Print Story Query the Hussy: NAS Opinions
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By lolwhat (Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 04:52:21 AM EST) who needs backups, sleeping with one eye open (all tags)
No, not the influential hiphop arteeste.


Right, so one of my hard disks took a shit last week. CBL pronounced it DOA - totally unrecoverable. Not good, since 1) it had a bunch of photos of Mini-Me on it - our only copies - and 2) backups, what? I'm still alive somehow, but Teh Wyfe may just be biding her time.

So, NAS recommendations are welcome; we won't just store pics on it. I'd like one with RAID, and hopefully a controller that doesn't shit the bed and trash the disks. Of course, if I really should be doing backups to something else anyway, then thoughts on that are appreciated as well. Opinions as to which storage thingies to plug into the NAS will be rewarded with my, um, eternal gratitude as well.

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Query the Hussy: NAS Opinions | 28 comments (28 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Did you try putting the HD in the Freezer? by ks1178 (3.00 / 1) #1 Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:05:01 AM EST
I've got no suggestions for a personal NAS device though. I just use a portable hard drive for backups.

Heh. by lolwhat (2.00 / 0) #2 Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:45:00 AM EST
CBL's professional opinion is that the freezer trick works very seldom, and it could cause other problems in addition.
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If cigarette packs are required to have pictures of diseased lungs, college brochures should be required to have photos of grads working at Starbucks.
[ Parent ]
What've you got to lose? by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #4 Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 08:15:20 AM EST


Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Oh, I did try it. It didn't work. [nt] by lolwhat (2.00 / 0) #6 Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 08:56:02 AM EST

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If cigarette packs are required to have pictures of diseased lungs, college brochures should be required to have photos of grads working at Starbucks.
[ Parent ]
Blather by Herring (4.00 / 2) #3 Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 07:14:10 AM EST
I was going to say something about not getting 2 (or however many) drives from the same manufacturer. I was looking at big HDDs a few weeks ago, and a couple of times on hardware sites, I saw user reviews like "I bought two of these and set them up as RAID 1 and they both failed at the same time". What are the chances of two drives with identical hardware and identical firmware revisions failing in the same way at the same time?

This might be bollocks though.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky

How much do you want to pay? by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #5 Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 08:18:06 AM EST
Reviews of various NAS devices.

Given the price of some of those it might be cheaper to roll your own.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Re: roll your own by lolwhat (2.00 / 0) #7 Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:35:20 AM EST
Any recommendations on this front?
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If cigarette packs are required to have pictures of diseased lungs, college brochures should be required to have photos of grads working at Starbucks.
[ Parent ]
well, I thought the typical DIY by sasquatchan (3.50 / 2) #8 Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:04:36 AM EST
was a linux box with a SATA controller and a few SATA drives hooked up in a RAID configuration..

[ Parent ]
Get one of those mini-towers. by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #9 Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:09:36 AM EST
ATX format? Not sure. Get a raid controller that will fit in there, enough drives (from different manufacturers as others have noted) for the controller. Two is probably good enough.

Note that some motherboards have raid built in. You also need a network card. Linux drivers for the same.

So you need a tower with enough drive bays for the raid disks and the OS disk. Cards for raid and network.

Install a Linux. You don't need all the GUI bells and whistles, a minimal X is good here. You just need to be able to get ssh running and then be able to remote login to it.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
alt-Ubuntu includes software raid by wumpus (2.00 / 0) #28 Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 08:36:19 AM EST
I think free-NAS (or some similar combination) is a straight forward BSD appliance, but haven't tried it.

Installing ubuntu from the alt discs seems rather straightforward (haven't needed samba yet, so this isn't that strong a recomendation). Just look in partitioning options and find all the raid you need.

Wumpus

[ Parent ]
IOMega by Gedvondur (4.00 / 2) #10 Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:39:30 AM EST
I recommend the Iomega StorCenter IX2.

Supports DLNA, uPNP and will do torrents.  Supports Apple shares and can function as an iTunes repository.


Comes with Retrospect backup for all the machines in your house as well.  Lots of great features.

That being said it's also small and quiet.

You should also look into Mozy for backup offsite.  Its cheap. Five bucks a month, unlimited storage.


No roll your own storage can come close to what this does.  Roll your own is bush league, IMHO.  Off the shelf ATX components are what got you here.



Gedvondur







"...I almost puked like a pregnant StackyMcRacky." --MillMan
I will *never* buy another IOMega product by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #11 Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:24:01 AM EST
Ever.

Bastards.
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[ Parent ]
Is your experience by Gedvondur (2.00 / 0) #12 Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:30:47 AM EST
Pre or post EMC acquisition?

I felt the same way about them, but EMC has straitened them out a great deal....



Gedvondur



"...I almost puked like a pregnant StackyMcRacky." --MillMan
[ Parent ]
Probably pre by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #16 Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:57:21 AM EST
But they owe me $400 and until I get that, I will not do business with them, regardless. Full stop.

They own me 2 $100 rebates on the 100 MB Zip drives, and a $200 rebate on a 1GB Zip drive. I called them about it and they said "we're not responsible for anything lost in the mail." That's all well and good, but they said that before I even gave them my name. Plus I had the USPS confirmation delivery proof right in front of me. I can only assume that every rebate form was lost in the mail.

