NAS or "Network Attached Storage" ( http://tinyurl.com/lumpz ) is a technology for adding disk space to a network for use by everyone on the LAN. It’s one way that the huge amount of storage provided by our $500 terabyte PC ( http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=183702383 ) can be used:
Fred: Just a note on your server project. I too am building a server for my home use (something I never thought I would be doing 5 years ago!). In it I have some old hardware running high capacity drives and a specialized linux build call Freenas ( http://www.freenas.org ) – an open source operating system for servers. It seems pretty nice, and can work with samba, ftp, http, nfs, and can handle many disk formats, and hardware interfaces. Installation was a breeze, just do some simple network hardware setup then login using a web browser to configure and mount your disks. A real neat solution. Also, there is a similar solution called Naslite ( http://www.serverelements.com ) that does a similar thing, but as a commercial solution. Great newsletter, Scott Barrett
Thanks, Scot. NAS-specific software is a good alternative if you’re not especially interested in using the NAS hardware as a PC. If you DO want to use the hardware as a stand-alone or spare PC, then it’s probably better to go with a traditional operating system that allows sharing— say, XP with file-sharing enabled; or Linux with SAMBA ( http://www.google.com/search?q=linux+samba ) On the other hand, if the NAS hardware is *only* going to be used as shared storage, than NAS-specific software gets you there via the most direct route.
For that matter, that approach can lead you full circle back to dedicated, all-in-one NAS devices:
Fred: Thanx for the Langalist… so much to learn!
I like your idea of a "Terabyte Server"…. but there is a much easier way. The Buffalo Tera Station costs less than $700 and only takes a few minutes to setup. On sale, with rebates, I’ve purchased many at around $650. These are S*W*E*E*T units, with all sorts of features, like RAID 5, spanning & mirroring, FTP access, gigabit nic, email reporting, built-in backup, print server, and more. I’m guessing with the introduction of their new Tera Station Pro, the price might drop a bit soon.
We use these beasts for backup, archive space, and as the main "server" for smaller companies. At Fry’s Electronics (Outpost.com), you can get a 3-year no-questions-asked replacement plan for $85.
‘Nothing against your $500 creation… but time is money these days… I’m done building "Frankenstein" boxes.
Keep up the great work! —Tim Greer