Sep 03 2013

News - Western Digital Annouces 4TB 3.5" & 1TB 2.5" Red NAS Drives

WD Red
There's a lot to like about Western Digital's Red line of RAID friendly NAS hard drives, so it's really nice to see them expanding the family to include a 4TB model and into the 2.5" space (little NAS & HTPC friendly) with a 1TB model.

PC Perspective has a review up to go with the launch. Head on over and have a look.

Last July, I went on a bit of a mini-rant about how using a bunch of drives not meant to be in a RAID could potentially lead to loss of the entire array from only a few bad sectors spread across several disks. Western Digital solved this problem by their introduction of the WD Red series. That series capped out at 3TB, and users were pushing for larger storage capacities for their NAS devices. In addition to the need for larger disks came the need for *smaller* disks as well, as there are some manufacturers that wish to create NAS / HTPC type devices that house multiple 2.5" HDD's. One such device is the Drobo Mini - a 4x2.5" device which has not really had a 'proper' NAS storage element available - until now:

PC Perspective


Jan 16 2013

News - NETGEAR @ CES 2013


After attending NETGEAR's press conference there wasn't anything that new or surprising to see when I stopped by their suite last week, but it was great to get a more detailed look at what they were bringing out this year. I did get a chance to take a closer look at their upcoming Google TV box, and the slick little IP cameras mentioned a few days before as well as a couple other things. Take a look after the click.

Oct 03 2012

News - Synology Introduces the DS213air and the DS2413+ NAS Devices

Synology DS213air and DS2413+

Synology has announced the launch of two new NAS devices, and side-by-side, they could not look more unalike. The DS213air is a sleek, petite, i-stlye box that could easily pass for a UPS rather than a NAS. It is undenaiably geared toward the consumer market. Not just because it's cute and priced right at $307, but because it comes with an 802.11n radio built-in. The integrated Wi-Fi can not only be used for connecting the DS213air to the network wirelessly, however ill-advised that might be, but it can also be used to turn the DS213air into a wireless hotspot or a wireless router when connected over Ethernet.

The DS2412+, on the other hand, is a 12-bay beast of a NAS. At $1700 and packing features such as ADS support for up to 100,000 users or groups, the DS2413+ is squarely aimed at the SMB market, though it sounds like Synology is also trying to make a case for a role in the professional photography market as well. I suppose if one had enough Blu-Ray discs that they absolutely had to rip to ISOs, there could be case for the DS2413+ at home, but the DS213air sounds like it might have real potential.

The DS213air is one of the innovative products to grace the NAS market this year. In their quest to offer differentiating features, Synology seems to have found an interesting niche. The DS213air is based on the DS213 platform (Marvell Kirkwood based 2-bay NAS). It integrates a single band (2.4 GHz) 802.11n radio (we are awaiting clarification on the exact speeds - 150 Mbps / 300 Mbps / 450 Mbps. 


Sep 19 2012

News - Synology Introduces DiskStation DS413 NAS Server Device

Synology today announced the arrival of their newest 4-bay NAS, the DiskStation DS413. The DS413 utilizes a Freescale processor and 1GB of RAM with the promise not to consume more than 36W under full load. In addition to supporting up to 16TB through the internal drive bays, the DS413 also sports a couple USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 port and an eSATA port. I might recommend holding onto at least the USB 2.0 port for a printer. Synology doesn't call their DiskStations NAS servers for nothing. Out of the box the DS413 offers centralized desktop backups and has an integrated print server, mail server, and web server along with more than a dozen other optional packages to extend the device's server functionality. The DiskStation 413 looks like it could be a versatile and powerful option for a home server, though at $530 it is definitely a bit pricey compared to the more consumer-focused DS413j that the company announced a couple of weeks ago.

Synology Inc. today launched DiskStation DS413, a 4-bay NAS server that incorporates the latest technologies to minimize power consumption. It is well-suited for small and medium-sized businesses to centralize data backups and synchronize files across different platforms with minimum time and effort.


Sep 03 2012

News - Fractal Design Array R2 Mini-ITX NAS Case Reviewed

 Fractal Design Array R2

The first time I heard of Fractal Design I was still heavily invovled in the Windows Home Server community. The Fractal Design Array Mini-ITX NAS case was shaping up to be the ultimate choice for the DIYer looking to build a compact appliance-style WHS box. The original Array was popular, but not without its flaws, and so Fractal Design released the Array R2. For the Array R2, Fractal Design tweaked the design to improve airflow and cooling without giving up the phenomenal storage capacity that one would want in a case targeting the home server and NAS market. We took a look at the Fractal Design Array R2 just about a year ago, and liked what we saw. Our friends at Techgage recently took the Array R2 for a spin and it sounds like they came to similar conclusions. It's hard not to like a Mini-ITX case that can hold up to 6 3.5" hard drives without losing its cool.

