I have a customer who is looking at using a Windows server with an inexpensive iSCSI array to provide cheap/low-end file/archival storage. Given they do already have a FAS system that can handle extra SATA shelves, we've discussed this at length over the last couple weeks.
While I do really like CIFS functionality off NetApp and we have lot of customers using it (for reasons like snapshots (previous versions in particular), snapmirror, volume expansion, quotas (with Operations Manager reporting), no patching, high availability for free given a cluster, deduplication, RAID DP, etc.), I can understand the desire for a dirt cheap lower storage tier and don't want to be dogmatic that "all data must be stored on the NetApp" (although see the prior list for why I think it's a good idea ).
Given that, I wanted to throw this out there to the community -- is anyone else doing this/seen this? If so, have you run into any showstoppers or major issues (especially ones that didn't seem to be of huge consequence at first but were later).
General conversation is quite welcome as well....I just want to be sure I'm giving as complete info as possible in a low-key way in helping them figure out what makes sense.