Choose Your New Toy
First, select your new storage system. Luckily, there are plenty of options that vary in price and quality, so you can pick the system that works best for you. We chose Adaptec's Snap Server 18000 storage server for its price ($15,000 from Dell, slightly less elsewhere), design and iSCSI support.
We were looking for an affordable solution that was not rate-limited by a PC-based design. The Snap box's backplane provides more bandwidth than a regular PC appliance, though like most systems, it still uses some PC components. The backplane uses Fibre Channel, so we got high throughput for a good price. There are cheaper, PC-based NAS products out there, but we needed more speed. And while we don't need iSCSI support today, we wanted to be prepared to migrate to it as our e-mail and databases start to consume the available disk space on our servers. (For more details on the Snap Server 18000, see ID# 1523sp2.)
After you choose a product, you need a plan of attack. That means knowing how much storage space your new system will provide, so you can partition your disks and replicate the system you're replacing and, ideally, offer more space on each volume.