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Last post Author Topic: Need NAS Enclosure recommendation  (Read 20249 times)

Josh

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Need NAS Enclosure recommendation
« on: June 23, 2009, 07:52:16 PM »
I am tired of reading through reviews trying to decide on a NAS drive enclosure that serves up files via the DLNA protocol. I want an enclosure as opposed to a device which comes with drives. I have the hard drives and want to use them as they are. Has anyone had any experience with a solution that would support 2 or more SATA disks?

Innuendo

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Re: Need NAS Enclosure recommendation
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2009, 08:40:15 AM »
How many drives to do you want your NAS to have and what's the price range you are willing to pay. When it comes to NAS units the more features it has the bigger the price and there's a steep incline when it comes to prices on these things. You can go from the $150-200 range to the $1,000-$1,200 range without much effort.

Josh

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Re: Need NAS Enclosure recommendation
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2009, 10:03:43 AM »
Looking for between 2-4 drives and the only CRITICAL feature is DLNA support so I do not have to run a dedicated DLNA server on a PC system (Tversity).

Carol Haynes

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Re: Need NAS Enclosure recommendation
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2009, 10:14:14 AM »
Synology.com look like they have very nice range of products and are currently waiting for DLNA certification status.

Check out their forums for DLNA commentary about where they are.

I'd guess it depends how quickly you need the device.

40hz

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Re: Need NAS Enclosure recommendation
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2009, 12:45:41 PM »
the only CRITICAL feature is DLNA support

If you need to be super careful, you might want to start here to get a list of what is currently DLNA certified:

http://certification.dlna.org/products/

They're currently showing 44 NAS products that hold certification.

AFAIK dlna.org doesn't cert unloaded NAS enclosures, so you'll need to trust the manufacturer's word for it if you're buying a NAS without any drives installed. (I'd personally not worry too much about certification, but you may feel otherwise.)

Also note: empty NAS boxes aren't usually all that much cheaper than loaded ones. Especially now that the prices of drives are as low as they are. So you might want to think about just how much you'll save vs the potential for hassles down the road.

Luck! :Thmbsup:

« Last Edit: June 24, 2009, 12:48:40 PM by 40hz »

cranioscopical

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Re: Need NAS Enclosure recommendation
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2009, 05:00:11 PM »
Not exactly what's being discussed but a reasonably-priced newcomer, FWIW.

fp__fp-wbii.jpg

Carol Haynes

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Re: Need NAS Enclosure recommendation
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2009, 05:28:05 PM »
The user reviews of WD 'Books' I have read have not been over complimentary.

I installed one of these for a client: http://www.amazon.co...tech-data/B001O35S7M

Quite nicely made and doesn't require any software on client machines (although you can install the supplied software if you want).

Has remote access too. Mirrored RAID as standard with two drives installed.

Not DLNA compliant though as far as I know.

cranioscopical

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Re: Need NAS Enclosure recommendation
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2009, 06:01:43 PM »
Not DLNA compliant though as far as I know.
This one says "it is compatible with PCs, Macs, and any other DLNA media player like the PS3 and Xbox 360."

40hz

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Re: Need NAS Enclosure recommendation
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2009, 09:06:43 PM »
Just had a thought...

If you're moderately ambitious, you could also build your own media server and get exactly what you want. It's not all that hard to do.

Here's the big three open source products if you're interested in taking a look. They're free. And the underlying code is the same as what's supplied with most of the pre-built NAS boxes you'll be looking at anyway. All of them are UPnP compliant.

Geexbox http://www.geexbox.org/en/index.html - one of the most popular servers out there

LinuxMCE http://linuxmce.com - powerful, elegant, and all inclusive.
There's a great video that walks you through the entire feature set and installation if you'd like a closer look at this media monster. Info and links can be found at  http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Video

MediaTomb http://mediatomb.cc/ - powerful new kid on the block

Just one more thing to think about. ;D
« Last Edit: June 24, 2009, 09:31:25 PM by 40hz »

4wd

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Re: Need NAS Enclosure recommendation
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2009, 01:22:01 AM »
Geexbox http://www.geexbox.org/en/index.html - one of the most popular servers out there

LinuxMCE http://linuxmce.com - powerful, elegant, and all inclusive.
There's a great video that walks you through the entire feature set and installation if you'd like a closer look at this media monster. Info and links can be found at  http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Video

MediaTomb http://mediatomb.cc/ - powerful new kid on the block

You forgot the most obvious: FreeNAS - UPnP and DLNA since 2007

I'd also build my own, it would probably work out cheaper and perform better.

40hz

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Re: Need NAS Enclosure recommendation
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2009, 07:27:58 AM »
You forgot the most obvious: FreeNAS - UPnP and DLNA since 2007

@4wd -you're absolutely right. I did forget. Doh!  ;D

FreeNAS an excellent choice if you don't need all the multimedia bells & whistles. FreeNAS works well with Geexbox too!

