Thecus this week celebrated the 2-year anniversayr of its "groundbreaking" SATA-based 1U4500 rackmount storage server by introducing the 1U4600 rackmount NAS.
The company claims this follow-up Act is built for speed, and towards that end it comes equipped with an Intel Celeron processor and 1GB of DDR memory. Multiple 1U4600 units can be accessed by a master system, and it comes with support for RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, and JBOD.
"Enterprises need superior storage at a price that fits within budget, and the newly updated 1U4600 meets these requirements," said Florence Shih, Thecus General Manager. "With multiple redundancies and superior performance built-in, the 1U4600 sets the new standard in powerful yet versatile enterprise storage."
Other features include a dual DOM design, 250W redundant power supply, and the ability to use the 1U4600 in NAS, DAS, or iSCSI mode.
The QNAP TS-239 Pro reminds us of nothing so much as an easier-to-use version of our home-rolled FreeNAS server (January 2010). Unlike most NAS boxes we’ve reviewed, with their little ARM embedded processors and 512MB of RAM, the TS-239 Pro packs a full gigabyte of RAM and a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor. Furthering the impression that it’s a mini computer is the VGA-out port, which, when combined with a USB keyboard, lets you configure the QNAP’s Linux OS directly. Essentially, the TS-239 Pro is a two-bay Linux home server, with all the features you’d expect from a home or SMB NAS box, from UPnP and iTunes streaming to FTP and web servers—and even some features you wouldn’t necessarily expect, like support for networked cameras.
Like most NAS boxes, the web GUI is the key to configuring and using the TS-239 Pro, and QNAP’s web interface is better than most. The first screen you see when you log in offers wizards for creating groups, users, and shares, and configuring FTP access and backups. A side menu tree offers status, disk and hardware management, and more. System logs and S.M.A.R.T. disk info are easy to find.
The TS-239 ships with several shares enabled by default—helpfully, these all start with Q: Qmultimedia for media, Qweb for websites the NAS is hosting, Qusb for USB devices plugged into its two ports, etc. Both the included iTunes and UPnP media servers scan Qmultimedia out of the box, but you can change this. User and group permissions are one of the QNAP NAS’s strengths; it’s easy to set per-user permissions for files and folders, unlike some similar NAS boxes.
Synology on Wednesday announced the launch of its new five-bay DiskStation DS1010+ scalable NAS box with much improved write times. How much? According to Synology, the new unit cruises past its predecessor, the DS509+, with 250 percent faster writes.
"We recognize that many businesses have the difficult task of anticipating and managing their increasing storage needs while dealing with very limited budgets," says Douglas Self, Product Specialist at Synology America corp. "The new DiskStation DS1010+ addresses these needs while packing in a huge set of business critical features and the flexibility of purchasing five bays now, knowing that scaling to 10 bays is easy and affordable in the future with the DX510."
Synology says businesses can expect an average of 116MB/s or higher read speeds under a RAID 5 configuration in a Windows environment, along with 103MB/s or higher write speeds.
Other features include cross-platform data sharing, Windows ADS support, network and remote backup including Apple Time Machine support, file sharing and encrypted FTP, DLNA media server and photo sharing, and more.
Compared to the Thecus N2200 or QNAP's TS-109 Pro, Patriot's new Valkyrie NAS device wins on name alone. But even though we're willing to award geek points for a name that doesn't suck, it's the hardware that ultimately matters.
Patriot's Valkyrie is a two-bay NAS box targeted for SOHO and prosumer users. It supports up to 4TB and comes configured with a 500MHz embedded processor and 128MB of RAM. Some of the features include RAID 0, 1, and JPBD support; FTP; UPnP and DLNA; iTunes server, user, and group management; One Touch Backup (OTB); PC-less download via BitTorrent; Active Director Services (ADS); and Dynamic DNS.
"The addition of Valkyrie to our NAS solutions, with its enhanced functionality and ease of use gives consumers a power solution at an affordable price," says Jack Chen, Patriots' Peripheral Product Manager. "Our goal is to bring products to the market that provide versatility, scalability, and functionality at a price that consumers feel offer comparable product features to the high end devices, yet are affordable to the everyday user."
