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Hardware Thread, Recommend me a storage solution .. :) in Technical; Morning All! Hope the Monday morning blues aren't too bad today? Right, storage. Currently I have 2 servers, 1 Fujitsu ...
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    Recommend me a storage solution .. :)

    Morning All!

    Hope the Monday morning blues aren't too bad today?

    Right, storage. Currently I have 2 servers, 1 Fujitsu with about 120GB and 1 HP ProLiant with about 260GB. The Fujitsu I don't really store much on in terms of peoples files, but I use it for Imaging from, WSUS and such, so it's quite full. The HP is the used for the main file serving in the school, and at the moment I have a "comfortable" 30-40 GB spare space. I say comfortable, as I'd rather have much more, but it doesn't appear to be rising at any silly rate.

    Anyway, in September though, we will be getting an extra 40 pupils and associated staff (we're currently 112 pupils with associated staff as we're a specialist school) so I'm looking at the best option for storage and I was thinking of going down the route of 2008 R2 Storage Server and then letting the other servers share the roles a bit better (the FS server is quite honestly crap and probably needs more RAM in it, but that's another issue).

    So, go on, recommend me a storage server option or what you would do in this situation to ensure that there is at least double the space that would be required (I'm looking to probably go for 2TB storage so that even with the servers combined storage at present, we still have the same space again and then some. With our budgets and school mergers, it's all about future proofing as best we can at the moment.

    Thanks all
    Andy

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    I think you might like the look of the Qnap boxes - QNAP Systems, Inc. - Quality Network Appliance Provider their quite easy to setup using iSCSI (which basicly runs over your network (1gb/s recommended)) which praticly shows another hard drive attached to one of your existing servers.

    Some of the other guys on here will probably be able to say more though!

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aptproductions View Post
    So, go on, recommend me a storage server option or what you would do in this situation to ensure that there is at least double the space that would be required (I'm looking to probably go for 2TB storage so that even with the servers combined storage at present, we still have the same space again and then some.
    Do you have a budget for this, or any spare bits of hardware or anything lying around to use? 2TB of storage is not difficult or expensive these days - I've just built a home test server with a couple of 2TB disks in a RAID-1 mirror, by the sounds of it that would server as your network's main file store. Just any spare PC with enough spare room for some harddrives should do it.

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    CPLTD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesfed View Post
    I think you might like the look of the Qnap boxes - QNAP Systems, Inc. - Quality Network Appliance Provider their quite easy to setup using iSCSI (which basicly runs over your network (1gb/s recommended)) which praticly shows another hard drive attached to one of your existing servers.

    Some of the other guys on here will probably be able to say more though!
    I would recommend the Qnap also.

    Chris

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    soveryapt (7th March 2011)

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    I've been using Thecus 4500i boxes (around £1500 populated to 8TB) to serve out misc storage via iSCSI (some low risk VM hosting, some disc backup, some general file stuff). They have two Gigabit ports + a 100MB management port, dual power supplies, are easily managed via a web interface and have been rock solid 24/7 over the last 2 years. We use a Thecus N8800 pro populated to 16TB for staff and student storage, it misses the dedicated management port but offers up the two gigabit ports as a bonded pair. The N8800 is serving storage for several hundred staff, 2600 students (not all at once - probably 200 staff and 600 students (max) on the network at any one time) and has done so flawlessly (touches wood!). I plan to add another 8TB and replicated the staff and student files - just to minimise downtime should the worst happen.

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    soveryapt (7th March 2011)

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    soveryapt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Do you have a budget for this, or any spare bits of hardware or anything lying around to use? 2TB of storage is not difficult or expensive these days - I've just built a home test server with a couple of 2TB disks in a RAID-1 mirror, by the sounds of it that would server as your network's main file store. Just any spare PC with enough spare room for some harddrives should do it.
    Budget, well, that's it, I'm looking at prices to see, but I'm hoping I can find aronud £2-3K to get something sorted, but I need to look at a Wireless Solution too for the school, so it's one of those which is more important the school things. WiFi is needed as our laptops are being used and the current odd WAP through the school are getting hammered by Staff and Student usage so need something more robust, but the storage, if we run out of space how do we decide what goes first .. fun fun fun ..

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aptproductions View Post
    I'm hoping I can find aronud £2-3K to get something sorted
    You could put your own storage server together quite easily for well under £1,000. Five 2TB disks (around £80 each) in RAID 5 would give you 8TB of storage, a five-disk caddy is around £120, then you just need a small harddrive to boot off (£50?), a motherboard/RAM/CPU, maybe an extra SATA controller, and a case to stick it all in. On a budget of £3,000 you could have a second, larger server to store backups and ready to take over should the original fail, and probably afford to splash out on a dedicated hardware RAID card for your primary server.

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    soveryapt (10th March 2011)

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    This is exactly the same sort of thing I need to do right now.

    Sorry to hijack your thread Andy.

    Most of our data is currently stored on 1 server (user data/profiles/public drives) and it's primary purpose is to serve files. It's got 1tb of storage but between 1000ish users that isn't going very far, especially now people are getting to grips with video more and more.

    Our previous setup was 100gb on a different server so I bought this new server and put 1tb of storage in it then used DFS to remap all the folders from the old servers to the new servers without having to change all the paths and what not.

    Ideally i'd be looking for a solution where I can "add another drive" to the server and extend the volume onto it, but the server is at fully capacity.

    Can I do this with SAN/NAS?

    What approach would you take?

    I'd really love to be able to consolidate all the storage into a single box (SAN style) but I don't know if that is feasible. Really I just need more storage as we're running out to the point i'm having to delete stuff to keep it going!

    Any advice much appreciated.

    Regards,

    Neil

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    soveryapt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilknapp View Post
    Sorry to hijack your thread Andy.
    That's ok .. we're all friends on here! lol ..

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    soveryapt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    You could put your own storage server together quite easily for well under £1,000. Five 2TB disks (around £80 each) in RAID 5 would give you 8TB of storage, a five-disk caddy is around £120, then you just need a small harddrive to boot off (£50?), a motherboard/RAM/CPU, maybe an extra SATA controller, and a case to stick it all in. On a budget of £3,000 you could have a second, larger server to store backups and ready to take over should the original fail, and probably afford to splash out on a dedicated hardware RAID card for your primary server.
    I'll certainly look into it, thing here being that this is something that we might get as part of something else .. so after what's out there .. but I'll definitely take a look at the option ..

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    Quote Originally Posted by neilknapp View Post
    This is exactly the same sort of thing I need to do right now.
    As in build your own storage server or buy one?

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    Quote Originally Posted by neilknapp View Post
    Ideally i'd be looking for a solution where I can "add another drive" to the server and extend the volume onto it, but the server is at fully capacity.
    "Full capacity" in what way? Have you just run out of space to stick harddrives inside the machine, or SATA ports to plug drives in to, or both? You could simply take the insides out of your current server and stick them in a new case with more space inside, possibly adding a new SATA controller at the same time to give you more SATA ports. If you don't want to get a new case you could get a new SATA controller with an eSATA port and add an external SATA drive - you could even add an external eSATA-connected RAID box if you wanted.

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    There are some pretty cost affective NAS/SAN boxes out there that can either have the file shares on directly or use iSCSI to connect to the server, my advise would be only use iSCSI if your servers are 2008 as it loads really late in the boot process on 2003 an can cause issues.

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    soveryapt's Avatar
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    Ooo ... Look's as though I'll be getting a HP StorageWorks X1200 or X1500 G2 .. Saves having to bash something together myself ..

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    plexer's Avatar
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    The HP looks expensive.

    Ben

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