Build yourself an inexpensive, energy efficient ITX-based server and you'd be good as gold. Once it's set up you could even disable onboard video since you'll be administrating it through the web interface.

BTW: If you have an old PC floating around, you might consider installing and testing on that prior to committing to a new build. No point spending money until you know whether or not you actually like it. That's what I'd do.

 8)

Innuendo

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Re: Need NAS Enclosure recommendation
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2009, 10:11:15 AM »
Stay away from Western Digital in this regard. Nearly every external storage device they have made has been a 'hard drive death trap' plagued by inadequate cooling. I won't even go into the bone-headed move they pulled off when one of the 'features' of their device was it decided for you what types of files could be shared over the internet for fear of copyright violations.

Carol nailed it, though. For stand-alone appliances you can't go wrong with Synology if they are in your price range. They have a very active user community where lots of functionality is being added to Synology devices by very talented modders.

Josh sounds like he wants a device he can just tuck away in a corner somewhere and forget so I won't go into the build-your-own solutions.

4wd

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Re: Need NAS Enclosure recommendation
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2009, 02:04:05 AM »
FreeNAS an excellent choice if you don't need all the multimedia bells & whistles. FreeNAS works well with Geexbox too!

Build yourself an inexpensive, energy efficient ITX-based server and you'd be good as gold. Once it's set up you could even disable onboard video since you'll be administrating it through the web interface.

I'd agree with this - Mini-ITX based server will have more grunt and flexibility than almost any off-the-shelf NAS solution for SOHO application - and it will still cost less.

eg.
Atom based Mini-ITX ~$65 @ Newegg
2GB of RAM             ~$20
4 port SATA PCI       ~$20
Case  + PSU              free  (If you can't find a case for nothing, you ain't looking hard enough :) )
FreeNAS                   free
2GB Flash drive        ~$10 (To install and run FreeNAS from)

Which only leaves your HDDs which you have to buy anyway - so for ~$115 you end up with a very flexible 0 - 6 disk NAS server, the equivalent price of many single disk dedicated NAS hardware devices.

I've seen a build that consisted of a VIA EPIA Mini-ITX board coupled with an SATA 4 port PCI card and a Addonics 5SA disk array housed in a Shuttle XPC size case running FreeNAS off a CompactFlash card - very nice and very portable.

40hz

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Re: Need NAS Enclosure recommendation
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2009, 12:30:20 PM »
@4wd - Nice build! w00t!  :Thmbsup: :Thmbsup:

I was going to spec one as an example, but you beat me to it - along with the price point I came up with. (My configuration came in at $138!)

-----

@Josh
-  If you do build something like this, get over the natural tendency to try to cram everything into the smallest enclosure possible. Especially if it's a server that's going to be tucked out of sight behind a desk somewhere.

A decent quality mid-tower gives you the best bang for the buck, along with more airspace around your hot components. Recycling is also an option. Take the savings and invest in a better quality power supply if you have extra cash left over.

Small enclosures build up a lot of heat once you put a CPU and some hard drives in them. They're generally harder to work with, and cost a lot more to purchase.

Most of the power supplies that ship with small box enclosures also lack the capacity needed for  multiple hard drives. So if you're planning to install more than one HD, start thinking outside the 'little' box.

Be sure to tally up the power requirements of each component in your build. Then do the math to get a correctly sized PS. You'll also want to factor in some additional capacity since your server will probably be left on 24/7. In situations like that, you never want to run your PS at near-100% load. Giving yourself an additional 20-30% will improve stability, increase operational life, and reduce generated heat. If the power supply has a variable speed fan, those lower temperatures will also result in quieter operation.

-----

Another alternative to building from scratch is to look into some of the remarkably inexpensive "bare-bones" computer kits. Do a Google search on barebones computer to get and idea of what's available.

« Last Edit: June 28, 2009, 12:33:27 PM by 40hz »

4wd

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Re: Need NAS Enclosure recommendation
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2009, 06:34:10 PM »
Be sure to tally up the power requirements of each component in your build. Then do the math to get a correctly sized PS.

Or let someone else do the math: eXtreme Power Supply Calculator

Why burn out your braincells ?   :P

Using the combo above plus 4 Green SATA HDDs gives a system power figure of 68W, (which I'd say is pretty close), and it will be less because there will be no keyboard/mouse connected normally.
So a 150W PSU is ample and will actually not be running at peak efficiency since it's well under %80 load all the time.

Quote
Once it's set up you could even disable onboard video since you'll be administrating it through the web interface.

I'm not sure it would actually honour the setting if it detects no video card installed since you need some way to display the BIOS if you need to and the only way if it did allow it would be to reset the CMOS and lose all your settings.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2009, 06:57:08 PM by 4wd »

Josh

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Re: Need NAS Enclosure recommendation
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2009, 06:41:27 PM »
I am liking that idea 4wd. I might just start asking for tips in configuring my machine :)

Thanks for the tips!

40hz

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Re: Need NAS Enclosure recommendation
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2009, 06:59:37 PM »
Be sure to tally up the power requirements of each component in your build. Then do the math to get a correctly sized PS.

