Small SAN/NAS (up to 8 bays) Reviews
by Adam Armstrong

Synology DiskStation DS713+ Review

The Synology DiskStation DS713+ is a two-bay NAS designed for use cases that need plenty of power but don't have high-capacity requirements. The DS713+ has a max internal capacity of 8TB (using 2 4TB HDD, one in each bay), a dual core 2.13GHz processor, 1GB of DDR3 memory, and Synology's Disk Station Manager 4.3 software. The DS713+ comes with all types of connectivity, coming with USB 2.0, USB 3.0, Ethernet, and eSATA ports. Though it looks very similar to its predecessor, the DS712+, the DS713+ has two USB 3.0 ports and comes with a 20 IP camera capacity (the DS712+ had no USB 3.0 ports and only supported 16 IP cameras).

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by Lyle Smith

Lenovo EMC px2-300d NVR with Milestone Arcus Review

The Lenovo EMC px2-300d NVR with Milestone Arcus is a small purpose-built 2-bay NAS designed for video surveillance needs of small businesses. It is the new, updated version of the Iomega PX2-300d, which is also now under the Lenovo EMC brand name. Many business owners and companies need video surveillance to monitor their assets and it is predicted that this market will generate over $25 billion worldwide by 2016. With those figures in mind and as analog surveillance is well on its way out, Lenovo EMC has designed some of its popular NAS appliances with video surveillance software from Milestone, the market leader, to help IT resellers get a footing in this market. The Lenovo EMC px2-300d NVR is the first network video recorder (NVR) to use Milestone Arcus, a video management software package that makes the whole process as efficient and simple as possible.

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by Josh Shaman

Synology DS1513+ NAS Review

The Synology DS1513+ is a 5-bay NAS that provides up to 20TB of raw storage with the ability to scale out to 60TB using expansion bays, and it features a dual core 2.13GHz processor, 2GB of RAM and Synology's DiskStation Manager 4.2 (DSM 4.2) software. The device is also shipped with loads of connectivity via USB 3.0 and 2.0, Ethernet and eSATA ports. The next-generation DS1513+ adds on to the DS1512+ (which will still sell concurrently) and is designed for the enterprise SMB market. Compared to the DS1512+, the DS1513+ provides increased throughput, more redundancy and easier business application usage. Another stanadard feature that Synology includes is High Availability which works to prevent drawn-out downtime and performs network load balancing to optimize storage across drives.

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by Josh Shaman

LaCie 5big NAS Pro Review

The 5big NAS Pro is LaCie’s latest NAS featuring the Neil Poulton design users are long familiar with as well as an updated 2.13GHz dual-core Intel 64-bit Atom processor and an impressive 4GB of RAM. LaCie utilizes their own LaCie NAS OS3 in this model, diverging from the Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials in the 5big Office + NAS. The updated OS offers a single user interface for local and cloud storage creating a hybrid cloud via Wuala (the cloud provider with which LaCie merged a few years back). Hardware features include five drive bays, a solid aluminum structure, and plenty of connectivity via USB 3.0 and gigabit Ethernet ports. Designed for small businesses, LaCie's target market is offices with up to 50 concurrent users.

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by Doug Crowthers

Synology DiskStation DS1812+ Review

The Synology DS1812+ is a 8-bay NAS designed for a small to medium size business use that features a dual core 2.13GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and Synology's DiskStation Manager (DSM) software. The entry-NAS market for even the SMB space typically starts at 4-bays, Synology has doubled the drive capacity on its DS1812+. Synology sells their NAS units without disks, so users purchasing the enclosure can add any combination of 2.5" or 3.5" drives they wish.

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by Kevin OBrien

Netgear ReadyNAS Surveillance Review

The Netgear ReadyNAS line of SOHO and small business NAS systems offers a robust set of management features, recently enhanced by Netgear's video surveillance offering. The surveillance feature can be enabled via license on current ReadyNAS units, or can be bought in a package complete with ReadyNAS, networking gear and IP video cameras. The system supports up tp 16 cameras per ReadyNAS and provides the end user with web-based management and monitoring tools, along with tools for remote and mobile monitoring via iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices.

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by Kevin OBrien

Synology DS1512+ NAS Review

The Synology DS1512+ is a 5-bay NAS designed for small business use that features a dual core 2.13GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and Synology's DiskStation Manager (DSM) software. Synology sells their NAS units without disks, so users purchase the enclosure and add any combination of 2.5" or 3.5" drives they wish. While the entry-NAS market for even the SMB space typically have 4-bays, the 5-bay option from Synology is nice in that the system is better geared towards handling two drive failures with RAID6, offering a little extra data protection in the event a drive dies during RAID rebuild. The DS1512+ is designed to grow as well, with expansion support of 5 or 10 more bays via eSATA and Synology's DX510 expansion units for total capacity up to 60TB.

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by Josh Linden

LaCie 5big Office + Review

The 5big Office + is one of LaCie’s latest prosumer NAS devices, updated with a 1.6GHz Dual-core Intel 64-bit Atom processor and 2GB of RAM. LaCie has swapped its standard NAS OS found in other LaCie solutions for  Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials in the 5big Office + to better fit into Windows-based environments. This edition of Windows Server caps the number of concurrent users to 25, reflecting the SOHO market LaCie is targeting with its newest 5big system. But with features like five drive bays, 802.3AD link aggregation support, and a super-rugged aluminum chassis, the 5big Office + brings lots of enterprise-grade features to small offices.

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by Kevin OBrien

QNAP TS-879 Pro 10GbE Review

The QNAP TS-879 Pro is QNAP's latest entry in the SMB NAS space. The TS-879 Pro is an eight-bay unit that is designed to be used for backups, file sharing, mass storage and the like. While certainly tageted at the SMB, QNAP has loaded the TS-879 Pro with features that may broaden its appeal for VMware, Citrix and HyperV environments; a dual core Intel Core i3 3.3 GHz processor and support for optional 10 GbE for speeds up to 1,000MB/s and 100,000 IOPS.

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by Kevin OBrien

Drobo B800i Review

Drobo claims their B800i SAN is the easiest to use iSCSI array on the market. Getting the B800i up and running is as simple as connecting the appropriate data and power cables, sliding in your array of drives, and firing up the setup application on your host system. Total time spent finding a place to put it on your shelf or carefully taking it out of the box is more than actually getting it setup for use. For businesses who know they need storage, but lack the IT staff or inclination to have to configure much of anything, the Drobo family of products tends to rise to the top of the short list. But let's not leave IT out in the cold, just because the Drobo units are easy to configure and use, doesn't mean IT can't like them too.

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