I usually think these through before posting, so, sorry ...
In this forum, I just spec'd an HTPC. Now I need a NAS for 2 main purposes:
P1) contain my key files: Quicken/Office/scanned file cabinet backup, irreplaceable pictures/camcorder videos
P2) serve out all my entertainment content to my HTPC (well, really to the TV), no extenders or 2nd TVs for a while
P2.5) POSSIBLY perform HTPC-sourced transcoding, since the HTPC only has an Intel i3-2100
P1 files to not need to be fast but must be redundant/fault tolerant, so there's a VERY small chance to lose everything (masters are on the PCs, except I'm running out of room on the master for HD home videos). Ability to pop out/replace a drive or 2 and store elsewhere for disaster recovery is also desired.
P2 has 2 sides to it:
a) recorded content: should play up to speed but also don't want to lose them (but life will go on if I do)
b) ripped content: should play up to speed but can re-rip if I lose them
Presently, I only have a WD double WorldBook white box to serve P1 files (sans scanned file cabinet), that I PAINstakingly upgraded over the holidays from 2x1TB to 2x2TB, mirrored for fault tolerance. It's getting low too fast (due to new cameras and HD movies of the 18mo old). The rest is still only an idea.
I'm not fond of paying Microsoft, am recently $100 lighter because of them, so I've been thinking this could be the one dedicated-Linux/FREE OS, implementation in my house, esp. after my ugly experience hacking Linux on the WorldBook. The limitations of this experience also led me to want to roll my own box for this.
So I've got some vague ideas forming, like: cores & disks being dedicated to separate arrays to serve these separate purposes, RAID levels, hot swapping ... all in one box.
With that background, the Q is: Where do I start? Where should I begin my search for knowledge, hardware, software, architecture, etc. to pull this off?
Thanks for any starting pointers. - Spiff