I am getting tired of my linux based setup. It just doesn’t work well enough. The biggest issue I have is that everytime it gets powered down (vacation, storm, etc) and comes back up, it doesn’t quite. I always have to execute some command line magic to get everything recognised. I have tried Gentoo, Ubuntu, Mythbuntu, all with the same issue. I think it is the add in SATA card I have in there, but I don’t want to swap out more computer hardware this time.
This time I want something that doesn’t consume as much power, can be powered on and off easily, is fairly small, I can swap drives on it, does Raid 1 (mirroring), and doesn’t fry eggs on the top of the case.
Options. Not many. I looked at the Buffalo Linkstation Pro Duo, but it only ships in a dual drive configuration, and the 2 TB version seems way too expensive (Amazon $510). You get soaked on the drive cost here. The 1 TB version is two 500GB drives for $265. That is $245 to add another TB. (Without subtracting the cost of the other two drives).
I like the looks of the Netgear ReadyNAS Duo, and it ships with one drive and one open bay. For 500GB, Amazon wants $344, and I would have to replace 2 drives. For the 1 TB version the unit jumps to $617. Yikes. I am still 1 TB short of a mirror. Netgear has other 4 bay versions too, but they get even more expensive. Way more.
I suppose there is always the Drobo. It is a 4 bay solution. Not exactly a mirror, but some sort of wacky internal proprietary solution that provides redundancy. Amazon has this for $349 with no drives, but I would still need to add the Drobo Share to make it a NAS for $195. While a lot of photographers use this solution tied to one computer, I am not sure I like it as a NAS.
Lets try to add this up. First, drives. Newegg and Amazon’s stock of 1 TB drives seems to vary quite a bit. You can get Seagate and Western Digital drives from $179 to $240. I will just use $200 for now. Millage will vary. End price is a NAS with 2 TB total.
- Linkstation 1TB : $265 + 2x$200 = $665
- Linkstation 2TB : $510
- ReadyNAS 500GB : $344 + 2x$200 = $744
- ReadyNAS 1TB: $617 + $200 = $817
- Drobo : $349 + $195 + 2x$200 = $944
So, it looks like out of the box the Linkstation 2TB was the cheapest after all. I do have some concerns about the Linkstation. The unit needs to be disassembled to replace a drive, and I hear that it is not the fastest device.¬† $500 plus right now sounds like a whole lot of cabbage.
I suppose that trying to find a new motherboard that my existing processor and memory could fit into that would have onboard SATA ports would be another idea to explore. Without the external card, maybe the machine could boot up properly. Still, I think that it uses too much power. Maybe someday I will get a Kill-A-Watt and find out for sure.