(bunch of laptops/desktops w/ single disks. not counting these. only counting server w/ reliable RAID-protected storage)
2 SATA ports, 4 drive bays:
-- 1 x empty drive bay
-- 1 x 30 GB IDE disk (boot disk, back from early SATA days, no longer necessary)
-- 2 x 250 GB SATA disks (150 GB RAID 1, 2 x 100 GB unprotected partitions)
1) ATA over Ethernet. Seems fine for home use, and hell, people seem to use it in production? Coraid. Except the 15-disk enclosure is $4,000... bleh. And the 4-disk enclosure (too small!) is $2,000. Hell, for $2,000 I could build my own 4-disk enclosure... it's called a computer. Hell, I already have one with 4 bays. And then use one of the two AoE servers (userspace or kernelspace). So AoE doesn't look cheap once you factor in the enclosure. The $300 dev board adapter might be an option, and build my own ghetto case?
2) Bunch of USB 2.0/Firewire external disks? This is somewhat equivalent to AoE above, because even with AoE I'd do JBOD and let Linux/LVM manage the on-disk formats, rather than be stuck with some mystery vendor RAID format.
3) More SATA disks (internal) for existing server... buy a new SATA controller and ditch the 3 existing disks and replace with 4 x 750 GB, for a total 2.2TB or 1.5TB usable, depending on the RAID level. (never been a fan of RAID-5). But 1.5TB (or even 2.2TB) seems like a wimpy upgrade. Sure, better than my 150 GB RAID now, but I have aspirations of ripping all my DVDs (about 250?), and that'd take up 100% of 1.5-2.2TB, depending on DVD size, extras, etc.
4) Buy a storage server like this one, for about $2,000 that has 8 bays. Hell of a lot better deal than Coraid's 4 bay one for about the same cost. Wtf?
So I'm kinda thinking option #4? I dunno.
Any other options I'm not considering?