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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Ho hum
by sorpigal on Mon 2nd Nov 2009 01:52 UTC
sorpigal
Member since:
2005-11-02

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 archive.debian.org. 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 in reply to "Ho hum"
lubod Member since:
2009-02-02

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:

http://www.thecus.com/comparison.php?set_language=english

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 Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Ho hum
by sorpigal on Tue 3rd Nov 2009 20:35 in reply to "RE: Ho hum"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

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 Parent Score: 2