Image 1 of 14
By Mark Kaelin
Network attached storage (NAS) devices are not the complicated network additions they used to be. The SMC TigerStore NAS device is a marvel in its simplicity. With a straightforward Ethernet connection and a short configuration you can add up to a terabyte of storage to your already existing network. The SMC TigerStore is compact unit that fits in well with any small office or business as well as any personal home network in need of RAID storage.
Besides the device
You also get the power cord, a CD-ROM with the configuration software, and pamphlet-sized quick start instruction document.
The SMC TigerStore (Model
The front door locks with a simple plastic lock. It is not a lock that will prevent anyone from gaining access, but it is enough to deter a casual “hey I wonder what happens if I pull this” accident.
Each drive slides out with a flip of a switch and a slight tug.
Hard drive particulars
The review unit I am working with came equipped with four 250GB Hitachi Deskstar hard drives. You could opt for hard drives with capacities up to 750GB, for a total of 3.0TB.
All you get
A lot of hard drive capacity contained in a small space.
You need hard drives for RAID
The lever-slide mechanism attaches to a standard hard drive using standard screws.
Cables and software
Besides the box itself and the hard drives, there is really not much to the SMC TigerStore. Once again, SMC seems to be keeping to the mantra of keep it simple.
The Quick Guide that came with the SMC TigerStore was very quick indeed. Each instruction was on average one paragraph long and perhaps two sentences. The rest of the text is there to cover 10 different languages.
After you make your choice of RAID configuration, you let the SMC TigerStore run the configuration procedure.
Depending on your network configuration, you may have to do some tweaking of certain settings, but in most cases the default values will do just fine. Note, I did have to adjust the time zone. Oh, and one thing not mentioned prominently in the Quick Guide u00e2u20acu201c you need to reboot the device to get all of the configuration changes fully installed.
Servers and services
The SMC TigerStore has several canned servers and services available, including an iTunes server, print server, and media server. Note the reference to Samba, apparently that is what the box is running to make all of these servers and services available.
The SMC TigerStore is a wonderful example of simple design and function. As the need for large amounts of storage migrates from the enterprise to the small office and even to the consumer, the NAS is quickly becoming a common part of every computer network. The simplicity of the SMC design and configuration utility only reinforce this trend. The SMCNAS24 TigerStore (with four hard drives) is selling for $795. That is a little steep, but it has come down from a suggested retail of $999.