Sunday, May 20, 2007

Back in the old days (early 2006), we stored all of our important documents in a shared folder on one of our Windows desktop computers. This was handy because all 4 computers in our house could get to the same files, but had it's share of problems.
One problem was that the sharing computer had to be running all the time - an obvious waste of electricity.
Another problem was even more important - a single point of failure. That computer decided to have hard drive problems one day and we thought all of our family photos were lost forever! That's a terrible, sinking feeling. The backup of that computer was several months old (quit shaking your head, you're backups are old too), and we were really worried. Fortunately, with a little tinkering (including putting the drive in the freezer), I was able to recover almost all of the data from the failed drive.
So learning from that experience, we decided to buy a RAID NAS to store our files a little more safely. We decided on the D-Link DNS-323 (from NewEgg of course), and a couple of Seagate drives for it (because they have a better warranty). The only minor issue with the DNS-323 is that you will need to install the latest firmware, but if you're buying a BYOD NAS, then you probably won't have a problem with that. It was real easy to set up in a mirrored RAID array for redundancy, and now I feel like my data is at least safe from a single-drive failure. I bought a third hard drive at the same time, and still use that to back up the NAS periodically to guard against a catastrophic accident of some kind.

The NAS has been working great with Windows clients, and I assumed that it would also work great with linux, but I did run into a slight problem. I was able to browse to the NAS over the network, and get to the files, but some applications didn't show the network in their "open" dialogs. So I had to figure out how to "mount" the NAS differently.
To get it to work in linux for every "open" dialog, I had to mount it using the /etc/fstab file by adding the following line using a text editor:
// /media/nas smbfs username=myuid,password=mypwd 0 0

Now all is working very well, and I feel pretty safe with my files. :-)

1 comment:

Josh said...

With SMB replaced by CIFS, and a desire for better password security, here's my new line in FSTAB:
// /media/nas cifs rw,iocharset=utf8,credentials=/home/josh
/.smbcredentials,file_mode=0777,dir_mode=0777,noperm 0 0