Plummeting Costs of Desktop and Server Disk Storage Creating Opportunities

Jeremy Zawodny wrote a really interesting article illustrating the dramatic decrease in cost of disk storage for desktop computers and server. He pointed out that 250-Gigabyte SATA (Serial ATA) disk drives can be purchased for as little as $120. That means you can buy a Terabyte (1,000 Gigabytes) of disk space for less than $500.

Here at the Home Office, we're going to be in need of disk space soon. The Canon PowerShot A95 I just started using takes photos that are 1 to 2 megabytes in size, by default. Do the math and you'll realize that a 72-Gigabyte file server will fill up quickly no matter how it's partitioned.

Because of the price of SATA disks, I'm guessing that I'll be building a 1 to 2-Terabyte Linux-based file server for my office before the end of 2005. I hope I can put that off for a couple of months by utilizing all of the storage that's already here. I'm also going to have to answer a few questions before embarking on such a project:

  1. Is there a motherboard that supports a relatively large number of SATA connections? If not, how do you put that many disks into a low-cost server?
  2. Where am I'm going to put a box like that? I don't want a RAID-5 server with that many spindles in the same room with me when I'm trying to work.

If you've thought about this already and have some suggestions, let me know. Anybody else thinking about doing this too?