Any server 2003/2008 admins in the house to talk direct attached storage (DAS)?
Can use 5 sata drives. I'm thinking 150GB velociraptors (10,000 RPM) for a Microsoft Exchange server but if the setup is reliable enough maybe I buy more units and fill some up with Green Power 1TB drives for a file server where performance isn't as important. If reliability becomes an issue the velociraptors could be repurposed for PC rebuilds down the road but I really don't want to go there.
Assuming it could fill the role I could use 2 disks in RAID1 and 2 more disks in RAID 1 for exchange database and log files. Over time a second enclosure could be bought and then more RAID 1 pairs added or even RAID 10 sets of 4 drives. RAID pairs could even be made between drives in separate enclosures for PSU redundancy.
Pluses here are any server or desktop PC could use this enclosure so long as it has an eSATA port (PCIe controllers are cheap/common enough that most any PC could use one)
Drives could be bought through normal retail channels at lower cost as technologies improve.
Not sure if I could put SSDs in this down the road but I'd hope that would be an option.
The alternative to eSATA enclosures would be something like Dell PowerVault MD1000 http://www.dell.com/content/products/produ...;l=en&s=bsd
If I got the Powervault MD1000 for the exchange server I'd be buying it with 73GB or 146GB 15,000RPM SAS drives with the intention of putting the mail database, log files, smtp queues, on the direct attached storage. RAID 1 pairs for each function early on with the possibility of RAID 10 sets later on for the more demanding functions if needed.
Plus side for this option is I know it'll stand up to the load. Down sides are:
Higher cost of SAS enclosure versus eSATA enclosure
Higher cost for Perc RAID controllers versus cost of eSATA raid controllers
Higher cost per hard drive for SAS versus SATA
I always read about using SATA in a SAS enclosure but with a Dell enclosure you don't get the drive sleds unless you buy a drive to go in it.
I suppose I could look for a source for trays/sleds so that I could put velociraptors or SSDs in it but I'm not sure if I can mix SAS and SATA trays in the enclosure.
I don't know if I could ever put SSDs in the MD1000 but again I'd hope that would be an option down the road when SLC SSDs got below the cost of 15,000 RPM SAS drives.
Now some flavor/spin of where I'm coming from. It's a small company with about 50-75 users on the exchange server. Reliability is more important than speed. Speed is more important than space. The exchange server is currently using 4 hard drives (two RAID 1 arrays) and the information store is under 20GB and Log files, queues, etc only need about 20GB. If speed weren't an issue the whole mailserver could run on a single 73GB drive.
Assuming the cheaper option is just as reliable it would be preferred but if anybody has a horror story about eSATA enclosures with Server 2003 or Server 2008 I'm willing to listen.
If you think there is a better route to go than either of these that still stays in the under $5000 range let me know.
I probably have plenty of time to do this. It's not something I'm going to do next week. I'm just trying to plan ahead.