Build your own NAS device for free using OpenMediaVault

For a long time now I’ve been experimenting with different hardware and software solutions, looking for an all purpose storage server I could use both at home and in the office. At home I’ve basically just been after a centralised store for my photos, movies and documents with a level of integration that would also allow me to stream content to various different devices. In the office we need a bit more, so support for technologies such as Rsync, SSH, iSCSI, RAID drives and NFS have all been on my wish list.

There has been a steady supply of devices that have caught my eye and through supporting our customers using BackupAssist I’ve had the pleasure/ pain of experiencing quite a few. I’ve also tried out several software solutions including FreeNAS, OpenE Ubuntu server and even Windows Storage Server. All very good solutions but each with their own foibles.

Finally I seem to have stubled across the perfect software NAS solution that looks to have support for everything I’ve been after, is free to use under the GNU license scheme and extremely simple to configure.

It’ll run on more or less any PC hardware you can think of, and works very happily in a virtual environment so is extremely flexible. It’s also built upon probably the most solid operating system out there (Debian/ Linux).

So whats the name of this miracle solution i hear you ask? (drum roll…). Well, this one goes by the name of OpenMediaVault.

Having used it for a couple of weeks I’m surprised I’ve not come across it before quite honestly as it’s been around for over a year (developed by Volker Theile).

I’ve used FreeNAS for several years and have always liked it however OpenMediaVault is much easier and far more flexible. Over the next few weeks I hope to go through some of the more useful features and write them up as blog posts so keep an eye out, but for now if you’re looking to build a stand alone network storage solution, I strongly recommend you download the ISO and start having a play.

If this kind of thing’s of interest to you then watch this space for further updates!

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