are any of you guys running a home nas? like with raid and stuff?
i am very happy with my 2-drive Linksys DNS323 (SATA only though). it uses only 9W when idle, it's super quiet and has a small profile. you can do RAID 1 with it, but i only have one drive in there now. best of all, you can bootstrap a copy of debian linux onto it, so you can use it as a low power server. i have apache running along with hellanzb for my newsgroups.
if you are building your own system, do you absolutely need a raid card? software raid is pretty mature now, no? and you don't have to worry about your raid card going berserk.
The Drobo sounds kinda nice. It's convenient, but wastes a bit of space if your drives are not the same size. The biggest downer for me is that I'll need two Drobo's to achieve my policy of having a remote backup somewhere at all times. (See "Photo Storage Solution" article.)
I thought about NAS for years. But several things that kept me from getting a dedicated NAS.
1. Electricity. How often I will access the drive versus the time it will spend idling/spinning is a question. Being able to access it 24/7 from anywhere is a great convenience. But will I really use it all that often? Or will it just suck up electricity?
2. How to do I do remote backups efficiently, quickly, and inexpensively? With any NAS, the network is the bottleneck, so it's guaranteed to take forever to do backup transfers. It means you'll need a dedicated network line and an automated backup system. That all easy until you throw in the requirement for off-site archival. That throws the "inexpensively" variable out of the equation.
3. I am running two home servers, and am bringing up a third. Although the hard drive space are not big enough to contain my photos and videos. They are descent for temporary transfers and storage. So having these on 24/7 already gives quite a bit of conveniences. And running them using laptops with notebook drives reduces the power usage a lot.
Currently, my solution is to have a bunch of large bare drives. Two for each purpose (one master, one remote archvie). I have USB or Firewire adapters for these bare drives. The adapters are connected to my primary notebook computer on my desk. When I need to access them, I turn them on. So they transfer at 400/480 Mbps on that notebook. Processing photos and videos are a lot less painful at that speed.
If I need access to them from other computers around the house, I just walk into my home office, turn on the drives, turn on the notebook, and use them as network shares. It's not too inconvenient. And backup is pretty quick when all the drive are connected to the same computer.
What are your requirements?
Which method did you end up picking for your home NAS, charlie?
hp ex485 home server with 4x1TB drives. =)
by the way for the power minded... it has scheduled sleep and wakeup features plus wake-on-lan.
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