They owe me.
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[ Parent ]
The bright side. by ni (4.00 / 2) #20 Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 01:10:11 PM EST
I think you're viewing this all wrong. You've just been given a wonderful opportunity to write a menacing letter to be delivered by certified mail. These opportunities don't come every day. You'd be a fool to waste it.


"These days it seems like sometimes dreams of Italian hyper-gonadism are all a man's got to keep him going." -- CRwM
[ Parent ]
Um, by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #24 Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 02:18:23 PM EST
┬┐que?
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[ Parent ]
Fair enough (n/t) by Gedvondur (2.00 / 0) #22 Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 01:57:28 PM EST


"...I almost puked like a pregnant StackyMcRacky." --MillMan
[ Parent ]
Where is the fun in *buying* one? by Herring (4.00 / 2) #13 Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:35:26 AM EST
For the same, or slightly more money, you could have one that you built yourself and that works most of the time.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky
[ Parent ]
Usually by Gedvondur (2.00 / 0) #23 Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 01:59:26 PM EST
Usually I like the idea of build it yourself but the point of a NAS device is to be single-purpose and easy to use.  Most do it yourself NAS attempts are just servers and tend to have all of the baggage that goes along with.  Commercial NAS have been stripped of any functionality beyond what is required.

That and as far as a technical challenge goes, man you could find better challenges than making a NAS.


 

Gedvondur


"...I almost puked like a pregnant StackyMcRacky." --MillMan
[ Parent ]
Very interesting... by chuckles (2.00 / 0) #18 Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 12:34:47 PM EST
Not so much the ix2, but the ix4-200r is VMware certified as an iSCSI target.

"The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin [...] would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities"
[ Parent ]
Indeed by Gedvondur (2.00 / 0) #21 Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 01:56:43 PM EST
The ix4 is a great product, but usually more than most people need for home NAS.




Gedvondur

"...I almost puked like a pregnant StackyMcRacky." --MillMan
[ Parent ]
I have a *lot* of pr0n. -nt by chuckles (4.00 / 1) #26 Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 04:31:28 PM EST


"The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin [...] would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities"
[ Parent ]
Promise, WD and 3ware by gpig (4.00 / 2) #14 Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:37:33 AM EST
I notice that one of my favourite providers of mid-level storage boxes have branched out into home NAS:

http://promise.com/product/pd_l3.asp?Product_Layer_ID=PRLA20060907003

They have 2-disk and 4-disk versions.

As for disks, Seagate have taken a spectacular fall from grace at the moment due to long-running firmware errors, so the best game in town is Western Digital. I'd go for WD Caviar Green for something which is on all the time, it'll save you a bit of power and run cooler.

If you build your own, make sure you're getting hardware RAID, not FakeRAID. (FakeRAID is where some of the RAID functions are implemented in software, so an OS crash while rebuilding the array, or in some cases while writing to disk, can really spoil your day). My personal recommendation if you buy a separate RAID card would be 3ware.
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(,   ,') -- eep

My NAS experience by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #15 Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:54:46 AM EST
It's been about a year or so since I looked, but I eventually bought a SimpleTech 500GB NAS. It works fine for the most part. There are problems with it though. A Windows XP Home does not seem to be able to see it, for some reason. Haven't really looked into it since that laptop is not long for this world. XP Pro has no problem. The Newegg reviews says it doesn't work well with Vista, but I have no experience with that.

The way it does shares is a little strange, but works fine once you figure it out. You can RAID it with a separate USB drive (I haven't done that, though).

One of the nice features is that you can specify a spin-down time.

Until I can find something nicer, I think from now on, I'll be using external USB drives.

One word of warning, though: be very, very careful about file systems on a NAS. Many of the lower priced ones still use FAT32, which is useless for backing up anything larger than 2GB (or is it 4GB?). That includes, oh, say, DVD ISO's.
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Synology by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #17 Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 12:04:01 PM EST
I have had one of these for a couple of years now.  It has been rock solid...it has been powered on 24/7 since the day I bought it, and has spent most of that time in an unairconditioned garage.  It's got a hell of a lot of features, most of which I've only futzed with.  (Web server, DLNA server, etc.)  Backs up automatically to a USB drive.  I can't recommend it enough.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
how much disk do you need? by clover kicker (4.00 / 1) #19 Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 12:57:11 PM EST
You probably don't need RAID, a single 1TB drive is a lot of space for anything except video.

My setup is a server /w 2 drives, 1 live and one for backups, i.e. rsynch snapshots every few hours. I also synch a portable USB drive occasionally and store it offsite.

My server is a 1.2GHz AMD box, which is ludicrously overpowered. The last machine was a Pentium 233MMX which was perfectly fine for 100BaseT, the reason for the upgrade was GigE.

Dude by Dr Thrustgood (3.00 / 1) #25 Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 04:29:19 PM EST
Why not use Amazon S3 instead of spending all that wonga on an unreliable NAS unit?



or Mechanical Turk by chuckles (2.00 / 0) #27 Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 04:33:52 PM EST
He could pay people in the Third World pennies to transcribe all his data to clay tablets.

"The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin [...] would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities"
[ Parent ]
Query the Hussy: NAS Opinions | 28 comments (28 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback