[rescue] Digest Why not to use an Atom as a Server

Robert Novak rnovak at indyramp.com
Thu Jan 19 12:03:54 CST 2012

On Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 9:52 AM, Nathan Raymond <nraymond at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 12:40 PM, William Enestvedt <
> William.Enestvedt at jwu.edu> wrote:
>>   So for home NAS building, where I would prefer to run it all the time
>> as long as it doesn't burn *too* much electricity, is a little
>> Atom-based box the right choice? Is anyone selling these, or should I

I spent a couple of months pondering the choice myself, and while I
have the parts for a few things, I ended up grabbing a clearance
Netgear (formerly Infrant) ReadyNAS NV+. It's actually SPARC based,
but won't take more than 2TB disks... it's pretty quiet and doesn't
eat much power (I should meter it) and it's got a bit short of 6 TB
usable with gigE. It also is configurable to back up usb flash
drives--considering I have a box of them and never remember what's on
them, I can save the contents before reusing--very cool feature. This
was before the drive price hike; I paid $230 for the box itself and
put four "green" 2TB disks in at $75ish each.

A lot of the ready-made NAS boxes will also support various network
protocols other than the typical CIFS/NFS/AFP, so you might be able to
feed your tivo, roku, xbox, ipod/itunes, etc from the archives on it.

If your budget is a bit higher, Synology and Drobo both have good
options. Synology has some expandable boxes (I think one of the 5
drive units can stack one or two 5 drive expansion units) but it's
less expensive to go block modular (i.e. "need more than X TB? Buy
another box").

If you want something PC-ish-based, there are a lot of little atom/amd
boxes you can buy from Fry's or the like for $200-400, with gigE and
wifi, sometimes an optical drive, and one hard drive. Some have esata
and most have usb connections for adding a drive. A bit of googling
will show you what's most "hackable" for non-original OSes.

The HP Microserver (N40L) is a modern cult classic, with some people
making killer FreeNAS boxes out of them. They start at $350, support
ECC, have 4 non-hotswap drive bays and two expansion slots I think,
and can be found on ebay/amazon for under $300.


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