Looking for a NAS [Archive] - Glock Talk

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srhoades
11-21-2010, 23:45
It irritates me that with the cost of hard drives hitting the floor, the cost of a NAS is not following. I'm trying to keep an eye on the black friday sales but I doubt anything will pop up. I've heard of free NAS but I don't have a spare computer to run it on so that will negate any savings. Any recommendations on what brand I should keep an eye out for? Buffalo? LG? I only need a 2 Bay, to be used for storing my backups.

IndyGunFreak
11-22-2010, 02:38
Are you looking to buy a complete NAS, or are you looking at buying like a NAS enclosure? What's your budget? How much space do you want?

$99(if you don't get the $20 rebate) - http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3952307&CatId=2670

$60x2 - http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4691121&Sku=TSD-1000AS4

That's 2TB for just over $200.

I've never used one of the NAS enclosures, but I will say, FreeNas, is pretty freaking versatile. If you catch the right sale on a barebone kit... You can probably come in under $300 using FreeNas. The advantage here is... virtually unlimited expansion. Most cases, even cheap ones, will have at least 3(total) 3.5in bays, and 2, 5.25in bays. With some bay adapters, thats 5 bays for hard drives. The other advantage(and this was a big one for me)... something goes wrong, you can fix it yourself. Power supply... No problem, motherboard/cpu.. no problem, pick up the next cheap combo you see on sale. If you buy a NAS, and something happens to it, You're going to have to shell out at least $100-$150, for an enclosure to move your drives into.

Personally, when I looked at it, even though setting up FreeNas was a bit more expensive, I thought it had more advantages overall, so thats what I went with. It's not difficult to set up at all. I practiced w/ Vbox, but they really have a good support channel on IRC that has some friendly folks in there. I've not used their Forum, but I'm sure it's pretty good also. Most of us nerds, have at least some junk laying around that we can implement into a NAS if we think about it.

IGF

IndyGunFreak
11-22-2010, 05:25
OK.. I can't sleep, so I got bored. This is similar to the NAS I put together, but not the same.

AMD motherboard --$49 -- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130288

AMD Processor -- $33 -- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103698

Case -- $20 -- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811154095

Power Supply -- $50 -- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371004

RAM -- $19 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820134489

Misc stuff(couple case fans, extra cables maybe) $20

That's $191 w/o the drives. You can purchase 1 drive up front, which will run about $60 each. So your initial cost, is about $250, to build a NAS yourself. You can probably save more if you're creative. For instance, Newegg occasionally has some cases for $10-$13.

Yeah, you can buy a NAS enclosure a bit cheaper, but like I said, I think there's some advantages to building your own.

IGF

srhoades
11-22-2010, 18:01
I looked into those Dlink's, overall not great reviews. Whatever network controller they use is slow.

I have a computer case, and perhaps some old DDR ram to start with, perhaps Free NAS is the way to go. Office Depot has Seagate 1TB internal drives for $49 on black Friday, can't beat that.

IndyGunFreak
11-22-2010, 19:17
I have a computer case, and perhaps some old DDR ram to start with, perhaps Free NAS is the way to go. Office Depot has Seagate 1TB internal drives for $49 on black Friday, can't beat that.

Now you're thinking...

FreeNas doesn't need a ton of RAM(probably 256mb at most), doesn't require much processor speed, obviously doesn't need need a serious graphics card(any onboard will do) because it's all CLI setting it up. Once you've got it set up, you simply use one of the PC's to log into FreeNas and configure it... similar to how you would a router.

My FreeNas box, I bought a cheap motherboard, that worked w/ a CPU and RAM that I had, and a small case(my Full tower was a bit big for this).. the Micro ATX cases are usually pretty good....

Good luck

IGF

Jdog
11-22-2010, 19:25
so u guys are talking about a poor mans home NAS right?
not an enterprise grade unit that with actual reliable uptime?
If you want something in the middle that isn't as 3rd party and might actually have some sort of support included then check out Iomega, netgear, seagate or hitachi.

