i was looking through my old computer parts and realized that i have enough spare parts to build a complete system. not only that but recently i've been irritated with the fact that i have a majority of my data saved to one computer and it seems inconvenient moving data from one computer to the other if i want to say watch a movie on the laptop, or work on a project sitting on the couch with the htpc. so i was wondering what my possibilities were when it came to saving everything in one central location and having each computer access it at will.
i currently have 5 750gb drives in a raid 5 attached to the htpc. is it possible to move that to another computer without losing data?
what are my options for wireless access?
what kind of encryption methods will be available?
if there a way i could have an online option where i could access the data from work?
im not very interested in something user friendly if it will take away from the functionality. i am rather new to this topic, but i am willing to spend whatever time it takes to learn whatever is needed inside and out.
+1 for FreeNAS. Super easy, super stable, it just works!
As far as your RAID5 array, if it's mobo RAID, then chances of migrating the data is slim to none. However, if the array is attached to a dedicated hardware RAID controller card, then it's just a matter of moving the array and controller card to the new NAS machine.
If you have 750gig x 5 amount of storage and you want to move that to a NAS, I recommend you don't. Even on a good fast network, that's going to take a long time. That's a lot of space. Several terabytes? It better be a gigabit network setup. Even then, gonna be slow going.
FreeNAS will do everything you just mentioned that you want. However, to hold that much data, you'll probably need to at least have a decent enough motherboard in that junker computer you'll make the NAS from so that it can actually use modern SATAII drives, and likely RAID if you plan to make it one big giant drive. FreeNAS can actually do software RAID for you, but it's slow, and if the CPU on the old machine is slow, it'll all be even slower (not worth it).
FreeNAS can be setup primarily on a wired network, but it can have a WiFi setup after the initial primary network is set. From there, you can setup Samba for access with all your PC's on the network, and you can setup FTP or other internet options for remote access to your NAS when you're away.
FreeNAS is stupid easy to setup. It's mostly automated. Read the manual, and you'll have it up and running in an hour probably.
And again, upgrade all your equip to gigabit network (10/100/1000).
speed really isn't much of an issue for me; the most i'll need it to do speed-wise is transferring movies to the htpc quick enough to not hinder the viewing experience.
the board ill be using will be a socket 370 foxxcon (couldn't find a product number), with a 1000mhz pentium 3 processor. i also might be able to pick up a core2 laptop for $50 (with no working screen.)
i was thinking about going with a dedicated raid card, i'm not too sure on the compatibility issues as i've been too busy to do much research on the topic.
again i'm relatively new to this so any input would be greatly appreciated.