This is just the beginning of a work-in-progress to fully utilize the extra storage available on the 200+ workstations in my department.  Updates will be posted regularly (hopefully).  In the end, I hope to present a step-by-step guide to fully utilizing the untapped storage potential of departmentally owned workstations.

Environment

200 PCs (staff and lab machines) running Windows XP Pro, all with at least 40GB free.

Goal

Utilize more of the storage we have already paid for.  Most workstations are online 24×7, and have unused disk space (20GB to 200GB).  I would like to pool the storage in a highly redundant fashion (ex: 4 machines contain the same data so 1 can be powered off with no impact on data accessibility) to present a large block of usable space.

Possible technologies to use

· DFS

· iSCSI+ZFS

· iSCSI+software RAID

Possible uses of combined, redundant, pooled storage

· CIFS shares

· VTL storage

· large temporary storage for student use

· large DB backend (probably not a great use for this, but given the number of spindles, it has potential)

Benefits

· highly redundant

· LOTS of spindles

Possibly helpful links
http://www.faqs.org/patents/app/20080320097
http://www.datacore.com/
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb524801(VS.85).aspx

http://www.gluster.org

iSCSI Target software for Windows
http://www.iscsicake.com/
http://www.emboot.com/products_sanFly.htm
http://www.kernsafe.com/Default.aspx

Advertisements