Losing my hair and losing my mind in Western New York

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Choices, Choices

Sorry I haven't posted in so long. Many things to do, not enough time to do them in. You know how it is.

Well, things are finally starting to settle down over at Adelphia. The roadmap for the next year or so has been largely laid out for us, and those of us in my division are pretty much assured jobs at the company we will be going with (can't say which one, sorry.) Mostly it's nice not having the uncertainty of the Adelphia bankruptcy hanging over our heads anymore.

On a more personal note, the Weary Man has got a storage issue. To be specific, a Data Storage issue. For some time I have had a file server running on my home network that has served my storage needs well. However I have recently been running into the limits of it's 120GB drive, and need to expand. I have already gone in and freed up some space by deleting many older and unneeded large files and folders (It's amazing how much data detrius builds up over time) but I'm still running dangerously short of space and I am in dire need of expanding my storage capability.

I have looked into several different options, including installing a Sata RAID card and 4 150-200 GB Sata drives running RAID 5. This would certainly be the most reliable method, and would solve my Data Storage issues for a good long time, although I would eventually run into issues with the aging of the hardware platform I've got the RAID array running on, and no proper backup (IE: tape system) to speak of. Also there is the cost to consider. Having taken some time to price out a proper RAID system to add to my current server box, I am hitting price ranges from $600-$1500 US. Not a trivial amount of money, even in today's dollars.

A second and very appealing option is to go with a prepackaged external drive solution that I can simply attach via USB 2.0 or firewire to my Server box and mount as a spare drive. While it doesn't have the cachet of a RAID array, it is more flexible as far as the machine I have it connected to, and I don't need to worry about transferring the data over to a new server when my current server gets out of date (old/failing hardware) or I need to change operating systems (upgrade to windows or a transfer to Linux) Of course, I still have the lack of a proper backup system to deal with, but with the lower cost of this type of solution (about $300-$400 US for a 400 GB device) I could buy a second one down the line and use it as a backup for the first one. The only issue I have with this setup is that I am short on electrical outlets in my "server room" (basement shelf area)and I would probably also need to look into a new UPS with more outlets and capacity, which could nearly double the costs associated with this option.

I will need to choose between one of these two options sometime within the next month or so, simply due to my server HD space rapidly running out. Personally I am leaning towards the External drive, Only because 400 GB is likely to take care of all my storage problems for the forseeable future, and I think I can get around the UPS issue without having to buy a new one right away. But I have to say that it's not nearly as uber geeky cool as being able to say "Yeah, that's my server box. It's got a 400GB RAID array".

I dunno. I guess I will have to decide, And soon.


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