BlackArmor NAS: A polished storage server with an open source heart

Seagate BlackArmor NAS 440 stands apart with smooth setup, a nice set of features, and potential for growth

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Seagate has additional features planned for the near future. On the blackboard are both freeware (but not open source) and open source widgets to extend the platform, additional UPS and DDNS support, and perhaps even greater power optimization. Seagate promises a drop in average power consumption from 45 watts to 15 watts with a forthcoming firmware upgrade, and I've got to imagine that judicious sleeping could drop the power usage even lower.

The crowded NAS marketplace is churning out some very capable gear at very affordable prices. The differentiation will lie in what services the vendors can shoehorn into the box and how fast they can make those services run while keeping the price reasonable. Keep watching. We'll be running the new Intel NAS Performance Toolkit against a whole slew of SMB filers in the coming weeks so that we can start lining them up on the proverbial level playing field.

Seagate BlackArmor NAS 440

ProsLow power consumption. Print server is unidirectional, so scanners and multifunction units not supported. Extensible open source platform. Bare-metal backup and restore. Discovery utility doesn't force you to use static addresses. Discovery utility also does drive mapping. Includes Gigabit Ethernet LAN port aggregation and fail-over. Supports Active Directory and NT Domains for user authentication.
ConsDiscovery utility will map even if sharing is disabled on workstation. No LDAP support for user authentication
CostNAS 420 (1TBx2), $799.99; NAS 440 (1TBx4), $1,199.99; NAS 440 (1.5TBx4), $1,699.99; NAS 440 (2TBx4), $1,999.99. Additional backup licenses: $49.99 for two-license pack; $99.99 for five-license pack.
PlatformsLinux-based appliance supports NFS, FTP, and CIFS file services for Windows, Mac, and Linux/Unix clients. Backup software supports Windows and Mac.
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