Deaggregation of storage
a little ludwig goes a long way: The Exploding PC?. Another smart post by John. He’s right that you want to take the long term storage bank out of the PC.
It happened with LANs long ago with SANs and NASes. I’ve been trying to get this to work reliably in my own house for two years. First a Windows server that would actually shut down and then when the network request comes in, it would wake up.
I could never get that to work because Windows never shut down fans properly in standby and wouldn’t wake up fast enough so the thing would disappear from the network.
Current experiment is with the Linksys NSLU2 and soon the Wifi enclosure thing. Main problems here have been the reliability of these cheap things for Connie et al.
The right answer IMHO given the low cost of hard disks is that you really want lots of caching. Right now, all my music, video and photos are cached across all the machines at home and there isn’t a center to the system. I have to hand manage this with Beyond Compare, but it actually works pretty well.
Lacking a single reliable file server, this is where I live right now. BTW, I don’t think that this means PCs are diskless, disks are so cheap and fast that they should just be caches.