Every once in a while, I get some gear in the lab that is put into service in some capacity and just works, generally for quite a long time. The most recent example is the Synology DS509+ NAS that I've been using for a few months.
I have an older Synology unit, a CS407, that's been running the same four SATA drives for years, providing flawless service the whole time. The CS407 is a non-hot-swap high-end consumer NAS that currently provides a variety of storage services in the lab, including SMB, NFS, and Web file services, as well as secondary DNS for some lab segments. It can do all that because it's basically an embedded Linux system with a gigabit NIC. I can SSH into it, assume root, install packages manually, and configure it pretty much like any other Linux box. However, it runs cooler, houses more storage, and uses less power than a regular server. I've been very happy with it.
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The Synology DS509+ builds on that, offering a simply fantastic Web-based interface, as well as NFS, SMB, Web, FTP, and other services. It also has five hot-swap disks and an optional extension unit that can add another five hot-swap drives linked through an eSATA connection.
As with the CS407, it's an open architecture, even going so far as to have a Web-based package installation facility. It's a PPC chip, not ARM like the CS407, and I've had no problem installing binaries built for Debian PPC or "official" packages from Synology and the various contributors that package up utilities for these systems. There's also a whole Synology Community for discussion and third-party custom package distribution and a wiki.