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Thread: Network Storage Solutions

  1. #1
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    Network Storage Solutions

    So this isn't directly about carpc's, although it could apply just the same, its about networking in general.

    I am enquiring about this broadband network storage router:

    http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?inv..._-GEEKBOSSmain

    First, let me explain the situation. We have 2 stationary computers and one laptop, split between 2 people. We both collect movies, shows, music, etc, and we always share it with each other. Right now my main PC has the 'big' HDD inside, it's mapped on the other pcs, and this is where we store most of our 'shared' stuff.

    The problem is, I need that HDD for my games, which are starting to get pretty big. I also can't shake the feeling that when my roommate is streaming a movie from my PC, it's killing my machine's performance, download speeds, etc.

    Question # 1

    So... Is a network drive what we need to hold our shared data? I read some reviews on the iogear BOSS, and while it's not reviewed very well, it seems like it would suit the purpose. The big issue I have is with security... the BOSS has an FTP server, which is GREAT since I would love to be able to get my pictures and videos from abroad. This FTP server, though, is fully open to the internet and is a great big security hole, with an apparently terrible firewall.

    Question #2

    Can I improve on this thing's security? Should I be worried about it? Its not like I have sensitive business data or anything... but I would like to maintain my privacy.

    Question #3

    What about speed? Will we be able to stream movies off of it? Would it be faster to simply add another drive to my PC and share it?

    Question #4

    Some people say I should just use another PC, an old one or something, and run Linux on it to use it as a secure server. Stuff it with a large HDD and away we go. I've used Suse, but I'm a beginner linux user. Could I reasonably set up a linux box to perform what the BOSS does? A friend of mine does this and I'm sure its great and secure, but it's NEVER working quite right. I don't want to geek out on a linux box for 4 hours every day. I just want it to work, and be reasonably secure.

    Question #5

    this thing's only $140 right now including a 200gb HDD at geeks.com. Seems like a pretty wicked price. Should I buy?

  2. #2
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    After further searching I came across NASLite. It's a small, efficient, Network Attached Storage (NAS) Server Operating System designed to transform a basic computer into a dedicated SMB/CIFS, NFS, FTP and HTTP file server.

    They offer it in CDrom and USB Booting, so you can boot from a small USB stick, the thing runs entirely in RAM, and you can use all your IDES for HDDs.

    http://www.serverelements.com/index.php

    Anyone used this? Seems like it's got everything I need.

  3. #3
    Raw Wave tj!2k4's Avatar
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    I was faced with a similar situation.. I had data distributed across a wide array of PCs, and it was getting ridiculous.

    I opted to go with an bare Infrant ReadyNAS X6, and populated it myself with four 400GB WD Raid Edition hard drives, which carry a 5-year warranty. Most of the pre-populated NAS devices will only offer a 1-year warranty for the hard drives inside.

    One of the reasons I chose the ReadyNAS X6 is because it is upgradeable. Usually when you create a RAID (or your NAS creates it), you cannot add a hard drive to the RAID and expand your storage capability, however, the X6 uses a variant of RAID-5, which Infrant calls X-RAID (I believe). The upgradeability point worked out excellent for me because I received one DOA hard drive, and it took about a month before I received a replacement.. so I was able to get the NAS up-and-running on the three good drives, and just pop the fourth in once I finally received it.

    It works very well, although I had to upgrade the firmware initially in order to get it to recognize the WD 400GB drives. It supports Windows, Mac, UNIX, and Linux systems, and UPnP AV streaming devices. It has two USB ports on the back, so you can also plug other USB storage devices/printers/cameras into it and the ReadyNAS will act as a server and let you access them. I have our the dock for our digital camera connected to the X6.

    http://www.infrant.com/products_ReadyNAS_X6.htm

    Of course as of about 2 months ago, I've filled the 1.2TB of storage and am back in the same situation. Damnit.

  4. #4
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    That sounds pretty cool, but also a little expensive. Using NASlite+ USB I've just realized that I could get this set up by this afternoon for very little cost.

    I have a Xenarc MPSC-8 here not doing much, It supports ATA100 3.5" drives, and I can fit 2 of them in there if I don't need a CDrom. It already has a celeron 2.4 and 512mb ram. All I need is a $10 USB stick, and the NASlite software. There are several claims of peeps streaming DVDs from cheap boxes. Pretty slick!

    I've answered my own thread... thanks

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