Or let someone else do the math: eXtreme Power Supply Calculator

Why burn out your braincells ?   :P

Using the combo above plus 4 Green SATA HDDs gives a system power figure of 68W, (which I'd say is pretty close), and it will be less because there will be no keyboard/mouse connected normally.
So a 150W PSU is ample and will actually not be running at peak efficiency since it's well under %80 load all the time.

So there you have it Josh. More capacity, more power, better component quality - and best of all - it's done your way! What's not to like about that?

 :Thmbsup:


4wd

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Re: Need NAS Enclosure recommendation
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2009, 07:48:37 PM »
I am liking that idea 4wd. I might just start asking for tips in configuring my machine :)

If you need Gigabit networking then you'll need to install a Gigabit card since the onboard LAN is only 10/100 - you then lose your SATA 4 port card.

An alternative if you need the GigaBit is to use a Addonics SATA port multiplier.  The 5x1 Internal will still give you a total of 6 SATA ports, albeit at a cost of $75.  You might want to email them first and check motherboard SATA controller compatibility with it first.  Although, IIRC, provision for port multipliers is part of the SATA-II specification.

You can always add wireless through the use of a supported USB adapter.

Or, if you don't need Gigabit, use the port multiplier then you have a free PCI slot for a $23 WiFi/BT card so you can use your Logitech Dinovo Edge keyboard, (which you already use for your uber-HTPC), to control it :P

I just love spending money when it's not mine  :D

Actually, to keep it a little neater, grab a IDE-to-CF adapter and 2GB CompactFlash card and use the IDE port on the motherboard instead of a 2GB flash drive for the OS.  It will keep everything internal then.

EDIT: Scratch the port multiplier idea, the ICH7 Southbridge doesn't support them.  Only ICH9 and above.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2009, 08:26:56 PM by 4wd »

4wd

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Re: Need NAS Enclosure recommendation
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2009, 06:22:12 AM »
Just a followup to this, for building your own NAS you might want to check out SmallNetBuilder.

Especially their forums where you can be pretty sure someone has already tried to build a NAS using hardware similar to what you want to or might use.

And a range of How To articles like this one for an Atom based NAS.

superboyac

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Re: Need NAS Enclosure recommendation
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2010, 02:29:30 AM »
This is a great thread.  I'm going to do the same thing.  I want to build a NAS or server box that I can put at my sister's house as an off-site backup for all my stuff.  Because even though i backup with multiple redundancy, it's all in one location, and in the rare case of theft or something, someone can easily take all my computer equipment and I'd be devastated.

So, great thread!  40hz, once again...always a few steps ahead of me!!

Tuxman

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Re: Need NAS Enclosure recommendation
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2010, 04:55:27 AM »
Something loosely related:

I bought an external WD hard drive recently, my WLAN router only supports USB 1.1 however, so using it is a pain. What would be the cheapest way to bring the HD with USB 2.0 into my network? Is there some "USB hard disk to WLAN adapter", or should I upgrade my router? (About 100 Euros for a suitable model seems to be quite much to me.)

4wd

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Re: Need NAS Enclosure recommendation
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2010, 05:23:44 AM »
What would be the cheapest way to bring the HD with USB 2.0 into my network? Is there some "USB hard disk to WLAN adapter", or should I upgrade my router?

How about US$50?

Addonics NAS adapter.
NAS_diagram.jpgNeed NAS Enclosure recommendation

Or, if you want Gb then Addonics NAS Adapter V2 for US$60.
NAS2XU2_angled_front.jpgNeed NAS Enclosure recommendation

Or, a Linksys NSLU2.
base_media.jpg

With the NSLU2 there are alternative firmwares available, see References section in Wikipediaw.

There's also the Hitachi SimpleNET adapter for US$68 on Amazon, (which looks like the Addonics NAS Adapter V2).
3105VVhpH4L._SL500_AA280_.jpgNeed NAS Enclosure recommendation
« Last Edit: January 14, 2010, 05:41:09 AM by 4wd »

Tuxman

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Re: Need NAS Enclosure recommendation
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2010, 05:32:33 AM »
Now these NAS adapters need to be attached to my router anyway... so we're back on USB 1.1 then, right?

4wd

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Re: Need NAS Enclosure recommendation
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2010, 05:52:41 AM »
Now these NAS adapters need to be attached to my router anyway... so we're back on USB 1.1 then, right?

The adapter plugs into the 100Mbps network and your USB2.0 HDD plugs into it - so let's be generous and say you'll get around 8MB/s read/write to the drive.

USB1.1 is 12Mbps, so you'll get approx. 7 times USB1.1 data rate, (after overheads).

Tuxman

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Re: Need NAS Enclosure recommendation
« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2010, 05:55:10 AM »
With my current USB port (on the router), I reach about 300 KB/s.  ;D
(Via WLAN.)

OK, I presume that my router supports 100 Mbit LAN  :D ... sounds fair then. Thank you.  :)