May 7, 2012

Choosing a NAS

I want a NAS.  I want something rackable to fit in with my PE 1950. The 1950 has been sitting dormant for the last few months. It's kind of loud and I do'nt really have the time to get it up and running until I complete my CCNA.

Currently I have a machine running WHS v2.  I am pretty disappointed with it.  It's stopped doing PC backups nightly and I don't' really know where to begin troubleshooting it. WHS isn't 2008R2, so it lacks a lot of the features I really want to learn about, Hyper-V, DHCP, GPO, AD and DCpromo.  It has 3 x 1 TB drives, a quadcore with no VT  and a handful of DDR2 ram.  It's currently using the motherboard RAID controller for a RAID 5.

I want a NAS. I waffle between building and buying.  My budget is about $100.  My wants:
  • Low power
  • rackable
  • SATA / SAS drives
  • dual NICs
  • Streamlined driver support
If I build, I can bring along a few drives from my WHSv2, memory and a CPU that is not low power. I have an Adaptec 2610SA RAID card, so I'd probably only need a case and an Atom.  If I build, then each piece is from a different vendor, with different support and warranty.  I'm kind of over building PCs from scratch.  I want centralized scalable management.

If I buy, I am quickly priced out of my budget.  Ideally I'd get a Dell, this would allow for centralized management through OMSA. Documentation, drivers and support are easily managed. It's probably not upgradeable.  

Another option, do I really need a NAS and server as separate devices?  Could I get a PE 2950, which supports 6 SATA drive, 32 GB of memory.  If I go that route I'd like to get a the Google Search Appliance build on the 2950, 'cause it looks silly. They go for ~$200 which is out of my price range right now.  It would mean only one device instead of two which limits the power draw and points of failure.  Part of this is to learn, and it's another thing to learn if they're on separate devices.

I wish Craigslist and eBay netted some amazing deals instead of what they have.

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