Thanks for the replies guys
There might be *some* wiggle room in the budget (maybe we could go to $4k for instance if we were sure it would buy us the performance we need).
As for OS - the team writing the streamer server is unfortunately using Windows at the moment. We are trying to get them to switch over to linux (RHEL or Fedora) so we can do link bonding more easily.
As for disks - there is a pile of 500 GB SSDs we have access to, and our system runs will only be an hour or so tops - typically less than 30 minutes. This is what got me thinking about some kind of multiport NAS solution, since we have plenty of fast storage already.
Would it be possible to do 10Gb cards in each machine and hardwire them together? This seems like the cheapest and easiest solution, without bothering with bonding or expensive switches.
That is an interesting idea - I have seen 10 Gb cards for under $500 each, so for $2k total that might not be a tough sell. I assume we'd wire them together with crossover cables right?
You can get a PCI-E 4gb Fibre NIC for as low as $325/ea.
I didn't realize the NICs were so cheap - what about a switch?
Edit : Maybe 10 GigE isn't out of our price range:
1x http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6833150165
3x http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6833106044
$2800 isn't terrible for that kind of throughput....