SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: File storage (movies, tv shows, music) and streaming to HTPCs
STORAGE SIZE: 2-4TB
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: overclockers.co.uk + any other uk site
PARTS PREFERENCES: Micro-ATX if possible, Western Digital HDs
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm looking to build a NAS for as cheap as possible with data redundancy. It will be connected to my router and will serve as storage for movies ect to be streamed to 2 HTPCs and laptops. I have heard a lot of good things about FreeNAS and would mostly likely being using it as my OS. As for the hardware a simple MicroATX case with 4 HD bays would be perfect if not ATX is also acceptable. Low power usage is also a want.
I am not too knowledgeable about data storage but i think RAID 5 is suitable for my needs?
If I am using RAID then software RAID or hardware RAID?
I built my little "file server" using an intel atom based barebone kit from MSI. Nice thing about them is they are cheap, and use a laptop sized DDR2 RAM module, 2GB is ridiculously cheap for those. My case is tiny so I could only put in 1 or 2 drives at most, but you might find one with better features and RAID.
As for OS, I use Ubuntu server and have samba configured. Makes all files accessible across my windows network, and you can access the server remotely via SSH.