Anyone Have Some NAS Drive Advice?

I’m considering buying an NAS drive. Something along the lines of a WD My Book Live or something similar. I don’t have a huge media library, but want a way to share/back up over my home network. There are 2 machines, one Linux and the other is Windows XP, so one of the 1TB units seems like it might be a good place to start.

How well do they work with Linux? Should I look for SMB, CIFS, or NFS support? Thanks for any help.

CIFS is just the new incarnation of SMB so they are the same. If all you are storing are media, then it doesn’t matter much if it doesn’t support NFS. I have NFS on mine because I wanted a real Unix filesystem.

You should compare throughput and other features such as accounts on the models you are looking at. Also whether you want some kind of redundancy like RAID. You have to get this kind of info from reviews and such info isn’t really Linux specific. I can’t help much since I haven’t looked at the market recently.

You could also buy one of those mini-servers or small profile machines and build your own NAS using openfiler or freenas.

I have a Seagate Blackarmor NAS 110 - it comes with a 1TB hard drive (although I have just replaced the drive for a 2TB). I have 3 pure Linux (all openSUSE) computers all mounting the NAS as NFS with autofs, and a Western Digital HD TV Live multimedia player which connects to it through CIFS. I can also connect to it from any computer through CIFS/SMB as well. It’s very easy to set up, works perfectly. The multimedia player works great with it as well. This NAS is very poor on features. And don’t even think about the NAS DLNA multimedia server function - it’s simply sh***t! That’s what the WD HD TV Live is for. But as a file server it’s great. No complaints.

But if I was buying a NAS box today, I’d definitely get a Qnap NAS - it doesn’t come with a hard drive, but would probably be cheaper with extra HDD than the Seagate NAS 110 with the drive. The Qnap NAS boxes have so many features it’s not funny. Their boxes are not just file servers, they do the whole lot: file, web, database, multimedia etc… And they also have true multimedia servers although they’re very expensive even compared to the NAS + HDD + WD HD TV.

You can get versions with 1 HDD, 2x HDDs, 4x HDDs, file server or all-in-one servers… Your wallet’s the limit.

I’ve gotten good service from a Buffalo LinkStation. Mine is several years old and only 500 gb. On my home network easily accessible from win 7 & xp systems plus various Linux distros I have used. Currently am running several systems with os 11.4 and one Fedora 14. Also, have a printer connected to one of the usb ports on the unit. Units come with printer server software so you can get network printer from just about any old usb printer. However, I believe it must be a printer for which the Linkstation has a driver as don’t believe you caneasily had new drivers.
I use smb4k and setup was fairly straightforward. have not bother to configure fstab to auto mount on startup although have done so in the past.

Current model of my unit is available from Micro Center (in US) for $99 in 1TB size and comes with some on board media server software but I am not familiar with that aspect.

I would recommend the LinkStation for simple, low cost and low power storage unit.

Thanks for the input everyone. :slight_smile: It looks like I’ve got some research to do!

Thanks for the info on the Seagates, I was wondering about them as they available locally. The Qnap NAS sounds really nice, and you’re right, features galore (more than I’ll ever use maybe) but I like 'em anyway.

Sometimes the wallet limit can be painful . . . lol!

As already suggested freenas has got quite a lot of features and costs nothing :slight_smile: You can install it on flash drive and use all Your computer disks for storage. It is very stable and the http GUI is quite usable. From my point of view the advantages of ready to use NAS’es are that they have low power consumption, they’re usually little and produce almost no noise. I guess the best ones come from EMC but they are very expensive.

Best regards,

Having just changed the TV and noticing that it has a network connector on the back I’m thinking about fitting a NAS to my set up. It will be mixed vista,xp,windows 7 and linux.

lol! Odd mix but it boils down to, wife, treasured software, son and what I use most of the time. Unfortunately my microscope cameras have to be run under windoze.

Looking around I see a couple of units that might be of interest to me

LG. Twin disc unit and the only one that shows a linux set up in it’s manual. I would be setting this sort of system up with raid 1.

Buffalo 4 drive unit. This appeals because of it’s type it’s relatively cheap. Can also be run with raid 5 which gives speed and redundancy. Main problem here is that the user reviews that I have come across are all very bad. But there may be loads of them running without problem.

D-Link. These are 2 drive units and usually come as empty boxes. The 320 has great reviews and can be run on any platform. However the 325 uses SATA 300 which will give much faster performance in RAID 1. The 325 comes with loads of windoze wizards etc with no info on linux. I like d-link products as they are usually amongst the best especially when price is considered.

The cheapest option is the LG.

While I can set any of these up via windoze I would much prefer to use Linux but the info in the manual on this aspect seems to be scant. Many mention that a browser can be used which suggests any platform but only give info on d#m wizards.

Any comments on reliability of these and on setting up purely via Linux.

Have a look at Real Help For Your Small Network - SmallNetBuilder

Thanks that’s useful. I’ve part made a decision and the next one is the box. There are some cheapish 4tb included buffalo 4 bay units about but I’m concerned about drive reliability. I’ve gone for 2 wd enterprise sata drives. For it’s price the d-link box doesn’t look to bad really. It will also handle rebuilding etc well.

Must take a look at the others to see what they can be bought for.

Well it’s done as far as I’m concerned rotfl! just hope it works out.

I’ve bought 2 wd enterprise 500gb sata drives and the d-link 325. There are faster boxes but at sub 130 quid the d-link is pretty good value. Anything really quicker costs rather a lot more. I also know that their support is/was very good. Was as they may have been taken over for all I know. Hope not. It’s a shame it comes with lots of windoze software I don’t want. The 320 is much cheaper and has generally good reviews.

The drives are supposed to be the most reliable in their class and at 50 quid a piece not that bad really. I’ve just changed 2 enterprise 10k sata drives that have been in use for an awfully long time. Still working perfectly but thought I should.

For the same sort of money I could have bought a buffalow 4 drive unit with 4 by 1tb installed but all of the reviews I’ve seen relate to disc problems and all reckon that their support is useless, even the word rude has been used.

Thank you for the link. :slight_smile:

I found the chart useful too but oh the cost to get to the higher performance levels. That’s why I went for the D-Link.

The D-Link 325 has worked out well. I configured it by locating it in my router and assigning a fixed ip for it. The web interface allows full configuration. I haven’t used the installation cd at all. Only confusion for me was that they refer to volumes even when they are folders. No problem on my wifes’ windoze vista laptop either but windoze had to be told to search for it twice.

The other attraction for me is that it looks fine on it’s side so that the discs are horizontal. It got a little warm for my tastes with the default set up so I have set that to have the fan permanently on it’s low setting. Normally the fan only turns on at 50C internal. It’s hardly audible having a cast metal case. Part of the on cost over the 320 is probably that plus windoze and mac back up software. Internals are linux running on ext3. I using mirrored raid at the moment.

I just used dolphin to set it up as a windoze network drive. No problems there with any file types other than movies which I am still trying to crack. Amarok will play mp3’s off it how ever they are accessed. Kaffeine complains about the absence of what seems to be a none existent input plugin NOT a codec.

Speed wise it’s little different to using the local drive. Just a longer pause before the load.