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Looking for a storage solution

I've got a situation and would like to know what you would propose for solutions. We're currently in the process of trying to find a storage solution for our office. A quick history of the method we are using is:

Originally, they (the office, I wasn't working for them back then) bought an NT server machine with approximately 24 gigs of hard disk space which was suppose to act as server and data storage for the employees about three years ago. Now the space is not enough for people to store all of their work data and most of the employees store data on their own system instead of the supposed main system.

We have three types of data that will require massive amounts of disk space:

  1. Satellite images, which can take up around 2 gigs per image.
  2. Our geomatic section which stores .tiff files and other data that keeps ballooning up as they add more content.
  3. All other work related files per employee.

Basically, we are looking for a storage device that would initially have around 100~150 gigs of space and would also provide easy upgrade for future increase in total size. Reliability and speed is of course an issue since some data will be used frequently each day but a good part of the data would be stored as backup (mainly the big satellite images).

Backups of such massive data might prove difficult and I personally don't see how it can be done with conventional tape drives. But again if you have a suggestion, feel free to tell me.

Price wise, that's a tough one right now since I'm scouting possible solutions but I would say in the range of $4000 to $6000 but it might be subject to change.

This sounds like a job for workflow software. But if you want to check out storage products take a look into AMASS software from ADIC (http://www.adic.com/) in Redmond, Washington. AMASS creates a virtual file system that integrates with a tape library. They also have an appliance version of AMASS called StorNext that might do the trick but I can't find it in the product pages of their Web site and I don't know if they still sell it.

Another company that you might contact is 1Vision (http://www.1vision.com/) in Loveland, Colorado. They have developed a virtual file system that works with removable media and NAS systems.

Marc Farley

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