External USB HDDs on NAS
I have a 7-port USB HUB full with 7 USB HDDs. Is there any NAS server tha can be connected to the HUB and serve all this HDDs on my home network?
Very similar to something I'm considering.
From the looks of it though, you still need something to control the drives, and nothing will really work on that hub, as the hub is just a big USB anyways. If you have a really cheap/old computer some where, or even a basic laptop, you could turn that into a headless server easily, just by plugging the hub into it and hitting share (then just scoot the thing into a corner somewhere). Ideally a low wattage laptop with USB2.0. I only suggest this since you have 7x USB drives, it's possible you have other old hardware hanging around that could be used to make a little "home nas" of sorts.
Though I'm no expert on the subject. I too would be very interested to find a way to convert a basic USB hub into a NAS device of some kind. Such as being able to load the software needed on a USB thumbdrive, and then serving USB harddisks from the other ports. That would be ridiculously nice.
Check this out: http://www.dlink.com/products/?sec=0&pid=377
You can plug 2 USB drives into it. It doesn't take 7, like you have, but it's a start. You could look for similar products. Basically a router that takes USB drives and makes them NAS drives. For like $100, that's pretty sweet considering alternatives cost quite a bit more. Also, before anyone whines about it not writing NTFS, it supports EXT2 and EXT3 as well as FAT/FAT32. EXT2 is all you need for huge monstrous sized disk support and windows can read/write that just fine. No need to keep a windows format (FAT/NTFS). And you're not screwed with FAT32-only support on those big drives. Format in EXT2 instead. You can google EXT2 and EXT3 if you don't have a clue what it is or why Windows might need a little help knowing how to use it.
Both D-Link and LinkSys have/used to have products that allowed USB HDDs to be attached directly to a home network.
The D-Link DNS-120 uses an ethernet connection to hook into your network, and had 2 USB ports for attaching HDDs that would then be network-accessible; but I think you can only get this on ebay now.
The Linksys NSLU2 functions essentially the same way: http://www.linksys.com/servlet/Satellite?c=L_Product_C2&childpagename=US%2FLayout&cid=1118334819312&pagename=Linksys%2FCommon%2FVisitorWrapper&lid=1931222279B59
Various Home NAS enclosures are available (D-Link DNS-313, -323, -343, DSM-G600, Linksys NAS-200) that accept user-supplied HDD; this is the option I have used with my home network, having tried both the DNS-120 and the NSLU2.
I have both a DSM-G600 and a DNS-323. I frankly find the DSM-G600 too noisy to keep on all the time, although I like the flexibility that the wireless enclosure provides. I have not had any issues with the DNS-323.