New Gear: D-Link MediaLounge Wireless-G Network Storage Enclosure DSM-G600

I’ve been looking for a simple — really simple — way to share my photoarchive on my network so Beck can look, copy, edit and generally play with things in there. In prior days, I had had this functionality through the SuSE box that was also being a web server, mail server and all-around good box. However, with my kicking linux to the curb in favor of OS X, I had to come up with another solution.

I started looking for a NAS device, but really found that so many of them were waaaaay big overkill for what I needed. I wanted cheap, easy, painless, and most of all, something that was cheap. Did I mention that I wanted this solution to be cheap?

Well, enter Best Buy, and the D-Link MediaLounge Wireless-G Network Storage Enclosure, model DSM-G600. (That’s a mouthful.) I read about this device, and it seemed too good to be true! Empty, it was $149 (along with a mail-in rebate to take it to $109). It had wireless-G capability (which I don’t really need now, but who knows in the future). It had 1000BT (gig-e), which meshed nicely with my Netgear gig-e switch, the gig-e card in Beck’s machine, and the gig-e built into the iMac. And, it was cheap. 🙂

I thought about where I had hard drives, and started moving stuff around, violating almost every manufacturer warranty I have, but eventually landing a 250Gb drive in the D-Link. I put the covers on, fired it up, and then inserted the included CD into my Windows laptop. (That would be a downside. While no specific feature of Windows is required to configure the device, the software on the CD to initially set the IP address of the device only runs on Windows.) Once the intial IP address was set, I was able to continue configuring the D-Link via a web interface that seemed to work very well.

So, how did it perform? Well, I was able to copy my 118Gb photoarchive to it in about eight hours. Now, that doesn’t seem like blazing speed to me, and the math bears out that I should’ve had better throughput, but given the simplicity of installation, set-up and use, I think I’m ok with it! It looks like it can also be accessed via ftp, so I might get different results hitting it that way, and there may be some performance tuning that could help the throughput.

Ideally, I would see me doing a dump somewhere between daily and weekly to this drive, and just whack the whole thing. Of course, not many of the files change on a daily basis — a few edits, addition of today’s images. Sounds like a good candidate for me to get my feet wet with the Apple scripting tool — look for files in the main archive that changed or were accessed today, and move them over to the D-Link. As I get some of the automation behind the scenes completed, I’ll put that out here in case someone might find that useful.

I’m very impressed with the read speed, and so is Beck. Access from her Windows XP box and from the iMac gave very impressive speeds for bringing up directories of images and scrolling through them. Very nice indeed!