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We need at least 1TB of redundant storage for server image snapshots to be backed-up using shadow protect. What do you recommend for $1K or so budget? What else should I be considering for this project? Very green. Thank you!

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3 Answers 3

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Either build your own using freenas or openfiler (all you need is an innexpensive PC) or buy an off the shelf NAS.

Two popular off the shelf NAS' these days are from Synology and QNAP.

EDIT

As you've mentioned "very green" in your question, then you are unlikely to find a more green NAS than an off the shelf one from the two manufacturers I've listed or others. i.e. I've heard that they use power between 20 - 30W. A server will probably chew power like a hungry dog and require a lot more support and time to get going. You've already said you have a small budget so I'd go this way.

Also, time to get it up and running, off the shelf. Purpose built - more time to set up. Solaris option someone listed.... much more time to set up. Do you have the skills? Are you familiar with these packages? if not, off the shelf will do what you want and you'll get it going quickly.

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I think Open Solaris is, hands down, the best build-your-own NAS tool available. Despite Oracle doing their best to squash the "open" component, but with ZFS you get roughly the same set of features that you get with enterprise storage solutions. Specifically:

  • Flexible snapshots
  • Dedupe
  • Remote replication
  • Excellent disk management
  • NFS, CIFS, iSCSI

And so forth. It may be a little more work to configure than openfiler or freenas (since these are purpose-built as fileserver solutions), but you get lots of nice features.

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FreeNAS, just like FreeBSD which it is based on, has ZFS support as well. –  Kenny Rasschaert Nov 18 '10 at 22:11
    
This is true, but my experience is that new features (like dedupe) hit Solaris first. On the other hand, with Oracle in charge this may change. Yay! –  larsks Nov 18 '10 at 22:20
    
You may think it's the best, but she only has $1000 to play with and she only wants 1TB of storage (which doesn't sound like much for shadow protect backups!). It sounds like she is wanting something "simple". So I can't recommend DIY approach for her case. –  Matt Nov 24 '10 at 21:01

On the cheap?: $68 for a TB, get 2 of these (for redundancy). Grab an old machine, install FreeNAS, OpenFiler, or something similar and you've instantly got a solid backup system capable of being an iSCSI target; serving SMB, FTP, SCP, NFS, AFP, and all kinds of other goodies :)

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