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NAS (Network Attached Storage)

Discussion in 'PC hardware help' started by Combine, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. Combine

    Combine Member

    Dec 15, 2007
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  2. phill2000

    phill2000 Guest


    both seem ideal for home users looking to expand their storage, but you may want to bare the following in mind:-

    Both offer a form of RAID. RAID 0 would provide fast disc access with double each drives storage (it uses both discs to read & write at the same time, effectively nearly doubling speed). Be aware though if either drive fails you loose everything. RAID 1 will offer data backup (uses the 2nd hard drive to mirror the 1st). The latter only gives storage equal to the size of one disk. I.E 2x500GB RAID0 = 1TB total, 2x500GB RAID1 = 500GB total. If one drive fails you will still have a copy on the spare disk.

    Both offer gigabit LAN (ideal for multiple connected users & streaming from).

    Both also feature remote access (Some using FTP, others using their own software).

    total size
    Both seem to offer similar sizes.

    other features

    Some will allow you to control access via different usrs to different files / folders. Whereas some will let you backup your drives documents at a touch of a button.

    What you can also do (if you like messing) is actually build your own NAS. This is something I started 2 years ago, and now I have a nice setup now. I started using an old PIII 128Mb RAM and a few old harddrives. I ended up with 120Gb NAS (bearing in mind this was 2 years ago) and kep throwing old drives into it until I had 740Gb. I found some free software and learned to install it onto a 16MB Compact Flash memory card (from an old camera, and yes, this software is less than 16mb in size!!) and plug this in my IDE port using a CF > IDE convertor. This made the old pc read it like a harddrive.

    Eventually I wanted to use RAID with it, so bought a 6 port hardware RAID controller, and 2x500GB SATAII drives. I kept adding more drives until I had 6x500Gb drives in RAID5 configuration. This gave me 2TB RAID5 storage, and a hotspare disk to kick in if any failed.

    This is all accessable VIA explorer / shares / FTP / CIFS / AFP so apple and unix computers can see it.

    I have also had loads of fun building and modding a case for it, as well as learning UNIX.

    As you can see, I have had fund with this, and I have learnt, and now I have a 2TB file server which has over 600 DVD's (in divx), 2,500 albums, 30Gb of photos and stuff, and a very happy wife (as my media center uses the network drive to store a years worth of high definition eastenders on).

    All in all worth every penny!
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2008
  3. BigDK

    BigDK Regular member

    Dec 1, 2005
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    Not sure if they operate the same as the NetGear units, but that one which I own, is a real pain to get to work, and if you do software rebuild, it can take ages to get back on line.
    Also the HDs need to be formatted to the device, which means that you can't use HDDs with data on them already from a PC and as such can then be trnasferred to a PC and read.
    It also requires an application to run on PC to connect and read the devices.

    When it is ll up and running it is fine, but I fine the NetGear one is just too much a of a pain to bother using.

    Hopefully there won't be as many issues with the one you end up with, but my advise to look on the manufacturers web site forums etc... directly and see what isues (if any) people are having.
  4. varnull

    varnull Guest

    Why not just use a redundant PC and build your own?

    Do you need gigabit networking? If only 1 or 2 pc's are going to be accessing it probably not.. If it's purely a domestic storage solution a surplus p3 machine and 3 or 4 500gb hdd's will do admirably.. you can even get a free operating system for them.. really easy to set up and maintain.. What purpose raid on home file storage.. if you only have 2 or 3 drives and one fails it doesn't really protect anything.. raid is only any use striped across 5-50 drives on huge data storage solutions/websites


    I have 13.7TB of storage across a raid fileserver.. it's a leftover from my webhosting business.. All scsi drives and running freenas on an old dual xeon 800ish server and 10/100 ethernet.

    You can build a perfectly good NAS solution for little more than the cost of the HDD's ;)

    Save your money and work out what you want.. I would be disappointed with any of those commercial offerings.. they are not good enough for the price
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2008
  5. phill2000

    phill2000 Guest

    LOL... You too? Didn't think anyone else on here would contemplate such a thing. Think I just pipped you to the "post". lol

    Varnull have you never had a HDD fail that you store all your document data on?? Believe me replacing a failed disk in a RAID array is much better than realising you probably won't get most of your important data back. Not talking typical data (MP3's / DVD's) than you can easily replace, but photos of family who are deceased etc. I'd recommend hardware RAID (Not software RAID) to anyone.

    Completely agree!!!!

    I really suggest it to anyone. You will find camps are divided between FreeNAS and NasLite. Both are competitive, and offer great features. My personal choice is NasLite (Don't flame me for this) as it offers a small O/S foot print, file transfer speed (NasLite is faster on builds I have made and changed O/S's), multiple protocols, web based GUI and TelNet services.

    You don't need the kind of setup Varnull has, Mine is running PIII 800Mhz, 256Mb RAM (after upgraded from 128), with a RAID card storing 2TB RAID5 (6x 500GB SATAII, 5 in RAID, 1x Hotspare), and was purely built from left overs (apart from the HDD's). This has supported 10 simultaneous connections whilst copying over a network with no dip in performance. It has also let 4 users watch different DVD's over my home network!

    Well at least if you want assistance get in touch with either myself or Varnull. You won't be dissapointed!
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2008

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