[nSLUG] Home NAS recommendations $400-$600?

Stephen Gregory nslug at kernelpanic.ca
Wed Sep 10 12:08:45 ADT 2008

On Tue, Sep 09, 2008 at 07:56:45PM -0700, Luke Gavel wrote:
> Thanks everybody for your replies so far.  I'm listing more of what I would be looking for in an independent storage station:
> - 4 bays sata-capable for upwards scalability
> - full hardware-level RAID capability
> - RJ45 port (shouldn't have to specify this)
> - low watts usage ('green' fans, etc)
> - linux-based kernel for durability and small footprint

With these requirements I recommend the Intel Atom board discussed
last month on this list:


The board costs about $80 and it can run a full distro of your
choice. It sounds like you have enough of the other parts already that
all you would need to buy is the Atom board and ram. Out of the box
the atom board only has two SATA ports, but the pci slot can be used
to add more.

The Atom board has been tested to consume 40w of power. This is not
great, but it is not bad either. There are lower power options, but
they cost more. One review of the Synology box lists the power
consumption as 16w to 32w[1]. Assuming 7.5cents per kwh of electricity
the 25w difference is going to cost $16.50 a year. A full Atom system
with a GB of ram, case, and 80+ power supply can be bought for about
$180 (+ tax etc). The Synology box lists for $325. It is going to take
years to make up that price difference. If you can find a dedicated
NAS for $250 it is going to take about 4 years before you see a
savings from the lower power consumption of the dedicated NAS.

An Atom box is cheaper, more flexible, and can run a full Linux distro
without any hacking. If you want don't want a full Linux distro and
easy NAS only management there are projects like Openfiler. Apart from
the small size I don't see any advantage to a dedicated NAS.

[1] http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/content/view/29957/75/


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