Have you investigated the SCSI-IDE RAID systems with a SCSI connection to an IDE to a SCSI translator connected to IDE drives (e.g. Storcase Data Silo ds560, Arena II, or SurfRAID systems)? These systems appear to have good performance potential (SCSI-160 or Fiber Channel connections) and are competitively priced, 7K for 1.5 TB of RAID 5 with a hot spare.
I think these types of subsystems will become very popular especially with SATA drives due to the much-improved connectors that SATA offers. Most drive reliability concerns are mitigated by RAID redundancy and ease of remove/replace.
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This was first published in April 2003