I'm looking to setup some kind of network storage device, which can take multiple drives (preferable 3 or more) and still see them as separate drives which I can slot in or take out at any time without affecting the others. I gather that NAS devices that provides RAID or JBOD would not work in this situation.
The drives needs to be accessible from the 8 computers around the house simultaneously as well. The reason I'm looking for this is so that I can purchase additional HDDs for shared storage by the family as and when it is required, as opposed to purchasing multiple add-on drives for each PC, or moving around an external HDD.(Just caused physical damage to a Seagate FreeAgent Pro when it got tipped over accidentally while in operation over the weekend and lost all data - it WAS the backup drive.) I'd probably use the first 2 disks as a shared network-accessible storage area for the family, while using the 3rd or 4th as space for manual backup.
Any recommendations? Thanks.
EDIT TO ADD DETAILS: I would prefer a dedicated solution that would allow for lower power consumption, heat generation, small physical footprint, and ease of upgradability/maintenance.
I need the device to allow multiple physical disks to be seen as multiple logical drives so that users can choose exactly which drive they want their data to go into, and so that in the event of the device's failure, I can easily take any of the other disks, connect it to a computer and read data off it. I understand that with RAID you can't do that until you rebuilt the RAID array. Also, some data may be more valuable than others, so I have opted for a more manual way of backup (as opposed to automatic mirroring) where users have the choice of copying important files to all the disks, and only one or two disks for the less important files. It's certainly seems a bit more of a hassle, but it can gain us some flexibility in space usage and the usual problems that comes with recovering from RAID arrays.