I've been thinking about all the workstations I have on my shop floor (about 50) and the wasted drive space each of them has. For instance, my machines only use about 30G to 40G of local storage, yet they're coming from the manufacturer with 500G to 1T drives. All that extra space is a waste in my opinion. Is there some way to gather all that extra space together, use some sort of striping for redundancy (in case a machine or three or four are offline) across all the workstations, and then access it like one large SAN?
It'll depend on the operating system you're running on those workstations.
On Linux, you can have something like GlusterFS: http://www.gluster.org/about/.
Also, look at: