Recently got a D-Link 2-Bay Network Storage Enclosure (DNS-323). It’s a nifty little NAS with an ARM processor.

File transfer speeds on a Gigabit network max out at about 15 MB/s, which is not too bad although not very fast, either. I think part of the issue is that the DNS-323 only has 64 MB of physical RAM, so the transfer rate is driven by disk I/O since there isn’t much memory to cache anything. (DNS-323 supports RAID, but it’s software RAID rather than hardware RAID.)

The DNS323Wiki is a great place to customize the DNS-323 behavior. D-Link has its own Linux flavor, but you can install Debian (see “The easy way” method first). Then, other packages can easily be installed, but keep in mind memory is only 64 MB, and the ARM processor is a bit slow. Alternatively, you can enable telnet and install other software.

Right now, I have it running lighttpd and sshd outside of the regular software set (Samba and MediaTomb or Firefly).

I put in two WD Caviar Green drives, and the unit consumes 9 W when idle (drives spun down) and 19 W when active (e.g., transferring files). When idle with drives active, it’s only taking about 13 W.

For a NAS for home/personal use, the DNS-323 is nice. It’s not good for encryption or for heavy workloads (e.g., MySQL or PostgreSQL) or multiple access (e.g., 3 users accessing data simultaneously will slow it down noticeably), but the low power consumption lets me leave this NAS on all day without worrying too much about the electricity bill.