Storage

Add a terabyte of network attached storage with the SMC TigerStore

Out she comes

And out she slides.

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

28 comments
hen770
hen770

not good price. simple not means to make the price huge, simplicity has tow imply 1: design 2: price too simlicit.

si
si

I don't get what is so simple about 4 Ethernet ports and 3 for USB? Let's face it, keeping it simple would be a power port and an Ethernet port only. You could maybe add 1 USB for UPS integration.

edmond_reyes2004
edmond_reyes2004

what is the disadvantage using network storage device? Can it be possible that hard disk with terabyte crush due to power failure, viruses, etc? Will it be safer if you invest on several hard disk with smaller capacity by using hard disk enclosure?

gil_gosseyn
gil_gosseyn

I forgot to ask my second question. How does the price of all these NAS boxes compare to the cost of just setting up an old (or new) computer with Linux as a file server. The lowest bottom-line price listed in PriceGrabber for this box is $496.95 without drives. for $500 you could find a low-cost complete computer and add drives & a Gb NIC. I know these devices have the basic components of a computer (CPU, RAM, etc.), but why are they so expensive? Even a two-hdd external RAID enclosure w/o hdd is about $300. Why?

gil_gosseyn
gil_gosseyn

I like SMC products, and have been using a 7004 Barricade router since 2000, when I first got a broadband connection. It has a built-in print server & a serial port for out-of-band access, features not found in most home routers at that time. This looks like a decent unit, but I'm disappointed with the lack of detail in the write-up. It fails to mention support for Gigabit Ethernet, and that it's also available without disk drives. Am I the only one who wants details, and not just marketing copy?

stephen_cryan
stephen_cryan

The Infrant Media devices are exceptionally reliable and I've run mine (a 1.6Tb RAID5 using XRAID which is very impressive) for nearly 2 years without a single problem. The device operates at Gigabyte speed and is very user friendly (check out the XRAID feature)

james
james

Heello all, A few questions I am curious about: Any idea on how many workstations can access these things at once with out overloading it? Is it only good as a file server or could you use it as an application server as well? What back strategy.hardware would you use to backup so much potential information?

jturner
jturner

So how are the clients accessing this unit is it using Iscsi? and is it map able as a drive or is it a web based storage unit, personally I like netgear?s sc101 it is a two drive system that has mirroring and it uses Iscsi so you can map it out to a drive on the server and then share the drive through the server or you can map it to a drive on each client if you are a soho and don't have a server, it will handle a 500gig drive so you can have half a terabyte or if you want to live on the stupid edge you can have a terabyte with no redundancy

jerken
jerken

Who knows how to count? You have three choices for RAID configuration: RAID 0 RAID 1 RAID 4 RAID 5 Just because one of the RAIDs is zero doesn?t mean that it doesn't exist.

jerken
jerken

IE hung, I didn?t know that this post went through, that?s why I resubmitted. Sorry to waist your time.

deepakm
deepakm

What are the advantages/disadvantages of SAN versus this NAS (SMC TigerStore). I know it's easy to implement. What type throughput would I get? What type RAID and other redundancy does this SMC TigerStore have? I know it's cheaper then a SAN environment. I know NAS can be less cost. How is the cost long term? I'm looking to justify the SMC TigerStore versus our current SAN. Please advise. Thanks all! I love this site! Dee

Big Empty
Big Empty

What would you recommend for off-site backup? We have a small business that uses a fair amount of NAS (TeraStation, etc.) for both file server and backup purposes. There is too much data for our network bandwidth and backing up key files and images to removables is time consuming. Is there a way to configure this device for an easy data dump? Could you hot swap out mirrored drive groups on a regular basis? Sorry if this is a dumb question for this topic but we are looking for a simple solution, on a small business budget.

brian.dors
brian.dors

With one Ethernet port you'd be limiting yourself too much.... a few workstations copying large files and it would be choked. You don't HAVE to hook up all four. If your bandwidth needs are low, just plug in one. But this is great for an office that deals with large data files and has several high-power users.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin moderator

