Ever since I had a hard drive failure last year that stood to cost me a lot of money in code I had written, I have been on the lookout for a dependable and affordable network storage solution that would sit nicely in my study. I had heard a lot of good things about the DLink DNS-323 from reliable sources and since Komplett had one on special offer last week (-22%), I decided to take the plunge.
The unit can take up to 2TB in storage; either 2*1TB in RAID1 or RAID0 or JBOD, whatever your preference is. Personally, my requirement was RAID0 and I decided to kit out the unit with 2*500B Seagate Barracudas with 32MB buffers. This configuration will hopefully offer me stability, reliability and also equally important, quietness. I went for the Seagate drives above the nearest price competitor (Samsung) because the Barracudas rated at 0.2 bels less in terms of operating noise and any noise reduction when your working beside a disk array is welcomed. However, in fairness to the 323, it is a very quiet system and when happily spinning away it doesn’t make much noise at all, certainly less noise than many desktop PCs.
Other features on the device include an iTunes server (DAAPD distribution), an FTP server, an AV media streaming server and a host of configuration options to keep most people happy. There is also a massive online community supporting this device and providing information on mods and hacks that significantly enhance the features of the unit. They even have their own Wiki site that is regularly updated. If I had to find issue with the unit then it would be that the DAAPD iTunes server doesn’t have a web interface that allows you to create playlists so you’re stuck with the basics. Unless that is of course, you enable telnet on the device like I did and copy across your own DAAPD playlist file to the /etc directory. Beware though that this playlist is overwritten each time the system reboots so you may want to look into some fun plug scripts to help you out there. Overall this is an excellent device and one that I am very happy that I have purchased. My set-up cost just under Eur 400 but anyone that has ever suffered drive failure will know that this is a small price to pay for securely and reliably backing up data. Buy one now!