My family lives in 3 different countries in Europe. We've all got decent Internet connections, but we're struggling with sharing files (documents, photos and home movies, and music).
I'm dreaming of running a networked home NAS from my closet and sharing that securely with my family, but I am unsure how to go about it.
Ideally, it should cover these bases, in rough priority:
- must work well with Linux (Ubuntu) and Windows (XP + 7),
- onsite network drive for my media center PC and desktop PC,
- onsite data backup location for my home computers,
- offsite data backup location for the offsite family (Win&Linux),
- offsite secure file share to my family (Win&Linux, FTP would be acceptable),
- compatible with CrashPlan offsite backup software,
- web front-end for remote management.
- gigabit Ethernet,
- at least 5 hot-swap drive bays (3½" is fine) with different-sized disks,
- RAID-5 or better,
- performance is less important than features; I'm not doing video editing or databases.
I'm considering the Drobo 5N or possibly the expensive Drobo B800 which has more drive bays but probably isn't worth it for home use. ReadyNAS is also often mentioned but I didn't find a lot of details about it. Lots of people praise FreeNAS and I'd be interested in that too, especially if it would be easier to fulfill the above wishlist with FreeNAS than with e.g. a Drobo.
But really the hardware isn't the problem -- it's the whole idea:
I've fiddled with computers long enough to see that unboxing some hardware and plugging it in is dead-easy - but that's not the end of it. Once I got the hardware powered up, how can I work through my list above? How can I make this available to my family -- securely -- without cursing my ADSL router to the moon in the process? I'm savvy with computers but I am not a datacenter sysadmin or Linux guru.
Also, it seems that CrashPlan only works with "locally attached storage" meaning USB, not network drives. That means I can't have this NAS backed up into CrashPlan. If i want to have data in CrashPlan, it must be local on my computer and from there CrashPlan can copy it to the NAS and into their cloud - but I must "waste" local space for that to work. It would also be totally cool to mirror this NAS to an identical NAS in my brother's home -- but that's still not a backup!
For the sake of argument, let's assume a budget of EUR 1000 and a handful of late nights to get it all configured.