I'm going to be working on a project in the near future where the company in question will possibly require above average quantity of storage. Initially images will be the media of choice with up to 40 images per "Job", but I'll also continue developing their system and allow videos up to 720p at variable length to be uploaded as well. Images I can optimize and it will take it a while for just images, but videos at 720p will take a substantial chunk of space and eat it up fast. I don't know if there's ways of optimizing videos automatically on the server side, but that's a topic for when I get to that point.
Moving on, I would have offered them a dedicated server from GoDaddy (because I like it GoDaddy and have used dedicated servers from them for 3 years and they're local for us), but even their "Memory Hog" variant will be depleted fast-ish, so I want to offer a more custom solution. I'm thinking of a custom server from say Dell, and set it up in a data center here in Phoenix.
The problem is, I've never worked with a customized server, meaning I've never bought one before and set it up at a data center.
I'm curious, how do upgrades work on those servers? Obviously, just like any other computer I can just toss in an HDD as I need it, but what happens when I run out of slots? Is that when the "Direct Attached Storage" boxes come in? How do they connect to the main servers? How many can be attached to the main server? How does it even show up to the OS of the main server, is it like one huge HDD or will it show a bunch of HDDs? What happens when you upgrade the DAS with additional HDDs?
I also don't know what a good data center in Phoenix would be, nor do I have any clue as to how much it would cost to put a server at a data center.
Anyway, help on my questions above would be greatly appreciated!