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Data Storage Networking The Almighty Buck

Budget NAS Solutions? 35

Posted by Cliff
from the network-storage-at-a-decent-price dept.
DeliBoy asks: "After getting tired of the noisy power-sucking IBM PC Server 325 that I've been using as a JBOD server, I've decided to purchase a small network disk. Specificially, I'm looking at the Buffalo HD-HG300LAN. With FTP, a USB print server, and expandibility options, this unit looks very attractive. I was wondering what other NAS solutions Slashdot readers were purchasing for their home or small office. Is there anything better out there for around the same price?"
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Budget NAS Solutions?

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  • Overheating an issue (Score:3, Informative)

    by commanderfoxtrot (115784) on Friday October 07, 2005 @07:11PM (#13743483) Homepage
    There are good basic ethernet NAT units from e.g. Asus and Linksys.

    Most do FTP, some do SSH. Watch out for overheating and buggy Samba installations.
    • Most do FTP, some do SSH. Watch out for overheating and buggy Samba installations.

      All do FTP, SSH, Samba, HTTP, VPN, SMTP, POP3, IMAP, Routing, Bridging and what-have-you if you install Debian [nslu2-linux.org] on them... :)

      Also, the devices themselves are totally silent, so if you get a near-silent harddisc enclosure you won't hear them, either...

      (Okay, maybe "playing DVDs" or "doing heavy-duty audio-work" isn't an option... but with an USB sound card you could even use them as audio players... ;))

      np: Metro Area - Orange Al

  • Linksys NSLU2 ... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kormac (466376) on Friday October 07, 2005 @07:23PM (#13743551)
    It even runs Linux! (and is hackable to have it do all kinds of extra stuff)

    http://www.nslu2-linux.org/ [nslu2-linux.org]

    Kormac
  • by Tim Browse (9263) on Friday October 07, 2005 @07:27PM (#13743575)
    Silent Internal Fan. Not.

    I have a 160Gb Linkstation, and while it's great for what I use it for, it's certainly not silent. It's not loud, but it's louder than I expected. Given the fan was described as 'silent', that is. No way is it silent.

    Apart from that, though, it 'just works'. Which is nice.

  • by max born (739948) on Friday October 07, 2005 @07:30PM (#13743591)
    Why not build your own? Check out somewhere like pricewatch [pricewatch.com]

    You can get a 400G HD [softghost.com] for about $190 and a P4 combo board [memoryexpousa.com] for about $160.

    Install slackware [slackware.org] and you're ready to rock and roll.

    Good luck.
    • Well, the one he linked to costs $350.99 (At the cheapest retailer), and assuming a $50 case and a $50 PSU, it's $100 cheaper, premade, and doesn't need to be put together from scratch. Though, I guess if $1/GB is a good price, it kind of comes out even. Plus the Buffalo unit draws 21W.
  • The Infrant ReadyNAS systems appear to be a good bet. More expensive that the Buffalo, etc., but they seem much more capable and they seem to be willing to add a lot more features. About the only (minor) downsides I can see to them is that they're not fully open (compared to having your own linux box, for instance), and you have to tear open the case to get to the drives.

    However, I'd think you could get a cheaper and more capable setup by building a low-power *nix system with a quiet case. If you have the e
    • Re:Infrant ReadyNAS (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ErikZ (55491) on Saturday October 08, 2005 @03:51AM (#13745502)
      I just ordered the readyNAS X6 this week. The selling points were:
      Raid-5
      X-RAID
      and an a salesman from the company that hung out on our Audio-video board, answered our questions, sent ideas to the engineers (Which were sometimes implemented!) and acted the complete opposite of a company PR hack.

      I bought the ReadyNAS because I think that sort of thing should be rewarded.
  • Convert the Buffalo to a Kuruo Box!
    http://penguinppc.org/embedded/kuro/ [penguinppc.org]
  • Okay, it isn't exactly what you were asking for but I just read about it the other day and thought it was worth mentioning because it's pretty cool. Check out the Yellow Machine(TM) Terabyte Storage Appliance P400T [anthologysolutions.com].
  • Sounds Familiar.... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Noksagt (69097) on Friday October 07, 2005 @08:33PM (#13743962) Homepage
    See if any of the suggestions in Data Storage For Home? [slashdot.org] apply to you.

    I have done DIY and bought a rig from eRacks & am happy with both.
    • That was a good link. But what is the cheapest NAS solution out there at a terabyte capacity? It wouldn't surprise me if there is already some linux software NAS emulator.

