I have this crazy idea .. that might just work if I find my missing piece
- Take network with 40 windows workstations (on 24 hours)
- Each machine uses 20 GB out of 500 GB capacity
- Install free copy of iStorageServer on each one
- Create iSCSI target for on each one (400 GB x 40 = 16 TB raw storage)
- On a central Linux server setup software RAID and LVM in such a way that if no more than 1/3 of workstations are down simultaneously, the storage is online. So 10 TB storage
... the last part is critical. If I use a regular linux MD type raid, all the traffic will create havoc on the LAN. But there must be something that can deal with this little more gracefully ... and if it was really smart it could also handle graceful degradation ... half of the wokstations offline? No problem .. see half of the files. They come back online.. there they are.
By the way, this would not be used for any mission critical data, high traffic data ... it would hold maybe some archive or a backup of a backup or maybe just a giant scratch disk for junk that needs to be put somewhere from time to time.
... and I'm kind of hoping that by posting this you will say "this already exists, and it supports Windows workstations as data repositories" (I know that it already exists on Linux)