File Storage Issues

Posted by – August 10, 2008

Drive Partitioning at it's finest.

Drive Partitioning at it's finest.

For quite awhile I’ve had many work-arounds in order to give myself enough file storage to hold my files. Having grown up with an assortment of computers which VERY limited file space, I have always been the type to make-do with very little.

As of late however, I’ve been running into issues being able to not only handle the clutter as I’ve become a disorganized digital packrat of sorts, but actually finding room to put all the files physically.  I’ve tried many different organizational techniques from alphabetical ordering of folders with ‘reference’ and ‘documents’ being the main categorical root directories to using searchlight alternatives for PC and *nix.  Still no luck.

Another option however was getting some NAS (Network-Attached Storage) and working out a rigid storage system policy and sticking to it.  If nothing else, this would solve the problem about running out of physical room for my data.  The main problem being that it costs a few hundred dollars to implement correctly and nicely.  Since I’m the type that can’t really buy anything for myself without feeling guilty, it’s held me back and made me look for less-efficient alternatives instead.

Take for instance my fileserver.  It’s a Pentium II 350mhz with 256mb of ram with only two small hard drives (1x20GB and 1 x 6GB).  I was using this for the longest time to stream my audio and video to my other PCs as well as my Xbox 360.  As of a few months ago I had purchased a new workstation which came with a 180GB Hard Drive, needless to say I was in Heaven.  At least for awhile.

Now that everything is disorganized I wanted a solution.  I want an archive of my files kept separately from the computer, preferably a small case/box that in an emergency (or LAN parties) I can unplug and whisk away and save everything I need.  I’m now willing to solve this problem once and for all.

Linksys Network Storage System with 2 Bays (NAS200)

Linksys Network Storage System with 2 Bays (NAS200)

After browsing the web and looking for some quality equipment for the price I stumbled upon the Linksys Network Storage System (NAS200).  It’s a great brand, decent price and with two HDD spots and an additional 2 USB expansion slots for either thumbdrives or USB Hard Drives it would have all the power and ability I’ll need for my private network.  Another big component is that it should use a lot less power than a full tower, but I’ll be testing this as soon as I get it.

Another option I was contemplating as building my own Mini-ATX fileserver (well, more like another FreeBSD Box with Samba installed).  It’d give me the storage I need and also give it extra extendability as I could script my own cronjobs to tarball and transfer files around.  Best part was I was going to probably build the case out of Lego.  It’d be much smaller and cheaper than that case however.

I eventually decided aginst building my own Mini-ATX server because it’d easily be more costly than just buying the Linksys NAS.  So I’m going to be ordering it along with One or Two Decently-sized hard drives to finally get some breathing room for all my data.

I can’t wait.

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