that I can add storage space to if it fills up.  If there is another option that is better I would be open to hear that.  Also if anyone has a NAS that they recommend I would like to hear about that too.
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Question by:ercasey
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6 Comments
 
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by:David
ID: 38795203
Budget and usable capacity??
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Frosty555 earned 1200 total points
ID: 38795299
Under normal circumstances - yes you can't just add a disk. But some NAS do have the ability to perform online RAID capacity expansion without destroying the whole array first. It is a vendor-specific proprietary feature.

QNAP in particular I know supports it. Read their article on it here:

http://docs.qnap.com/nas/en/index.html?raid_management.htm
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by:millardjk
millardjk earned 800 total points
ID: 38796490
There are two different products I can suggest. First is the Drobo B800fs.
http://drobo.com/products/business/b800fs/index.php

It may not have some of the capability of other NAS boxes, but when it somes to expansion, it's dead simple.

The other boxes I can recommend are the Synology (http://synology.com) DS1812+ and DS2413+. Both start with a set number of bays (8 & 12, respectively), and can be expanded beyond that number with additional expansion chassis (2x 5-bay for the DS1812+; 1x 12-bay for the DS2413+). Synology has a variant of LVM where space on an existing volume can be expanded by adding or replacing drives in pairs (the process is done one-at-a-time for data protection, but the space expansion isn't realized until the 2nd drive of the pair is initialized).

It's a little more complicated to manage than the Drobo, but the units are also faster and more versatile.
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LVL 30

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by:pgm554
ID: 38796627
Well,if you get Server 2012,it has a new feature called ReFS.

You can set up a server as an iSCSi target and build out your storage from there.
No hardware RAID required.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/01/16/building-the-next-generation-file-system-for-windows-refs.aspx
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by:David
ID: 38796886
ReFS isn't ready for prime time ... still.  (Plus the microsoft tax is better applied to going with quality enterprise class disks when you are on a budget)

Go with one of the open flavors of solaris or LINUX.  The vast majority of NAS appliances run LINUX and software RAID anyway.
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Author Comment

by:ercasey
ID: 38837409
Thanks for all the comments.  I'm having a tough time deciding on either the Synology DS1812 or a QNAP TS-869 Pro.  Both appear to be pretty awesome.  With the Synology NAS you can add expansion drive bays, but I Like QNAP and I think 8 drive bays should be enough.
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