The advantage is RAID - under the right configuration, one drive could fail and you would not lose any data when you replace it.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin moderator

I agree, these boxes are a little expensive. You are essentially paying for the convenience of near plug and play. You could make your own file server, but that does take some time. My prediction is that the price for these stand-alone NAS boxes will continue to drop until they reach a level where the cost and time to create your own solution will be about equal to the cost of buying one off the shelf.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin moderator

Thank you for the comments. I did indeed leave many of the technical specifications out of the image descriptions, but you have to keep in mind that the content is a photo gallery not a full blown, pull out all the steps, technical review. The specifications are available from SMC which is linked. Next week I will crack the unit open to see what is inside -- what makes it tick. After that we will hook the NAS up to our test network and try in "real world" environment.

pbmartin
pbmartin

I'd highly recommend the Infrant NV+ (now Netgear) for SOHO use as its simple and reliable and if you add a proper media server software (TwonkyVision comes to mind) you can stream anything to an XBox 360 / PS3. For 'serious' use I find a Buffalo Terrastation Pro II is better as its lower cost, runs on Linux and so easily 'improved'. even then I'd only use them for primary back-up.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin moderator

I didn't test the access capacity, but it is connected via Ethernet so it should scale similarly. To me that means, many workstations could be sharing the drive at the same time. I know the transfer rates across the network were extremely fast. It does have a processor but it is not really designed to be an application server. I don't think this NAS would be the best choice for an application server.

InfoSecAuditor
InfoSecAuditor

If you like the SMC or Netgear offerings, take a look at the Data Robotics Drobo. It's a similar product, but a bit more aesthetically pleasing. As with all NAS solutions, the price is still astronomical for what you get. Edit: Since the Drobo is USB attached, it's more appropriately described DAS, not a true "NAS" solution. So the Drobo vs. the SMC & Netgear offerings is not a true apples to apples comparision. Sorry for any confusion. It still looks like a decent product. ;)

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin moderator

The drive is mapable. When you look at it in the Windows Network Neighborhood the NAS device is basically visible as another PC. The other devices connected to the network can map it as accessible drive. It is similar to mapping a shared drive on the network.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin moderator

It is such a blessing to have thousands of copyeditors ready to pounce on each and every typo. :) Thanks. Oh, and before someone brings it up -- the image only shows three choices, but the documentation says there is a fourth, fifth, and sixth configuration.

DT2
DT2

A Storage Area Network (SAN) contains a full operating system and can run applications such as a web server or DB server. A Network Attached Storage (NAS), like the SMC TigerStore, can only serve files. It's basically a large shared bucket of disk drives. That's why a NAS costs less than a SAN.

jtruett
jtruett

I think if you're justifying the cost of an inplace SAN to a new home/office NAS box you need to step back and re-evaluate your network and storage needs. The two storage systems are totally different animals that each have their own place in the enterprise.

InfoSecAuditor
InfoSecAuditor

Forgive my ignorance, but I haven't been able to find any indication in the SMC Tiger Store's manual that the Gig Ethernet ports bind, or that all four ports have associated NICs. From what I can see, the unit includes a 4-port switch. Nothing more. Wouldn't that mean that the maximum (theoretical) data throughput (between the unit and the switch) would be 1Gbps?

si
si

One of the reasons that these enclosures cost more than a cheap chassis is the ability of hot-swapping drives and rebuilding the RAID array in the background (modes 1,5,etc). While most RAID host adapters now support background rebuilding of the array, hot-swap bays are not standard issue on cheap chassis. Ironically, there is no mention of hot-swapping for this product.

lapdog65
lapdog65

Before moving forward, you must choose between these five options..... Sorry, it's three sir. :-D And then cut down the mightiest tree in the forest, with ......a herring.

brianmilke
brianmilke

If you check out the teardown pictures in the photo gallery, you will see the controller, which is hot swappable... I didn't know either until I checked...

InfoSecAuditor
InfoSecAuditor

Wow. A monty python Holy Grail reference on a tech site. How quaint. :)