I'm a relatively inexperienced server admin who primarily works with Windows and a little bit of Linux. I'm the only admin of a small organization.
I'm looking for a way to have a high-availability storage cluster that will allow me to easily add more storage (new servers) to the cluster in the future. These servers would also need to replicate data throughout the cluster automatically and appear as one entity to the rest of the network. I'm looking for file-level storage, not necessarily block-level. And this is over a Gigabit Ethernet network.
I've heard of FreeNAS, though from what I can tell, it isn't designed for a HA cluster situation. I've also looked at Windows Storage Server with Failover, but the whitepaper on that says each server must have access to a shared storage array, whereas I'm looking for each server in the cluster to have its own array.
What solutions do you know of that provide basic high-availability storage clustering, and can you point me to any resources that can help me get started? Can you point me to any resources that explain the process of adding a new server to the cluster?
My budget is relatively low - not including hardware, maybe $1000. Ideally I'd build my own server with the specs I need and then install software on it to facilitate clustering. Overall I hope to spend $12,000 or less per 50 TB.