Another installment of things I like because the just work.
I frequently have the need to spin up a file server, either for temporary use or for longer term storage.
Recently I was migrating a system from one place to another and needed a large amount of fast temporary storage.
At home I have a file server for mass storage of music, videos etc.
There are lots of solutions to this. Could always just use an old Win XP box, or set up a Linux server using your favorite distro. Then there are free software systems, FreeNAS is a good example.
One I like is Server Elements.
They have a line of products including one that boots from a floppy! Hardware requirements for all of the products are very modest. Basically take some old PC, stuff it full of old disks, create a bootable CD, or Thumb Drive and off you go. Prices range from $10 – $35 for the 64bit product with some media streaming capabilities.
For quick set up – Server Elements is really great and worth the small price.
If you want more features, FreeNAS is a very good choice.
Here is an excellent article on the topic.