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Office RAID

Each workstation has an iSCSI target blocked off on their drive
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With the importance of hard drive speed and the high cost of SSDs, many hard drives are being over-specified in size in order to gain a modest performance benefit in speed. As a result, most workstation users only use a fraction of their hard drive space (unless it's full of non-work- related files or unless their position is a rare one that requires a lot of space on the local drive). In the spirit of the private cloud and taking a hint from file-sharing networks, proposed is an office RAID where each workstation is connected with a gigabit NIC and has a small iSCSI target partitioned off of the main hard drive. In a RAID-6 configuration, a 100GB space sectioned off of 22 users would yield 2TB of space available to the team for work- related files that otherwise isn't being used. (A RAID level more redundant than 6 might be employed; 0 would be far too risky and 1 would be unnecessary.) The speed wouldn't be great; it would be foolish to use that space to boot over the network or host a database. This would be ideal for infrequently consulted reference materials or old archives where extra capacity in redundant server-grade storage devices would be unjustifiable. Laptops would be excluded because they aren't always on the network, but the striping of the data could prevent sensitive information from being stolen (depending on whether a useful piece of sensitive data could fit in a single block). In advanced implementations, the programmer might even consider prioritizing the first n-2 subset of targets by the closest ping times.
kevinthenerd, Apr 12 2012

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       A 2TB enterprise-standard HDD costs less than a day's wages.   

       Setting up a network-distributed RAID array like this would occupy some pimply geek for days, and days more to maintain it.   

       Not in my business, thanks.   

       BTW, SSDs have a very limited lifespan. I've had several of them die within 6 months, as they can't cope with the constant save/serve cycle many graphics software packages demand of drives.
UnaBubba, Apr 12 2012
  

       It wouldn't be worth the time to implement in an existing installation, but if it becomes part of the routine setup for new machines, there could potentially be some payback in larger enterprises.
kevinthenerd, Apr 12 2012
  

       Perhaps. I also note that larger enterprises ask people to power down workstations, to save money. Servers, on the other hand, are usually kept running 24/7.
UnaBubba, Apr 12 2012
  

       //A 2TB enterprise-standard HDD costs less than a day's wages.//   

       How many days wages to recover irreplacable documents from it when it breaks?
How many days wages to deal with theft of the information (when someone can just walk of with an external harddisk)?
The fair comparison is with at least two 2TB HDDs, plus the cost of ensuring they're synchronised and secured, or a decent cloud-based store, or something like that.
  

       Okay, so basically the easier option would be to set the information up on a server (which could probably do other jobs as well) - but I think your pricing comparison is naive.
Loris, Apr 13 2012
  

       //SSDs have a very limited lifespan. I've had several of them die within 6 months, //   

       I've heard it's recommended to have an boring old magnetic hard drive to handle the swap files, as SSD's do have a limited number of writes they can do, if that helps. Hmm, thinking about saving data in stripes....
not_morrison_rm, Apr 14 2012
  

       //SSD's// is there something technical that they can't be produced in 64k block sizes ? When they first came out I had solid-state all scoped out to do all the temporary stuff, and leave the HD to archives, media collections and backups.
FlyingToaster, Apr 14 2012
  

       I dunno, [Loris]. I buy them 10 at a time, so I have backup and redundancy to protect data.
UnaBubba, Apr 14 2012
  
      
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