Cheap 4 Terra byte File Server diskless, iSCSI , LVM
Here is the situation.
I’m the administrator of a student network of 350 people in the student campus of Xanthi Greece. We are NOT funded by the university or anybody else so we pay for everything in our network. The goal is quite simple.
We need a 3 - 4 Terra Byte fileserver.
1. Cheap. No SCSI, no fancy disk controllers, not expensive equipment.
2. Unique space. No divisions (partitions) of any kind
3. Easily expandable
The purpose is to store there the data (movies, mp3, games, projects e.t.c) of the network. The plan is to make a cluster of 4 old PCs (PII – PIII) that should work diskless using network cards with boot rom and PXE. Then mount all disks locally with iSCSI (GFS) and “unite” them with software raid 5 + LVM. But before asking 350 students to pay for this plan I have a lot of questions need to be answered.
1. Has anybody done this?
2. How stable and viable is the whole thing?
3. Can I recover the contents of a single disk using a windows or a Linux box?
4. Can I do it with different size disks?
5. The usable/real space ratio is 4/5 with raid 5 (if I have 5 200GB HD I will have 800 GB space). Is there another raid with better ratio and more disks?
Any answers or ideas?
I Thank u in advance