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NAS VS home server

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July 31, 2008 9:04:11 AM

I'm looking for a multi-purpose storage solution for back-up and storage kind of thing. I'm wondering what are the advantages to the two different systems, a NAS compared to a cheap low power server, something like an atom. 4 disk NAS seem to be pretty pricey so I'm wondering what is the advantage of them? I'm thinking that the home server could be cheaper but not sure about energy costs.

More about : nas home server

July 31, 2008 11:47:28 AM

if you have a old PC or build a cheap one for use as a server and use Windows home server.. they have bugs worked out now with the release of the power pack. you can get this at newegg for 150.00.... i have been using this for about 6 months and i really like it. it backs up auto for you and can restore from server. easy to add disk to and enlarge as you need to.. lokk at doing something like this is what i would do.
July 31, 2008 11:50:48 AM

dont know about engery use but would think server uses more but it can do so much more
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a b G Storage
July 31, 2008 12:53:56 PM

For a back-up and storage solution, a NAS is more of what you are lookinf for. I highly recommend you check out Freenas.org and Openfiler.com.

There is no reason to pay for a NAS operating system, especially when a free one is available that is more stable and as well supported as anything that M$ has to offer.

With previous gen parts and a good hardware RAID controller card, you can build a top-notch NAS at a very reasonable price. Whatever you don't have can easily be supplemented by used parts from Ebay or by snagging cheap parts on sale.

I recently built a NAS using FreeNAS as the OS. FreeNAS is so small and uses so little of system resources that I was able to load the OS onto a Compact Flash card. Intel makes a 35W celeron keep power requirements low. Here are the minimum hardware requirements for FreeNAS...
A PC with [b said:
a minimum of 96Mb of RAM, a bootable CD-Rom Drive plus either:

A Floppy Disk (for configuration storage) and one or more Hard Drives (as storage)
A Bootable USB or CF drive (32Mb minimum) and one or more Hard Drives (as storage)
A Bootable Hard Drive and one or more Hard Drives (as storage)
A Bootable Hard Drive (which will be partitioned for FreeNAS and Data)]A PC with a minimum of 96Mb of RAM, a bootable CD-Rom Drive plus either:

A Floppy Disk (for configuration storage) and one or more Hard Drives (as storage)
A Bootable USB or CF drive (32Mb minimum) and one or more Hard Drives (as storage)
A Bootable Hard Drive and one or more Hard Drives (as storage)
A Bootable Hard Drive (which will be partitioned for FreeNAS and Data)
[/b]

As an example...here are the specs and costs of my NAS:
Mobo - ASRock Conroe1333, $30 delivered off Ebay
CPU - Celeron 420 35watt, $20 delivered off Ebay
RAM - 2x512MB (1GB) DDR2-667, delivered $15 off Ebay
Case - Rosewill R-218, $30 delivered from Newegg
RAID Controller - 3Ware 8506 8-port SATA (already owned)
Drives - 2-320GB WD drives, $130 delivered from Newegg
PSU- Corsair 450w, $50 on sale at Microcenter

I also already owned 3-320GB WD drives, and using the 3Ware controller card I combined the 2 drives I purchased from Newegg to make a 5 drive RAID5 array to give the NAS a total of 1.2TB of storage. Overall the whole NAS cost me just about $280.

Even if you had to buy a controller card, you can snag a 4-port controller card off Ebay for around $100. Something like this would work very nicely! You don't have to use a hardware controller card, the SATA ports on the mobo are just as good. And, even if you had to buy some drives, you can get a 500GB drive for as low as $75 off Newegg; but whatever drives you have laying around will also work just as well.

This setup may seem a bit much, maybe even overkill. Regardless, I'm just trying to demonstrate that you don't have to buy a pre-built NAS or even pay for an operating system. Building a customizable, expandable, power efficient, and cost effective NAS is reasonable and well worth the effort.
July 31, 2008 1:52:29 PM

Yes you can do it like chunkymonster said but you will not have automatic back-ups, remote access and the ability to just add hard drives and take them away with out a lot of hassle. with WHS (windows home server) you just have one drive letter and can add as many hard drives as you want to this. or take hard drives out. but you can add as many as your mother board and expansion cards allow and it adds it to the one drive. just can not use raid.
July 31, 2008 10:36:28 PM

If you have a bit of money to spend stay away from the NAS 2,4 or however many drive "prebuilts" they limit you to what you get do with them. Chunkys idea is good (although im not a believer in Ebay you can still build it for cheap). Although i havent used FreeNAS or Openfiler, im sure you can add more drives if you want because to my understanding they are just stripped linux distros. If you know little about linux (like me) you might be better off using something like WHS like PCnut suggested, when i built my fileserver i had a copy of Windows Server 2003 laying around so it was cheap for me ;)  and i could have built mine alot cheaper but i wanted to use mine for other things.

Current spec :
Q6600
P5K-e Asus board
4gb RAM
7600GT
Adaptec 3805 with 8x500gb drive in RAID5 (approx 3.18TB)
August 1, 2008 5:16:43 AM

I found a home server just a lot easier to set up. when I built it, i was much more used to windows than anything else, and it only took me an hour to put the parts together and get it running. Hums along fine downstairs, i'll check on it sometimes using VNC.

Pentium 4 2.8GHz (energy hog, but whatev. it was laying around)
1GB DDR2 ram
400GB SATAII hard disk
7300gt
Windows xp
Anonymous
a b G Storage
July 9, 2010 7:56:01 PM

Where do you get Windows Home Server? it seems like one can only get it preinstalled
August 4, 2010 4:02:35 AM

Quote:
Where do you get Windows Home Server? it seems like one can only get it preinstalled


Here:

Amazon.com

You should have started a new topic. this just happened to show up in google search (proabably did for you too)
!