Linked by David Adams on Fri 30th Oct 2009 19:34 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems The D-Link DNS-323 is a bargain-priced, consumer-grade network storage enclosure, similar to countless others. It's made of cheap plastic, has uninspired design, and a clunky web-based management interface. It's also brilliant, and if you have any hacker in you at all, you should buy one.
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Comment by bralkein
by bralkein on Fri 30th Oct 2009 19:49 UTC
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Looks interesting, I dunno why, but there is something cool about these hackable Linux devices. Maybe I will pick one up ;)

I am also interested in the Netgear WNR3500L "open router". I can't find a price for it yet, but it should be out soon, and I believe it will also be near the $120/£75 price point. It doesn't come with a disk of course, but it does have 802.11n and a USB host port so I reckon it could be converted into a NAS very easily and more besides.

Reply Score: 1

Buffalo LS-XHL series is better
by Babi Asu on Fri 30th Oct 2009 20:07 UTC
Babi Asu
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I prefer Bufallo LS-XHL series ( faster (1.2Ghz), more RAM (256M), and for about $200, 1.5TB hard disk is included.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Buffalo LS-XHL series is better
by bnolsen on Fri 30th Oct 2009 20:36 UTC in reply to "Buffalo LS-XHL series is better"
bnolsen Member since:

Only one drive internal for this.

Anyone with linux able to test throughput on both these devices? I'd like to know the gigabit throughput numbers.

Reply Score: 2

Audio out
by jebb on Fri 30th Oct 2009 22:25 UTC
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How about the same box with an SP/DIF output? I'd use one just to host my 200-GB music collection and run mpd, and hook it to my sound system. Of course, it would be even better with wifi capabilities...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Audio out
by theninth on Sat 31st Oct 2009 16:23 UTC in reply to "Audio out"
theninth Member since:

It got USB. Just add a soundcard... :-)

Reply Score: 1

Interesting - thankyou
by ameasures on Fri 30th Oct 2009 23:18 UTC
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Am contemplating a "VIA Artigo" which allows 2 SATA2 drives and permits a gig or two of RAM along with an x86 CPU.

All these appliance computers are pared down to within a millimetres of their existence. For example: I dream of finding an ADSL router with a spare gig of RAM to run its own web proxy and its own DNS cache; but no the bland uniformity is relentless.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Interesting - thankyou
by sbenitezb on Fri 30th Oct 2009 23:48 UTC in reply to "Interesting - thankyou"
sbenitezb Member since:

You would be much better with a mini-itx server and the ADSL modem on top of it. You could do anything with it: router, firewall, torrent client, nas, dns cache, proxy.

Half assed solutions like these modem-routers with so little memory and storage exist because they are really cheap for mass market, and most people don't need more. Except when they try to download stuff with bittorrent or other p2p and then these little routers start crashing or dropping packets.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Interesting - thankyou
by Dryhte on Sat 31st Oct 2009 11:53 UTC in reply to "Interesting - thankyou"
Dryhte Member since:

I have a via artigo and it doesn't allow 2 sata drives... sorry ;)

By the way, it's kinda dead (might be something really small, it probably overheated after a friend modded it to be more silent) but I'm willing to send it anywhere (if you pail for the mail cost) and if you can revive it, you can pay me whatever it's worth to you.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Interesting - thankyou
by ameasures on Sat 31st Oct 2009 13:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Interesting - thankyou"
ameasures Member since:

I have a via artigo and it doesn't allow 2 sata drives... sorry ;)

No apology - this vendor has obviously made a mistake ... that even extends to their photos!

For those that are interested: the VIA Artigo range includes more than one model.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by motang
by motang on Fri 30th Oct 2009 23:22 UTC
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I bought a NAS Kit about 3 years ago, and I have been using that for some time. It has a 120GB drive in it (a spare HD I had at that time). It has FTP, SMB, Bittorrent, and a web server on it, and run on UCLinux. It's a bit noise, and aside from only one drive, it ain't bad. I like, but this ones seems really cool and for a such a good price (I paid $50 for mine). I might replace my current with this one. ;)

Reply Score: 1

Iomega StorCenter ix2-200
by zkhizo on Sat 31st Oct 2009 02:03 UTC
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It was just released, nowhere to buy yet, and it has everything I need: RAID 1, Time machine support (that hopefully works, not like the HP LX195 Media Smart Home Server, where recovery from time machine didn't work). and it's cheap enough as a NAS with those features and many others.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Iomega StorCenter ix2-200
by shotsman on Sat 31st Oct 2009 19:09 UTC in reply to "Iomega StorCenter ix2-200"
shotsman Member since:

It is available in the UK from a number of places.

Looks interesting.

Reply Score: 2

Intel SS4200-E
by npcomplete on Sat 31st Oct 2009 03:08 UTC
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There's one very notable Linux NAS in the low $200 range (one time it was on sale for $170): Intel SS4200-E

It seems to be the best value in terms of price and performance, although the webgui lacks some of the more sophisticated features. In fact benchmarks show it outperforms most NAS boxes out there costing 2-3x as much. It however lacks sata hotplug capability which can be a deal breaker for some.

4 x HD, Intel 1.6Ghz Celeron-420 (> Atom btw), 945 chipset + ICH7, 512MB DDR2 expandable RAM, 2 x eSATA to expand up to 6 x HD, GigE

I haven't heard of any Linux hacking or custom software for it yet unfortunately.

