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Can I build my own NAS?

We are thinking about building our own NAS. We want to use IDE drives with Gigabit Ethernet Network interfaces. Can anyone suggest a good IDE RAID controller card and RAID Chassis provider? Also, is there anything out there such as a NAS kit? Our solutions will be Window 2000 based, but we are looking for additional drive and RAID functionality.

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I don't know from your question whether you are trying to come up with a product you can market or have a sandbox and want to do something for your own use. There are many NAS devices available right now and the price is very competitive. I doubt that you could do your own cheaper than what you can just buy.

When people want file serving without the purchase of a NAS box they usually use a standard server and run CIFS and NFS to turn it into a file server, a relatively inexpensive way to re-deploy an existing server. If you really want to do a NAS (I think you'll be wasting valuable time and money) you might want to look at the Microsoft Server Appliance Kit (SAK) since you stated that you are primarily concerned with Windows 2000. Any attached drive will do -- go to CompUSA or someplace like that and make your best deal. You can use the internal striping of Windows but I would use an HBA that supplies that function. Again, there are great products out there and I don't think you can beat their price on your own.

Randy Kerns
Evaluator Group, Inc.

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This was first published in September 2002

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