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Budget NAS Solutions?

Cliff posted about 9 years ago | from the network-storage-at-a-decent-price dept.

Data Storage 35

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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NAS? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13743443)

If I had any idea what the question was, it'd be a lot easier to answer. It's not too hard to expand out the acronyms the first time to give people a clue as to what you're talking about.

Re:NAS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13744155)

if you dont know what NAS stands for you are probably not in a position to answer the question.

Re:NAS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13750388)

Hey, Anon. Grandparent may be reading this thread to see the answer. So the answers are more meaningful if the question is comprehensible.

Re:NAS? (1)

ReverendLoki (663861) | about 9 years ago | (#13757331)

I'm afraid I'm having trouble imagining a situation where a reader wants to know about different NAS solutions, yet doesn't know what NAS means. Maybe it's just me though.

I'm all for explaining acronyms where appropriate, but really, some are common place enough that you just got to assume that your average reader of this site will know what you are talking about. If someone posts about an Automated Teller Machine, I expect them to just use ATM without spelling it out (though this case might require the distinction that they don't mean Asynchronous Transfer Mode(I think that's right)). Even if you don't know a common acronym - I actually, had forgotten what JBOD stood for - since it is common, the answer isn't far away. It took me all of 5 seconds with Google to clear up my confusion.

So, if someone explains the acronym, great, but if it's common enough, I don't expect them too.

Overheating an issue (2, Informative)

commanderfoxtrot (115784) | about 9 years ago | (#13743483)

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.

Re:Overheating an issue (1)

Briareos (21163) | about 9 years ago | (#13745673)

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 [] 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 Alert (Metro Area)

Linksys NSLU2 ... (3, Interesting)

Kormac (466376) | about 9 years ago | (#13743551)

It even runs Linux! (and is hackable to have it do all kinds of extra stuff) []


Re:Linksys NSLU2 ... (2, Interesting)

jrockway (229604) | about 9 years ago | (#13748267)

This is definitely an excellent product with either nslu2-linux or Debian on it. The disadvantage of Debian is that it doesn't support the integrated LAN port -- you will have to supply a USB network card. ($30 or less)

Mine handles my NFS storage needs, receives e-mail for a few domains (with qmail), and hosts my website which runs from Apache and a perl-based CMS I am writing. With mod_perl there are no performance issues at all, at least for the minimal traffic I receive.

The disadvantage of using this is a NAS, though, is that the throughput isn't that great. It can't read from the disk(s) fast enough to saturate even a 100MBps connection. (When I plug the disk into a real Linux box, the disk has no problem doing this... so there's something limiting the throughput intentionally or as a design tradeoff.)

I hope Rev. 2 adds two USB controllers, more RAM, and gigabit ethernet so that this thing would be a viable solution for serious usage by small offices / departments.

I do realize, though, at some point you need a Real Computer and not an appliance. This thing is fine for now.

Re:Linksys NSLU2 ... (2, Interesting)

Briareos (21163) | about 9 years ago | (#13752873)

This is definitely an excellent product with either nslu2-linux or Debian on it. The disadvantage of Debian is that it doesn't support the integrated LAN port -- you will have to supply a USB network card. ($30 or less)

Not true. With the big endian OpenDebianSlug, you can use the openslug kernel together with all the packages out of the Debonaras repository (which is growing every day) *AND* the onboard ethernet. []

It's just that big endian Debian for ARM (ARCH=armeb) isn't a official Debian architecture - yet.

Re:Linksys NSLU2 ... (1)

awtbfb (586638) | about 9 years ago | (#13753224)

The Buffalo unit the OP was asking about has giga ethernet. The NSLU2 does not. The Netgear SC101 [] also lacks giga. For me, this is a major issue.

"Silent Internal Fan." (3, Interesting)

Tim Browse (9263) | about 9 years ago | (#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.

Why not build your own? (2, Informative)

max born (739948) | about 9 years ago | (#13743591)

Why not build your own? Check out somewhere like pricewatch []

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

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

Good luck.

Re:Why not build your own? (1)

WeblionX (675030) | about 9 years ago | (#13744036)

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.

Re:Why not build your own? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13745552)

Why not build your own? Check out somewhere like pricewatch

You can get a 400G HD for about $190 and a P4 combo board for about $160.

Install debian and you're ready to rock and roll.

