NAS for the Masses

by Bruce Stewart

I receive (and ignore) a lot of press releases and new product announcements, but this one caught my eye and looks pretty interesting. MicroNet has just released a low-end NAS storage solution that can put terabytes of storage into your home network for a surprisingly affordable price -- their 1TB model lists for just $339.

Aimed squarely at home power users and small office situations, the new Fantom Drives G-Force MegaDisk NAS appliance features an integrated print server, an iTunes music server, and NTI Software’s Shadow zero-touch automated backup, and comes in 1.0 TB, 1.5 TB, and 2.0 TB configurations (list prices: $339, $579, and $999).

If you've been amassing a collection of digital photos, music, and movies and don't have a backup system in place, this new NAS appliance sounds like a very attractive option. I haven't crossed that line into measuring my data in terabytes yet, but I'm rapidly getting there and I'm happy to see some serious storage solutions hitting the market that won't break the bank. We'll try and get our hands on a demo unit of the G-Force and let you know how it performs.


Bill Mill
2007-09-10 12:57:12
> and don’t have a backup system in place, this new NAS appliance sounds like a very attractive option

It sounds nice as a storage device, but what good is a backup that's sitting in the same house as your primary computer?

I ask this as a person whose house burned down, along with his main computer and its backup, just under a year ago.

2007-09-10 13:55:42
I've been living with my DLink DNS-323 for a whle not. Once the firmware got mature, never had a problem. $200 for the unit. $300 for the SATA drives.
2007-09-10 18:06:43
For clarification, it's terabytes, not terrabytes
Bruce Stewart
2007-09-10 18:14:45
Doh! Thanks for the correction Tony, I've gone in and fixed it.
2007-09-10 19:35:23
The name alone makes me want one.
2007-09-11 06:52:17
> what good is a backup that's sitting in the same house as your primary computer

The good part is that it doesn’t take days to do the first, multi-gigabyte back-up. I’m basing this on the UK, where 1 Mb/sec is the common maximum upload speed for home broadband, and where many carriers have a reasonable use policy (meaning if you uploaded 30 GB of data in a day, they’d want to charge you extra).

You’re right that you’re screwed if your house burns down, but most houses don’t burn down.

Andy Peters
2007-09-12 11:57:53
re: house burning down, or other catastrophes. One option is to have a safe-deposit box at the bank, and swap a clone out weekly. I have a LinkSys NSLU2 that runs Debian Linux and it has two 160 GB USB drives attached. One is the "working" disk with the OS and home directories for my wife and I, where we store our backups. The home directories are shared by Samba (I can't get netatalk to work). The second disk holds clones of those home directories and is not shared. Every day at 3am, a cron job rsyncs the home directories on the main disk to the backup disk. So it's a simple matter to disconnect the backup disk, drive to the bank and put it in the box, and replace it with another (which will be automatically synched the next morning).
2007-09-23 11:33:17
Any progress on getting this into the lab? I'm seriously interested in this type of product, but would like to know how it performs.
Bruce Stewart
2007-09-23 11:54:49
Mitch: not yet, still working on it..