Buying advice: Network-attached storage
Posted 04 April 2009 - 08:40 AM
If you choose to install some "extra-curricular" programs on the dlink, you open up a wide array of functionality, including but not limited to: Web Server with PHP/CGI/SQL support, Transmission Torrent Client with the Clutch WebUI for access from anywhere - anytime, FTP/HTTP file server, SVN Repository.... The list goes on. And all this comes at less than $150 (plus hard drives, of course).
There are some things to look into when swapping out and adding hard drives for the first time, but all-in-all, I've found the dns-323 to be the best purchase I've made for quite some time.
Posted 04 April 2009 - 09:17 AM
Also, it's generally NOT a good idea to look just at the price of the device. I have one of Intel's SS4200-E NAS devices (sub $400 MSRP now) populated with four 1TB SATA hard drives. When you install four drives it defaults to RAID 5 (you can force it to go to mirrored array if you really want to, so that would be RAID 1 for two drives or RAID 10 for four). Since hard drives are always increasing in size, and decreasing in price, this device makes a lot of sense, IF you're adept at reading directions and know which end of a screwdriver to hold. It also supports a wide range of additional capabilities from being a FTP server, a print server (has two USB ports out the back for such things, plus two in the front), a web cam hosting server (where you can set the cam's up to record direct to the NAS) and more. Plus, it has Gb ethernet (a must these days for any NAS/SAN). It also has two eSATA ports on the back to connect up extra storage through.
The SS4200 also uses a modified Linux OS to manage everything (on a flash module connected to the motherboard). Indicator lights on the front tell you, at a glance, what's going on even from across the room.
Other benefits to the Intel NAS include an EMC dashboard/management interface. EMC Retrospect software for backing up your computers to the array/device, AND not being dependent on the NAS manufacturer for warranty drive replacements. I have all Seagate drives inside mine, keeping one unopened drive in reserve just in case I have one start to go south. This means, I can install the replacement drive, contact Seagate, and get a warranty replacement drive with minimal down time. Granted, I've been using this device for well over a year now, running 24x7 without any issue at all.
Oh, and since I have it on one of my UPS devices, it even sends me an email when my place has a power outage telling me that if regular power is not restored soon that it will shut down (properly) to prevent improper shut down which could result in data loss/drive failure. This also helps me to gage how long power was out for.
Posted 04 April 2009 - 10:51 AM
When it crashes (or your computer does) or you suddenly lose power the drive's contents often become inaccessible, and you then have to jump thru a series of hoops (using, in my case, an ftp program) you get a new share with the old content working.
Finally, the usb connection does not work with the latest operating system. LaCie blames Apple. Apple does not respond.
I would not buy another LaCie drive again unless I knew a great deal more about it. This one has been a genuine headache--the problem being that I don't trust it. Which more or less defeats the purpose.