Time to get NAS? Suggestions appreciated

Associate
Joined
8 Dec 2002
Posts
120
Location
Britain
I'm a keen photographer, and having had a dSLR for a few months now, I'm rapidly finding that shooting RAW has a bit of an adverse affect on my hard disk space. ;)

So far I've just been archiving to dvd when necessary, but this tends to be quite time consuming and the files aren't easily accessible. I've not really got the space in my case (nor any free sata headers) to bolt in any more hard drives (already have 2x Seagate 160GB 7200.7, and an IDE Maxtor 80GB), so I'm looking at external storage for the time being.

At first I considered a USB option like the mybook or suchlike, but would it be best to invest in a dual disk RAID1-capable NAS option? I like the idea of independent access on the network rather than direct attached storage, and since it will mainly be used for backup and long term storage, the slower ethernet speed shouldn't be an issue.

Then again, since I'd probably use a NAS box to mirror My Pictures (which is on an internal drive), is RAID1 really necessary? The Qnap TS201 looks like a decent piece of kit with added multimedia/web server/torrent bonus features, and OcUK have them at a good price, but can't find any opinion on it from anyone on these forums.

How do those of you with 100s of gigs of media (which is the way I'm heading) and some sort of external storage organise your stuff and drives? Any opinions welcome, I'm just at the stage of trying to figure out what would be best for my needs. Thanks in advance. :)
 
Associate
Joined
22 Jan 2006
Posts
924
I ended up buying an PCI-E card (PCI slots are full/blocked by GPU) that had an internal and external SATA port on it. No drivers needed in XP, found it straight away and was formatting drives minutes after.

It's worth a look. PCI cards work just as well I'd assume.
 
Associate
OP
Joined
8 Dec 2002
Posts
120
Location
Britain
Cheers - hadn't really thought about e-SATA, although i suppose in principle it's not different to an external USB drive, i.e. direct attached storage rather than NAS.

But presumably, there's no way that any direct attached storage can act as a web server or download station unless my pc is turned on, can it?

NAS seems more and more tempting, but still struggling to find any user opinions of the QNAP 201 unit - a couple of reviews are on the net but nothing in the way of longer-term user opinions. Anyone here got one?
 
Associate
Joined
5 Nov 2003
Posts
1,035
Location
Leeds
Be warned that most NAS top out at about 10mb/s, even over a gigabit network. You will need to shell out quite a bit to get a NAS which doesn't take all day to copy to (e.g. Thecus N5200 at £550)
 
Associate
Joined
12 Jan 2007
Posts
39
I have a Thecus 2100 and changed the hard drives in it last night from 2 250Gb maxtors to 2 500Gb WD. I had to move around 100gb of data onto my PC which took around 90mins. I didn't think it was that bad over a Gigabit network. Takes longer to build the mirror raid than to copy the files over.

Excellent piece of kit.
 
Soldato
Joined
12 Feb 2007
Posts
14,118
Location
South Shields
I bought one of these

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD-014-BT&tool=3

Speeds arent fantastic, but good for a general purpose NAS. I.e. wanted to keep documents and stream music to any PC or laptop in my house.


Reviewed by: Phil Davies (ME)

Good NAS Enclosure for home use.
I chose a samsung 300Gb Spinpoint to go with this, its easy to use and the manual is very detailed. Unfortunatley, the website is all in german, which makes updated firmware VERY difficult to find. Especially as i do not know german. An internet search took me to the right file. You need to update the firmware when you get it as it adds a lot more features to the product.
Overall, a good looking product, easy to set up (with the new firmware) but is let down by the products website support (Non-existent unless you can read german). And very detailed destruction manual.
 
Associate
Joined
5 Nov 2003
Posts
1,035
Location
Leeds
LeeG said:
I have a Thecus 2100 and changed the hard drives in it last night from 2 250Gb maxtors to 2 500Gb WD. I had to move around 100gb of data onto my PC which took around 90mins. I didn't think it was that bad over a Gigabit network. Takes longer to build the mirror raid than to copy the files over.

