True, but isn't any NAS appliance just a cheap server crammed into a small form factor with the price jacked way up?
pretty much. unless you are going high end with like 20 drives, a NAS is not very cost effective.
For example, if you look at many NAS reviews, you will see a $300-400 NAS struggle to do 100MB/s
while if you spend $400 on a PC, you can build a system, with a hard drive to get you started, and hit full gigabit speeds and essentially have the gigabit connection be your bottleneck.
I have a $500 system that I use as a NAS/ media server/ security camera DVR/ Game server. It uses a Phenom II x4 965, has 6TB of storage (3x 2TB drives), 4GB RAM, crappy nvidia 7300gt ($5 used)
Only thing that will make it better, is if I were to upgrade my network to 10 gigabit and get a few 10 gigabiit network cards, only issue is that the current networking companies are charging way too much for a 10 gigabit ehternet card.
Seriously, $300 for a 10 gigabit network card, they should have a skunk round house kick them across the face at the speed of sound.
then on top of that, they want like $1700 for a 10 gigabit switch.
They should have replaced gigabit a long time ago, with 10 gigabit and kept the same price point. gigabit has been out for so long and is likely the oldest interface on any computer built in the last 5 years.