Following up from a previous post, I went ahead and ordered an Infrant ReadyNAS+. This is a [N]etwork [A]ttached [S]torage device that sits on your network and acts purely as a fileserver (well, this box can do a bunch of other stuff too, like stream audio to other network audio devices as well as iTunes clients).

I ordered the box empty of drives (but with 1GB of RAM), and ordered four 750GB enterprise class Seagate Barracuda drives from NewEgg. The drives arrived earlier this week, and this afternoon I picked up the Infrant box from the local FedEx depot.

Late this evening was setup time.

Infrant NAS

First impressions are wow! It is incredibly small - just big enough to house the drives and as solid as a rock. The build quality reminds me of the PowerMac.

Unboxed

Setup was extremely easy. I just followed the instructions and installed the drives, connected it to the network and then booted it. By the way, like all good hardware manufacturers, Infrant not only included all the mounting screws needed for four drives, but also included extras.

Mounting the drives

Mounting the drives

Mounting the drives

The unit comes with some software for PC, Mac and Linux, but you don't really need it. If you know the IP address of the box you can just navigate to http://[host]/admin in any browser to configure it. Before booting the unit I had added the box to my local DHCP and BIND servers as, handily, the MAC address for the unit is printed on the bottom. Anyhow, the IP address, however obtained, is displayed on to LCD at the front of the unit, so you can just use that.

Booting

The box supports domain membership, so I just joined it to my home domain, setup some shares and that was it. By default it creates a user share for each user in the domain which is nice. It supports sharing by CIFS , NFS, AFP, FTP, HTTP, HTTPS and RSYNC, and also supports discovery via Bonjour.

Oh, did I say home domain Yup, I out geeked my self last weekend and setup a Windows domain in my house as there are now too many machines and running without “single sign-on” was becoming a pain. Did I mention that my Primary Domain Controller is Debian Linux running on a PowerMac G5 More on that in a later post…

Anyhow, the Infrant NAS provides a whole heap of other good features, but lets just say that the best one is that I now have a RAID 5 box on my network with over two terabytes of free space.

Two Terabytes of RAID goodness

And that's the best feature by far…