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Old 12-21-08, 02:11 PM   #1
knowbodies
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Default Home Network Upgrades

I made some some changes here in the Knowbodies Server Cave. A new NAS box (Network Attached Storage) and an upgraded switch.

The previous switch was a Netgear 16 port 10/100Mbps switch that used 8W 24*7. It was replaced with a Dlink DGS-1008D. It's an 8 port gigabit switch from their GreenEthernet line. It disables ports that are not in use to save energy. According to my Kill-a-watt, it uses 5W when idle and ramps up to 7W depending on how many devices I have powered on. A bit of a savings over my previous switch but mostly I like the vast increase in speed for network file transfers.

My previous NAS was a fanless Intel Little Valley board mated with a 500GB Seagate hard drive. In its last incarnation under Ubuntu 8.04, it was using about 29W (with the help of a little utility called Powertop). I was really only using it as a file server and bittorrent client. It saw very limited use for any other purposes.

I replaced it with yet another Dlink product - a DNS-323. It's much less capable than my old server but is significantly more power efficient. I recycled my Seagate hard drive into it. Under heavy load, it uses 17W, 16W under normal load and 11W when the hard drive is idle. That should drop in a few months when I do my yearly hard drive upgrade. 2.5inch laptop drives have finally reached a size where they are a viable alternative for my purposes (Western Digital has a 500GB drive that uses 2.5W in read/write and idles at 0.25W).

The only thing about it that really bugs me is the complete lack of security. It does support multiple usernames and passwords but all network usage is in plain text. Admin access is over HTTP rather then HTTPS. It supports FTP rather than SCP. There's a hack to enable telnet but not SSH. Even passwords prevent the use of special characters (i.e. #$%%^). As a consumer product, I can sort of understand some of these choices but the lack of HTTPS and passwords limitations are really bothersome. Nevertheless, there does seem to be a decent custom firmware community so maybe someone will provide a properly secured firmware.

Other than the security issues (which can generally be overlooked for most people), I'm pretty happy with it. I'll see how it holds out.

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Old 12-21-08, 02:50 PM   #2
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Nice upgrade, saving a few always-on watts is always good,
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Old 01-23-09, 06:07 PM   #3
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I wanted a little more juice, so I use a Dell Latitude C610 laptop as my home server. It has a 1.2GHz P3-mobile processor, and sitting idle with the hard drive spun down, uses about 13 watts. It has a 60GB 5400RPM drive in it right now, but I plan to upgrade to a larger drive in the future. I'm running CentOS 5 on it, and it functions as my Podcatcher, NAS/backup drive and remote testing machine from work. (I also use it to record my local team's radio broadcast during baseball season.)

I got the unit cheap off eBay since it has a broken LCD. (I ssh into it, so I seldom need a monitor attached.) The built-in 2 hour battery backup is nice, too. :-)
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Old 01-25-09, 09:49 AM   #4
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Knowbodies...what kind of NAS device do you have?
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Old 01-26-09, 09:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Higgy View Post
Knowbodies...what kind of NAS device do you have?
A Dlink DNS-323. Staples had them on sale.
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Old 01-27-09, 11:04 AM   #6
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Oh ya...duh...I obviously need to re-read your first post.

Wow...that looks like a pretty good product? Do you like it? I bought the Mybook World Edition 2 with two 1 TB drives in them and I mirrored them up, but I find that the Mionet software that I use to hook up to it with kinda sucks, and the Gigabit network card isn't even CLOSE to gigabit speed. Of course, I found all these review sites about it after I buy the product.

Let me know what you think about it. I've been looking for decent NAS products for home and work (at work they are for individuals not for our server room).
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Old 01-28-09, 09:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Higgy View Post

Let me know what you think about it. I've been looking for decent NAS products for home and work (at work they are for individuals not for our server room).
It's ok for a consumer level device. The software kinda sucks too. The only trouble I've had is accidentally hitting the power button. The security is basically non-existant. As long as you're using WPA for your wireless network, you'll be fine - I can crack your WEP key in less than 2 minutes.

I would never place it in a work environment unless I was certain all network access points were absolutely secure. If you really need desktop storage in work environment, a USB enclosure is probably a better option - it's simpler to configure and is better protected from network intrusions.
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Old 01-28-09, 01:04 PM   #8
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I agree with the USB. This isn't for security though. It's just to store some images for a couple of partially used test servers.

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