Thursday, December 11, 2008

NAS galore

After using the brave Linksys NSLU2 for more than 3 years, I've finally found a successor. :-) Before I spoil the news I'd like to elaborate on what this amazing little device was used for.

Running unslung the little slug has fought bravely and I've used it to automagically fetch podcasts, record streams, serve audio and video.
It's amazing what can be achieved with a 266Mhz CPU and staggering 32MB of memory. Although there wasn't a day when I didn't make use of any of those services, the slug easily had uptimes >100 days. Due to the lack of moving parts it was inaudible, too.

My device of choice is the Intel SS4200, which looks ridiculously powerful in comparison. It features a 1.6Ghz Celeron CPU (dual core) and sports 512MB of memory. The beauty is that all those components aren't soldered on, but socketed. So changing components is a piece of cake. When dealing with such numbers there are bound to be moving parts, and I've yet to see how to tune those fans for least possible noise. I'm certainly going to run the OS off an SSD so that the HDs can spin down when idle - something that was tricky on the slug to say the least ;-).

I still haven't made up my mind about which OS to use. I have considered freenas, some rpath appliances and of course debian/ubuntu. The huge debian userbase would certainly coem in nice....

Although the SS4200 seems to be a nice device, there seems to be little information on hacking it. The only useful information I've found so far was in this blog. For what it's worth I'll blog about my experiences putting *IX on this thing soon ;-)


Anonymous said...

Why didn't you use a Mini-ITX or pico-ITX based system? Then there would be no need to hack anything, just pump on any linux version...

fizze said...

I didn't want to build the hardware. I trust in companies being better at that than me. ;-)

The Intel SS4200's case is very nice, and almost inaudible if the fans are idle.