A few weeks ago, I expressed my desire to see completely diskless servers hit the general market. It was obviously aimed at the medium-to-large enterprise space, but several readers chastised me for espousing something that would break their budget. Yes, it's true: Enterprise-grade SANs are expensive, especially the Fibre-Channel stuff. Even iSCSI arrays cost a pretty penny if you're a small business.
But times are changing. This week I reviewed a great little NAS/SAN box from Synology, the DS1010+. I've been running various incarnations of Synology products in the lab for several years, and while they've always been reliable and functional, I've found their over-the-wire performance somewhat anemic. Fine for a supergeek home setup home or a really small business file server, but with 30MB/s writes, a little slow for anything more. That's not the case with the DS1010+, which consistently pushed 90-100MB/s streaming writes and 105MB/s reads over NFS, CIFS, and iSCSI. That's solid performance. The price? 5TB raw storage across five spindles for $1,750. That fits any budget.
The only knock on the DS1010+ from an enterprise perspective is the lack of redundant power supplies and possibly redundant links to the expansion chassis. But this little array costs a fraction of what larger fully-redundant SAN/NAS arrays do, and offers similar performance. Heck, at $1,750 you can buy two and use the built-in replication functions to maintain a consistent backup to another unit, and back that one up to tape. It's also expandable with the DX510 expansion unit that adds another five spindles connected via eSATA. With 2TB disks, that's up to 20TB raw storage, which should be far more than any small business needs.