Shopping for NAS - suggestions?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Deanster, Aug 16, 2007.

  1. Deanster

    Deanster Cheese? CLM Millennium Member

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    Feb 24, 1999
    Hi all -

    I'm usually posting answers here, but today I've got a question - I'm looking to add a NAS to my home network as a media and file storage unit, and as a centralized backup point for the three desktops and two laptops in my home. I know what I'd like to do, but I haven't worked with enough of the different NAS out there to know what the 'best match' is. I'd appreciate your help.

    In my perfect world, the unit would have around 500 GB to 1TB capacity, have GigE, USB2 and Firewire/1394a interfaces, with at least two simultaneously active - I'd like it to be both NAS and direct-connect to a computer at the same time.

    I'm torn between two and four disks - as a file server, a mirror makes sense, but as a backup unit, it doesn't. Similarly, running RAID 5, RAID 0+1, or RAID 10 all seem like overkill for a home unit. I would, however, like to be able to back up to either a removable drive in the unit, or an external drive to take offsite. Not quite sure what the smoothest way to do this is....

    All in all, I'd prefer a software RAID controller to hardware - speed isn't so important, and hardware RAID controllers are notorious for leaving you screwed if the controller itself fails, where a software controller can just be reloaded and you're good to go.

    Finally, I'd like to have a unit with really good power management, which spins down the disks when inactive - as a home unit, this won't be getting much in the way of continuous use, so powering up and down elegantly is a major value.

    I realize I won't likely get everything on this list, but it's my list of 'perfect' features. I'd sure appreciate any input you have into brands and units that are good in these areas. I'd like the final product not to break the bank, but I'm also willing to pay for something that really meets the criteria.