Computer Motherboards

Network Attached Storage

Copyright 2010 by Stephen Vermeulen
Last updated: 2010 May 07
Computer Networking

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See also:

General Information

  • 2010-May-07: A rather nice looking 8-drive NAS box that is home built. [9107] [1]
  • 2010-Apr-06: Data Robotics has finally released a true NAS box, called the Drobo NAS. [9053]
  • 2010-Jan-08: The iConnect from Iomega allows you to connect up to 4 USB drives or printers to your LAN. [8891]
  • 2009-Sep-10: The VIA NSD-7800 8-Bay NAS storage solution gets reviewed here, some followup discussion of it here. [8457]
  • 2009-Sep-09: How BACKBLAZE makes their own storage servers and manages to fit 67TB into a 4U rack mount case for a fraction of the price that others do it. Discussed here on Slashdot. The unRAID Server Community Forum is interested in this and has tracked down suppliers for some of the parts used in these servers. The custom cases are built by Protocase and are available to other customers. [8442]
  • 2009-Sep-09: Buffalo's DriveStation now offers hardware encryption. [8493]
  • 2009-Sep-04: If you want to build your own NAS device NORCO has the NS-520, a nice 5-bay system (which consits of case, power supply, hot swap mountings and a mother board) which might actually be less expensive than building one from parts. [8456]
  • 2009-Jul-13: Hitachi's SimpleNet USB Drive Network Adapter allows you to attach two USB drives to a 10/100Mbit wired LAN for $79. [8257]
  • 2009-May-21: Acer's easyStore AH340-UA230N is a 4-bay NAS for about $400. [8010]
  • 2009-Apr-07: Addonics' USB to NAS adapter is quite literally a small black box that will take any USB drive and make it into a NAS drive for $55. I would guess it must contain a small Linux-based computer so its likely someone will get to hacking this soon (like the old NSLU2). The PogoPlug (reviewed here) is another attempt at the same thing, though for somewhat more than Addonics. [7337] [1]
  • 2009-Apr-07: The DroboPro is an 8-bay version of the Drobo storage system. While they have added a gigabit LAN port to it, they have not provided the normal NAS server software - very odd. Its also rather expensive at $1299 without any drives, so you'd be better off with an unRAID box. [7835]
  • 2009-Mar-31: The Thecus N0204 miniNAS is a NAS device that takes a pair of 2.5 inch hard drives instead of the more normal 3.5 inch drives. This makes it physically smaller and probably reduces its power consumption. [7813]
  • 2009-Mar-25: Seagate's 6TB BlackArmor NAS is a 4-bay RAID 0/1/5/10 device aimed at small business LANs. It includes support for a number of services, including Microsoft Windows Server Active Directory. Since they are claiming an 8TB version will be due out in May it is probably a safe bet that Seagate's 2TB drive is going to start shipping then (or they are going to populate these with WesternDigital drives) which is a lot sooner than the Q3'09 they had previously announced... [7787]
  • 2009-Mar-20: The TS-639 Pro Turbo is a 6-bay NAS system which can do the usual RAID 0/1/5 plus it can do RAID-6. They also have a smaller 4-bay version called the TS-439. At CDN$1300 it is pretty pricey for home use, but it does have a lot of capabilities. [7462]
  • 2009-Mar-05: The Altos easyStore NAS from Acer, is a 4 drive RAID unit that can currently hold up to 3GB. Engadget spots one at CeBIT'09. [5221]
  • 2009-Feb-15: The QNAP TS-809 Pro Turbo is an 8-bay NAS box. This can do RAID 1, 5 and 6 and includes a number of server functions including the XDove mail server. Certainly a nice looking piece of kit. [7586]
  • 2009-Jan-10: The ASUS EEE D200 is a medium sized NAS box with a couple of twists, it includes a router and LAN switch (for connecting 4 other computers), has DVI and audio outputs, and also has a LCD display on the front. From a look at the back panel it appears this is not using a standard form factor motherboard/case (there is no conventional IO panel area and no expansion card slot) and the power supply is an external brick. [7421]
  • 2008-Dec-16: Slashdot discusses low cost NAS devices, including some talk about real-world throughput. [7358]
  • 2008-Oct-29: The Thecus N3200 Pro NAS has three drive bays and can run RAID-5. It also has an LCD status display and software for various server functions. [7114]
  • 2008-Oct-28: The MvixBOX is a gigabit connected NAS with two drive bays for about $299, this includes a variety of server functions and Torrent capabilities. [7112]
  • 2008-Oct-18: The SQA-5H home server from Tranquil PC it a compact 5-drive bay NAS server with the ability to be extended to 10 bays. [7045]
  • 2008-Oct-15: The StorCenter ix2 NAS from Iomega will be available in 500GB and 1TB RAID-1 versions with gigabit LAN. [7029]