Edited 2009-10-31 03:14 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Intel SS4200-E
by Lennie on Sat 31st Oct 2009 17:02 UTC in reply to "Intel SS4200-E"
Lennie Member since:

That's just a PC in a small container, doesn't sound very energy efficient.

Reply Score: 2

by freeballer on Sat 31st Oct 2009 04:14 UTC
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this isn't news. I've had one in my house for the last 2 years +/-.. Yes it is "hackable", yes its custozisable and can use torrent but this is only news to anybody who's never searched for nas, or been asleep for the last few years

Reply Score: 1

How about synology?
by prymitive on Sat 31st Oct 2009 09:56 UTC
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They give You ssh, bittorrent, time machine, rsync, itunes server and much more out of the box. No hacking is needed but if that is not enough You can install ipkg in few seconds.

Reply Score: 1

RE: How about synology?
by zkhizo on Sat 31st Oct 2009 15:51 UTC in reply to "How about synology?"
zkhizo Member since:

Actually looks very nice, like Synology DS209j, especially because it lets you use your own hard drives without voiding the warranty.

Reply Score: 1

seems great
by divide_by_zero on Sat 31st Oct 2009 13:20 UTC
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I know about these devices, but this is the first review I've read of a ‘hackable’ one. It looks very nice indeed!

Somebody asked about audio output... Would it be possible to plug an USB audio card in it?


Reply Score: 1

RE: seems great
by freeballer on Sun 1st Nov 2009 23:43 UTC in reply to "seems great"
freeballer Member since:

audio?! I suppose you probably could since you can install your own kernel and modules. However I can't see the reasoning, nor do I know of anybody who has done so

Reply Score: 1

2 TB only?
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Sun 1st Nov 2009 15:12 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
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I haven't looked into these devices for a while for a good reason: they don't work very well under high load. But, still it has a max capacity of 2TB ?? Wow, uhm forgive my enterprise experience but that isn't a whole lot. In fact, can't you buy single SATA disks that are 2TB? Whats the point of buying such a limited device, when you could just build your own more capable one for a little more?

Reply Score: 2

Ho hum
by sorpigal on Mon 2nd Nov 2009 01:52 UTC
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This is all well and good, but is there no NAS out there to replace my aging YellowMachine?

This device, from a now defunct company, is the ideal form of a Linux based NAS (in my opinion). It allows for 4 disks in the various RAID configurations and includes web-based remote admin of this (to some basic degree anyway).

The important part where it far surpasses all of its competition: It runs Debian Linux. When I got it I ssh'd in, disabled telnetd, apt-get update, apt-get install and now I have whatever I want. Years later, the company defunct, I can still get additional software from I've installed this and that, such as rsync, making it do just what I want.

Replacing failed disks, which I have had to do all of once, requires some disassembly, but otherwise the modability is quite high. I don't need a dedicated community of hackers: it's simply Debian.

The small weakness here is that the OS itself is installed on a RAID1 made out of a small portion of each disk. This works well enough but is not ideal from a reliability standpoint. Yet, the flexibility is so much better than any mere firmware base system.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Ho hum
by lubod on Tue 3rd Nov 2009 02:33 UTC in reply to "Ho hum"
lubod Member since:

This may be too pricey (or not have enough disks for you) but I ran across this brand sometime back, and it seems to match some of your criteria:

There is a 2 disk unit which sells for $199 bare (add your own drives)

I've read online that people got either Debian or OpenBSD on the older N2100 model. Seems they changed the model lineup somewhat, and replaced it with the N2200. No idea if guts are the same or totally different though.

Edited 2009-11-03 02:37 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Ho hum
by sorpigal on Tue 3rd Nov 2009 20:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Ho hum"
sorpigal Member since:

Price isn't really the issue (within reason) though of course I prefer to purchase my disks separately (I, like everyone I suppose, have a particular preference and dislike for certain manufacturers).

When I bought the YellowMachine I didn't know what software it had other than that it "runs linux". It came with 4 250G disks and was advertised as having terrabyte capacity (albeit only in raid0 and not counting filesystem overhead). At the time this cost $1300, which was a bit higher than build-it-yourself but not by a lot.

Thanks for the link. You're right, 2 disks isn't enough for me (got to have raid5). The company offers other models, though, and the chances are that they're all configured similarly. The key thing I want is the OS on the disks and not firmware/flash/some tiny place that's "just enough" for what they want the device to do. At first glance I don't see anything that says how their devices work, but given that the advertised filesystems are ext3, xfs and zfs I'm going to guess they run Linux or FreeBSD and that's good enough to take a chance on.

Of course with YellowMachine there was no hack-it-yourself... it came with Debian. Since Debian is my distribution of choice that just cannot be beat!

Reply Score: 2

by knightrider on Tue 3rd Nov 2009 17:12 UTC
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Why not build your own using FreeNAS?

Reply Score: 1

RE: ok
by sorpigal on Tue 3rd Nov 2009 22:27 UTC in reply to "ok"
sorpigal Member since:

Building your own NAS is not very rewarding. Either you do it the easy way or the hard way. The easy way is just buying cheap hardware, slapping it together and configuring. Time consuming and pretty cheap, but you'll probably wind up consuming far more power than an off the shelf NAS. The hard way would be to do your due diligence, get the right components and build something that's about the same as what you could get in an off the shelf NAS (minus the molded plastic, maybe) but by now you've spent more than you would have on the OTS device.

Bottom line: Don't do it if you need a NAS, do it if you love doing stuff like this and need a NAS.

Edited 2009-11-03 22:28 UTC

Reply Score: 2