Should have got a NAS device a long time ago
Last week, my new Network Attached Storage device (NAS, for short) finally arrived. I got the diskless version of the Infrant ReadyNAS NV. Let me tell you, I should have gotten one of these a long time ago. It is beautiful.
I had been going back and forth for a while as far as what I should do for my storage needs. My old RAID card was not going to have Vista drivers (it may for Longhorn Server, but not Vista itself as of yet). What I was after was:
- Expandable storage... didn't want to be limited to X sizes, or need to purchase some big monolithic thing
- Redundancy... I have stuff I don't want to lose. I don't want something like a HD failure to screw me, no matter how reliable the disks are supposed to be. Will never get 100%, but RAID helps against the single point of failure possibility.
- Shareable... my wife is always downloading music, wanting the music I already had, asking where some photos were, etc.
- Didn't want a dependence on a single system. If I was sharing music, didn't want to have to have my PC on for my wife to use them. Didn't want files to be inaccessible when I'm monkeying around with the systems, such as when the MP3s were inaccessible when I was toying around with Vista RC1 on my media center PC.
When I was trying out Vista RC2, I had moved my RAID card and drives over to my virtual machine server, though found that to be more of a pain than a convenience. I don't keep the VM server on all the time, since I don't need it all the time. It adds to extra heat, noise, and power consumption, so I only turn it on when I need it. Though it takes a few minutes to boot up and be all ready, so if I just needed to reference some project document from a few months ago, it would be a pain.
Now with the NAS, I just access it over the network, and its all in a little box that sits behind my monitors on my desk. The Infrant is especially nice. Uses X-RAID, so the arrays are expandable. It has a nice web interface, plenty of security options, FTP and web accessible, full monitoring (it will even email me if a drive gets too hot).