Having some time to think about the file server, I’ve come up with additional, optional(fun) requirements;
1) multiple interfaces to data – ability to access my data from any of my devices;
a) streaming video/audio files
b) accessible over network as a giant “file bucket”
2) printer server – I’ve got a perfectly functioning USB printer but sharing that between 6 computers(er… long story) is a bit of a pain.
3) torrent client/large file downloader – offloading downloading of large files from the internet onto this device would be convenient
4) build it from scratch – there is the fun factor of building it, and the likelihood that it will be cheaper as well.
I’ve also talked to some people and also, at work, we have just bought some fancy($$$) storage hardware(… it’s a SAN). I’ve had a revelation – a proper and diligent backup schedule may be all I need over a RAID system. It seems like a RAID(one that has fault tolerance) is going to cost a HDD.
But then, a RAID configuration CAN provide faster file access(RAID 5) and fault tolerance at the cost of capacity.
… Maybe I can entertain a mixed set – a RAID 5 array for storage and a regular drive for something else – maybe a mac timemachine HDD space?