Network-attached storage (NAS) boxes are all very well, but they're not what you'd call user friendly. Arch-geeks love 'em for storing and streaming content, but a fair few folk would prefer a simpler yet equally robust way of making storage available on a network. Enter Data Robotics' oddly named Drobo, an external storage …
Can anyone say "NETGEAR ReadyNAS"?
Because when you look at it, the NETGEAR ReadyNAS (used to be Infrant ReadyNAS before NETGEAR bought Infrant) costs about the same amount as the Drobo with the DroboShare thing, but has way more features, better warranty, and works with everything.
And no, I don't work for NETGEAR, but yes I do have one of these ReadyNASs and it's been a god-send.
Infrant/netgear Ready NAS
I bought one of those - interesting concept until the two of the Seagate 400GB SATA drives decided to die - one on its own and one as the RAID5 array was rebuilding - hang on, I can hear the phones ringing off the wall at Kroll Ontrack - cost us about £8k for OnTrack to recover the data (was worth it and it a brilliant service).
I decided that I didn't like the ReadyNAS, so went out and bought a HP NAS which runs Windows Storage Server and has 1.6TB of space. Cost the same as the Infrant/Netgear ReadyNAS and its a lot better and so much easier to use.
Sorry, but its just easier to pay BillG - I haven't got time to experiment with other OSs.
You can get propper giggabit NAS boxes
with RAID 5 for less than this (e.g the Thecus N5200B). Why go for a bodged two box system?
This is a decent system to give home users some basic redundant storage.
Easy to use idiot lights on the front and EASY dynamic resizing. These 2 features make it a great for the home market.
Add hot spare availability and true RAID 5 to the idiot lights and easy resizing, and I'll buy these for my family for xmas.
I looked at (home) NAS boxes recently ...
... and came to the conclusion that it's cheaper / better to build a PC based on a mobo with 4 sata ports, particularly if, like me, you have old PC cases with power supplies hanging around.
Mine came in at under 100 quid (excluding disks) with a low-end Core 2 processor and 2Gb Ram.
get a SLUG!
50-odd quid. if you really want RAID n such, bung slugOS on it, and use LVM. dirt cheap _with_ data protection. obviously not a beginner's solution but they are lovely little bits of kit and run with virtually no electricity.
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