I didn't care for GNOME shell at first but it's been growing on me as I use it more. The last remaining thing that I don't like are the huge buttons and menu headers on the windows. I think that it would be possible to hack in some changes for that but I haven't tried.
alt+` on a US keyboard layout (whatever the key above tab is for other layouts) switches between windows of the same application. There are some other good shortcuts in the GNOME shell cheat sheet .
Try one of these babies on for size. 67TB for about $8,000.
That could only be a good idea for large installations like backblaze. You need to have lots of spares of everything, extra capacity for failures and someone on call to fix the thing when it breaks. There is almost no redundancy and they use consumer grade hardware which means that there will be very regular hardware failures. If you have a ton of the things, this isn't so much of an issue and it probably does end up being cheaper. But using just a couple, much less one of those things would be an exercise in sheer stupidity.
I think that it all depends on what your budget is and what you have access to. You don't need fibre unless its already there and you have the hardware and knowledge to use it. Those cards ain't cheap and would add much complication. Unless you have huge amounts of data (on the scale of several hundred GB or more) changing on a daily basis or can't afford to lose anything at all in case of catastrophic failure, just use the gigE or 100M that is already in place. If that isn't enough, you should really be looking at systems that are designed for remote replication and that gets really expensive, really fast.
Are you looking for an off-site mirror or backups? Those are not the same thing and you need to make sure that you know which you really need. I sincerely doubt that you need to be worrying about recovery time if the building burns down. Just worry about reducing the risk of data loss in the event of failure.
For backups, KISS is the most important thing. If something in the university is already in place, use that. Backup administration is a PITA and you're going to have to hand it off to someone once you leave (assuming you're a student) who may know almost nothing about computers. The simpler the system is to use, the easier the handoff is going to be and the less the people after you will hate you. Someone else mentioned asking the IT department if they offer any backup programs. That would be the best solution, I think. More expensive on paper, possibly but not likely. More expensive overall, I doubt it.
If you end up building a backup server, take into account hardware failures and how much time people can spend to babysit the thing. ZFS has some awesome features, but I don't think that I would use it with anything other than Solaris or maybe BSD. There is no way that I'm going to trust backups to FUSE for linux. Then again, I don't think that ext3 or ext4 would be my first choices, either. Personally, I would probably go with JFS with linux if you have 12TB and growing. Look into external storage arrays. I'm not so familiar with this price range, but HP's MSA 2000 or something comparable might be a good choice if you have the $$$. Just remember to budget for replacement drives if you go the hard drive based route. I'm using a hard drive backed backup solution at work and BackupPC is what I have been using for software. I have been pretty happy with it so far. Its free, it works and has some really good features (like intelligent backup so that it doesn't just blindly store 20 copies of the same file) but has a bit of a learning curve. Nothing like Zmanda's MySQL backup but it needs a little more than a few clicks. I also wish it didn't hit the backup targets so hard but that may not be an issue for you.
I know that there is the temptation to do something really cool and roll your own. I get that temptation a lot, too but you need to ask yourself if you're doing it for fun or to get the job done. If its the former, good for you and I'm jealous but I suspect its the latter. Do the minimum to satisfy the requirements with the least amount of required maintenance and the least cost. Let IT worry about backup systems if you can. That way you can worry about making television programs instead of checking up on the backup server whenever something hiccups or WHEN (not if) hardware fails.
I hope that my rambling helped a little. Good luck in figuring this out.
TFA is slashdotted at the moment, so I don't know if VMware Server or ESX is being compared. Either way, the advantage of virtualization is not performance, it is flexibility. The raw performance may be less, but it gives you the ability to do things that just aren't possible with a physical machine. The ability to hot migrate from one physical machine to another in the event of hardware failure or replacement and the ability to have entire "machines" dedicated to single purposes without needing an equal number of physical machines are, at best, more difficult if not impossible when not using virtualization.
Don't get me wrong, I'm no VMware fanboy. It certainly has its rough edges and is certainly not perfect. However, virtualization as a technology has undeniable benefits in certain situations. Absolute performance just isn't one of them right now.
Maybe it's because I don't play a lot of games online, but I'm completely lost as to why a server operator would want to do this in the first place.
What would someone gain by "lying" to Steam about server stats?
Probably because its mostly in Italian on the Italian language Wikipedia and even there, you have to go searching though the discussion page to find more information.
One of the things in question on the discussion page is:
It 'been criticized for giving all city streets contracted to the company "Florence Parking", which made payable most cars, the first free and free. This criticism is exacerbated by the voices of partnership on the board of the "Florence Parking" by the mayor and the wives of Graziano Cioni.