Just thought I would mention, I have 5 raspberry pi's one of which is named PINAS !
Pinas is my fourth attempt at building a NAS server after experimenting with various Pi operating systems, hard drive configurations and hard drive formatting schemes. Pinas serves as a storage medium for my multimedia - and currently is storing 400+ movies, 39,000 mp3s, a few hundred TV shows and several thousand photos. These files are accessed (streamed) to three Pi's running Openelec XBMC, connected to two TVs and a DLP projector. In addition the files are accessed from my ipad and my Mrs iPad mini via the FB file browser app, my Samsung Galaxy Tab, my Samsung Galaxy Note phone, two Windows laptops and my Linux Mint Netbook. All perform perfectly.
Pinas is currently connected to an 8 port powered USB hub, which has a 2.5 amp power supply, which powers the Pi itself. Pinas has 5 hard drives connected to it via the USB hub, these consist of 3 x 1TB - 3.5 inch drives each in their own mains powered USB case. In addition there are also 2 x 750 GB - 2.5 inch drives connected to the USB hub. The software on pinas is Wheezy from which I removed all the bloated addons and reduced the software build size. Pinas boots from a 256mb SD Card and the Wheezy O/S runs on an 8gb USB stick plugged into the second USB port on the Pi. This allows the o/s to load and run faster and reduces the risk of a corrupted O/S card on power failure. The disks are formatted using the windows EXTFS - which in testing proved to be the fasted file system that would serve up the files, AND allow the drive to be removed from Pinas and hooked up to a Windows 7 PC for maintainence or dumping lots of data to it from my laptop. In addition should pinas fail - I can pull the drives and access the data on my windows laptops. Pinas runs both SSH allowing me to run a terminal session into it from various devices, and also runs tightvnc so I can run the wheezy desktop from a variety of devices. Samba delivers all the hard drives file shares out to my network, via a 100mb cable connection to a Case 8 port switch. Some devices (such as two of the XBMC Pi's) are hard wired into my network - but most devices access Pinas via my two 5 GHz wireless access points (the 2.4 GHz spectrum in my area is SWAMPED with neighbours access points). In addition I have a VPN gateway and pinas runs SFTP. This allows me to sit in my hotel room and stream music from home onto my ipad or FTP large files down to any device I have on me via wireless or 3G.
Three drives are used for data and the other two for backing up the data thus providing a level of redundancy - backups are done using RSYNC and a CRON job in the form :
0 3 * * * rsync -av --delete /media/PINAS1/movies/ /media/PINAS2/movies/
Which in this case at 3am copies any new files from hard drive PINAS1 to hard drive PINAS2. I run several RSYNC jobs in the early hours of the morning to complete my backups.
I'm not saying pinas is perfect - but it does exactly what I needed it to do - the cost was low, Pi was about £28 second hand on EBay and the 8 port hub with its PSU was about £10 on EBay + the cost of the drives EBay again. This was my 4th attempt at a NAS server and my speed testing shows I'm getting about 57 Mbs through both my wired and wireless connections, I have no problems streaming HD movies from the server to my devices and my home cinema projector.
I was thinking of posting a step by step how to but figured everyone would already know how to do the above so never got round to it. But if anyone wants to ask anything feel free ?