  • 2008-Oct-03: The D-Link DNS-343 is a 4-bay gigabit NAS with capability to do RAID5. At $450 for a bare unit it may seem expensive but that compares well with the cost of building a small computer and installing a Linux RAID system on it. [6980]
  • 2008-Oct-01: The Western Digital ShareSpace is a 4-bay NAS device available in 2TB and 4TB sizes. More about it here on Engadget with links to some reviews. [6957]
  • 2008-Sep-28: SimpleTech will be shipping an external dual-drive with up to 3TB of storage in late 2008. [6931]
  • 2008-Sep-16: The LaCie 4big Quadra is a 4-drive RAID box that can be attached by eSATA, Firewire or USB and can be expanded by chaining up to 4 of them for a total of 24TB. [6861]
  • 2008-Jul-12: The AccuNAS AN2L is a two-bay NAS from Sans Digital, it has media server and BitTorrent client capabilities too. [6512]
  • 2008-Jul-08: The second generation Drobo box is now (July'08) appearing. It still needs an extra NAS hosting module to turn it into a proper NAS device. [6493]
  • 2008-Jul-03: Drobo is a usb-attached 4 drive enclosure that has a disk management processor built in and appears to allow for hot swapping. More details on this unit. Engadget reviews it here. Drobo appears to be popular amongst photographers, here is a review by one who uses it on a Mac network. Drobo has been opening up to running additional applications and now have an SDK. [3691]
  • 2008-May-12: The StorX PX-NAS500L and PX-NAS1000L NAS drives from Plextor have lots of LED status lights. [6136]
  • 2008-Apr-05: The Datto Backup NAS is a NAS that includes software to pipe a copy of the data to an offsite storage service (which you need to pay an additional annual fee to use). An interesting concept, but perhaps a better idea would be to sell a simple remote backup server in-a-box that could be placed at another site (say in the CFO or CTO's basement) and that would be the destination for the offsite storage. But then the vendor won't have a nice recurring revenue stream in his business plan... [5605]
  • 2008-Apr-03: Buffalo's DriveStation Combo4 external hard drive will have USB, Firewire (400 and 800) and eSATA interfaces. [5489]
  • 2008-Apr-03: The Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II gets reviewed here, this is a USB/Firewire/eSATA attached drive system that can contain 2 drives in a RAID-0 or RAID-1 configuration. [5380]
  • 2008-Mar-07: The Wizplat NAS-20 is a 2-drive, gigabit NAS box from Sarotech. It has built in iTunes, NitTorrent and print servers and its case looks like one of the OLPC designers paid them a visit - perhaps this would get some attention at a LAN party? [5236]
  • 2008-Feb-09: While not NAS in the traditional sense, the idea of distributing a file system across spare space on a number of PCs on a LAN has been implemented in a number of ways:
    1. GNU's Gluster package includes GluserFS a clustered file store.
    2. OpenAFS has some Windows support.
    3. The Network Block Device for Linux could be used to do this, though for redundancy you would have to make a RAID array out of a number of NBD devices.
    4. dCache is a system that has been used in the nuclear physics labs to help store their large data sets.
    5. Wuala appears to be a commercial service that is building a distributed storage grid out of space on individual participating PCs.
    The main problems with such system are what to do about nodes that are off-line, fail or are frequently unavailable. Clearly a useful system must include redundancy, perhaps multi-way, to compensate for this, even if you are using a relatively reliable set of machines (like a number of servers that have had an extra IDE drive installed for spare storage). Such systems would be quite useful for applications like a backup storage pool. [5072]
  • 2008-Jan-30: The TS-409 NAS from QNAP will provide up to RAID-5 and may not need tools for drive replacement. More information on this here. [4419]
  • 2008-Jan-28: This article on SmallNetBuilder looks at the speeds of 8 port switches (and has internal pictures). [5005]
  • 2008-Jan-11: Slashdot discusses file servers for the home (again). [4647]
  • 2008-Jan-06: Netgear's new ReadNAS Duo system looks quite nice. These can hold two SATA drives in a RAID configuration (with hardware acceleration of X-RAID). Plus they have a number of additional software features like support for BitTorrent, an HTTP/HTTPS server for remote access and UPnP. Here is Engadget's hands-on article. [4592]
  • 2007-Dec-27: Don't use Windows Home Server for anything important, at least until Microsoft sorts out a bug that causes it to corrupt some types of files. [4526]
  • 2007-Dec-25: NetGear, which has acquired Infrant, is adding some more boxes to its ReadyNAS line with sizes from 1.5TB to 4TB, gigabit LAN, and RAID 0/1/5 and X-RAID support on up to 4 drives. Discussed here on Slashdot. [4511]
