Network Attached Storage
Times have changed and our storage requirements have moved from Kilobytes, to Megabytes, to Gigabytes and now even Terabytes of storage. And sure, it won't be long until we reach Petabytes either. Oh and after that there's Exabyte and then Zettabyte.
|File Storage Capacity by Bits and Bytes|
So we passed the Terabyte marker. With our hefty demand in storage capabilities, the industry had to constantly adapt and introduce new features in hardware. Storage units got much bigger in volume over the year, 6 TB HDDs have just been introduced onto the market with 10 TB already in the pipeline. In that line of storage solutions there is one product series growing fast and now reaching SOHO and consumer based markets. They are called NAS units, network attached storage. And there has been a lot of development in these nifty little boxes. Pretty much they are little servers that you can hook onto your network and then function as file-server.
The NAS units are often small, do not use a lot of power compared to say your PC, but they are highly configurable, offer redundancy as some models can even handle RAID internally. Network Attachable Units are among the most advanced home servers available on the market today. Products feature multiple HDDs setups, partitions, RAID, USER and USERGROUP based access, FTP, web server, MySQL, hot swappable drives; these are just some of the features that a NAS unit can handle. And though expensive, a product like this is just too darn handy when it comes to file-storage and management over your network.
The Asustor AS3204T can house up to four hard drives or SSDs. The unit is tied to a Gigabit Ethernet jack, meaning 1000 / 8 minus QOS and random overhead like error-correction is roughly a maximum of 100 to 125 MB/sec. You can install four storage units in today's tested device NAS, these can be set up in Single, JBOD, RAID 0/1/5/6/10.
Once you have installed your hardware, you'll need to bind the NAS towards your Ethernet with a CAT5e/6e cable to a switch; the Asustor NAS offers more connectors though including USB 3.0. When you have your HDDs installed, and the device connected through your PC you'll need to start-up a software suite to bind and setup your configuration. Please look at the install CD for that. Or if you have a smartphone, simply use a smartphone app like FING and scan the network, Asustor will show up with a corresponding IP. Type in the IP into your browser and you can start setting up the unit.
- Intel Celeron 1.60 GHz Quad-Core Processor (Automatic Overclocking to 2.24 GHz)
- RAID 1 Read Speed of up to 112+ MB/s and Write Speed of up to 110+ MB/s
- 2 GB Built-in Dual-Channel DDR3L High Speed Memory
- 1 x Gigabit Ethernet Port
- Front of Device: 1 x SuperSpeed USB 3.0 (5 Gb/s) Port
- Back of Device: 2 x SuperSpeed USB 3.0 (5 Gb/s) Port
- 1 x HDMI 1.4b Port
- Infrared Receiver
- Supports RAID Volume Management Single, JBOD, RAID 0/1 (AS3202T)
- Supports RAID Volume Management Single, JBOD, RAID 0/1/5/6/10 (AS3204T)
- Supports Seamless System Migration
- Supports Largest Capacity Hard Disks on the Market (8 TB)
- Supports Intel AES-NI Hardware Encryption Engine
The Asustor AS3204T is based upon an Intel Celeron GHz Quad-Core Processor that can boost towards 2.24 GHz. Factory installed is 2 GB memory, this SMT soldered onto the PCB, so you cannot expand memory. The Asustor AS3202T can eat two 3.5-inch HDDs, the AS3204T eats four of them. Up-to 8 TB HDDs are supported, currently 10 TB HDDs are experimental. You will notice USB 3.0 connectors (one at the back one in the front and one located at the backside). The unit sports one Gigabit Ethernet port.
Depending on the number of HDDs and load of the unit, power consumption is rated at:
- 27W (Operation);
- 11.4W (Disk Hibernation);
- 0.79W (Sleep Mode / WD Red 3 TB HDD)
Operating system compatibility wise the NAS supports file sharing across Linux, UNIX, Mac, and Windows platforms. We will be testing with Windows 8.1 and 10. Also for the more advanced among you, windows AD (Active Directory) is supported to help create an easy-to-access environment. SSH login and web page SSL login enables users to transfer, store, and share data securely. Since this product acts as a server ALL PC's within your network can connect to it, with or without access rights. You can manage it from any client as you simply log into the web-interface and configure it. The unit is : 165(H) x 164(W) x 218(D) mm and weighs in at 1.6 kg / 3.53 lb.
ASUSTOR announced the launch of two economical entry-level multimedia NAS devices in the AS3202T and AS3204T. This new series of devices utilizes the newest generation Intel Celeron 1.6 GHz quad-core processors and are equipped with 2 GB of dual-channel memory along with support for Intel AES-NI encryption instructions.
This allows the devices to use hardware encryption technology to increase the overall performance and access speeds to large amounts of encrypted data while also satisfying user needs for high performance storage, backup, remote access and security. The AS3202T and AS3204T both provide a rich variety of connection interfaces allowing users to connect various peripheral devices to the NAS to expand functionality. The HDMI port and infrared receiver can be paired with the ASUSTOR Portal App and official ASUSTOR remote control to turn the NAS into a multimedia player and hub that is as easy to operate as a TV. Also worth mentioning, is that the AS3202T and AS3204T both feature a stylish modern diamond plate finished exterior which allows it to seamlessly fit into users' living rooms and be used in combination with existing Hi-Fi home entertainment systems. Users can centrally store all of their digital multimedia on the NAS (photos, music, movies) and play it all back on demand, enjoying a comprehensive home multimedia experience.
Many users may worry about complex installation and operation when they think of NAS devices. The AS3202T and AS3204T feature a sliding cover design along with hand-screws allowing for toolless and simple hard disk installation. They also feature a built-in quick installation wizard that allows users to initialize the system in just three easy steps. ASUSTOR also provides a variety of intuitive and easy-to-use mobile apps that allow users to access all of their data on the NAS while on the go while seamlessly fitting the NAS into their digital lifestyle.
AS3202T and AS3204T come built-in with ADM version 2.5.4 and onwards, providing a stable operating system and a large variety of add-on applications that can be used to expand functionality. Users can also enable online upgrade notifications in order to receive messages when new updates for ADM become available. Furthermore, ASUSTOR regularly releases beta firmware in order provide opportunities for users to experience the latest new functions. The latest ADM 2.6 beta includes upgrades to ASUSTOR Portal web applications by increasing YouTube 1080p playback performance and support for a rich variety of streaming video sites such as Netflix, MetaCafe, US Stream, Vimeo, Youkou, Tudou and more.