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Thread: External HDD / Home NAS Reccomendations

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    External HDD / Home NAS Reccomendations

    Hellooo.

    Greetings all, just joined this wonderful forum having stumbled across this thru search. I've been out of the market for all things PC related for a while, but now looking to update my home setup. One of the things I desperately need is reccomendations on a home NAS device, or failing which, possibly reccomendations around a potential RAID'd setup for my home server.


    I've now amassed a massive archive of family pictures as well as having ripped my CD's / DVD's to my MCE. ...and I'm now running out of space on my two internal 250GB drives, and my external 100GB Lacie. I've since backed up most of the pics etc to DVD and my CD/DVD's are stored safely in the loft, but I need a home network solution to host these, and preferably to host them redundantly.

    Here are my options:

    Cheap option A)
    2 x Lacie 500GB external USB Disk Drives - Cheap at £120.00 total, but no redundancy

    Option B)
    Low End Home NAS solution - Buffulo 1TB NAS Box - (not costed)

    Option C)
    SATA II Raid Card & 3 * 500GB Spinpoint Internal Disks (RAID 5). (£250.00)
    Not really costed the NAS Solution, but everything i've seen so far is not cheap!- looking at that now - but thought I'd reach out to see what everyone else is using, to see if there are better answers to my scenario.

    Thanks all for your help
    nme
    Last edited by nme_uk; 04-09-2007 at 12:56 AM.

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    Re: External HDD / Home NAS Reccomendations

    Think the Buffalo is going to work out as the most costly if you go with a 1Tb version.

    Odd, can't see the 1TB versions now, could do a few weeks back.

    Although the Linkstation Pros will be phased out in favour of the LIVE versions which have some media streaming capability.

    The 750Gb versions are about £219ish.......

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    Re: External HDD / Home NAS Reccomendations

    Have you looked at building up a small NAS box using http://www.freenas.org/, the PC side of things can be nice and light (1GHZ P3 etc) and put it all in an SFF case.

    It may cost more initially, but you do get your redundancy (With a RAID card) and expandability.

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    Re: External HDD / Home NAS Reccomendations

    Quote Originally Posted by rysz View Post
    Have you looked at building up a small NAS box using http://www.freenas.org/, the PC side of things can be nice and light (1GHZ P3 etc) and put it all in an SFF case.

    It may cost more initially, but you do get your redundancy (With a RAID card) and expandability.
    That looks interesting, but it is a software solution, you still need a minimal PC to run it - RAID looks as if it provided by the kernel modules (nothing wrong with that though)

    Alternatively look at the linksys NSLU2. No raid, but very inexpensive. (About £60 plus the cost pf the hard drives and you can - if you want - hack it into an application server)
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    Re: External HDD / Home NAS Reccomendations

    The Maxtor Shared Storage range might be worth a look as well, no RAID but quite cheap.

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    Re: External HDD / Home NAS Reccomendations

    Quote Originally Posted by CrimsonAvenger View Post
    Think the Buffalo is going to work out as the most costly if you go with a 1Tb version.

    Although the Linkstation Pros will be phased out in favour of the LIVE versions which have some media streaming capability.

    The 750Gb versions are about £219ish.......
    Hi CrimsonAvenger, hmmm... seen them on a couple of sites, including amazon - they work out about £500 ish - I was hoping they'd come down a bit since I last looked about three months ago, but it doesn't look like the price is shifting!

    Quote Originally Posted by rysz View Post
    Have you looked at building up a small NAS box using, the PC side of things can be nice and light (1GHZ P3 etc) and put it all in an SFF case.

    It may cost more initially, but you do get your redundancy (With a RAID card) and expandability.
    rysx, I'm not too keen on running another device, as it'll be on most of the time - trying to think envrinmentally (plus the 'leccy bill keeps on going up!) Plus, I'm looking to build a new HTPC - SFF box for streaming content to, which will be in the living room, and for that reason alone, I need to keep the cost down here... Also as peterb points out, its Software based RAID, which in my experience has never been as reliable as hardware based...Although it does sound like good solution in all other respects


    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    RAID looks as if it provided by the kernel modules (nothing wrong with that though)

    Alternatively look at the linksys NSLU2. No raid, but very inexpensive. (About £60 plus the cost pf the hard drives and you can - if you want - hack it into an application server)
    The cost of this sounds really tempting, but I think having to power another device is a good enough reason to pass. - thanks for the heads up though

    Quote Originally Posted by abeacock View Post
    The Maxtor Shared Storage range might be worth a look as well, no RAID but quite cheap.
    abeacock - not seen this range before, but will definately take a look. But to be honest, at this point, I'm swinging seriously to Option C - Adding three 500GB SATA II disks and a SATA II Raid controller to my existing server - Might even add another nic to this and see if i can isolate / throttle traffic across the nic.

    I was looking at the samsung spinpoints at scan - about£63.00 each - Anybody reccomend any decent raid controllers ?

    Thanks all for your help here - mucho appreciatted

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    Re: External HDD / Home NAS Reccomendations

    Just about to make a purchase having decided to go with the three 500GB disks in my existing server.
    I'm looking for a cheap sata II raid controller capable of RAID 5. The only one that fits really is the Highpoint controller. Anybody have any experience with this? Any other reccomendations or suggestions?


    Also, how do the samsungs sound for a raid set?

    Thanks

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    Re: External HDD / Home NAS Reccomendations

    forgot the link to the goodies


    By nme_uk at 2007-09-11
    Last edited by nme_uk; 11-09-2007 at 06:49 PM.

