I have a SAMBA server on my home LAN running fine. My main computer is a MacBook Pro laptop; its 320GB hard drive used to be enough for me, but now I'm filling it up, I've considering expanding it.
An alternative would be to expand my server with some more hard drives and use soft-RAID1 (I have 4 drives in two sets of mirrors at the moment) for data protection, then use either SAMBA or iSCSI to map them on my Mac, keeping data I don't need perpetual access to on this volume. Since I could have RAID protection of the volume, this is quite tempting.
SAMBA on my server manages about 22MB/sec read and write over Gb ethernet, but I'm noticing some lag with the volumes, and I'm worried I would overload the server by using it as a working disk (the server is not very powerful, being Celeron-based, built more for low power usage than processing power).
We've experimented with iSCSI at work, and I've noticed some good data rates. As the disk is a block device, it doesn't have the SAMBA level in between, so I assume it would have higher performance. I found a freeware iSCSI iniator for my Mac, and am now debating which route to go down.
I'm familiar with SAMBA and use it heavily. I've set up a tgt-based server at work which worked amazingly well first-time with Windows, and got decent transfer speeds, but we were using a potent PowerEdge machine.
I guess it boils down to, which route would be the least processor-intense for the server whilst getting good data rates. I'd be the only user of the volume, but SAMBA will be running on the server anyway. Any ideas?