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I run a small business server with about 500gb in total drive space in a RAID5 array. We are design oriented though so this has filled up quickly!

We have a NAS (Qnap) that we use for backups and it has roughly 1.2 TB free on it's array, and I was wondering if there is anyway to seemlessly use it for file storage? We have many users and I don't want them to have to connect to multiple "servers" (many mac users, so easy drive mapping not an option).

I have thought briefly about using junction or mklink but i have no idea how this would turn out!!

Anyone have any suggestions for me?


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You can make the space alable in two ways.

First, server orienated - you could expose part or most of the sapce as additional disc drive using ISCSI. It would appear as a discon the file server and you could put files on it htat wuold live on the server.

Second. you could move your storage hiraarchy to a DFS tree, which is a virtual folder hierarchy. Every folder can be a network share, so you can compose your tree of different shares, which at the end can live in different servers transparently.

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+1 for DFS, I didn't think of that. Do all Qnap devices support iSCSI? – RobM Sep 21 '10 at 9:28
No idea - I think yes, depending on update status of the firmsware. Berst to check with Qnap - you know which model you have. – TomTom Sep 21 '10 at 10:58

Edited to remove incorrect advice:

Regardless of if and how you could use space on the NAS, how would you back up that data if the NAS is also your backup location? Backups made to two places on the same physical device provide no protection against hardware faults, theft, etc.

I'd also suggest that you need to think of your storage needs with a bit more strategy. If you've "just filled" 500Gb really quickly then it won't take that long to fill 1.2 Tb of extra space, and then what will you do? It might be better thinking about what your disk space requirements are likely to expand to in the future and how you will manage that requirement. Including backing the data up, of course.

Then buy a device that meets your needs today and which can be expanded to meet your future needs without having to be replaced too quickly. A bit of thought and outlay now might save you a lot of pain in the future.

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Factually wrong. – TomTom Sep 21 '10 at 8:46
The point about having the live data and the backup on the same device is actually good and important. This is something I would recommend against too. – Raffael Luthiger Sep 21 '10 at 9:24

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