> Does any one have Company-wide (LAN) Data Storage Plan?
> My requirement are
> PC Users: 50
> Users OS:  Win 3.1, Win 9x, Win Pro2000, Win XP, Lindows, FreeBSD
> My plan is to take weekly backup of 15 PCs as well as company data
> store/file such as Finance/Accounts spreadsheets, Administrator/HR
> documents,  Engineering's drawings, machinist's programs etc.
> I know only one thing that ......
> Data Storage Server OS: FreeBSD
> Security Issues: How to Authenticate different users? (Need Ideas)
> Please give suggestion which application to use......... like,
> shell I install/set FTP server, HTTP server, SAMBA, etc.
> What kind of hardware to use?
>     RAID: ???
>     IDE HDD: ??? (Is 200 GB enough)
>     Backup Tape: ??? (Tape / ZIP drive)
>     Motherboard: ???
>     CPU: ???
>     CD RW: ??? (Needed)
> Help me in visualizing my data storage server. Thanks in Advance.
> With Regards
> Ajitesh K

One of the main thing you need to do here is ask the right questions 
from the start.  The most important one is "What is my budget?"  
Everything hinges on that.  Secondary to that is "What kind of 
redundancy do I want and how much downtime am I allowed?"  Thirdly 
"How am I going to back it up and recover from problems?" Fourthly 
"How much expansion do I want?".

You can buy new or second hand to save some $$.  If money is tight 
look at the computer auctions.  We bought an old compaq dual 450 with 
a dlt tape drive and scsi raid for about $1000US  a year ago.  The 
best thing about old hardware and freebsd is that it us usually very 
well supported and still runs fast enough.  They are cheap enough to 
buy 2 and use one for parts.  Compare this to the new gear we bought.  
$40000US for an IBM server and 500GBsan.  The tape backup solution 
for this was going to be$10000.

If you are looking for some kind of spec on a homebrew system Start 
off using good quality brand name parts.  You do want raid.  Make 
sure it is hardware raid and preferably scsi.  Use a seperate scsi 
card for the tape drive if you get one, dont use the raid card.  Get 
a server quality network card not a $10 realtek.  Get a decent board    
like an intel or an asus or a tyan.  Processor wise doling out files 
doesnt cause much load.  Get what you can afford.  Min 256MB ram get 
512.  It will all depend on your budget.  

Think of the warranty too.  Building it yourself can be cool but some 
manufacturers warranties are not so good.  They want to have the 
part, test it then send a replacement or repair yours.  This takes a 
minimum of 2 weeks from experience.  We have a video card in at the 
moment for warranty and it is 6 weeks and counting.  Get someone to 
build it that will forward RA parts or sit by and wait.

We are a similarly sized company about 60 users.  Something that has  
worked for us is to make everyone use the server for data file 
storage.  This simplifies the backup of critical data greatly.  

Looking at your clients above they will all work happily with a 
freebsd fileserver running SAMBA.  You will want to look at the samba 
documentation to make an informed decision on user security.  For a 
start you could set up freebsd accounts that would authenticate the 
workstation users.  For a fancier approach you could use open ldap.  
It all depends on your skills, money and how much redundany etc that 
you want.

Size of the  file server is going to depend on how much data that you 
want to hold.  We have lots of cad data and the usuall kind of word 
docs etc.  We survived for ages on 50GB but now we are up to about 
100GB.  Your size will depend on how much data will be held live and 
how much can be archived off.  Useage will double every 18 months.  
So leave room for expansion.

Backup will depend on money and how many gigs you want to backup.
The more you want to backup the more it will cost.  I priced a tape 
unit to backup 100+GB.  It was going to cost about $20000AUD.  
Instead we went to removeable ide drives.  Dont just back up onto the 
same one over and over.  Rotate them so you will need a dozen or 
more.  Still cost us $5000 AUD.  The backup software will be 
determined by the method you use.  Look at rsync, tar, dump, AMANDA, 

For archiving of data I have found cds and dvd to be good.  We make 2 
copies, on for the offfice and one for the offsite.  Number them and 
list the contents.  Users can search the lists and then get the data 
back themselves.

Archiving is something that you should spend a lot of time on.  The 
more you can strip from the server the less size you need in storage 
and the smaller backup you need.  Costs for your server go down 

I never backup workstations so I can thelp you there.  Ours are fairly 
static and if one is going bad it usually needs a reinstall of windas 
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