I recently bought a DLink DNS 323 NAS Box as i needed somewhere to store my media files and also make them accessible when my main PC was off. I also bought 2 2TB Samsung Disks to go in it. At the time i didn’t realise that they were AFT drives and the NAS didn’t officially support them. Luckily a few days after it all arrived DLink released a beta version of the firmware and this added support for the drives.
I decided that rather than creating a RAID and mirroring the disks i would set them up as individual disks and create a snapshot of the data each night. This might sound like the same result but much more work but actually this works much better for me than RAID as the main benefit (there are several others) is redundancy against hardware failure. The likelyhood of this happening is very small as disks now last a long time. The copy also helps if i accidentally delete a file (RAID would delete both copies…).
As soon as i had explored the web interface i jumped straight into the ‘hacking’ of the NAS. This is really simple using the ffp fun_plug script. I used the tutorial here which guides you step-by-step through the ‘hack’ and once i’d completed that i used another tutorial on the same site to install a number of additional packages including a web server (apache/php etc) and rsync (used to do the snapshot).
To do the snapshot i followed yet another tutorial which explains how to set it up (it includes a number of scripts you can copy/paste) and this has worked brilliantly for a few weeks now. The first time did take a very long time but now they are down to just a few minutes (depending on how much has changed on the primary drive).
I also set up a bittorent server to allow me to download torrents (there are legal ones you know!) without having tohave a full pc turned on. That tutorial includes a number of additional tweaks which come in handy.
I’ve had the NAS for about a month now and it was a very useful purchase. Well worth the money as it now means i don’t need to turn my desktop pc on as much and can stream music/video to my phone and laptop with ease.