IndyGunFreak
11-22-2010, 19:29
so u guys are talking about a poor mans home NAS right?
not an enterprise grade unit that with actual reliable uptime?
If you want something in the middle that isn't as 3rd party and might actually have some sort of support included then check out Iomega, netgear, seagate or hitachi.

I don't really need support, but when I've had questions, I've always been able to find the answers. I don't trust anything hitachi. I've had good luck w/ Seagate and Western Digital... Honestly, I thought Iomega got out of the storage business.

kc8ykd
11-22-2010, 20:08
Netapp.

just remember to budget $50-$100k for the annual service contract depending on what you buy.

MavsX
11-23-2010, 07:23
Honestly, I thought Iomega got out of the storage business.

i'm with you. when i think of iomega i think of those zip disks from back in the day..when i'm looking for storage option brands..or anything new..iomega doesn't even cross my mind..

srhoades
11-23-2010, 10:30
i'm with you. when i think of iomega i think of those zip disks from back in the day..when i'm looking for storage option brands..or anything new..iomega doesn't even cross my mind..

Iomega still makes these nice NAS's that run Windows Server storage eddition so you can add them to domain and easily manage permissions of the NAS shares and whatnot.

sir
11-23-2010, 11:31
I have tried a lacie NAS, and that is the last lacie product i will buy ever...
Took it to the range:
http://i54.tinypic.com/2h2m9vc.jpg

srhoades
11-26-2010, 19:55
Well I found a deal too good to pass up. A Netgear ReadyNAS NV+ 4 bay with 3 750GB drives for $200 on Craigslist.

IndyGunFreak
11-26-2010, 20:11
Well I found a deal too good to pass up. A Netgear ReadyNAS NV+ 4 bay with 3 750GB drives for $200 on Craigslist.

Yikes, thats a very good deal.

Good find.

Drjones
12-01-2010, 14:42
Well I found a deal too good to pass up. A Netgear ReadyNAS NV+ 4 bay with 3 750GB drives for $200 on Craigslist.

:faint::faint:

Holy crap!!!

That is an amazing deal!

I have a ReadyNAS Duo and have installed a couple others for some friends. Everyone has been 100% happy with them.

They are great devices, and IMO, a better option than doing it yourself.

Now that I have my WD TV Live Media Player to stream all my movies, videos & music to my TV/Home Theater, I'm gonna need a 4- or 6-bay ReadyNAS probably sometime in 2011.

Probably keep the Duo as a backup for critical stuff though, in addition to my other backups.

Good find!

RowdyOne
12-02-2010, 19:04
I have several external hard drives that I would like to be able to access from any pc in my house. The drives contain music, pics, files etc. I have an old desktop that I could turn into a FreeNAS box. Can I attach the external drives to the FreeNAS box and access them as network drives?

Thanks!

IndyGunFreak
12-02-2010, 21:23
I have several external hard drives that I would like to be able to access from any pc in my house. The drives contain music, pics, files etc. I have an old desktop that I could turn into a FreeNAS box. Can I attach the external drives to the FreeNAS box and access them as network drives?

Thanks!

I'm pretty sure this can be done, but I have never done it. It wouldn't really be the best way to do it though, unless you want to leave all the enclosures on all the time, not to mention the slower USB bus.

Drjones
12-02-2010, 23:30
I have several external hard drives that I would like to be able to access from any pc in my house. The drives contain music, pics, files etc. I have an old desktop that I could turn into a FreeNAS box. Can I attach the external drives to the FreeNAS box and access them as network drives?

Thanks!


I can't speak for FreeNAS, but my Netgear can do that.

I agree with Indy that the USB will slow things down significantly. I'd pull the drives out of the enclosures and hook them up directly with SATA cables.

RowdyOne
12-03-2010, 08:01
Thanks. Right now speed is not my primary concern. I would like to have the drives accessible to cut down on looking for files I know I have, just not sure on which PC. I may give it a try and see. I like playing around with new things.

