praising the readynas

yesterday was a big day for me.  two packages in the mail, both of the utmost importance.  the smaller of the two packages was my release day copy of ncaa football 2010 for the xbox 360.  there is a good chance i’ll actually be able to get an online dynasty going with some people this year, and if this happens you’ll be hearing plenty more about this game.  but for now, let’s focus on the bigger package – four 1.5tb hard drives.

between the music obsession and the photography hobby, i have pretty ridiculous storage requirements.  and of course, there is the natural paranoia that any good nerd should have about hard drive failure (note: if you are not paranoid about hard drive failure, you should be).  so a while back, i bought a netgear readynas (previously branded as infrant).  it holds 4 drives, it does dead-simple raid and file sharing, so it basically fits the need of anyone who just wants more storage that is redundant (that is to say, hard drive failure isn’t a catastrophe).

did i mention its tiny form factor?  it has a nice, tiny form factor.  you can stick the thing anywhere with a power cord and a network cord and just forget about it.

my original configuration was goofy.  i had 3 drives in there of varying sizes (1x500gb and 2x750gb) – this limited the size of my raid considerably and wasted space on the larger drives, but whatever, i had no interest in buying a new drive or 2 for a moderate increase in size.  then, of course, the big drives came down in price and the equation changed a little.

i got the 4 drives for $120 each from newegg.  not a bad deal at all.  so i started the upgrade process last night.  this is what i’m talking about when i say dead-simple: pull out tray, unscrew existing drive, screw in new drive, push in tray, wait 5-7 hours (by, i don’t know, playing ncaa football 2010, sleeping, going to work, doing your normal thing because the NAS STAYS ONLINE), and then repeat for the next 3 drives.  then the one bit of downtime comes when you reboot (sleep during this step) and voila, you just turned your 921gb array into a 4.5tb array without losing any data.  and this is in a CONSUMER GRADE device.

i knew all this stuff going in, this is why i picked the readynas and paid the slight premium for it – but man, when it actually comes together in practice, i just fall in love all over again.

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