Infrant ReadyNAS (1)

spiralscratch (634649) | about 9 years ago | (#13743595)

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 experience (and based on your submission, it seems you do), this is what I'd recommend.

Re:Infrant ReadyNAS (3, Interesting)

ErikZ (55491) | about 9 years ago | (#13745502)

I just ordered the readyNAS X6 this week. The selling points were:
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.

Re:Infrant ReadyNAS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13746982)

I have one as well and it does kick ass. And I think the price is very competitive against something you would build yourself. Newegg has the 1TB (4 x 250GB) version for just over $1100. My friend is building his own, it'll probably cost about the same, but have more capacity. However his won't be hardware RAID, the software integration won't be there, and it won't look as cool.

And it's funny you compare it to "having you own linux box" because the ReadyNAS is Linux based. Except they are too busy to release the pertinent code, using the "you want new features or us to spend time prepping the code" excuse. I don't know how much benefit there would be to opening the code, I'm sure the web interface and the drivers are proprietary, which probably wouldn't leave much more than a stripped down Sarge distro.

It's too bad, they have such good customer service otherwise. I guess it depends on how much of an Open Source idealist you are, whether or not to support a company with a good product and good customer service but is slacking on GPL compliance.

Here's the relevant thread in their own forums: tart=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight= []

More than you asked for... (1)

gklinger (571901) | about 9 years ago | (#13743869)

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 [] .

Sounds Familiar.... (2, Informative)

Noksagt (69097) | about 9 years ago | (#13743962)

See if any of the suggestions in Data Storage For Home? [] apply to you.

I have done DIY and bought a rig from eRacks & am happy with both.

Re:Sounds Familiar.... (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | about 9 years ago | (#13744286)

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.

Re:Sounds Familiar.... (1)

Noksagt (69097) | about 9 years ago | (#13744520)

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 mentioned, eRacks.

NSLU2 (1)

calibanDNS (32250) | about 9 years ago | (#13744597)

Have you looked at Linksys' NSLU2 [] ? There's a very active community [] 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.

Re:NSLU2 (1)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | about 9 years ago | (#13744742)

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.

Re:NSLU2 (1)

SuperDuh (13356) | about 9 years ago | (#13747516)

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 soon as I get a bigger USB flash stick, I'll be able to install more.
I'm trying to decide what to use the second USB port for; Bluetooth connectivity for my phone, or a second network connection for an enhanced firewall setup.
Actually, the Asterisk HOWTO sounds interesting right now...

For a list of ideas of what you can do with the NSLU2: age/ [] []

Re:NSLU2 (1)

Frodo420024 (557006) | about 9 years ago | (#13745493)

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 :)

Re:NSLU2 (1)

Briareos (21163) | about 9 years ago | (#13745661)

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 [] on it

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

np: Auch - Forever After (Kiss Tomorow Goodbye)

Netgear Storage Central (1)

timdorr (213400) | about 9 years ago | (#13744737)

I just got one of these today: []

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 :)

Re:Netgear Storage Central (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 9 years ago | (#13745158)

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?

Expandable storage (1)

Paul Carver (4555) | about 9 years ago | (#13744782)

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?

I-O Data UHDL-G400U (1)

soramimicake (593421) | about 9 years ago | (#13744969)

If you are looking at Gigabit Ethernet products, consider the I-O Data UHDL-G400U [] . 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 [] is not selling it yet it seems.

Depends on your needs (1)

pjgunst (452345) | about 9 years ago | (#13745623)

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): 4 []

Windows® 98SE*; Windows® 2000*; Windows® Me*; Windows® XP (SP1 & SP2); Mac® OS 9*/X, Linux 2.4 & higher*
* Only on the Ethernet network

It has everything he wished for, it's cheap and easy to use.

If compatibility isn't an issue, just google around for some reviews. If I remember correctly, most of the reviewers were quite impressed with the solutions from SimpleTech: ndex.php []

us robotics (1)

way2trivial (601132) | about 9 years ago | (#13752929)

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.

LaCie network disk (1)

boring, tired (865401) | about 9 years ago | (#13760393)

I recently bought a LaCie ethernet disk 1TB [] 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..

Tritton Simple NAS (1)

rtechie (244489) | about 9 years ago | (#13780069)

Simple NAS NSS001.htm []
You can get capacities up to 250GB, but I bought the bare enclosure.

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

Telnet doesn't work right

Bought it for $99 at Fry's.
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