GISU is moving to VMware hosts, at least 2 of them, in different buildings. I’m still thinking about whether to go with a SAN, or just lots of storage in the hosts. SAN is probably more scalable.

Hosts will “mirror” each other.


Gigabit fiber between buildings.

80Mbps Internet connection.


Cloud is slower & less reliable. Amazon may be the best cloud-storage, but some of their customers were disconnected for several days from their data lately.




David Isham
Network Administrator
Grand Isle Supervisory Union
5038 US Rte 2
North Hero, VT 05474

802-372-6921 vox
802-372-4898 fax


From: School Information Technology Discussion [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jack Barnes
Sent: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 9:44 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: file server vs. cloud


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
[log in to unmask]
Office 802-857-7000
Ext. 1039
Cell 802-318-0976
Fax 802-879-8197

On Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 8:49 AM, William Hatch <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

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.

Will Hatch
Educational Technology Specialist
Vergennes Union Elementary School


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