Thanks again.

JimmyN
12-03-2010, 11:42
I have several external hard drives that I would like to be able to access from any pc in my house. The drives contain music, pics, files etc. I have an old desktop that I could turn into a FreeNAS box. Can I attach the external drives to the FreeNAS box and access them as network drives?

Thanks!

USB drives will work fine on FreeNAS, that's not a problem.

But... and it's a big but... if the drive is formatted in NTFS do not write to it. FreeNAS can read a NTFS drive just fine, but if you write to it on a regular basis it WILL eventually become corrupt. MS won't release info on it's proprietary NTFS filesystem, so compatibility with *NIX systems has been achieved by reverse engineering, and it's less than perfect. If the drive becomes corrupted you won't be able to fix it with either Windows or FreeNAS

A FAT32 filesystem will work OK on either FreeNAS or Windows, so if the USB is FAT32 you won't have any problems. And most of the USB drives I've seen come formatted in FAT32, so they will be compatible with any system.

FreeNAS is FreeBSD UNIX so it's best to use the native UNIX filesystem (UFS). It's fast, bulletproof, and automatically defrags as it works. There is no maintenance on a UFS filesystem. When you install FreeNAS it automatically installs SAMBA. Just mount the share in SAMBA and Windows systems on the LAN will be able to read/write to the UFS filesystem, they won't know the difference.

If I were you setting up a FreeNAS box on an old computer I would check the sales at Newegg and get another drive for your media files, rather than use the USB. If you sign up for Newegg's e-blast emails you will get even better deals than appear on their website. Format the drive in UFS, then plug in your USB drive and copy the files over. You'll need the space eventually anyway. Two things you'll never hear anyone say are, "I have too much beer in the fridge", and "I have too much disk space". It just doesn't happen.

You don't need much of a computer for FreeNAS. The one under my desk here is an old Gateway Pentium 4, with 384megs of ram (I only had 256 originally, but found some more Gateway memory sticks in my junk box, so I 'upgraded'). I added a gigbit NIC, and a 4 port SATA adapter, and I now have 8 drives in that box. I had to put in another drive cage out of an old enclosure to hold them all. But my FreeNAS box runs RSYNC every night and backs up all the PC's on my LAN, plus the PC's at two other home offices (Pres and Vice Pres), plus our two webservers. So I needed more than the usual amount of space due to all the backup files.

My daughter is off today, and I can see from the FreeNAS network status she is downstairs watching a DVD (5~8Mbps traffic). CPU usage is varying from 1%~5% and currently using 24% of 384megs of RAM.

I just started playing a DVD as well, so I could see some more numbers, and traffic is now running at 10~15Mbps, CPU usage is now varying at 3%~6%, and memory usage has increased to 29% of 384megs. And both those movies are being served off the same media drive. So even that old Pentium doesn't have any trouble keeping up. All total with the gigbit NIC, the SATA adapter, and over 7TB of storage I have less than $500 in it, you can't beat that.

And it's as reliable as anything you can buy. The three FreeNAS boxes I built for the company now have over 4 years of total uptime accumulated without a single issue. The first one I built is on a UPS with generator backup and now has over 16,000 hours uptime since it has never been shut down or rebooted. And that's another old Gateway that had thousands of hour on it before I installed FreeNAS. I do set them up to power down the drives after 20 minutes of inactivity, so the drives last much, much longer and power consumption on the box is only about 40 watts while idle.

If you are going to buy a ReadyNAS unit get it without drives, then add your own. It's much cheaper than them supplying the drives. Judging from the price they charge ReadyNAS seems to be pretty proud of it's harddrives.

I guess I have rambled on long enough, you can probably tell I'm having a slow Friday. Nobody has had any problems, and I haven't gotten a single company email today. That's a true miracle, so I am expecting to hear from the Vatican any moment now, to schedule a meeting with the Pope for a debriefing.