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'[OT] Cheap NAS for home use'
2008\09\20@045010 by Xiaofan Chen

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Recently we have one more external HDD at home. This time it is a cheap
Western Digital Mybook World Edition 500GB. The cost is only SGD175
or about US$125. And there are a lot of discussions about some better
ones like D-Link DNS-323 NAS with 2 bay drive.
(http://discuss.extremetech.com/forums/1/1004367473/ShowThread.aspx).
And then there are things like Microsoft Home Server or Linux/Samba
or other PC based solution (especially now Atom comes out).
(http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/content/view/30571/77/)

The performance of Mybook World is not that great. It is also a bit too hot.
But one good thing is that it is really hackable due to the use of Linux.

Right now we use the USB host port as a printer server. Maybe
I should try it with PICkit 2 to see if it works with pk2cmd.

Are you using any NAS at home? Do you like this better or a
PC shared drive better?

Regards,
Xiaofan

2008\09\20@050531 by Dario Greggio

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Xiaofan Chen wrote:

> Are you using any NAS at home? Do you like this better or a
> PC shared drive better?

I bought a LaCIE some months ago for a customer, 500GB, and is good
enough and cheap. Good interface, stable.
I've not used them a lot. I think that the idea is kind of good, I 'd
rather have a single shared disc as a "home repository" than a whole PC
acting as a server - safer, especially if PC runs Windows...
NAS are also wireless nowadays, you know of course.

But, thinking about "tomorrow's domotic", where a PC will be running
24/7 (as I've ben doing for years, I mean), the external NAS may not be
that useful.

--
Ciao, Dario

2008\09\20@052818 by Picbits Sales

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I bought a CNET CLD-101 NAS box.

Now I'm on my second after the first was replaced under warranty. I manage
around 2-3 days of uptime before it hangs (sometimes sooner if we actually
use it), the fans are noisy and it won't work if you are using Vista.

Tried getting support for it through CNET and it was like getting blood from
a stone. Websites timed out or redirected to "page not found" when putting
through support tickets, the American side of CNET managed to give me a
reply but it was along the lines of "not our problem" and overall managed to
get absolutely nowhere.

This was a couple of years ago and since then I've avoided ANY CNET product
like the plague no matter how good a deal it was.

Amongst my top 10 of worst companies I've ever dealt with.

On the plus side, I have an Ubuntu server in the attic which is running
MythTv, Samba, Apache and Mail software and it seems rock solid as a NAS
device (>1Tb storage)

Dom
{Original Message removed}

2008\09\20@053600 by Vitaliy

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Dario Greggio wrote:
> But, thinking about "tomorrow's domotic", where a PC will be running
> 24/7 (as I've ben doing for years, I mean), the external NAS may not be
> that useful.

My PC at work runs 24/7. I reboot it only when absolutely necessary, on
average every 5 days or so -- but it's on all the time. Remote desktop is
the primary reason, but being able to monitor/control things while I'm not
physically there is pretty cool, too. :)

Our home PC is on almost all the time, too. It has several internal and
external drives, which is basically our version of NAT. Put a laptop on top
of the TV, and you got wireless streaming video.  :)  I've been thinking
about other applications for it -- home security, "smart home" stuff, etc --  
but quite predictably, there's never time to do any of it...

Vitaliy

2008\09\20@071431 by Xiaofan Chen

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On Sat, Sep 20, 2008 at 5:27 PM, Picbits Sales <spam_OUTsalesTakeThisOuTspampicbits.co.uk> wrote:
> I bought a CNET CLD-101 NAS box.
>
> Now I'm on my second after the first was replaced under warranty. I manage
> around 2-3 days of uptime before it hangs (sometimes sooner if we actually
> use it), the fans are noisy and it won't work if you are using Vista.

My Mybook World Edition works nicely with my Windows Vista Home Premium
32bit very nicely. Without any setup, Vista can recognize it as a node in
the network. It also works with the CUPS printer server.
http://mcuee.blogspot.com/

Still I am a bit worried to trust Mybook World since it is a single HDD setup.
So I will still need to use my other external USB HDDs.

