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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:05 pm
Posts: 2
New to nas. I want to build/buy a nas to act as a file and email server, but don't know which hardware to use / build my own from low power pc hardware.
does all/most nas hardware run linux or proprietry os?
will off the shelf hardware allow software changes/upgrades?

I would like to implement the following features:
File server with secure access from the net (I have been told samba can manage this)
Email server (I presently use thunderbird) that will download emails from my ISP regularly, and allow me to access them (again, locally, and from the net)
Print server (this is actually optional, I already have an OK print server on my router)
Web server for simple web pages

Any ideas, comments welcome


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:45 am
Posts: 6075
Almost all NASses run Linux, but that doesn't automatically mean that they are (easy) customizable. The NASses with the OS on HD (Lacie, some Iomega models, ...) are more easy to hack than the ones with OS in flashrom (ZyXEL, Sitecom, ...).

NASses which can run a mailserver out-of-the-box are AFAIK only the Synology and Qnap models.

if you're not afraid of hacking, much is possible. For instance. it is relatively easy to install Debian on most Lacie's, and then the sky is the limit (and the processor, of course).
I am running a mailserver with a webmail interface (exim4, dovecot, lighttpd and roundcube) on Debian Squeeze on my Lacie 2Big Network 2. This voids the warranty, but as I bought the box 2nd hand and bricked, I don't care.

AFAIK it's not a good idea to expose samba over the internet. More appropriate protocols are webdav and sftp. But when you are installing your mailserver, you could add a VPN server, and then samba is fine.

BTW, some people expect a NAS to have enterprise powers, and are unpleasantly surprised that their budget NAS is not able to transcode HD movies on-the-fly. If you are one of these, stay away of NASses. A PC has *far* more processing power.
The strong points of a NAS are the low power consumption (some use less than 5 Watt with the disk(s) spinned down) and their size. Well, and sometimes the price. Some NASses are hardly more expensive than the disk inside.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:05 pm
Posts: 2
Thank you Mijzelf, very informative

I also notice this forum doesn't include info on Qnas hardware . Is there any reason for this?

What is it about Samba that makes it inappropriate to use over the web?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:45 am
Posts: 6075
burningchairs wrote:
I also notice this forum doesn't include info on Qnas hardware . Is there any reason for this?
No particular reason. It just happened to be. There are already good Qnap forums outside, that reduces the need. (BTW, there is a Qnap wiki, http://qnap.nas-central.org , but it's barely maintained).
Quote:
What is it about Samba that makes it inappropriate to use over the web?
It's not designed for WAN use, which makes it vulnerable. Many ISP's block the default samba ports for that reason.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:57 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:25 pm
Posts: 4
Great post, I am looking to buy a network attached storage as I am looking to grow my own business solutions group. I realized the need for a storage that would be shared across the network though I am most concerned with its compatibility with cloud software that run though the machines we have at our "office".


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