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Hi! What I've got here is a very special and interesting case for experts. At work, I'm in charge to buy a computer who'll be used to copy a huge amount of data on a lot of external hard drives.

Each month, we must send updates to 90 clients using USB External hard drives (please don't ask me to change the type of media, we must continue to use our them) on which we copy between 70 and 100Gb. Each client receives the same data. The time delay is very important and we must copy as fast and efficiently as possible. The data to be copied is removed from the hard drive every month so we don't need a huge hard drive (or many of them) to store everything (300 to 500Gb would be enough). I need to buy a computer to copy about 15 to 20 HD at a time and that process must be as quick as possible because we must do that process 4 or 5 times so we have our 90 clients satisfied.

We want one HD for the OS and I-don't-know-how-many for the data storage (should they be mounted as RAID performance?!). The data source drive(s) must be performant enough so it can provides a good data transfer to each external hard drive. (I'm not interested in SSD technology as it's not reliable enough and performances decrease with time). Destination drives (90 external HDs) are IDE ones in USB2.0 cases. The required computer must have between 15 to 20 USB2.0 ports.

I've got a couple of questions:

- Will a Windows OS be reliable to copy that amount of data on lot of HDs at the same type? Will the copying process be reliable with Windows file copy system?
- Should I look for Linux solution? Are USB connexions managed more efficiently with Linux?
- Is a good CPU speed necessary to copy data under Windows? What about RAM?
- Should I consider Velociraptor 10000RPM drives for the data partition?
- Would it be better to use 3 or 4 SATA drives RAID assembled instead of raptor drives?
- Would it be better to buy 3 or 4 cheap computers with 5 or 6 USB slots instead of 1 big expensive machine doing all the job itself?

Well, that's pretty much it... I don't have a big budget so the cheapest solution's the better... I think around 2000$ would be reasonable.

Thank you so much in advance for your tips and help.
 
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