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Unused workstation disk space as a big storage array

by purpledog2000 / January 30, 2013 3:56 PM PST

Perhaps you recall the Startrek show that featured aliens called 'The Borg'. Each alien member on the spaceship was connected to a network in a way that their brains combined to make something superpowered.

Let's say you have a small LAN of 50-100 PC workstations and each of these PC's has a 1TB SATA hard disk. Let's also assume that users only use about 25% of that 1TB disk for applications and data on the local PC. So a 100 PC LAN has 75TB of unused disk space.

Is there any software that would allow one to take unused disk space from each PC and add that capacity to a pool of storage space? It would seem you could even use striping and mirroring of data over multiple PC's for performance and reliability.

In other words, could each PC contribute unused storage space to a big pool that a designated server could treat as one big storage space, as in a storage area network?

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 31, 2013 3:38 AM PST

Is this that old idea that is new again? Google Microsoft DFS and see. The problems are such that anyone that wanted to do this would just do it. Those that can't deal with it, won't.

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DFS only on Windows servers
by purpledog2000 / February 1, 2013 3:10 AM PST
In reply to: So DFS?

From what I understand of DFS it cannot utilize all the unused storage space that lives on Windows 7 or Windows XP workstations. It can only distrubute/replicate data between Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2012. I would like to utilize all that unused storage space on all those workstations. It appears DFS can't do that.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 2, 2013 12:47 AM PST

Your post sounded as if you were going to write code, drivers to make this all happen. At no point was Windows listed in your top post so I thought, hey, that old idea.

These ideas were kicked around for years but as disk space costs dropped, the idea went with it. You seem to want to try it again so why not?

In other words, you'll have to create it.

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