I'm looking to setup a modest NAS for my home. My question is to the appropriate hard drive type and RAID setup. The NAs will be used to store mostly media (pictures, music, video) for the home network that will be occasionally streamed to the PS3 or tablets. Also for some general storage of files not needed on the devices all the time (old documents, school work, etc). I'm thinking of getting 2 1TB drives, but with prices as they are, might drop down to 500GB.
For example, Western Digital offers Green, Blue and Black Hard drives. Which one is best for this application? Also, is RAID 1 going to be worth the extra investment to protect me from file losses? I'm a little inexperienced in this area and don't want to spend money unnecessarily, but at the same time, don't want to go cheap and leave myself exposed to massive data loss.
First, I have to say that you need to understand that RAID is NOT to be used in place of good backup. If the array goes you lose it all, period.
RAID is fault tolerant though and will assist in protecting data.
The most important question is how much space you think that you will need by this time next year or so and then plan your NAS accordingly. Depending on your budget, I would lean towards a 2 or 4 bay ReadyNAS for a basic consumer level NAS.
If you have a door stopper computer laying around the house, you can have you self a NAS.
Upgrade the NIC to Gb NIC if need, install a HaRDWARE raid like SPM394 or SPM393 from DATOptic. Because it's a driver-less hardware raid controller, this will not eat up the CPU resource and you don't have to deal with drivers headache.
Download FreeNAS, burn to CD, boot from this CD, install the OS to USB pen (1GB min)
Install HDD to the SPM39x, create a raid
Boot the system, login with the correct IP
Mount the the raid, Set up the SMB
VOILA! you have a NAS
It may be take you about 10min to set up SAMBA. there are 1000's users in FreeNAS forum or here that can help you!