NAS reading

Hi all.

I'm looking for a new NAS box for 24/7 data backup in warmer than ideal conditions. Must have self contained Hardware RAID 5. Have be accessible through my home type router (both directions), hot swap drives, web administration with limited user accessibility, data encryption, etc. Want to see a red light on a drive that failed - simply replace the faulty drive with a good one while the machine is running, then have the RAID 5 rebuild itself.

Instead of asking lots of questions, please suggest some online reading I can do to help me better understand NAS basics, configure NAS, know what to look for, etc. Then I can do my own searching. Something more involved than

I am a professional programmer, installed and maintained Windows Server NT/2003/2008, etc. But from what little I know, NAS can be very different, use ARM CPUs, have their own anti-virus, security & performance issues, etc.

Any reading suggestions to keep me busy? A recommendation on a 6 drive NAS box that does what I describe is also a good place for me to start.

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  1. I'll let others point to better sources (I'm not a NAS expert either), but I like my Drobo box. I know i might get blasted for saying that, but I bought it 2yrs ago and love it. Basically does all you're asking for except they don't do RAID5... they do something funny called Drobo-RAID or something like that.
    But can be configured to sustain 2 drive failures and have 4 -12 (or 18?) drive versions.
    I'll keep reading here though, because I am interested in these knowledgebase sources for proper NAS solutions. :)
  2. The beyond RAID looks awesome and I had trouble with something simple like adding more or larger drives in the past. Just not sure if this is as mature/roubust as the old RAID 5.
    For now I'll just try to read more until I know what I'm talking about.
  3. :)
    Not sure it's the best thing for uber-corporate/enterprise thrashing, but it's done me well for 2yrs for me and my family's data, movies, pictures, etc. I've also gone from 5x 750GBs to 5x 3TBs in the thing, upgrading one drive at a time, hot and letting the "rebuild" finish and go to the next drive. Whole thing took just a few hours? Pretty cool. Did suffer a drive failure just after the 3TB upgrade, red light on the box and warning in the app, RMA'd and threw the replacement in. Again hotswapped. Only shut the thing down once, and that was to move house.
    But then again, this is just one man's experience. :)
  4. Again thanks for the post.
    I hope to get another opinon. If the beyond RAID really is that awesome, more people should use it.
  5. If you have an old PC around the house try this...
    It's an interesting read even if you don't.
  6. Yes, I can build a mini-server.
    But what I'm looking for is a little BOX. Something using very few watts, small, can hide away someplace, then forget.
    I'm not an expert, but I think a mini-tower (type)-server just isn't made to be run 24/7 where a quality NAS is made to be running 24/7.

    Do NAS have ECC RAM, etc. like in the Rack servers?
    I still have a lot of reading to do.
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