Marvell is developing awesomely cheap network attached storage and home cloud computing terminals called Pogoplug and Sheevaplug. Those are most often $99 or cheaper, based on open source hardware designs, manufactured by several manufacturers, they are probably the cheapest most cost effective ARM Powered NAS and media streamer home cloud computing solutions. You can buy one of those, plug them to your electricity, connect them to the web using ethernet or WiFi and run some Linux software on it from an SD card and access and do stuff such as hosting and media streaming with the files on a USB hard drive or flash drive.
Amahi is now releasing an open source software, with components from Fedora for ARM and a bunch of other stuff. It can run free software such as web-chess, gallery, wikis, blogging software, groupware that can be installed in a one-click install process. You might not really be able to do this kind of easy one-click Applications marketplace thing using some of the more expensive NAS devices on the market by companies like Synology, Qnap and Netgear.
Data Robotics have just announced the release of the new faster gigabit-connected Drobo FS NAS storage device. Check my video interview with Drobo at CES 2010 where I asked them about Ethernet NAS features: http://armdevices.net/2010/01/08/drobo-at-ces-2010/
It supports up to 5 SATA hard drives, hot-swappable, 1 or 2 drives can fail in their special RAID configuration and all files stay intact, different sized hard drives are supported automatically (when you buy new larger drives, just replace the oldest smallest ones with those). Now also with some Gigabit ethernet local and remote file sharing features.
I am eager to find out how this new Drobo FS NAS performs as it's said to have a new faster processor. Reaching super fast data transfer, data copy, data backup performance using the newest fastest ARM Processors, keeping very low power consumption especially when the hard drives are idle (which they would in most cases), and especially providing all this at lower prices. I do believe that the Home Server NAS market is potentially going to grow very rapidly. Even though Cloud Computing is revolutionizing storage, 2TB, 1.5TB and 1TB Hard Drives are getting cheaper every day, it makes perfect sense to store a huge amount of data at home as a buffer and cache to the cloud hosted in people's homes. Also, cloud storage at places like Google and Amazon still costs about 16 times more per terrabyte per year compared to buying TB hard drives on the open market and hosting it oneself using a clever ARM Powered NAS in the home (not including cost of NAS and power consumption). As consumers create and download more and more video, audio and high resolution photo files, I believe we all need solutions to manage all those cheap hard drives at home.
Related articles by Zemanta
- Netgear ReadyNas NVX Pioneer Edition (go.theregister.com)
- Data Robotics Drobo 4-Bay USB 2.0/FireWire 800 SATA Storage Array for as low as $300! (lockergnome.com)
- Drobo S 5-Bay USB 2.0/FireWire 800/eSATA Storage Array for $755 + Free Shipping! (lockergnome.com)
Here is one of the cheapest NAS and home networked computer system available on the market. For less than $100 you get a Marvell powered plug computer which functions not only as a NAS, it can host a bunch of applications and runs on open source embedded Linux software.
Drobo is a smart NAS storage hard drive management system.
I am a big fan of FON. It enables you to have free access to a million WiFi hotspots in the world in exchange for sharing your own WiFi at home with your neighbors. FON routers broadcast 2 WiFi signals, one is a personal WPA-password protected WiFi SSID and the other is the open WiFi SSID for sharing your Internet connection using the FON DNS authentication login page so people are not able to do illegal things anonymously on your WiFi.
This newest Fonera 2.0n router is much more than just a WiFi router. It now comes with a powerful embedded processor and a USB host connector so that you can connect USB hard drives, USB dongles, USB printers/webcams and other USB peripherals directly to your router using a USB 2.0 hub and thus have those peripherals always connected to your home local network as well as to the whole Internet. Fonera 2.0n lets you install certain applications developed open-source such as a BitTorrent downloader based on Transmission, Youtube/Picasa/Flickr/Facebook video and picture uploaders, Rapidshare/Megaupload downloaders or just run FTP, Samba, Upnp file servers locally on your local network or remotely over the Internet so you can stream all your multimedia files from any other WiFi hotspot that you may access all over the Web.
The main use that I have with my new Fonera 2.0n is to constantly have access to Terrabytes of my personal multimedia files from all over the world, any of which streamed using my 2mbit/s upload Internet broadband connection. That 2mbit/s upload connection which I have at home, lets me remotely stream DVD quality movies. This currently works fine using any laptop copying the FTP URL into VLC media player "Open URL" feature. I am hoping to soon have this work on my Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android, so that I would easily be able to remotely stream my personal movies and music hosted at my home on my Fonera 2.0n from any Internet access point in the world using that.
Cloud storage will eventually be able to host everyones massive amounts of personal multimedia files. Though as ones options are today to use Cloud storage services from Google or Amazon, to host a Terrabyte of personal data on the cloud would cost $1800 per year on Google App Engine, same price at Amazon S3, those prices are just not workable at all if you just want to host 1 Terrabyte of your multimedia files on the web. Even the new Google price for Picasa image storage at $256 per Terrabyte per year is still far too expensive cloud storage for most people. See my comment on Google's latest cloud storage prices here: http://charbax.com/2009/11/11/cheapest-cloud-storage-needed/ A Terrabyte hard drive only costs about $80 in the US or 80€ in Europe, add to that the 79€ Fonera 2.0n, and that is all it will cost you (other than the power consumption of the USB hard drive) to have access to stream from your Terrabyte of data anytime you want from anywhere you want, as long as you have got enough upload speed from your home to support the streaming of that data.
Another feature that is really cool, is the Firefox Add-On the FON DownloadHelper, which can automatically launch the download of .torrent files to the BitTorrent client of your Fonera 2.0n router, directly from when you click on the .torrent file from within Firefox. And you can launch your BitTorrent downloads locally when you are at home or remotely using your laptop or Android product using Transdroid from anywhere in the world. And when the BitTorrent downloads are finished, you can immediately stream your downloaded video, music contents locally or remotely as well. With Extensions soon coming to the official Chrome browser, I think we can expect FON DownloadHelper extension for Google Chrome soon as well.
If you are considering to have a Network Attached Storage in your home, if you are considering to get a WiFi 802.11n router, if you are interested in hosting a remote FTP server and BitTorrent client in your router in your home, and run a print server and webcam, if you are considering joining the FON WiFi-sharing community, then I would definitely recommend that you check out the Fonera 2.0n and follow the latest developments about it in the FON Discussion Boards.
Powered by a Marvell processor, this is a $79 low power consuming computer to host your home NAS or anything else you want, totally open source.