I recently purchased a home network storage device after consolidating the myriad of external hard drives I had. After a good few hours of googling and asking for recommendations I took delivery of a Qnap TS-210 – a 2 drive bay SATA-2 NAS enclosure. This device is awesome! After populating it with a couple of fast, quiet Western Digital Blue drives I now have RAID1 shared storage connected to my wireless hub so my data is available across all my home machines.
This is all well and good but what sets this apart from the rest of the NAS devices out there for under £250 is that this device is not just great for serving my photos over NFS…
The Qnap TS-210 sports the following:
And the list doesn’t stop there. The device runs Linux and it doesn’t hide access to it’s internals. Enable the Optware plugin and you get access to an apt/yum like repository. From here you can install a wide range of tools and services such as Squid.
Administration of the NAS is through a polished Ajax interface.
Setup is straightforward although there are a couple of gotchas which I came across in the 3.2 version firmware:
Do not run EXT4 if you expect a stable NFS server. It’s not production ready and after a frustrating few days of copying data from hard drive to hard drive, EXT3 is rock solid stable.
If, like me, you start with a single drive expecting to easily mirror it later on then you’re wrong. Copying data off again and back after setting up a new mirror is the only option on this device.
More positives though come in the shape of power management and green features. The device consumes only 14W when in use and 7W when idle. Hard drives are powered down when not in use after a set period and you can set times when you want the device off and when to power up again. Handy for a device for home or small that doesn’t need it on 24 hours a day yet at the same time want the hassle of remembering to power it on each day.