Installation is a doddle: just slot the card in and install the driver software from the accompanying CD. Mac OS X immediately recognises there a card present, even before the drivers are installed, and pops up the following menu in the menu bar - something we haven't seen with either of the other two ExpressCards we also use.
Installing the drivers leaves the menu unchanged, but now connected drives can be seen by the host, appearing on the desktop and under Mac OS X's System Profiler and on the desktop as SCSI peripherals - a blast from the past if you're an older Mac user.
Incidentally, the Tempo does come with Windows XP drivers, but we weren't able to test these as our test PC is too long in the tooth to possess an ExpressCard slot.
Using the single-drive configuration, we copied a folder containing 100 10MB files over to the drive. We then duplicated it on the drive before copying it back again. Each operation was performed a handful of times and the average times recorded.
Single-drive multi-connector tests
Results in MBps - longer bars are better
You can see from the chart that the eSATA connection was faster than the others in all cases but one: copying data to the drive, where it was just pipped by the Firewire link, though there's not much in it.
I have one and also have/had problems
I am using the second release of the 17" MBP. I finally got some drivers emailed from the tech support that helped make the system a bit more stable. The express card 34 seating is horrible. Any movement will cause it to pop out. Doing So screws up any disk accesses, as well as blows away the functioning of airport. Airport looks like it is connected, but.. doesn't work. The speed (tested with xbench) is nice, although the limiting factor is the internal interface to the express 34. (I called tech support, as I could not get close to the 3 Gb speeds in a striped array) that my drives claimed to support. I understand that the problems with the loose fitting express 34 card are more apple problems then any manufacturer, as many people are having problems with cards popping out.. Apple really should have an esata port on the machine directly.
Overall it is ok, IF one can take precautions so the card will not be moved. This entails the laptop to be in a fixed position, and can not be used on your lap, like it can with firewire or USB. :( I am using the system with an external array of 5 disks and a multiport connection. Hope this helps others..
I'm using iSCSI at work. It's nice, at 1Gb it's very quick (at 10Gb it's blazing). With 15000 rpm SAS drives it's great. Problem is, it's not cheap. The eSATA is aimed at a single machine. Two different solutions. But at home I have a home built NAS. Right now it has a 300 GB drive. I'm about to replace that with a 750 or wait a little longer and get a 1 TB drive. "That will be all the disk I ever need". (Also said when I bought a 10 GB drive for my desk top).
Now I've heard about people building iSCSI home solutions using a Linux box, but that's a technical solution beyond the means of most users.
Re: Different standards...
There is a reliable ethernet Storage standard, it's called iSCSI, the majority of the major SAN vendors support iSCSI, but notably NetApp are a major iSCSI supplier who recently started producing low end kit for the small business channel (www.sorevault.com). As far as I'm aware OSX supports iSCSI, windows certainly does and it's possible to use either a hardware or software based "initiator" in the form of a Host Bus Adapter or a software driver that works in conjunction with an ethernet controller. It works by using SCSI commands over TCP/IP.