Xiaofan

2008\09\20@073623 by Rolf

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Xiaofan Chen wrote:
{Quote hidden}

I've had a home 'NAS' system for a decade now... various flavours of
linux running on a server in the basement.

My feeling on the subject is as follows.... if you have valuable data,
especially lots of valuable data, then you should spend time and money
investing in a good system to manage that data. Off the shelf NAS boxes
like the 'World Book' from WD are useful tools in a storage system, but
should not form the guts of it.

A storage system should have reliable backups, and should have
point-in-time snapshots (so you can go through a history of your data).

Further, a storage system should be a centralized store for all your
valuable data. Using IMAP as a mail system allows the centralization of
the mail data, using SAMBA allows for the centralization of bulk data
like photos and videos, documents, and music. Using a central web server
allows for things like wiki's to be used to centralize the house's
knowledge base (I download the PDF manuals for everything I buy, and put
them on the server, and make them accessible through the wiki. It makes
things much simpler to find later...), which also implies running a
database on the server...

So, as far as I am concerned, the server is a critical component, and
the 'workstations' (windows machines of various sorts) are just
disposable come-and-go devices that can crash/reformat/etc. at will.

The point is that there needs to be more than just a storage device in
the guts of the system. There needs to be more intelligence, and, only a
full machine has the oomph to supply that.

Then again, devices like the current crop of NAS ones are very useful as
part of a backup strategy. The days of DVD and Tape backups are going. I
have 3TB of storage on my server (one TB of real data - mail, photos,
music, with photos being the bulky part at 500GB and the rest comming to
a total of 800GB), which is used to store the 'live data', and a
mirrored copy of it, and then also a live snapshot historical record of
the data. I also have a set of DVD backups, but, 800GB is a lot of
DVD's. It makes sense to back up to hard drives now, and I am moving to
that sort of system. NAS is good for that.

2008\09\20@074256 by Brent Brown

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On 20 Sep 2008 at 16:50, Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> Are you using any NAS at home? Do you like this better or a
> PC shared drive better?

For my combined home/office environment I bought a Dlink DNS-300, threw in a
250G IDE HD and put it in my garage (separate building, in case house burns
down), connected by 100Mbps LAN. Also had it's own UPS for a while. I run auto
schedules with SyncBackSE to back up all my work files every hour, and other stuff
like email, data sheets, pictures, videos, etc once a day. A slight inconvenience is
that SynBackSE locks files while it's copying them, most noticeable in my PCB CAD
program that hangs for a few seconds while this completes, no big deal. I've had the
DNS-300 for probably 2 years or more now and it's worked flawlessly. There's more
it can do that I haven't bothered with.. media server, multiple user accounts, print
server, FTP etc. If I'd change anything about it I'd definitely upgrade to gigabit
ethernet (like the newer DNS-323) ~ 100Mbps is a little slow for really large files but
only when you're waiting for them. And possibly dual drives with RAID for better
backup. Also thought about putting one in my car with a wireless access point - then
I would have a wireless hot spot that travels with me and my laptop and all my
worldly data.

--
Brent Brown, Electronic Design Solutions
16 English Street, St Andrews,
Hamilton 3200, New Zealand
Ph: +64 7 849 0069
Fax: +64 7 849 0071
Cell: +64 27 433 4069
eMail:  .....brent.brownKILLspamspam@spam@clear.net.nz


2008\09\20@110456 by Xiaofan Chen

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On Sat, Sep 20, 2008 at 7:42 PM, Brent Brown <brent.brownspamKILLspamclear.net.nz> wrote:
> If I'd change anything about it I'd definitely upgrade to gigabit
> ethernet (like the newer DNS-323) ~ 100Mbps is a little slow for really large files but
> only when you're waiting for them. And possibly dual drives with RAID for better
> backup. Also thought about putting one in my car with a wireless access point - then
> I would have a wireless hot spot that travels with me and my laptop and all my
> worldly data.

On paper DNS-323 looks nice. Here is a good review.
http://reviews.cnet.com/external-hard-drives/d-link-dns-323/4505-3190_7-32002040.html

You will notice that speed on the current low end NAS is not that great
with Mybook World (the cheapest) being the slowest even with Gigabit
Ethernet interface. I am thinking that the lowly ARM9 processor and
the low memory may play a big part as well. Maybe Intel Atom based
NAS can change this.

