DVGuru have reminded me about something on my projects list which really should be assigned a higher priority: Networked storage. Australian Tech Blogger of Uberness Dan has touched on this in the past and a more recent article which includes a magic list of NAS devices which allow drive spin-down. This is critical; a consumer hard drive left turned on 24/7 (which is likely for a NAS) will have its live expectancy drastically reduced if the device doesn’t power down the drive when not in use. The Mapower device from the Automated Home article does include customizable spin-down. Dan’s original pick is the Netgear SC101 Storage Central, which has spin-down via a firmware update, accepts up to 2 drives and costs under US$100. It’s PC only though, and the reviews aren’t particularly positive (Requires proprietary software to access the data? Yuck!) so hunting down one of the other options may be worthwhile. Amazon shows a resonable selection.
Personally, I already have a webserver/media server/bittorrent machine which runs 24/7. So I’m going to drop my NAS budget on a gigabit ethernet card, gigabit switch, and a couple of hefty drives.