Addonics' $99 GigaNAS adapter

Addonics' $99 GigaNAS adapter

Summary: Turn an old storage kit into NAS gold. Veteran storage accessories producer Addonics has a new, low-cost NAS adapter that can turn that old PC into a capacious file server.

TOPICS: Storage, DIY

Addonics announced this week their Internal GigaNAS adapter that supports up to 16 drives and turns them into a file server for your home or small business. You can also plug in a USB drive and serve its contents over the network as well.

Image courtesy of Addonics

The adapter mounts into a standard PCI chassis cutout and, with the help of a SATA port multiplier, can support 16 hard drives. It supports the XFS, EXT3, EXT4, NTFS and FAT32 file systems, as well as SMB and FTP access protocols.

The $99 box is powered off a standard 4 pin connector, offers two SATA ports, one gigabit Ethernet port and a USB 2 port. Add the 5 port Addonics HPM-XU port multiplier for hardware RAID support.

Neat trick: the USB port will serve up the files on the disk without reformatting, meaning you don't have to back up and restore files before attaching it to the GigaNAS adapter.

Priced at $99, the GigaNAS adapter won't break the bank either. The port multiplier is also $99.

The Storage Bits take

Adaptive reuse is the battle cry of historic preservation. Why not reuse those old PC cases and hard drives you've got hanging around?

With rapidly expanding photo and video collections the need for bulk home storage continues to grow. Any hobbyist comfortable with a screwdriver, command lines and drivers should be able to make this work. 

Comments welcome, of course.  What's your favorite way to repurpose old drives?

Topics: Storage, DIY

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  • Its simplicity seems its greatest strength and its prime weakness

    I'm guessing here, for I'd be interested in hearing about this device in greater detail. Does it have a browser based config? Are SMB shares automatically created by volume, or do users make them? Does it support any form of simple RAID?

    Now don't get me wrong, for $199, this seems to replace the motherboard, CPU, and RAM in a purpose-built NAS, and enables users to use a hodgepodge of disks instead of needing identical units. I'd imagine that the power use of such a unit would be measurably less than an actual NAS that was functionally identical to a desktop PC at a hardware level and only differing at the software level (sometimes, not even that [e.g. a Windows 7 unit]).

    At the same time, for the $199 for the NAS card and a port multiplier, it's easy to grab an AMD Sempron, 4GB of RAM, and a mobo that takes them both, and install FreeNAS or Nas4Free, using either a spanned partition configuration or one-volume-per-disk to achieve the reuse of a hodgepodge of disks. Sure, it won't do RAID properly, but seemingly neither will this widget, so we're seemingly in the same boat either way.

    Besides the convenience and power savings, is there a particular advantage to using this device over building a traditional NAS and adjusting its configuration to accommodate the use of secondary hardware?