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Vol. 2 No. 5 July 2003

Roll Your Own NAS

Have you ever marveled at the price some network-attached storage (NAS) vendors charge for a PC and a few disk drives? If so, you may want to take a look at a new breed of NAS software which, for a fraction of the cost of a preconfigured unit, lets you transform an Intel-compatible PC into a full-fledged NAS box. Among the vendors to offer build-your-own NAS software are AMI, with its StorTrends offering -- $299 from AMI's online store, and about $250 from AMI resellers -- and Zetta Systems, whose Zetta Server comes in Advanced ($4,999), Standard ($999) and Lite (free) versions. In the case of AMI's StorTrends, you get a Linux NAS server that includes support for Unix, Windows, Apple, Netware, ftp and http clients; Active Directory support; software RAID 0, 1 and 5; and a host of other goodies. Performance- and feature-wise, StorTrends is designed to result in a NAS box comparable with, say, Snap Appliance's Guardian 4100 and Dell's PowerVault 725N, says Michael Patellis, national sales manager at AMI. Zetta Server, meanwhile, ...

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