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    Re: External HDD / Home NAS Reccomendations

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    That looks interesting, but it is a software solution, you still need a minimal PC to run it - RAID looks as if it provided by the kernel modules (nothing wrong with that though)

    Alternatively look at the linksys NSLU2. No raid, but very inexpensive. (About £60 plus the cost pf the hard drives and you can - if you want - hack it into an application server)
    Nearly all nas boxes uses PC architecture and Linux software RAID anyway.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    Re: External HDD / Home NAS Reccomendations

    Any suggestions for a low cost SATA2 Raid controller capable of RAID 5 and sub 80 quid bracket?

    I'm only found the highpoint so far! Anybody used this before? - thoughts?

    Help please?

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    Re: External HDD / Home NAS Reccomendations

    I'm coming in a bit late, but I have a Terastation and the Maxtor NAS. the Terastation is not cheap particularly, but it is simple to use and manage, is a LOT smaller than a PC and makes a lot less noise and heat. I picked up the maxtor as it was quite cheap, and although a little more fiddly than the Terastation, does seem to work well, although doesn't have RAID.

    With all that in mind - you could use a simple single disk NAS (like the Maxtor) to act as a share source, and use a USB drive to take backups of it?

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    Re: External HDD / Home NAS Reccomendations

    I'd be REALLY careful ordering those parts... The 1810 is a PCI-X (PCI-Extended), they tend to only be on server motherboards which I doubt you have.

    Alternative: http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=368154

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    Re: External HDD / Home NAS Reccomendations

    Agreed, you want PCI-e (PCI Express) and not PCI-X.

    Hexus recently revieved the HighPoint RocketRAID 2300 which costs under £90:
    http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=9556

    Also, Scan frequently have the XFX Revo 64 3-port PCI card for just over a tenner. Hexus also reviewed that a while ago:
    http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=1366

    I have one of the latter and am very happy with it. Because it's PCI it's not as fast in day-to-day use as some RAID solutions, and is possibly a bit slower than a standard SATA drive at small reads & writes, but it DOES give you the redundancy of RAID 3 for just over ten quid. I certainly don't notice it being any slower than when I just had a single SATA drive and in any case you want it for the redundancy rather than the speed. For that price you could even buy two if you're worried about what happens if your card fails!

    Regards

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    Re: External HDD / Home NAS Reccomendations

    anyone know of a good price/deal for a NAS enclosure? Preferably SATA

    I want to put a 500GB samsung in there


    it would have to be cheaper than £40 as i can get a very neat Freecom 500GB NAS with samsung drive built in for £100:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/128483
    Last edited by Marcos; 14-09-2007 at 10:29 AM.

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    Re: External HDD / Home NAS Reccomendations

    RAID is not a substitute for keeping backups! RAID is at its best for maintaining operations (which is why it is so often found on servers. True, if a disk fails, you have some redundancty (provided you are monitoring the RAID performance, but you still have a single point of failure in the RAID controller. As someone posted elsewhere, his controller failed and damaged the array, but luckily he was able to rebuild it without loss of data using a specially supplied utility.

    So if it is critical data - don't forget to back it up offline!
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    Re: External HDD / Home NAS Reccomendations

    Quote Originally Posted by kungpo View Post
    I'm coming in a bit late, but I have a Terastation and the Maxtor NAS. the Terastation is not cheap particularly, but it is simple to use and manage, is a LOT smaller than a PC and makes a lot less noise and heat. I picked up the maxtor as it was quite cheap, and although a little more fiddly than the Terastation, does seem to work well, although doesn't have RAID.

    With all that in mind - you could use a simple single disk NAS (like the Maxtor) to act as a share source, and use a USB drive to take backups of it?
    Hey Kungpo - thanks for the heads up - I've thought about a dedicated NAS, but eventually decided against it - just on the basis of cost and also dont want to have another device running 24/7. I think extending the disks in my server is the best option for me. Thanks for the pointer though

    Quote Originally Posted by DataMatrix View Post
    I'd be REALLY careful ordering those parts... The 1810 is a PCI-X (PCI-Extended), they tend to only be on server motherboards which I doubt you have.

    Alternative: http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=368154

    DataMatrix - Great Catch! - I'd missed that completely - will check out the alternatives

    Quote Originally Posted by Nelviticus View Post
    Agreed, you want PCI-e (PCI Express) and not PCI-X.

    Hexus recently revieved the HighPoint RocketRAID 2300 which costs under £90:
    http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=9556

    Also, Scan frequently have the XFX Revo 64 3-port PCI card for just over a tenner. Hexus also reviewed that a while ago:
    http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=1366

    I have one of the latter and am very happy with it. Because it's PCI it's not as fast in day-to-day use as some RAID solutions, and is possibly a bit slower than a standard SATA drive at small reads & writes, but it DOES give you the redundancy of RAID 3 for just over ten quid. I certainly don't notice it being any slower than when I just had a single SATA drive and in any case you want it for the redundancy rather than the speed. For that price you could even buy two if you're worried about what happens if your card fails!

    Regards
    Nelviticus - thank you - some great pointers there - Just to clarify - i think the XFX is a great price - but am I right in thinking there is no RAID 5 support in there? I may consider RAID 3 though, if its going to give me a significant performance boost - Will read up the review


    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    RAID is not a substitute for keeping backups! RAID is at its best for maintaining operations (which is why it is so often found on servers. True, if a disk fails, you have some redundancty (provided you are monitoring the RAID performance, but you still have a single point of failure in the RAID controller. As someone posted elsewhere, his controller failed and damaged the array, but luckily he was able to rebuild it without loss of data using a specially supplied utility.

    So if it is critical data - don't forget to back it up offline!
    Peterb - good point - I keep DVDR's of my important information but the RAID option is probably only for my sanity then much else


    Thanks for all the help guys
    Last edited by nme_uk; 16-09-2007 at 12:01 AM.

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