I think there are two issues here and that is:
1. Do you need any network based local storage. I think the answer is yes for most of us.
2. Once you decide that you need some local storage, then there is a level of fixed costs associated with an optimum level of storage for the dollar.
Given the ability of computers/servers to use ISCSI, then some kind of network storage is probably in the mix. If you need more than one server at your location, then it starts to make sense to virtualize the servers and have the datastores on network storage.
In any case, you have to figure out what kind of files you need storage for, what is their need for backup and how are you going to get it, and how much do you need. You also need to have an archiving policy. As an example, where are you going to store video files and picture files? Will they need to be backed up all the time or can you wait for the finished product before backing it up and then archiving it.
I think that there will always be a need for some local storage that is secure and backed up. For that reason we have invested in an scalable infrastructure that will accommodate it.
We actually have a home made Linux based SAN, an inexpensive SAN and an expensive SAN. We use the space on them based on backup, security and size. The virtual server datastores are on the expensive SANs because we need the features they offer. You could build a fairly low cost ISCSI SAN on a windows platform as well.
Its a complicated problem, but one that needs a solid, scalable solution.
I have rambled on enough but I would be interested in hearing what others are doing and how its working.
Jack W. Barnes, CNE
Head Network Administrator
CCSU[log in to unmask]
On Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 8:49 AM, William Hatch <[log in to unmask]>
Its time to replace our old file server. Before I spend the money that could be used elsewhere, I am wondering if anyone is using google or dropbox or some sort of online storage, rather than having a local file server. Experiences? Thanks.
Educational Technology Specialist
Vergennes Union Elementary School
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