What would you recommend for a medium office fileserver? By medium office I mean roughly 100-150 users that connect to the fileserver sporadically during the day. We're talking about 2TB of data and rising. File sizes ranging from a lot of small files (doc, xls, pdf, fonts) to large files (HD videos and huge PSD). Users connect to these servers using both Macs and PCs.
We're currently using a few separated servers of a few GB each but we'd like to centralize the management of that, leave some place to growth and simplify the location of the files to the users.
At equal pricing, what would you suggest? We could get something like a Dell (R410 or NX300) with RAID5 or the HP equivalent and we would get good pieces, support and roughly 4TB of usable space. Or, for the same amount of money, we could put together a few (4-5) home-made rack-mounted servers (Supermicro board, older Intel processors, 2 or 4 GB or RAM and some basic Caviar Black) and cluster everything through GlusterFS or similar. This would remove the enterprise support option and would move most of the work in our hands but would give us far more usable disk space for the same price.
Both possibilities have their own pros and cons. I'm not really looking for arguments for/against enterprise support, I'm more looking for this:
- Any experience with home-made clusters?
- Any arguments on the risk of using commodity hardware?
- Any points on the performance of such system?
- Any recommendation on alternate solutions that gives place for growth?