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Respond to both posts in your own words by either agreeing/disagreeing with their points and stating why or why not.

1) In today’s modern age, organizations are often heavily dependent on technology and the continuous availability of data for business operations. Due to this, the implementation of fault tolerance is becoming more and more important. Microsoft’s Distributed File System (DFS) is one method which allows for the storing and accessing of files based on a client/server architecture (Beal, n.d.). To allow for fault tolerance, replication must be used and enabled with DFS. Multiple servers are kept synchronized through DFS Replication, providing constant availability and accessibility to stored files even if a server were to fail (Microsoft, 2014).

Another common and simplistic type of fault tolerance is through the implementation of a RAID array. A RAID array utilizes a combination of multiple hard disks to either provide a performance boost, fault tolerance, or both (Lynn, 2014). RAID 1, 5, 6, and 10 provided fault tolerance, where the failure of one or more disks (depending on the RAID array used and number of disks utilized) does not affect the overall operability of the system and availability of data (Lynn, 2014).

In any storage system without fault tolerance, there always exists a risk of losing all data stored on the device in the event of device failure. On a workstation, the loss of data is often not a major issue since the data is isolated to a single device. When shifted to an essential network server, the failure of the server could possibly mean the complete loss of all data stored on the server. The recovery of data lost due to hardware failure can be extremely costly and may not be successful. Implementing a type of technology that provides fault tolerance would highly reduce the risk of complete data loss, and likely save the company money in the event of a server failure.

For example, implementing RAID 5 for business servers and enterprise network-attached storage would require a minimum of three total hard disks, three times the prices for each server. In the event of a single hard disk failure on a server, the data on the server is still accessible and the server is still operational. Without this, the failure of a hard disk on a server would likely mean the complete loss of data. The company would have to pay the cost of attempting to recover the data stored on the hard disk and replace the hard disk with a new one. While this is happening, the company is likely losing revenue due to unavailable data, hindering operations and possibly interfering with customer services.

2) On way to provide fault tolerance and help protect company data is by implementing RAID on your computers or servers. This is one of the options that is a small investment compared to other options. RAID is one of the most cost-effective improvements you can make to companies file systems. The only costs are for disks and adapters, with these you can protect against failure, add capacity to your current systems, and improve performance. RAID allows you to address these concerns by spreading storage across several disks, harnessing their combined capacity, performance, and enabling redundancy. (RAID, 2020) There are multiple versions of RAID and each requires its own amount of disks before being allowed. The following are the different types of RAID:

  • RAID 0 – striping
  • RAID 1 – mirroring
  • RAID 5 – striping with parity
  • RAID 6 – striping with double parity
  • RAID 10 – combining mirroring and striping

Each version of RAID has its own advantages and disadvantages. The only cost is for additional disk spaces, depending on which RAID and how much storage space needed.

Another way to provide fault tolerance and help protect company data is by using a Storage Area Network (SAN). “A Storage Area Network (SAN) is a specialized, high-speed network that provides block-level network access to storage. SANs are typically composed of hosts, switches, storage elements, and storage devices that are interconnected using a variety of technologies, topologies and protocols.” (What is a Storage Area Network (SAN)?, 2020). SANs can improve disk utilization, are more efficient, and use resources more efficiently. SANs also require a fiber cables and connections, storage boxes, and switches which are more costly than a RAID. “A reasonable ballpark figure for implementing a SAN for 40 to 50 servers is between $10,000 and $30,000. Other experts estimate the price range to be from $10,000 to implement a small SAN to $500,000 for a large, high-end network.” (Pratt, 2002) For a SAN device alone you could pay anywhere from $900 to $3000.

 

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