One good thing about NAS compared to leaving the PC on is the low
power consumption and (perceived) stability.

Xiaofan

2008\09\20@121423 by Bob Blick

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Hi Xiaofan,

Performance of an NAS is always going to be governed by the processor.
As you have noticed, the WD MyBookWorld has gigabit but only achieves
about 35 megabits. That isn't good enough and if you buy a NAS with good
performance it costs as much as a PC(and uses as much electricity). So
why not use a PC?

WRT mirroring and backups. Mirroring saves you from downtime while you
restore from backups. You still must always do backups. Using rsync each
day (or other interval) to a USB drive works well. Get two USB drives
and alternate every day.

I found a site with restore images for the MyBookWorld and swapped in a
smaller drive in mine. Now it is a cute Linux gadget novelty. I've used
the 500gb drive somewhere else for real storage :)

Cheerful regards,

Bob



Xiaofan Chen wrote:

> Are you using any NAS at home? Do you like this better or a
> PC shared drive better?

2008\09\20@121722 by Peter Loron

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On Sep 20, 2008, at 1:50 AM, Xiaofan Chen wrote:

{Quote hidden}

I would recommend either getting one of the Buffalo NAS devices  
(TerraStation/LinkStation, etc), or a full-on PC running Linux.

The Buffalo products are quite hackable and can run an embedded Linux  
distro:

http://buffalo.nas-central.org/index.php/Main_Page

For optimum control and performance, you should just invest in a good  
PC with a RAID array and a good controller. I've been running such a  
system (not completely dedicated to storage, but mostly) for several  
years. Works great. Supplies many services to the household (central  
storage, print server, prototype web server, MythTV PVR, etc.).

Also check out the FreeNAS project. It is sort of in the middle. It is  
a dedicated BSD distro tailored to storage serving. Easy to install  
and get running. You get the power and performance of a full PC with  
less hassle. You do give up the ability to provide some other  
services, etc.

http://www.freenas.org/

Which to do depends on your specific desires, budget, and free time.  
If you just want something you can buy, plug in, and forget that has  
ok performance, get one of the Buffalo units. If you have some time to  
tinker or need something more powerful, get a PC.

-Pete

2008\09\20@163139 by Dario Greggio

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Vitaliy wrote:

> Dario Greggio wrote:
>
>>But, thinking about "tomorrow's domotic", where a PC will be running
>>24/7 (as I've ben doing for years, I mean), the external NAS may not be
>>that useful.
>
>
> My PC at work runs 24/7. I reboot it only when absolutely necessary, on
> average every 5 days or so -- but it's on all the time. Remote desktop is
> the primary reason, but being able to monitor/control things while I'm not
> physically there is pretty cool, too. :)

Yep me too :) I've been doing that since 1997
I reboot on average once in a month, with Win 2000.

> Our home PC is on almost all the time, too. It has several internal and
> external drives, which is basically our version of NAT. Put a laptop on top
> of the TV, and you got wireless streaming video.  :)  I've been thinking
> about other applications for it -- home security, "smart home" stuff, etc --  
> but quite predictably, there's never time to do any of it...

that's fun though :))

--
Ciao, Dario

2008\09\21@025451 by Vitaliy

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Dario Greggio
> Yep me too :) I've been doing that since 1997

In 1997, my computer was a Commodore 128. I bought my first IBM compatible
the following year (it was a 33Mhz/16Mb/200Mb  Olivetti).

> I reboot on average once in a month, with Win 2000.

Not bad.

>> I've been thinking
>> about other applications for it -- home security, "smart home" stuff,
>> etc --
>> but quite predictably, there's never time to do any of it...
>
> that's fun though :))

I bet. :) What kind of "smart home" stuff do you have?



2008\09\21@104754 by Dave

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I run a Ubuntu 8.04 server as a samba server on a pc upstairs... I
suppose this could be called a NAS :)

On Sat, 2008-09-20 at 16:50 +0800, Xiaofan Chen wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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