Excellent piece of kit.

I have a N5200 and N2100, both great bits of kit, the firmware is constantly being improved and they are fairly bullet proof. For streaming media a 10mb/s limit is not noticeable but for reading RAW data files it may be
 
Associate
Joined
26 Nov 2006
Posts
1,091
I need a NAS for a customer who's app uses a lot of disk activity, (writing JPG's to it) they are running XP on their server ( :eek: ) and are limited to 10 connections, so a NAS may solve the connections problem and be cheaper than a new server with 2003 server, but the disk speed needs to be good and preferably with RAID 0 / 1 /0+1
 
Associate
OP
Joined
8 Dec 2002
Posts
120
Location
Britain
Cheers guys - that WD My Book World looks mighty tempting. £293 for a terabyte of NAS is great value compared to the ~£220 for an empty Qnap 201 or Thecus 2100. And the My Book World can have it's disks replaced (i.e. upgraded?) in the future. Will have to wait and see what all the specs, features and reviews are like. I'm guessing it's not likely to have the download/torrent managers and other fancy+useful features of the byod boxes.

I see there's also a Linksys NAS200 box on the horizon, but from what I can gather it's not even futureproofed with only a 10/100 connection. And it's fugly.

@ Bomag: Thanks for the warning, but i'm only an a 10/100 network anyway - and tbh speed isn't my main concern. It won't be used as a main active source of data, but as a backup and long-term storage. I'm thinking along the lines of a weekly backup (if I have new/processed photos or other important files on my pc) using SyncToy. Many well designed/implemented features and reliability are the most important things to me.
 
Soldato
Joined
15 Nov 2003
Posts
14,342
Location
Marlow
STROBE said:
Cheers guys - that WD My Book World looks mighty tempting. £293 for a terabyte of NAS is great value compared to the ~£220 for an empty Qnap 201 or Thecus 2100. And the My Book World can have it's disks replaced (i.e. upgraded?) in the future. Will have to wait and see what all the specs, features and reviews are like. I'm guessing it's not likely to have the download/torrent managers and other fancy+useful features of the byod boxes.

I see there's also a Linksys NAS200 box on the horizon, but from what I can gather it's not even futureproofed with only a 10/100 connection. And it's fugly.

@ Bomag: Thanks for the warning, but i'm only an a 10/100 network anyway - and tbh speed isn't my main concern. It won't be used as a main active source of data, but as a backup and long-term storage. I'm thinking along the lines of a weekly backup (if I have new/processed photos or other important files on my pc) using SyncToy. Many well designed/implemented features and reliability are the most important things to me.

Anymore on this? I'm also looking for NAS raid storage... eg: QNap TS-201 NAS Enclosure
 
Associate
Joined
12 Jun 2004
Posts
782
Location
IOM
If the MyBook is anything like previous WD enclosures, it's not going to be an easy disk swap out. They're not designed with disk swapping as a requirement.
 
Associate
Joined
5 Jun 2005
Posts
987
Location
Leicestershire
STROBE said:
But presumably, there's no way that any direct attached storage can act as a web server or download station unless my pc is turned on, can it?

Yes do you do find products that can do that, if they're connected via the network (not direct as in USB/SATA.) You can even have some broadband routers do this for you in some cases (with some effort...) I can dig up some details if you really want to know.
 
Associate
Joined
5 Jun 2005
Posts
987
Location
Leicestershire
Typically on "independent" devices like that, the ESata or USB port is for the device itself to use, either as an extension or as a slave drive to backup to. It's not, as far as I know, to connect to a pc with, though I'd be interested to know if/when that is possible.
 
Soldato
Joined
15 Nov 2003
Posts
14,342
Location
Marlow
Dan2kx said:
yeah the WD 1TB looks good, wasnt someone saying earlier tho that the gigabit HDD dont perform well? 10mbps?

People complain about this unit being VERY noisy!!
 
Last edited:
Back
Top Bottom