I have multiple machines that must be removed from the corporate LAN because their OS is being retired. We run some specialized laboratory tasks (and hardware) on the "obsolete" machines that cannot easily migrate to the new LAN-compatible OS (Windows 7), so I am trying to find the simplest (and preferably cheapest) intermediate device that could satisfy the following performance requirements:
Store ~1TB of data.
Allow the obsolete machines to write to it without being on the corporate LAN.
Be mapped as a network drive by Windows 7 machines that are on the corporate LAN.
My first thought was to set up a simple NAS drive, but the information that I have found on this subject suggests that NAS drives cannot also be written to locally (see Is there a NAS that can act as a "simple", "dumb" USB Drive? and One hard drive local to one computer but connected to server). However, those discussions don't appear entirely conclusive.
So question 1: can a NAS drive also be accessed locally while also being accessed via the network, or is this impossible?
Question 2: if not, what is the simplest solution? I can install another LAN-compatible PC to act as a server for a sub-LAN (?) to the "obsolete" machines -- but I was hoping to find a simpler solution. We have 6 non-co-located labs, so this seems a bit complicated.
Many thanks for any help!