Talking about NAS or SAN?

NAS
A NAS unit is essentially a self-contained computer connected to a network, with the sole purpose of supplying file-based data storage services to other devices on the network. The operating system and other software on the NAS unit provide the functionality of data storage, file systems, and access to files, and the management of these functionalities. The unit is not designed to carry out general-purpose computing tasks, although it may technically be possible to run other software on it. NAS units usually do not have a keyboard or display, and are controlled and configured over the network, often by connecting a browser to their network address. The alternative to NAS storage on a network is to use a computer as a file server. In its most basic form a dedicated file server is no more than a NAS unit with keyboard and display and an operating system which, while optimised for providing storage services, can run other tasks; however, file servers are increasingly used to supply other functionality, such as supplying database services, email services, and so on.

SAN
Put in simple terms, a SAN is a specialized, high-speed network attaching servers and storage devices and, for this reason, It is sometimes referred to as “the network behind the servers.” A SAN allows “any-to-any” connection across the network, using interconnect elements such as routers, gateways, hubs, switches and directors. It eliminates the traditional dedicated connection between a server and storage, and the concept that the server effectively “owns and manages” the storage devices. It also eliminates any restriction to the amount of data that a server can access, currently limited by the number of storage devices attached to the individual server. Instead, a SAN introduces the flexibility of networking to enable one server or many heterogeneous servers to share a common storage utility, which may comprise many storage devices, including disk, tape, and optical storage. Additionally, the storage utility may be located far from the servers that use it.

Comparing NAS & SAN
Look towards NAS as sharing on file level, where you provide access to a filesystem to many by protocols such as CIFS, Samba, NFS, HTTP, … SAN shares a disk on block level, where you should look at it as a raw disk that you share over a network (iSCSI, Fiber Channel, …). It’s a one-on-one relation where the operating system (or application) should take care of the filesystem. (More info)

Demystifying Storage

If you’re looking for a good Open Source product for all your storage needs:
www.openfiler.com

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Freelancing during the lesser times

Freelancefolder.com features “8 Ways Freelancers Can Survive In A Troubled Economy” ;

  • Be a Bargain Hunter. Whether you’re buying routine office supplies or making a capital purchase, make sure that you get the most value for your dollar. Check sales flyers and compare costs to maximize your purchasing power. You can also look into barter arrangements to reduce your costs.
  • Don’t Spend Everything That You Make. I give this advice during good economic times as well. The advice to save some of your earnings is doubly important in an uncertain economy. Whenever you are paid make sure that you set some income aside for times when your business is slow.
  • Moonlight on Your Freelancing. You may have started your freelancing business by working a corporate job and moonlighting as a freelancer. There’s no reason why you can’t turn the tables and moonlight on your freelance business now. Consider taking a part-time job to bolster your monthly income.
  • Ask Past Corporate Employers for Gigs. Many employers have hiring freezes, but their workload remains the same. While they may not be able to hire a new employee, often they are allowed to hire temporary help to meet a deadline. (I’m told that the money for contractors comes out of a different “bucket.”)
  • Consider the Do-It-Yourself Question. Are you paying others to do tasks for you that you could actually do yourself? If your cash flow is slow, then you may want to consider whether it’s more cost efficient to continue outsourcing as you have been doing, or to start doing the tasks yourself.
  • Make Sure To Consider Your Tax Liability. Even if the economy is slow, it is likely that you will still owe taxes at the end of your tax year. To avoid being saddled with a tax burden that you can’t pay, start setting money aside for taxes now. If you paid estimated taxes during the course of the year, then ask yourself if you paid enough.
  • Broaden the Scope of Your Business. If your workload has slowed, then ask yourself if there are other products or services that you could add to your current offerings. Do you have a skill that you are not using? Broadening your scope could bring additional business from current customers as well as attract new ones.
  • Be Patient. Difficult economic times come and they go. It may be a matter of weeks, months, or even years, but this tough economic period will also pass.

OpenGoo, potential for small teams

What is OpenGoo?

OpenGoo is an Open Source Web Office. It is a complete solution for every organization to create, collaborate, share and publish all its internal and external documents.

Imagine an OpenSource “Google Apps”… It’s got potential, but it isn’t an easy roadmap to fulfil. Anyway, it might be interesting to keep your eyes on for the future.