HAL was a Christmas present. He addressed my wife’s need for a storage strategy for her digital photographs, amongst other things. Within the family I was widely known as a geek. The fact that she welcomed a NAS as a gift cemented her standing in that regard.
HAL was twice upgraded such that he presently sports five 2 TB Seagate Barracuda hard drives configured for RAID 10 + a hot spare. One drive failed a couple of months ago. At that time it pulled in the hot spare, spending a weekend rebuilding the volume. No data was lost.
One of the little side benefits of all the Black Friday & Cyber Monday craziness is that the promotional pricing can be used to address some very real needs around the home office. This is just one fine example that crossed my desk today; high-capacity, portable USB 3.0 hard drives are being offered on-the-cheap. I saw a Seagate Expansion 3 TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive offered for $99.
It’s been a while since I bought any storage, but I am reminded that my NAS isn’t backed up in any real way. HAL, a five disk LaCie 5Big NAS , has 10 TB of raw storage, but is presently configured for 4 TB of RAID 10 + hot spare.
It would certainly be nice to be able to back it up to an offline volume. Given that the 4 TB volume is not completely stuffed, a 3 TB drive could still do the job.
Okay, so why do you need this Mike? Can’t you RAID a couple big disks into your desktop and run it like a server? You’d save another 500 bucks doing this.
In fact for the past couple of years I’ve had a mini-tower PC living in a closet acting as a file server. It wasn’t really a server as it was a pretty limited little box. It had an AMD 1800+ CPU, 512 MB memory and four 300 GB IDE drives on a Promise RAID controller. In RAID 5 it gave me around 860 GB of storage. It actually started out with four 120 GB drives long ago and had been upgraded once already.
Meet HAL9000. That’s what my wife has decided to call our new LaCie NAS. She cites the similarity between the big blue light on the front of the NAS and the vision panels that the famous supercomputer has on-board ship in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
This is a relatively new device to the market and just recently was reviewed by my friends over at Small Net Builder. Tim’s conclusion about matches my experience thus far. It’s not the best performing of its sort, nor is it terribly feature laden, but it is a decent RAID capable NAS. It provides 2.5 TB of raw storage, or in our case 1.86 TB of actual RAID 5 storage based upon 5 x 500 GB SATA-II disks. All for a modest $730 street price.