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How can we store 2 TB of small files?

We have a project coming that will require us to store about 1 TB of data. If the project goes well, it could expand to 2 TB in the next 12 months. The data mainly consists of 1-page PDF (80K) and PNG (70K) files. Yes, that is a lot of small files. We are just starting to look at what our options are for storing this data. One of the common requests that we get is to keep the startup costs as low as possible. Any suggestions on where we should start?

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You need to understand your requirements regarding the application -- the method of access and performance, primarily. You also want to be concerned about how to back up many small files, which is always a problem. If you really want to keep costs low (primarily the administrative costs), you might want to look at using a NAS device. They can scale very large and require very little administrative effort.

This was first published in November 2004

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