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Searching for a 200-host NAS solution

My client wants to install a SAN system that costs a bomb. My recommendation is NAS since it's only one NetWare server that they have problem with space as a file server.

My question is, can you help me to come up with a good solution including the hardware needed for a 200-host environment in a Win2k domain with Novell NetWare file server? I'm quite confused with the network interfaces options gigabit slots and the normal Ethernet cards? My client doesn't have any gigabit speed switches. Woudl they have to get one?

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You're asking for consulting work and that's not something that should be undertaken with just information over an e-mail. For that, there are probably local companies that can come in and really understand your environment, perhaps do some measurement of activity and propose a solution.

That said, for a 200-server environment, I would very much expect you would need some switching and a larger NAS solution. The choice of Gig-E vs. 10/100 is primarily based on what your requirements are. You may have some servers with the higher data rate requirements and others that don't. That will probably lead you to a switch that has a mixture of network speeds supported.

For the NAS device you probably would want one with failover capabilities (redundant systems effectively) and enough connections to provide the expected bandwidth needs. There are many vendors with products that would meet your needs. You can start by contacting them and they will come and give you a proposal after they discuss your requirements. If they just propose a product without working with you to understand your needs, run away from them.

Randy Kerns

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This was first published in January 2004

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