I bit the bullet last week and ordered an Infrant ReadyNAS 600 1TB RAID NAS box from AJump. Longtime readers will note that I’m currently using two [periodically] mirrored 250GB hard drives. I filled up the hard drive in February and have been using an 80GB “scratch” disk to store my recent photos. This was not a good solution because (1) the data wasn’t being backed up and (2) I didn’t like the idea of my photos residing on multiple hard drives, and (3) I’ve already had one hard drive crash in the last year. Since my data is priceless, I was eager to find a better solution.
My options included:
- Buying and mirror two 400GB hard drives
- Building my own RAID 5 system
- Buying a third-party RAID 5 system
I didn’t want to buy two 400GB hard drives because I knew I would quickly outgrow that system. Plus, I didn’t want to have to backup the devices periodically; FireWire on my desktop is acting funny, so I didn’t trust a periodic rsync backup between the two drives. As much as I like control, I didn’t want to go the route of building a RAID 5 system out of off-the-shelf components. I’m managing enough as it is, and I wanted something that I could plug in and [basically] forget.
Enter the ReadyNAS 600. I read a glowing review of the product on Luminous Landscape. Andy Biggs is using a similar device from Buffalo Tech, the Terastation NAS box, but I wasn’t able to find that in stock anywhere. Prices for the ReadyNAS vary. On most web sites, it’s listed at $1595, but I found a re-badged version of the ReadyNAS on one of Infrant’s partner web sites. Ajump sells a version that you can configure yourself. Prices start at $855 for a barebones model with just one 80GB hard drive. I configured mine with 4x250GB Hitachi Deskstar hard drives, and the price came out to be $1360 (before tax and shipping). Definitely save some money and buy from Ajump! A RAID 5 configuration gives me 650GB of storage space, which is a bit less than the 750GB that I thought would be available. I figure when prices get low on 400GB drives, I can upgrade the machine to 1.6TB.
I’m currently transferring the contents from my 250GB photo hard drive to the very Borg-cube looking ReadyNAS. It’s taking a long time over 100Mbps, however. I guess I should have plugged the box directly into my PowerMac, which supports Gigabit Ethernet. Too bad the system has to be initially set up using a Windows-only application and too bad my PowerMac is located so far away from the rest of the network. Eventually, I’ll get a gigabit switch and set up a high-speed network in the house.
Question for readers. Is it possible to use both the Airport wireless connection and the Ethernet port at the same time? If my PowerMac is hooked up to the Internet via Airport, can I also plug it into a gigabit switch (with the ReadyNAS) and still access both networks?
I’ll be writing more about the ReadyNAS in the coming weeks. I am going to be discussing it at the next COBA meeting, to be held on April 13th.
One more thing, since the device is on the network, I gave it the name of the monster from the Pit of Carkoon. Everything that falls into the Sarlacc is digested over a period of a thousand years. More from the Star Wars Databank:
Because of its isolation, the Sarlacc rarely feeds, as it must rely on animals that stumble into the pit. As such, it has evolved an extremely efficient digestive process. According to lore, the stomach pit of the Sarlacc keeps its prey alive for a thousand years, slowly dissolving its meal into needed nutrients, while the hapless victim is kept alive in searing, endless agony.
Yes, that’s an appropriate name for the ReadyNAS!