Enterprise Reviews
by Kevin OBrien

Netgear ProSafe Plus XS708E 10GbE Switch Review

The Netgear ProSafe Plus XS708E 10GbE switch is part of a new family of ProSafe switches that are designed for SMBs to address the concerns of both enormous network traffic growth and the increasing performance capabilities of networked storage. Most storage arrays are sold with 10GbE these days either standard or as a reasonably priced option and 10GbE is likewise gaining traction in the server market. While gigabit Ethernet remains the standard, the benefits of 10GbE are immense, but a long time stumbling block has been the capital investment in equipment to support the interconnect, especially for small businesses. The key then with the XS708E is both speed and cost - the XS708E brings performance capabilities to the masses, with a street price of close to $100 per port.

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by Kevin OBrien

Toshiba PX02SM Series Enterprise SSD Review

Toshiba's PX02SM is a high performance enterprise-class SSD that features eMLC NAND with capacities up to 1.6TB as well as a new dual port SAS 12Gb/s interface. The PX02SM updates the Toshiba MKx001GRZB Enterprise SSD that we reviewed which was previously Toshiba's pinnacle enterprise SSD with 32nm SLC NAND and SAS 6Gb/s in a 2.5", 15mm form factor. This time however, the Toshiba PX02SM comes to market in a 2.5" form factor that has been slimmed down from 15mm to just 7mm (still 15mm for the 1.6TB model). Additionally, Toshiba has chosen to implement eMLC NAND, attaining comparable endurance and even greater cost-effectiveness, yielding lower prices for organizations' IT budgets.

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by Kevin OBrien

OCZ Talos 2 R Enterprise SSD Review

The OCZ Talos 2 R is a 2.5" form factor enterprise-class SSD that ranges in raw capacity up to nearly 1TB and features a SAS interface with dual-port support as well as cost-effective MLC NAND. The Talos 2 R also features OCZ's Virtualized Controller Architecture (VCA) 2.0 that ties together a pair of SandForce flash controllers to deliver performance and capacity enhancements. This much makes the Talos 2 R similar to its sibling OCZ Talos 2 C that we recently reviewed. However, the Talos 2 R differentiates itself from the Talos 2 C by tacking on power fail protection to protect in-flight data from unexpected power loss, an upgraded controller and additional over-provisioning at 28% versus 7% on the Talos 2 C.

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by Kevin OBrien

Micron P320h 2.5" PCIe Application Accelerator Review

In March of last year, Micron announced a new 2.5" form factor for their P320h application accelerator card. PCIe cards have been the de facto standard for any enterprise looking to drive maximum responsiveness from their storage. The form factor does suffer though from issues that don't bother traditional 2.5" and 3.5" form factors such as hot swapability. It's rarely practical to power down a server and remove it from a rack to service the storage inside. Thus, the 2.5" PCIe form factor enables the speed that the PCIe interface can deliver, with the serviceability that standard drives offer. Of course a new interface means little without server support, and as part of the announcement from Micron, Dell stepped up with server support for the new drives in many of their 12th Gen PowerEdge servers. The Dell servers, like our Dell PowerEdge R720 12G with Express Flash (Dell's branding of 2.5" PCIe), offers up to four 2.5" P320h drives accessible by standard access in the front of the server via a specialized backplane.

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by Kevin OBrien

Unitrends Recovery-943 Backup Appliance Review

The Unitrends Recovery-943 Backup Appliance has 97TB of raw capacity and robust connectivity options, and it incorporates standard features found on existing Unitrends Recovery appliances such as backup, archiving, instant recovery, and disaster recovery functionality. In the past, these recovery appliances have been configured and marketed to small and medium businesses. These smaller organizations face complex backup requirements and don't have the dedicated resources and expertise needed to apply multi-platform backup-administration and as such have been Unitrends target-market. The Recovery-943 is however a step-up from previous Unitrends options with three times the storage capacity of its predecessor and the ability to scale the functionality of the Unitrends RecoveryOS to the enterprise market.

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by Kevin OBrien

HP StoreEasy 5000 Storage Review (StoreEasy 5530)

HP has been going through a transformation recently when it comes to the branding of their storage products. 3PAR, LeftHand, NAS and JBOD storage solutions have become more neatly accounted for with clear steps defined to help buyers understand which solutions fit their needs. The StoreEasy family addresses the SMB and midmarket with storage offerings that range from 1U entry-level filers to more complex arrays that could include elements from the enterprise 3PAR and virtual storage offerings. The StoreEasy 5000 takes its place at the top of the StoreEasy family. The StoreEasy 5530 configuration that we're now reviewing can either operate on its own as the primary NAS storage for a small organization or branch/remote office, or the 5530 can form the beginning of a much larger storage environment. Either way, the StoreEasy runs Windows Storage Server 2012 and is designed to be an easy drop-in for Windows-based environments. The storage server itself offers dual blade servers in an active/active configuration to offer not just a highly-available (HA) solution, but one that can also load balance and offer non-disruptive in-place upgrades.

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by Josh Shaman

Toshiba SATA HDD Enterprise 3.5" Review (MG03ACAx00)

Toshiba's new MG03 SATA enterprise 3.5" hard drives are now being offered as standard or encrypted models in the industry's highest capacity ranging up to 4TB while spinning at 7,200RPM with a SATA 6Gb/s interface. As we noted in our recent review of the MG03 4TB SAS, Toshiba has seen increasing demand for encryption and as such, they will now be offering it across all of their new models. As with the sibling SAS drives, the SATA drives offer a big jump in capacity to 4TB from 2TB as well as up to 18% faster sustained transfer rates and power consumption reduced significantly by up to 15%. Rounding out the enhancements, this new generation of SATA drives now interface over 6Gb/s SATA instead of 3Gb/s.

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by Kevin OBrien

Seagate 600 Pro Enterprise SSD Review

The Seagate 600 Pro SSD is a 2.5-inch MLC NAND enterprise-class SSD in a 7mm form factor with a capacity up to 480GB that is designed for read-intensive applications. Due to its size, the 600 Pro easily fits almost any platform, maximizing capacity while minimizing its footprint. Seagate's primary focus during the engineering of this drive though was to build a drive to meet the growing demand within the enterprise for SSDs that offer enterprise-class endurance and adequate performance at a reasonable price-point. Organizations that need these types of drives include centers, cloud system builders, cloud service providers or virtualized enterprises. In these applications, the enterprise requires more endurance than they could get with a client SSD; it wants a drive upon which it can depend to be reliable over time, thus keeping data secure.

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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 Josh Shaman

Seagate Enterprise Value HDD (Constellation CS) Review

The Seagate Enterprise Value HDD which is also known as the Constellation CS, is a 3.5", 7,200RPM SATA drive with a maximum capacity of 3TB that is targeted at organizations looking for the cost-effectiveness of consumer HDDs but also the enterprise features they need. The Constellation CS fit those needs by offering inexpensive bulk-storage for cases such as hosting unstructured data in the cloud with the lowest $/GB cost in the market. Adding to the Constellation CS drives' overall value is that at 2.75W/TB, it also offers the lowest power consumption of any new enterprise-class HDD, drawing up to 29% less power than competitive high-capacity enterprise drives by Seagate's numbers.

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