Today, we added Network-attached Storage (NAS) to my wife's office network. This is a small but long overdue upgrade, and I'm glad we went ahead.
I have waited, perhaps a little too long, to add NAS because I was afraid the configuration will be too big of a hassle. Ours has been a purely Ubuntu office from the beginning. And connecting to NAS with Ubuntu is not the same smooth story as with windows or mac, as a search on ubuntu form will show. But there is a growing needs for simple and effective sharing of large files in the office, and we have added a few Windows 7 machines out of necessity. It would already make sense to have NAS just for the Win7 machines. As it turns out, connecting the Ubuntu machines has become quite simple as well.
Our needs at this point is sharing first, and back-up second. So I went with the most basic, 1-bay DS110j NAS from Synology. The sales peoples at Fortune are not that familiar with connecting with Linux, but they were able to point out that Synology will be the easiest to work with if I want to try. I got the 1.5TB WD disk from next door.
Since there is only 1 disk, I didn't have to think about which RAID mode to use. After formatting and installing DiskStation Manager, I added a few shared folders and a few users. The Win7 machines were able to map these folders to a drive letter by just pointing to the correct ip address. For the Ubuntu machines (some 10.04, some 10.10) I had success with this method.
So far, it is working quite well. I don't have exact figures on the transfer rates, but it is good enough for our use. Next, I might try setting up individual staff's "home folder" on the NAS, which would help in our attempt to move to a non-fixed seating office arrangement.