      • The cheapest are any of the handfull of non-raided appliances that are out there. They don't cost much more than putting together your own system, unless you cruise Fatwallet (or similar) for greatly-below-MSRP deals. If DIY isn't your thing (or you value your time significantly), you can go with a SNAP server or something similar that does have RAID.

        I personally preferred having a standard rack-mountable server which didn't have proprietary software. The best "bang for my buck" a year ago was, as mentio
  • Have you looked at Linksys' NSLU2 [linksys.com]? There's a very active community [nslu2-linux.org] focused on exploiting the flexibility of a low-cost, low-energy, Linux-based NAS device. I don't have one myself, but have been eyeing one for some time.
    • They seem far too limited to me. 32MB of RAM barely gives you any room to do anything extra. You'd be better off just buying a used PC and putting a bunch of disks in it. If it dies, big deal, buy another one. eBay is a virtual cornucopia of old PCs that would run circles around the NSLU2.
      • Don't be so quick to discount the NSLU2. I've got one on my desk here.
        I'm glad I replaced the old PC with this little device.

        First it meets the usual set of goodness:
        - No fans
        - Can be put anywhere due to its (relatively) tiny size
        - Quiet
        - Much lower power usage

        The 32MB of RAM sounds like a limitation at first, but I'd have to say its doing just fine.
        I'm running the device off of a USB flash stick, and have Apache2 (with PHP5), the default Samba install, and an FTP server.
        As
    • Have you looked at Linksys' NSLU2?

      I sure have - for two months I've tried to get my hands on one. Long-time backordered here in Europe :(

      Thanks for the community link. Hacking it is one of my purposes :)

      • That's strange - it took less than a week to get one here in Austria a few weeks ago...

        Then again, an ASUS WL-500G Deluxe might also be interesting; it's only got 4 MB of flash and just a 200 MHz CPU (as oposed to the NSLU2's 266MHz CPU once you de-underclock it), but it's also got a 4-port switch and wireless access point in addition to 2 USB 2.0 ports, and you can run OpenWRT [openwrt.org] on it

        Well, at those prices getting both is definitely an option... :)

        np: Auch - Forever After (Kiss Tomorow Goodbye)
  • I just got one of these today: http://www.netgear.com/products/details/SC101.php [netgear.com]

    Pop in two IDE drives in either RAID 1 or 0 and you've got a simple NAS device. I call it the hard drive toaster :)
    • I'm looking for something that can do RAID... just like the SC101. I was all ready to order one when I found out that it doesn't do SMB or NFS -- just some strange setup that requires drivers to be installed. That doesn't work for my Mac.

      Anybody know of something similar to this, but that uses a standard like SMB or NFS?
  • That doesn't look very expandable. Are there any relatively inexpensive solutions for housing a significant number of disks (5-10) or is it only professional grade equipment that can manage that?
  • If you are looking at Gigabit Ethernet products, consider the I-O Data UHDL-G400U [iodata.com]. It supports larger jumbo frames (the Buffalo can do only up to 7k I believe), has a faster CPU which leads to much faster transfers. It has been available in Japan for a while. Their usa web site list the product, but their web shop [iodata.com] is not selling it yet it seems.
  • Recently, a friend asked me to look for a cheap NAS solution. One of his (many) requirements was native interoperability with MacOS 9. Most NAS solutions integrate well in an environment with modern OS versions, but don't play nice with older SMB or AFP versions.
    I looked for weeks, until I found this goodie from Lacie (a french company known for its MAC products): http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?pid=1059 4 [lacie.com]

    compatibility:
    Windows® 98SE*; Windows® 2000*; Windows® Me*; Windows
  • USR 8200.. I love mine.. found the only flaw was the implementation of the print server didn't play well with my epson printers bi-directional communication..

    hard drive NOT included, add any external drive you like.
  • I recently bought a LaCie ethernet disk 1TB [lacie.com] at work. It's mostly used for backups and a couple of office file shares. We've had it for about two weeks and so far so good. It runs Windows XP embedded and can be joined to the win2k domain. Actually, it's just a standard PC with a VIA 667mhz cpu, 128mb RAM, and two 500gb hard drives. I've managed to hack it so I can reach Explorer and a command prompt, and run scripts and all that stuff. I probably could have built one of these..
  • Simple NAShttp://www.trittontechnologies.com/products/TR I NSS001.htm [trittontechnologies.com]
    You can get capacities up to 250GB, but I bought the bare enclosure.

    Upsides:
    Cheap
    Built-in SAMBA server
    Built-in FTP server
    Works with Linux
    Public/Private shares

    Downsides:
    FAT32
    100mb/s
    Telnet doesn't work right
    No SSH or SFTP

    Bought it for $99 at Fry's.

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