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storage server & scalability

Dear all,

At this moment we are preparing to build a cluster for the webservices we offer. The main purpose of this cluster would be high availability and high scalability. Our setup is almost ready, but we are looking at the possibilities of the storage server we want to use.

Because of variuos reasons we would like to use a custom-built storage server. This storage server would need to be accessed by nfs. We need advice with 2 issues.

Issue 1:
It seems obvious that SCSI is the way to go. However, because of the simple fact that (S)ATA provides much more capacity (and is far less expensive) we would like to know what you think of using SATA drives in a storage server. And what RAID level would be a good choice? It may be good to know that we will setup 2 identical storage servers, one as a hot-spare, which syncs it's disks with DRBD from the main storage server. Off-course we will be using heartbeat to take over the ip on the hot-spare once the main storage becomes unavailable.

Issue 2:
Another question which remains unanswered for us is how one would scale storage. For example, if we setup a storage server with RAID 5 or RAID 6, how can we extend the RAID array with more capacity, without losing data? Would it be as simple as plugging in another disk at the array?

Thank you in advance for your time and answer.

Best regards,

Yavuz Aydin
Qweb Internet Services

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