NAS Recommendation

This is a discussion on NAS Recommendation within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; Hi guys, I've got a small server running 25/7 at home, and I want to replace it with something less ...

  1. #1
    Cat without Hat CornedBee's Avatar
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    NAS Recommendation

    Hi guys,

    I've got a small server running 25/7 at home, and I want to replace it with something less power-hungry and loud.
    The server is used for just a few things: storage/backup, minimal development web server, and fetching email from my POP account and providing a webmail and IMAP interface to it.
    It seems that a small NAS device would be the best choice, but I'm having trouble verifying the availability of features (especially email support) of the devices.

    So here are my requirements:
    1) RAID1 or better storage
    2) Webserver support
    3) Support for fetching mail from a POP account and offering it via IMAP and webmail
    4) Quiet (that thing sits in my living room)
    5) Would prefer 3.5 over 2.5 drives

    Does anyone have suggestions?
    All the buzzt!
    CornedBee

    "There is not now, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be, any programming language in which it is the least bit difficult to write bad code."
    - Flon's Law

  2. #2
    and the hat of wrongness Salem's Avatar
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    linux nas - Google Search
    Getting something based on some open system would allow you to add the additional services you require.

    It depends on how much you want to spend, and how much you feel like doing yourself.
    If you dance barefoot on the broken glass of undefined behaviour, you've got to expect the occasional cut.
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  3. #3
    Registered User manasij7479's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CornedBee View Post
    I've got a small server
    Try a smaller one and make it yourself, if you've got the time !

    I cannibalized and re-purposed my old netbook (coupled with a router, smps and some nice usb devices !..etc) for all the points (except 3, which should be pretty easy, I guess).
    I use the RAID config in which 2/3 of the space is usable out of 3 drives.
    My quietness standard may be different than yours, though, as I've to run an AC or a ceiling fan for 11 months a year.
    The hard disks are the main power sinks, but when they are not 'active', at most 30 watts are used.

    N.B.: cyberfish posted a link of (his?) a blog which helped me a bit to get started. I can't find that bookmark now, though.
    Manasij Mukherjee | gcc-4.8.2 @Arch Linux
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    2.The fast and unsteady suddenly falls asleep while running !



  4. #4
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    I looked into getting a NAS a while ago, too, and turned out I figured I could make something cheaper and faster if I built it myself. Atom board, regular harddrives, Linux software RAID, and Intel network card.

    N.B.: cyberfish posted a link of (his?) a blog which helped me a bit to get started. I can't find that bookmark now, though.
    Here is the link Piece of Mind Blog Archive DIY Network-Attached Storage on Linux - "Have you moo-ed today?"

  5. #5
    Cat without Hat CornedBee's Avatar
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    Thanks, but I really don't care to invest much time in this system. If there is some custom setup to be done (e.g. for email) I can do that, but I'd rather have the base system Just Work.

    I've heard that the D-Link DNS-325 let's you install arbitrary Linux software in addition to its built-in stuff, so that would be an option. Does anyone know about it?
    All the buzzt!
    CornedBee

    "There is not now, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be, any programming language in which it is the least bit difficult to write bad code."
    - Flon's Law

  6. #6
    Master Apprentice phantomotap's Avatar
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    Does anyone know about it?
    I can't speak for that particular device.

    I can tell you that the last time I tried a commercial "NAS" where other "GNU/Linux" software was supposed to be useable I spent more time trying to get off the ground with "PostgreSQL" and "PHP" than I ever have on any desktop.

    That said, I appreciate that you want a system that will "Just Work". That just isn't going to happen if you plan on wanting custom software. I just don't see a commercial "NAS" box being a valid path to getting a local "IMAP" or reasonable web server as you probably will not get any decent scripting capabilities. (That is, you'd get nothing but static pages.) My server box is now a true server. It cost a lot more and I did have to jump through some hoops, but I've spent more time using it than trying to get it to work for what I want it to do. You don't have to go that route because you want quiet, but I strongly suggest you stay away from commercial "NAS" if what you say you want is what you want.

    That tangent out of the way, if you are going to run unofficial firmware so that some jobs are easier you have no need of spending that much money on a newer device. I'd recommend looking at community forums for some of the earlier boxes that are still in production. You'll almost certainly find people who've done exactly what you want to do which can make it a lot easier for you to do it. I, for example, have had bad experiences with "ShareCenter" in the past not connected to any of my "DLNA" kit; if not for the fact that people had already hacked that version I'd never have gotten some of my boxes working. If you are going to use it for "DLNA" dig up the latest documentation and make sure it supports the formats you wish to stream.

    Soma

  7. #7
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    It's not really much work to set up your own machine to work as NAS. It took me about 4 hours from looking for parts to buying, installing, to working, and most of it was spent writing the blog post.

    The software part is pretty much just installing your distro of choice, and Samba. The rest you'd have to do on a commercial unit, too, and like phantomotap said, will probably be harder on a commercial unit.

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