Terabytes of network storage

There are a dozen different ways to share the terabytes of data you have acquired over the years. Some of the more popular include NAS’es (NASi? NASen? NASouses?), Drobos or just shoving dozen drives into your main desktop. I have long been attracted to drobo for their simplicity and elegance, but find that they are just too much money for a poor student like myself. There are other alternatives like Windows Home Server, UnRaid, OpenSolaris, Terastation, Nexenta, FreeNas, Openfiler , Ubuntu but I frequently start pulling out my hair every time I sit down to try and build one because there are too many options and each have their own pitfalls. One particular homebuilt nas that I particularly love is the black dwarf. I wrote a blurb about it here. The interesting part is that he is using plain old windows 7 as the host operating system. I would like to go a little more elaborate than that. I am leaning towards FreeNas or OpenFiler, but just can’t decide how to take the plunge.

        I came across a blog post at frankleng.me that takes you step by step through the process of building a FreeNas, most importantly using the ZFS file system. In case you didn’t know, ZFS is an open source alternative to FAT32, NTFS, and similar formats you might be used to.

When I get back to rexburg my plan is to start building a free nas using parts that I already have laying around. The goal is to spend less than $75 in additional parts, to create a SFTP, AFP, Samba network shares. Most importantly the box must be able to be backed up to an online service like CrashPlan, must transparently take several drives and make them appear as a single Drive, and it must be upgradeable with new drives in the future.

Please post your comments on what has and hasn’t worked for you.

Resources:

FreeNas
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16v4jNYH0GI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgJNzyTSv6c
http://www.maximumpc.com/article/howtos/how_to_build_a_nas_box
http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/cheap_and_nasty_how_build_open_source_server

UnRaid
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nypnusWsF7A&feature=related

Windows Home Server
http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/master_your_digital_domain?page=0%2C0

Overview
http://frankleng.me/2010/05/01/zfs-powered-nas-the-ultimate-alternative-to-drobo-droboshare-the-complete-guide/

Ubuntu
http://www.kremalicious.com/2008/06/ubuntu-as-mac-file-server-and-time-machine-volume/

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About spuder
spuder is a "super computer" support engineer by day, and tinkerer / hobbyist by night.

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