This rackmount NAS provides much storage but is a little light on extra features
8 disk bays, 8x 2TB hard disk storage supplied, 2x 10/100/1000Mbit/s Ethernet ports
The Seagate Business Storage 8-Bay Rackmount network-attached storage (NAS) device is a full-length 1U rackmount unit capable of taking eight drives in its internal hot swap bays. Our review sample had a set of eight 2TB Seagate Constellation ES.3 HDDs preinstalled. In its default configuration, the NAS provided 13.8TB of storage and was capable of tolerating the failure of two drives. This device is also available empty, and in 8TB, 12TB and 32TB configurations, should you prefer a different capacity.
To open the drive bay, press two buttons on the underside of the NAS’s front panel. The NAS’s top panel pops open like a car bonnet to reveal all eight bays. Each drive is held in place by a clip, and you have to slide them out, which helps prevent accidental removal. In our hot-swap test, we were pleased to find we could remove and re-insert two disks without incurring the loss of our array or our data. We could even hot-swap the positions of disks without data loss, although we found that we had to reboot the NAS after one disk wasn’t properly detected after re-insertion. Although a broken array was initially reported, the NAS detected the disk and re-synchronised our array without loss of data after a couple of minutes.
The NAS has a rather more impressive hardware specification than most of the rival products we’ve reviewed, with a 2.3GHz dual-core Celeron G1610T processor and 4GB of error-checking ECC RAM. The system also has a pair of hot-swappable power supplies, either one of which can power the NAS should the other fail. A pair of LAN ports can be set up in a failover configuration so that your NAS always has a network connection. You can even restrict certain services, such as access to a specific iSCSI target, to one of the network connections.
A USB port at the front of the NAS lets you connect an external disk as a backup target or source. There are far more connection ports at the back, including two more USB ports, so you can connect a UPS comms lead, a printer, or more external storage. There’s also a serial port, PS/2 ports and a VGA graphics output. Although these imply you can connect the NAS to a monitor, mouse and keyboard, this option isn’t currently enabled, so you must access it remotely.
Some NAS devices let you download and install extra features, but Seagate has opted to keep things simple with a few core features that’ll cover the main requirements of many most businesses. You can enable, configure and control most of these via the Services tab in the General settings screen.
Here, you’ll find options to enable features such as DLNA media streaming, plus NFS, FTP and SFTP servers. By default, SMB file sharing is enabled, and you can easily add more public or private shares via the main Shares screen. The NAS also has a download engine, which can download files in the background from HTTP, FTP and BitTorrent sources. The NAS has its own backup configuration tool and also supports the Symantec NetBackup platform, which allows an rsync-compatible server to use the NAS as a backup target. You can also enable support for Apple’s Time Machine backup protocol.
It’s also in the Service screen that you can enable and disable the NAS’s support for Wuala Hybrid Cloud, a cloud storage service. Unfortunately, linking the device to the service is fiddly. You must install the Wuala client on a local Windows or Mac computer and then add the NAS as a device. You’ll then be able to access its public contents from any other Wuala client you’re logged into. This conspicuously lacks the elegance of rival NAS makers’ personal cloud servers.
|Capacity||8x 2TB hard disk|
|Default file system||ext4|
|Price per gigabyte||£0.13|
|3.5in drive bays||8|
|Free 3.5in drive bays||0|
|RAID modes||JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 5 + hot spare, RAID 6, RAID 10|
|USB direct access ports (front/rear)||0/0|
|Other USB ports (front/rear)||1/2|
|eSATA ports (front/rear)||0/0|
|Other ports||serial, VGA, 2x PS/2|
|Ethernet connection speed||10/100/1000Mbit/s|
|Universal Plug and Play support||yes|
|UPnP media server||yes|
|USB disk server||yes|
|Protocols supported||TCP/IP, SMB/CIFS, AFP, FTP, HTTP, HTTPS, NFS, SSH, Telnet, WebDAV, iSCSI|
|Ethernet cable included||yes|
|Warranty||three years RTB|