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Network Attached Storage

Merlin's been talking about getting some network attached storage going and it looks like he's leaning toward using an older Mac to run as a server. I've got a ton of storage on my network so I thought I'd share my experience.

My wife and I switched to laptops a little over a year ago, retiring two desktop machines. (We gave up our office for a nursery) I had a little over 700GB of storage in my desktop and my wife probably had 100+GB. The new laptops, while relatively spacious at 100GB, just werent going to cut it. I had some USB external drives but schleping them around was too much of a pain. So I picked up a couple of small NAS (Network Attached Storage) drives. One from LaCie and the other from Maxtor. They are 300GB and 400GB respectively. They look like slightly large USB drives, and can be attached locally via USB if needed. However I have them sitting next to my wireless router where they are plugged in via ethernet. Each is available on the network via SMB, http, or ftp. I use Windows so the SMB shares are how I normally connect. The LaCie device is pretty bare-bones without much in the way of options. The Maxtor drive has a ton of options, including impersonating iTunes as a shared library for any stored media. (note: this broke with the release of iTunes 7. Maxtor hasnt updated firmware to support the latest iTunes.) Both drives also offer expansion capabilites. Using the previously mentioned USB ports, you can add additional storage, connecting "dumb" USB external drives to the NAS devices. I havent needed extra space yet but I'm thinking about connecting my LaCie 1.2TB USB drive to one of the NAS boxes when I run out of space.

They arent quite as flexible as a real server but for the home they are a great way to have extra storage available to everyone on the network.

About williamk




An Oblique Strategy:
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