[lug] NAS - OpenNAS, FreeNAS, NAS4Free, or COTS?

Jed S. Baer blug at jbaer.cotse.net
Fri Dec 5 20:26:06 MST 2014

Hi Folks.

The boss has decided to look at getting a NAS box, primarily for use as a
target for backups. I'll probably use some sort of rsync-ish or rdiff-ish
software to do the backups, but that's not a big deal.

I don't have a specific budget number, but it isn't going to be high-end
enterprise-class stuff. More like low-mid 2-bay SOHO.

Unless I'm wrong about budget, this will be a RAID-1 config. If it ends
up being a 4-bay, then RAID10 (1+0) is likely. Not sure about the RAID
part, as I'm reading that RAID5 can be problematic, and who knows about
various vendor-specific RAID extensions? Hey, I'm not a big SA type.

Needs to have a simple web-based interface, so the boss can manage it if
I'm not around. This isn't going to be a complex setup anyway. Probably
just 1 big share. But there is a requirement for some data protection,
e.g. for the accounting files.

Data volume requirement is pretty low. Small company. I'd be shocked if
1TB wasn't good for several years.

1 possibility is to convert one of our old PCs to a NAS box. These are
*OLD* machines. Would need to get a SATA controller. I'd do an SSD as a
boot device, and a couple 1TB or 2TB drives. This is my least favorite
option, because as much I might enjoy fiddling with it, I'm just the IT
guy there by default -- it isn't my formal job.

Or, just get a COTS machine. Lots of choices here, so any particular
thoughts? Thecus, Synology, Qnap, other? Initially, looking around, and
reading reviews, I think I want to avoid Buffalo.

TIA for any advice.

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