An external RAID storage solution with two WD Red 6TB NAS drives
A few days back, Western Digital quietly began offering a 12TB variant of the My Book Duo two-drive RAID external storage solution it launched back in June. In terms of capacity, this latest SKU is fifty percent bigger than the previous highest-capacity My Book Duo configuration.
Industry's first enterprise-class NAS to use helium-filled HDDs
We imagine Buffalo's TeraStation 7120r enterprise-class NAS box talks to end users in a funny high-pitched voice as they walk around holding the thing on a string like a balloon. None of that is true, of course, though it is the first NAS box of its kind to come with a belly stuffed full of 6TB HGST Ultrastar helium-filled hard drives, up to 72TB total capacity (TS-2RZH72T12).
Back in 2011, we took a look at the ioSafe SoloPro USB Backup Drive, which offered a lone SATA hard drive wrapped in a bombproof skeleton of steel, ceramic, and plastic. That drive was awarded a 9/Kick Ass verdict for its ability to withstand both fire and water, which is the typical outcome when a house is engulfed in flames then doused by the local fire department. IoSafe recently released a new drive with even more protection, the N2 NAS RAID, which, as its name implies, is two drives in a redundant array in a NAS box. This top-shelf storage device runs a Synology OS and comes with one year of “no questions asked” data recovery service, so you’re covered if you drop the NAS or your kid drops an ice-cream cone into it. This level of protection doesn’t come cheap though, with N2 selling as a “disk-less” shell for $600, with two 1TB drives for $900, 4TB for $1,000, 6TB for $1,500, and 8TB for $2,000. It includes a one-year hardware warranty and one year of data-recovery service, so even if both hard drives are damaged, ioSafe will pay up to $2,500 per terabyte to recover your data.
Note: This review was originally featured in the November 2013 issue of the magazine.
Western Digital today announced the expansion of its WD Red line of SATA hard drives built specifically for home and small office NAS (network attached storage) systems with one to five bays. Previously only offered in the 3.5-inch form factor, Western Digital is now offering 1TB and 750GB WD Red drives in the 2.5-inch form factor as well. In addition, the company stretched its 3.5-inch line to 4TB.
There usually isn't anything inherently sexy about Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices, not unless you're really into storage chores and get unusually excited about the prospect of backing up data. Newer generation NAS boxes, however, are proving much more than just simple backup solutions. Asustor's new AS 3 Series, for example, boasts a wealth of multimedia functionality, including support for Full HD 1080p video playback.
Platform shift hobbles Netgear’s latest ‘prosumer’ NAS
THE CPU WARS aren’t just about x86 procs, PCs, and phones. The second version of Netgear’s ReadyNAS Duo makes the move from an older Sun SPARC chip to ARM, and the transition isn’t pretty.
Netgear’s ReadyNAS Duo v2 uses a single-core Marvell 1.6GHz ARM processor and 256MB of memory. Two sliding hard drive bays are hidden behind the front door and support two drives in capacities up to 3TB each. The ReadyNAS Duo v2 ships in three configurations: empty, half populated (1TB), and fully populated (2x 1TB). We tested the last option, which came with two Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 drives. The chassis is steel and aluminum, not plastic like some other two-bay NAS devices.
The ReadyNAS Duo v2 supports JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, and X-RAID2 drive configurations. X-RAID2 is a configuration from Netgear that allows for dynamically expanding your volume by adding more drives—a carryover, one assumes, from Netgear’s larger NAS boxes, as it’s not useful in a two-bay NAS. The back of the NAS features two USB 3.0 ports, a single Gigabit Ethernet jack, and a power plug that connects to an external 60W power supply. A USB 2.0 port is located on the front of the device, along with the power button and LEDs to indicate drive and USB status. A single 9cm case fan on the rear of the NAS takes care of cooling while keeping the noise level to a low hum.
If someone asked us what the most important aspect of computing was, we’d answer: back up your data! But unless you have an automated system, backing up your data is likely one of the first things to get dropped by the wayside when your schedule fills up. Western Digital’s got your back: its newly announced My Book Live Duo NAS features dual hard drives that can be placed in RAID 1 for redundancy, so your precious data lives on if one of the drives goes kaput.
Ah, network attached storage; whether you’re building your own or buying premade, nothing beats a NAS box when it comes to storing and streaming media files across a network. For the most part, NAS boxes offer a stripped-down interface and very few bells and whistles, making them fairly energy-efficient compared to full-fledged PCs. Hey – aren’t netbooks low-powered too? Yep, and now that most everybody’s passing up netbooks in favor of tablets, a new report says that Intel may be planning to shift some focus for its low-powered Atom chips from netbooks to NAS boxes.
A lot of the comments left on our recent NAS box showdown revolved around the fact that 1) it isn’t too difficult to build a NAS server of your own and 2) all of the options were kind of expensive for home use. A newly released NAS server looks to provide an answer to the second issue. The $220 Synology DS212j (brethren to the well performing DS411+II covered in the showdown) was designed with home use in mind, as evidenced by its low price point and user-friendly features that help turn the server into a cloud storage device.
When the previous version of a product holds a spot in our Best of the Best hardware rankings (see our review of the QNAP TS-459), it's only fair to have some high expectations, and fortunately, QNAP meets them with its TS-459 Pro II. Some aspects of the TS-459 Pro II hardware are comparable to the competition, and in other respects, it's just head and shoulders above the rest.