Designed and marketed as a home NAS or server chassis, the Array R2 was built to house mini-ITX motherboards. Built entirely out of aluminum and rivaling Lian Li for quality and style, the Array R2 can house an astounding 7 hard drives (6x 3.5" drives and 1x 2.5" HDD or SSD) and ships with a Fractal Design-branded 300W SFX power supply. 


Feb 06 2012

News - Synology DiskStation DS411slim Reviewed

Over the last few years the major NAS vendors have settled into some routines when it comes to product categories. Some NAS poduct lines are targeted at home and SMB users while others are geared more toward medium-sized businesses. Each product line typically delivers some 2-bay and some 4-bay devices, with the occasional single drive and 6-bay system thrown in for variety. Synology's DS411slim isn't looking to rock the boat too much, but it is at least trying to fit into a smaller boat by opting for 2.5" drives rather than the typical 3.5" drives. Given that 3.5" drives can range up to 4Tb and 2.5" drives have yet to break 1Tb, the DS411slim is not the NAS for the digital hoarder set, but from the sounds of things Synology has applied their usual veneer of quiet reliability and performance to the DS411slim. Given that old laptop hard drives are increasingly common in the average geek's spare parts pile, I could even see pressing a little unit like this into service as a secondary backup NAS for extra important files such as family pictures and unfinished novels.

Anyway, what can a 2.5-inch HDD offer to a NAS user? First of all, it consumes less power and produces less heat and noise. And second, it is just smaller! While the first group of advantages can be enjoyed with any NAS, the small size calls for a special compact NAS design. There are but few such models on the market as yet. 

X-bit Labs

Jan 20 2012

News - NETGEAR - CES 2012

NETGEARI often find that that good networking kit is neglected when it comes to building an solid connected home theater, with low-end network interface cards (NIC), routers and wireless access points (AP) creating a sub-standard experience. It's also an area where we haven't done as much as we should to spread the word through guides and reviews - something that I'd like to change in the coming year. With that in mind I made a point to stop by NETGEAR to check out what they had on tap for the coming year; of course it didn't hurt that they also make a really solid over the top (OTT) streamer, the NTV200...

Jan 12 2012

News - QNAP Announces New Turbo NAS Server Lineup, Updated Management Firmware


QNAP unveiled a number of new products at CES this week. QNAP launched a new lineup of Turbo NAS servers, along with a new VioStar NVR Surveillance System, V3.6 Management Firmware update, and the JB-1200U-RP expansion storage module for the recently announced TS-x79 SMB-class Turbo NAS. Admittedly, most of QNAP's products are geared more toward business users. Most of us don't really need the 200TB offered by the JB-1200U-RP expansion module or the VioStar's 48 channels of surveillance, but the Turbo NAS line of devices is a solid choice for a network pulling double duty for a home business or anyone interested in a NAS that provides more web server options. The new V3.6 Management Firmware does add media and cloud sharing features to the Turbo NAS's set of network backup and storage tools and the new Turbo NAS servers will come in 2,4,5,6, or 8 drive versions so there is one for every size network. 

QNAP unveils its TurboNAS server lineup, VioStor NVR video surveillance systems, NAS Firmware and a new storage expansion solution for its business-class Turbo NAS.

Powered by a dual-core Intel Atom processor, the new NAS series (available in 2, 4, 5, 6, or 8-drive versions) provides business-ready features, making it the ideal networked storage choice for small to medium-sized businesses.

Hardware Zone

Jan 11 2012

News - Synology DS212+ NAS Reviewed

The Synology DS212+ is a minor update to the DS212. The DS212+ drops the e-SATA port and bumps the processor up 400Mhz over its predecessor to an even 2Ghz, but adds USB 3.0 and brings along all of the PC backup, DLNA, and file sharing goodness. I would have appreciated a bit more information about the encryption engine and how it keeps the CPU unburdened, but there is no doubt that Synology puts together a solid and versatile NAS unit. It sounds like the 2.0Ghz processor provides a definite performance boost.

Synology DS212+

Synology loves hardware revisions, and the DS-212+ is the latest in the business series of dual-bay NASes from the network storage company. Sporting a faster processor, USB3, and lower power consumption, the DS-212+ shapes up to be a good improvement on the DS-211+. 

Think Computers

Dec 14 2011

News - Synology DS212 NAS Reviewed

Synology has staked out a strong position in the high-end consumer NAS market. The DS212 NAS is a 2-bay NAS device capable of supporting up to 6TB of storage. Like most Synology units it's a slick looking little box. I especially like the inclusion of an SD card. I've wished several times that I had my WHS box set up so that I could simply drop my camera card in the server and transfer the pictures on board directly to the Pictures share. Especially when the family is piling in the car for an outing and I'm scrambling to find a card with space left for new photos.

Synology DS212 NAS

The Synology DS212 NAS simply plugs in to your home broadband router and features two drive bays to store the hard drives you’ll be using over the network. With the ability to install up to 6TB of storage (2x 3TB HDD), the possibilities are endless. 

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