Network attached storage (NAS) is a great idea. Once set-up the contents of the NAS are available from almost anywhere you can plug into the network. That’s theory anyway. Reality is getting into a NAS, especially from a remote location, can be a daunting task, even for the NAS-initiated. Dane-Elec has a solution, myDitto, that promises to make the task easier.
Step one, like for NAS everywhere, is set-up. Nothing different here. The myDitto has two bays for 3.5-inch SATA drives, and is RAID 0 or 1 capable. It can handle up to 4 TB of storage. It has a pair of USB 2.0 port and gigabit ethernet. And it supports DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) and iTunes media.
Step two, getting access, is a simple matter--just plug in the myDitto USB key to a computer and the data on your NAS becomes available. Dane-Elec says it doesn’t matter where that computer is, so long as it is Internet or network attached. Nothing to configure. Nothing to remember (except where you last put that lousy USB key).
This ease-of-use doesn’t come cheap. The 1 TB model, which is to be released in March, is priced at $249.
Promise has just unveiled a new NAS box the company claims is ideal for "non-techie consumers" because of its combination of a low price tag with a no fuss setup. It's called the SmartStor ZERO NS2600, and it also supports DLNA standards.
"The introduction of the SmartStor ZERO is an example of how Promise is redefining and raising the technology bar within the storage landscape," said Chi Chen Wu, CTO, Promise Technology. "Today's consumer does not want to be concerned with complicated setup procedures, media compatibility, or dealing with the process of accessibility. The consumer wants a one, two, three approach to store, share, and play music, movies, and photos without the hassle of integration."
The ZERO comes with two drive bays supporting up to 4TB of storage.Other features include the ability to upload digital content from a mobile device to the ZERO, view video streams (including protected content) purchased from iTunes Store, display music Album Art in content lists using Windows 7, and Facebook integration.
Look for the ZERO to be available sometime this quarter starting at $280.
Synology has a history of making excellent NAS boxes, and the new four bay DS410j is no exception. Front and center on the spec sheet is support for Apple’s Time Machine backup system, a rarity on third-party NAS units.
The unit is designed for home and entry-level business use. The four drive bays can take up to 2TB 3.5 inch drives. The DS410j also supports multiple RAID configurations when loaded with multiple compatible drives. Automated backup and DNLA support come standard as well. The DS410j can be purchased with or without hard drives preinstalled, but either way it’s going to be pricey. If you look around, the driveless version can be had for a bit under $400.
Set-up in a tower profile, the TS Mini is chocked-full of back-up goodies any home owner might need (and perhaps a few more). It is powered by an Intel Atom N280 processor running at 1.66 Ghz. Can handle up to 2Gb of DDR2 800 memory. Has 2 3.5-inch drive bays, and comes configured with 500GB, 1TB, or 2TB of hard drive storage. Gigabyte ethernet, naturally. Six USB 2.0 ports. Two eSATA ports. And a bag of screws.
The TS Mini is capable of handling back-up chores for ten computers. It also can serve as a streaming media platform, sending content to multiple attached devices, including receiver boxes and game consoles.
Pre-orders are being taken, with prices starting at $349. And, like early Model T Fords, you can have any color you want so long as it is black.
D-Link’s DIR-685 Wi-Fi router generated a lot of buzz at CES this past January. And when we took a gander at its spec sheet, we thought it a contender for Best of the Best in the router category; something that would finally displace the Linksys WRT600N, which is becoming hard to find. Alas, ’twas not to be.
The problem certainly isn’t with the DIR-685’s feature set: This router is absolutely loaded with goodies. The 3.2-inch color LCD can inform you of the router’s status and configuration; present digital photos from Flickr, Picasa, and Facebook; display RSS feeds, such as sports scores, weather reports, and stock quotes; and a lot more (this is one router your significant other won’t insist be hidden in a closet).
Next up, there’s a 2.5-inch internal SATA hard drive bay, which can turn the router into a NAS box (complemented by a built-in FTP server and BitTorrent software). There are two USB ports featuring D-Link’s SharePort technology, which allows you to plug in both an external hard drive and a printer and share these devices with any computer on the network. The router’s four-port gigabit switch automatically powers down any ports not in use to save a modest amount of energy.