Many years ago, I finally got sick of failing disks and the panic
that follows them, so I decided to buy a NAS (Network Attached
Storage). A fair amount of research suggested that ReadyNAS devices
were cost-effective, flexible and reliable. So, I bought an
NV+. Although its a little eccentric to configure (done via a web
interface), it was straight-forward enough, and I could even install
my own sofware on it, as it runs Linux. This was useful: I run
Bacula to do my backups and I could install it directly on the NAS.
Of course, the whole point of using a NAS is that the disks are
replicated, so I should never have to deal with a failed disk again
- just swap in a new one and the data will be recovered from the
other disk(s). What's more, the ReadyNAS will even allow you to
expand your storage by adding bigger disks as time goes by. What
could possibly go wrong?
About a week ago, after many years of reliable service, I found out:
the power supply. One morning, my ReadyNAS was dead, never to live
again. No problem, just replace the power supply, you say. No such
luck: the version I use went out of production long ago and power
supplies are about as available as hens' teeth. OK, so buy a new
ReadyNAS? Haha - the joke is on me: NV+ v1 disks don't work in NV+
v2, and they don't even make the v2 any more, though it is still
possible to find them around (unlike the v1).
So, what's the one true answer? Luckily there is one: commodity
hardware. I set up a new system using an HP Microserver, FreeBSD and
ZFS. Cheaper, does everything a ReadyNAS can do, and now even power
supplies can't catch me out - if it ever dies, I just buy a new box
and plug the disks in. It doesn't have to be HP, so long as it has a
64 bit Intel compatible CPU and SATA disks, it'll work just fine. In
my defence, this wasn't possible when I bought the ReadyNAS, and it
does require some sysadmin skillz, but this time I have a truly
bulletproof solution. And thanks to Bacula, the contents of my dead
ReadyNAS are easily recovered.
ReadyNAS NV+ [Amazon UK]
HP ProLiant MicroServer
Netgear ReadyNAS NV+ [Amazon US]
HP ProLiant MicroServer [Amazon US]
I’ve got a busy couple of weeks coming up! I’m speaking tomorrow at Powell’s in Portland, OR for Banned Books Week; on Wednesday, I’m at UC Riverside speaking to a Philosophy and Science Fiction class; on Friday I’ll be at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, speaking on Canada’s dark decade of policy […]
I did an interview with the Changelog podcast (MP3) about my upcoming talk at the O’Reilly Open Source conference in London, explaining how it is that the free and open web became so closed and unfree, but free and open software stayed so very free, and came to dominate the software landscape.
In “A Letter to My Allies on the Left,” Rebecca Solnit — one of my literary and political heroes — asks the left to give up the practice of reflexively dismissing the good that politicians do, because those politicians also do terrible things.
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If you own a dog, you’ve most likely heard of BarkBox – the monthly subscription box for dogs. What started as a simple idea to try out the subscription model on pet owners has since developed a cult following of dog lovers. If you haven’t given it a try yet, this one month free deal is the […]