Newisys NA-1400 review

More and more, small businesses and home computing environments face the challenge of efficiently managing, securing and protecting their electronic assets securely. The Newisys NA-1400 Network Attached Storage Appliance is a versatile, desktop storage appliance designed to give small businesses, branch offices and home computing environments the best possible storage available.

The quote above comes from Newisys’ NA-1400 productsheet. This article tries to find out and clearify if Newisys can hold it’s promise.

Introduction

It is true that more and more small businesses and home users have a need to store larger and larger quantities of data securely. They also want to acces this data from different places and using different techniques. The Newisys NA-1400 - on paper - seems to provide a means to solve this need using four hot-swappable drives capable of serving up to 2TB (3TB using the latest harddrives) and two gigabit network connections. The concept is simple: Hook up the NA-1400 and you can store and access your data from virtually everywhere on the planet.

Based on the productsheet, the key benefits of the NA-1400 are:

  1. Efficiently managing of data
  2. Securing and protecting data
  3. Versatile
  4. Desktop storage
  5. Designed for small businesses and home users
  6. Best possible storage available

In the following chapters each of these key benefits are closely examined followed by a conclusion for each benefit.

Efficiency

Sales people allways use vaque terms and if they don’t they don’t specifically tell you what they mean with their power-words. This also applies to ‘efficiently managing data’. Noone knows exactly what it means but we try it anyway.

Newisys has implemented several protocols through which a user can access and manage the data. Windows users as well as Linux users can access the data using the same methods as they are used to when it comes to other servers. A generic approach is through use of the FTP server but Windows users also can access the data through standard network shares (SMB) and Linux users can access the data through SMB or XFS. The datasheet also mentions HTTP(S) and CIM client as supported network filesystems, but there are no references in the users manual on howto use these.

The webbased configuration interface lets the user choose how many and which RAID level is used to create the filesystem(s) on which the data is stored.

Securing and protecting

To secure the data the Newisys NA-1400 provides several options in the configuration interface to create and manage users and groups. It also gives options to change the rights users and groups have on different directories.

Through the use of four harddisks and an appropriate RAID level (RAID-1 or 5), the data is protected against the failure of a single harddisk. Because harddiskscrashes are the most common cause for losing data this seems a logic and sane solution to the problem. Protection agains harddisks failure however is no guarantee you won’t loose any data; it won’t protect against accidental deletion by the user or software/hardware error in the systemboard of the NA-1400. Using the NA-1400 does not mean that backups aren’t nessesary anymore.

Versatile

 
doc/general/review.txt · Last modified: 2006/06/10 23:28 by admin