  • 2007-Nov-26: ClarkConnect makes a Linux distro that is designed to be remotely administered through a browser. This is reviewed here and used here. While is is a general purpose Linux server distribution it is also suitable for building a NAS server with and the extra capabilities (like Windows Primary Domain Controller - PDC) may also be of use to some. A good summary article about it is here with emphasis on using it as a router/firewall. [4185]
  • 2007-Nov-21: SmallNetBuilder has a lot of reviews and information on NAS devices and wireless networking. [4184] [1]
  • 2007-Nov-21: Slashdot has another of its periodic discussions of NAS storage for the home, this comment is worth noting and investigating further if you are using the D-Link DNS-323 NAS device. Ximeta is also suggested. [4183]
  • 2007-Nov-17: Engadget asks: How would you change Windows Home Server?, from the comments it appears that this cannot act as a domain controller (though some of the betas might have been able to) and it does not use RAID - rather it has some sort of file based redundancy. [4166]
  • 2007-Nov-07: Buffalo's LS-WTGL/R1 NAS will hold up to 2TB in 2 drives, priced between $490 and $1100 depending on storage size. [4042]
  • 2007-Nov-06: Intel's Entry Storage System SS4200 will be a Windows Home Server based NAS that can house 4 drives internally. [4038]
  • 2007-Nov-02: The ezSource is a NAS based on Windows Home Server. [3915]
  • Oct'07 from Engadget: Norco's (I thought they made bicycles) new DS-520 home NAS is a pretty advanced unit. Its got five hot-swappable bays, can run a number of different operating systems (including Windows Home Server and various Linux solutions) and has dual gigabit ethernet ports plus ports to attach additional drives via USB and eSATA. At a price of about $620 this initially appears expensive, as that's quite a bit more than the typical 2-drive home NAS solution, but its a lot less than a lot of the heavy duty 4-drive solutions currently out there. In fact, if you were to try and build something equivalent you'd probably blow your budget with just the purchase of an equivalent hot-swap case and a SATA RAID controller card with more than 4 ports. Their spec sheet shows you have a choice of processor speeds and also the amount of RAM that is installed, and it appears to be available without an operating system as well. [3711]
  • IoMega has released a new set of external drive units, including some with up to 4 drive bays [3710]
  • LaCie's Home Edition Personal Media Server, is a single drive (500GB) NAS unit that has DLNA support and a gigabit ethernet port. [3709]
  • The Tranquil T7-HSA is a fanless and low-power file server box built around a custom housing and Windows Home Server. [3708]
  • The 2big NAS drives from LaCie appear to be dual drive RAID NAD housings [3707]
  • The Synology Cube Station CS407, a nice looking 4 drive NAS enclosure with gigabit LAN and some built in web server software (PHP, MySQL and PhotoStation2) [3706]
  • A few Windows Home Server type boxes, from HP, MaxData, Medion and Fujitsu [3705]
  • Emtec's Movie Cube-R multimedia hard drive has video in/out functionality, a memory card reader and has composite and component video out. [3704]
  • Fujitsu's Scaleo Home Server is a Windows Home Server in a cute form factor, with low power operation. [3703]
  • Iomega will be introducing some low cost NAS devices starting at about $150 [3702]
  • The PEC-NAV500 is a 500GB NAS from Princeton Technologythat includes iTunes server and DLNA capabilities [3701]
  • The Buffalo DriveStation units are getting a "turbo USB" feature to improve speed. [3700]
  • The TS-209 is a two-bay NAS from QNAP [3699]
  • The NS04-3100 is a four-bay NAS from Lanner [3698]
  • Iomega's StorCenter network hard drives, which include some additional functions like Active Directory and UPnP media server capability [3697]
  • Building a fully encrypted NAS using OpenBSD, this howto explains how and is discussed here on Slashdot. apparently supports encryption at the disk level so might be an alternative and the also supports encryption. [3696]
  • Sonnet's D400 and D800 Fusion RAID systems will do RAID-5 across either 4 or 8 disks. [3695]
  • The Guardian MAXimus from NewerTech is an external USB/FireWire attached two drive RAID box, it is available with or without drives. [3694]
  • The RT5 from WiebeTech, this is a 5 drive RAID enclosure which has FireWire, USB and eSATA connectors, but its far to expensive at $1700 without any drives. [3693]
  • The Jack in the Box media servier from Planex, is a dual-drive NAS (RAID-1 capable) with a BitTorrent client, DLNA and iTunes media servers and front panel USB and SD card slots so you can directly load files onto it. [3692]
  • The myshare NAS from Hammer, up to 2GB in a 2 drive NAS [3690]
  • The NAS-01G750 from Planex has built in BitTorrent functionality [3689]
  • The NAS200 from Linksys [3688]
  • The I-O Data LANDISK Tera NAS has 4 bays and will do RAID-5 with up to 2TB of storage at gigabit speeds [3687]
  • The RHD2-U from I-O Data supports up to 1TB [3686]
