Start by looking at very, very expensive, slow drives. Then forget about them. Instead, rely on redundancy and battery backup. There are lots of companies that aggregate cheap disks, batteries, cache, and power in a nice box, and each charges what they can get for it. Some work well, others less so. Disk arrays work like insurance: spread the risk, and cover for failures. Where they inadvertently concentrate risk, you get it all.
The storage industry is as mature as any part of the computer business. It is arranged such as to allow you to spend as much money as you like, and can happily absorb as much as you throw at it. If you know what you're doing, you can get full value for your money. If you don't know what you're doing, you can spend just as much and get little more value than the raw disks in the box. There is no substitute for competence.
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