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gusi
2006-07-07, 22:44
As I am ripping my way through my CD collection the PC is sprouting more and more harddisks. It got me thinking that it may be time to move slim to a separate machine.

A NAS box would be nice but they are quite expensive. For the same money I could buy a nice new PC and rebuild my current PC into a Linux Slim server.

It shouldn't be too hard to setup a headless linux based file server. There may even be free webbased admin tools. (not done my homework yet)

I see the main advantages of NAS as high availability, multi user access and small size.

I use a usb case and another stack of external disks for backup. I don't mind spending an hour or so replacing a disk and filling it with data.

In terms of file sharing there is only the slimserver and the occasional addition of new rips and backups.

Size doesn't matter (as they say).

Are there any other advantages of going with a NAS box?

cheers
Gus

notanatheist
2006-07-07, 23:19
With Core Duo 2 coming out this month I'd build a new box. I just recenty rebuilt my fileserver with expanded storage using a 3Ware IDE RAID controller that allowed me to use existing drives around the house to build a RAID5 array. 3Ware is a hardware RAID controller and works like a charm in linux. Personally, I keep my OS on a seperate boot drive. Reason being, if you grow tired of a certain distro and/or it's capabilities you don't have to lose your data drives. SMEserver and ClarkConnect both have a web interface to configure shares and other services. I know CC also offers Webmin since I'm using it.

A NAS will offer simple setup, likely require SATA drives, consume less power (which could lead to overall performance issues with updating your database or browsing your music via the web interface), likely be quieter. So, yeah, pros and cons for sure. If I had the money I'd love to play with an Infrant ReadyNAS. All things considered, all I spent (on Ebay) was $250 for the parts I didn't already have (motherboard with 64bit PCI and 3Ware RAID card).

Pale Blue Ego
2006-07-07, 23:39
I think you're better off getting a new PC and using your old one for slimserver. It's likely cheaper, and the old PC will have a much faster CPU and more RAM than the NAS.

And you get a new PC out of the deal!!

egd
2006-07-08, 00:15
If I had the money I'd love to play with an Infrant ReadyNAS.

My collection is hosted on a ReadyNAS NV with 4x500GB drives, yielding 1368GB of storage (61% of which is already used!).

Based on my experience I'd say the NV is not yet ready for the mainstream unless you have a lot of patience. Many users, myself included, have experienced performance issues in terms of read and write speeds. I've owned mine since March and have only recently managed to get data throughput to useable speeds - it took a firmware upgrade on the NV. That said, my throughput speeds are still only 50% of that touted by Infrant. I am using Infrant recommended Intel gig-e NICS and switch. Other users have been luckier and gotten close to the advertised speeds.

The other thing I'd make sure I do if using the NV is have a robust backup solution - there have been some posts in the user forums that scare the absolute crap out of me in terms of the potential for data loss. The product shows promise, but there is no way in hell I'd currently rely on it as a sole store of anything I value.

By the end of this weekend I hope to have the NV hooked up to my SB3 in the lounge (bypassing my PC), but not before I've made that backup. If I didn't want a standalone unit in the lounge I'd build a RAID box running Linux to store all my audio - it would perform better and IMHO my data would be safer.

With the benefit of hindsight, the best (and cheaper) solution for me would have been a Linux based RAID box hard-wired to my SB3 and network DVD player. That way I could easily update the audio and video libraries at high speed and not have to cringe everytime someone in the house uses the microwave.

In closing I'm of the view that the home/SOHO NAS market is still in its infancy and anyone looking to get one would likely do well to wait another 12 months or so, by which time there should be more mature, robust offerings in this space.

Patrick Dixon
2006-07-08, 00:32
It shouldn't be too hard to setup a headless linux based file server. There may even be free webbased admin tools. (not done my homework yet)I recommend you take a look at ClarkConnect3.2

I've posted some notes on one of threads around here somewhere on how to set up CC3.2 with SS, MPlayer and AlienBBC. At least a couple of Linux noobies seem to have followed them successfully!

gusi
2006-07-08, 08:58
Thanks I'll check it out. Problem is that in Perth a 250G drive costs aud100 and a 500G drive almost aud400. A good time to recall that the I in raid stands for inexpensive. That makes my old motherboard with 4xIDE and 2xSATA quite attractive.

I'll have a look around the clarkconnect. I spend the last 20 years programming unix boxes, much of it using vi on a wyse terminal so I don't find the command line particularly intimidating. Having said that I am certainly no sysadmin and did notice that linux has a much reorganised admin interface (ie all the familiar files have moved or been replaced)

For backups I use a set of harddisks and a usb case. As the disks only have files added, backup is quite easy. And only the disk that is partially full needs to be backed up actively when adding files. As a side effect all the backups are off line and lightning proof. (quite an issue here)

notanatheist
2006-07-08, 21:29
Well, if you're a CLI junkie and want UNIX familiarity on Linux checkout Slackware. You can install Webmin on Slackware or do everything you need via SSH. Also, checkout package managers like Swaret and Slapt-get and don't forget to visit linuxpackages.net for more.

Personally, I think you'd enjoy Slackware the most out of any linux distro. Text based install. Slick and fast. My only complaint - still defaults to a 2.4 kernel.

Lastly, look into LVMS if you're going to use your onboard IDE controllers for multiple hard drives.

Patrick Dixon
2006-07-09, 04:00
Problem is that in Perth a 250G drive costs aud100 and a 500G drive almost aud400. A good time to recall that the I in raid stands for inexpensive. That makes my old motherboard with 4xIDE and 2xSATA quite attractive.Sounds similar to UK prices: 250GB/300GB is about where the best value is. However, motherboards with 2 IDE and 4 SATA interfaces are fairly common now (although don't expect CC3.2 to support them out of the box), so 1.8TB using 300GB HDs is easily possible. I'd agree that external backup using USB drives is probably safer and easier than RAID solutions.


I'll have a look around the clarkconnect. I spend the last 20 years programming unix boxes, much of it using vi on a wyse terminal so I don't find the command line particularly intimidating.You'll have no problem then. BTW CC3.2 uses a 2.6.9 kernel IIRC. I've rebuilt the kernel to include SATA support for a couple of motherboards - so it is possible if the drivers are available from the mb manufacturer.

gusi
2006-07-09, 09:48
Thanks guys I'll check it out. I currently have fedora and ubuntu boot disks. I got the feeling that redhat is trying to turn into another microsoft. Debian still has quite a few mysteries, I am working my way through Martin Krafts book at the moment. I like the Ubuntu philosophy though. Anway it has come a long way since ultrix, xenix and sunos, on 40+ floppies and all you needed to edit was /etc. You gotto love the Ubuntu package manager though.

notanatheist
2006-07-10, 22:09
You gotto love the Ubuntu package manager though.


Surely you mean "apt-get". Just kidding. Don't forget to edit your /etc/apt/sources.list for more packages. Search the Ubuntu forums for mplayer so you can add all that to your sources.list too. Then you've have nearly anything at your fingertips.

gusi
2006-07-10, 23:20
I meant the Gui wrapper for apt-get. Forgot the name now. I just love how you can add all these packages with a few clicks and they install perfectly. I did have a look around sources.list.

I put mplayer on the windows boot disk for alienBBC but haven't done too much multimedia on linux yet.