Originally Posted by Postmoderndesign
I am planning on wiring an Ethernet home network and going from my current direct attached storage to network storage. Much of my current 7TB is movies but also data files and programs. I am currently using the direct attached storage for backup and use Windows 7 backup. If I go to network storage I may want to use computers with only a SSD and most storage in an equipment closet.
> 1. General Advice including whether this is worth the expense
That's fairly subjective, since budgets are all over the map here. Centralized, networked storage is a huge convenience. Being able to throw just a smallish SSD in every computer and not worry about the tradeoff is also nice bonus.
> 2. A recommendation for a rack mounted storage device
> 3. A recommendation for software
There are a couple general categories:
a) Get an full-service NAS appliance, like the Synology linked above. This is the easiest, with the most features and tightest integration.
b) Bring your own hardware and install a NAS OS, like FreeNAS/Unraid/etc. Good option if you already have an fairly new existing server (or parts) to dedicate to storage.
c) Use Windows Storage Spaces or linux LVM. Good if you need to use the server as a general-use desktop PC or HTPC as well.
d) Third-party apps like Flexraid. Works if nothing else is an option.
You may want to start a new thread for your specific case. How much storage were you using a year ago? How much storage will you need a year from now? What's your budget? Is that a hard cap or a soft cap? Can you spend the budget upfront, or are you planning incremental additions. Are you looking for a project to spend your time tinkering with, or do you just want the end result? Is rackmounting a wish or a need? Does a device just sitting on a rack shelf meet that need?