Good NAS Going Bad

Our household NAS, known as HAL, is suffering. A LaCie 5Big Network Drive, HAL arrived in December of 2008 loaded with five 500 GB hard drives, yielding 2 TB of RAID 5 storage.

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.

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DIY SOHO Organization For Rack Mount Gear

The late George Carlin famously told a story about, “a place for my stuff.” A home office can be a challenging place in which to find a proper home for all you stuff. We need a place for everything, and everything in its place…or anarchy reins.

As most home offices are not equipped like corporate data centers, rack mount equipment can be especially difficult to accommodate. Often gear designed to be rack mounted doesn’t readily take to being used on a table top, at least not for the long-term. I recently stumbled upon a novel and inexpensive solution to housing a small amount of rack mount gear; the Lack Side Table from IKEA.

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Beware The Ubiquitous Portable Hard Drive!

Here are some simple words of wisdom from one who has for decades made use of all sorts of portable magnetic media. Don’t trust it!

This simple message, a public service of sorts, was brought to mind when my wife recently came to me with a small portable USB hard drive in her hands. She had just plugged it into her PC which had responded by asking if she wanted the drive to be formatted? The implication being that it was not already formatted!

Of course, the unhappy little drive in question is a 320 GB 2.5″ USB drive that she had been using to shuttle all manner of valuable bytes from here-to-there.

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Michael, don’t do this Michael. I can feel my files slipping away.

5big_3qtr-left_new1

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.

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