April 27th, 2005

I Can Build That For...

daisy_knotwise and I have had continuing discussions about recording multi-track music directly to hard disk. One of the requirements for this is redundancy, so that it's difficult to lose what you just recorded. (Or what you recorded six months ago, for that matter.)

Now, I already own Cubase SX3 which is perfectly capable of functioning as a 24-track hard disk recording program. I'm certain to within reasonable doubt that it will run on my Athlon 64-based laptop. But the hard disk in the laptop is of finite size (which gets more finite when recording multi-track music) and it's not conveniently removable and storeable.

It struck me today that the thing that would make this work conveniently is a network attached storage appliance with removable, hot-swappable hard drives. Of course, these are very expensive, costing multiple thousands of dollars, at which point you get back around to the question of buying a hard-disk recorder, but all of these have *something* that gets in the way of actually buying them.

So could I *build* a NAS? Something that would fit in -- let's say -- a 2U space, with one built-in hard drive to hold the OS and two mirrored swappable drives (probably Serial ATA) in caddies that cost on the order of $25 each (for the caddies, not the drives), running Linux? With a network port on the back so I could just plug my laptop into it when on
the road and then plug the homebrew NAS into my home network for use when I'm back in the studio? (Both the laptop and the studio computer run Windows XP, Home and Pro respectively.)

And how much would this beast cost? (Before hard drives. Those can be added as required.)

Any thoughts?