  • The HS-DHGL LinkStation from Buffalo, supports DLNA [3685]
  • The Planex PL-35U2BS is a dual-drive enclosure that attaches via USB [3684]
  • In Nov'06 I-O Data announced its Giga LANDISK, a 750GB NAS with gigabit LAN and an eSATA and USB ports for expansion. [3683]
  • The BitTorrent company is developing a line of NAS server devices with embedded BitTorrent capabilities [3682]
  • The Infrant ReadyNAS NV+ has gigibit ethernet and will hold up to 4 drives. [3681]
  • The DriveStation Duo from Buffalo is a RAID-1 capable NAS [3680]
  • HP is going to market a consumer NAS drive with RAID-1 capability, this gets reviewed here by ExtremeTech, this unit can also use up to 3 externally attached USB drives or printers. There is a thrid party FAQ on this unit here. [3679]
  • Prestigio's NAS-540 is a unit capable of 4 drives in a RAID-5 config [3678]
  • Iomega's UltraMax 640GB RAID drive [3677]
  • D-Link's DNS-323 (see their product page) is a gigabit network storage box with bays for two SATA 3.5in drives (and RAID-1) and has a USB print server port. [3676]
  • The ASUS WL-700gE media server gives you a nice mix of storage, web server, FTP server as well as BitTorrent support. And it is expandable by adding external USB drives. More information about this on Slashdot here, at at Tweaktown. [3675]
  • Slashdot discusses the FreeNAS server, which is reviewed here. This is a specialized distro that is focused on converting old PCs into useful NAS boxes. Alternatives to this include OpenFiler and NASLite from Server Elements [3674]
  • The LinkStation is an external NAS box that can be modified to include the ability to run P2P protocols [3673]
  • In June'06 Thecus announced the N5200 that gives you a 5 drive NAS enclosure, this is reviewed here and discussed on Slashdot. [3672]
  • Thecus also makes the N4100, which is a NAS device with 4 bays that supports RAID 0, 1, and 5 as well as a gigabit ethernet port. [3671]
  • an external drive that is attached by SATA or USB made by Thecus, reviewed here on Tom's Hardware [3670]
  • CP Tech makes the Network Storage HD case, CP-UL-300, which can take a 3.5in IDE drive and adapt it to a LAN connection or a USB connection. London Drugs was offering this at $99.99 in Mar'06. [3669]
  • The Netgear SC101 is a network file server that can be configured for RAID1, you can buy it without disks and add your own IDE drives of any size. This is being superseded by the SC101T in early 2007. [3668]
  • The Buffalo HD-HTGL/R5 TeraStation gets reviewed by Thomas Hawk and is found to be rather slow [3667]
  • The Newisys NA-1400 is a home tera-byte RAID storage server [3666]
  • The Tera NAS HD from SnaZio is a RAID box (RAID-0, 1, or 5) that can hold 4 IDE drives. [3665]
  • Maxtor (Sept'05) is now making a NAS box that has a built in media-server function and USB ports to attach additional hard drives or even printers. Maxtor's Shared Storage Plus gets reviewed. In Summer'06 this is being increased to the 1TB capacity (or 500GB as a RAID-1). [3664]
  • The Silex SX-2000U2 is a network-attached USB device sharer, in effect its a little computer you put on your LAN somewhere, then attach USB devices to it (including things like scanners and hard drives) and then you can access these from other computers across the LAN. Its certainly no where near as fast as attaching the device directly to a computer, but it might be useful since the device can be accessed from several places. Details on how these devices contend with being accessed by several computers at once are not reported... There is a review of it here. [3663]
  • SimpleTech is going to produce a small NAS unit with capability to take 2 IDE drives internally and also combine them with either RAID-0 (to increase the size) or RAID-1 (for redundancy), reviewed here on Tom's Networking. It also includes a built-in USB print server. [3662]
  • Another project called the Kuro seems to be making some progress. Tom's networking has a review of it here. They also make a number of fully assembled versions. [3661]
  • A similar box from Triton has generated some interest from product hackers, but their project seems to have dead ended. [3660]
  • Iogear also make some NAS boxes, their BOSS offering combines a hard, router and firewall into one small package, in Dec'04 I found the 120GB version at Best Buy for CDN$299. Tom's Networking has a good review. It raises enough points to make me think about other solutions. [3659]
  • Iomega is making some NAS boxes [3658]
  • The Linksys NSLU2 is a network storage server that you attach USB2.0 hard drives to and then attach to your LAN. This Slashdot artical discusses hacking its firmware to add new features. This artical from Tom's Networking also discusses modifying this device (they reviewed it here as well). is also discussing modifying this device. [3657]

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