We didn't perform speed tests with this product because it all depends on the drives you use and how they're configured. The drives we used are a year behind the times and weren't the same specification as those in NAS boxes we've tested in the past, so again, speed tests wouldn't yield meaningful information. That said, it's not too nippy when run in mirrored mode, though read-backs felt as quick as similar units we've tried.
Netgear's SC101T: front off, and round the back
What we can say is that with the drives formatted and the access software in place, using the SC101T's storage is straightforward, whether you're copying files back and forth, or using back-up software to do the transfers. The SC101T relies entirely on your router's DHCP server to get IP addresses for the drives - there's no manual addressing - but the access software easily coped with changes to the drives' IP addresses, which is handy if you like to power-down all your infrastructure overnight.
If you want a simple file store available to any or all of the PCs on your network, Netgear's box is ideal. And it's quiet, as these things go.
If, on the other hand, you need something a little more sophisticated, you're not going to like the SC101T. Unlike NAS boxes, which are, to all intents and purposes, small PCs with big hard drives, the SC101T has no native operating system, which means you can't install and run any apps on it. So while you can, say, use it to hold your music collection, you can't serve your songs from it. Nor can you expose it to the internet, to enable remote access, whether by FTP or some other protocol, directly or through a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Look, ma: no screws...
Incidentally, the SC101T isn't Netgear's first SAN box. That honour goes to the SC101, still available for around £70 - £50 less than its £120 big brother. The catch is that the older model only takes slower IDE hard drives and has a 10/100Mbps Ethernet port to the SC101T's 1000Mbps connector. But unless all your wired network links run at that speed, Gigabit Ethernet is no advantage over 100Mbps. Worth a look if you're on a tight budget.
By the way, 320GB 7200rpm 3Gbps SATA drives can be had for around £60 a pop, so kitting out the SC101T isn't exactly expensive
Netgear's Storage Central Turbo SC101T is a smart way to provide basic network-accessible storage space without having to muck about with file-sharing, firewalls and passwords. Its buy-your-own-drives approach means you can tailor it to your budget and capacity needs safe in the knowledge it'll be upgradeable down the line. It's a doddle to use, but its advanced features aren't as useful as they could be.
Netgear Storage Central Turbo SC101T network storage box
"Is that the file system that Sun invented and use in Solaris 10?"
It isnt. It just happens to have the same acronym.
Is that the file system that Sun invented and use in Solaris 10?
Zetera software? No thanks, then.
Having suffered hours of assorted woes and seemingly endless system resets with the SC101, the Zetera service swallowing huge chunks of CPU time and RAM, I'll be steering clear of this one.
Once bitten? No. Many, many times bitten. All with help from Netgear support that doesn't know ar5e from elbow.
I'm a fan - across 3 offices I use 3 routers and 8 switches. All Netgear. Decent, solid hardware that I trust.
One comment asked (pleaded?), "surely they've fixed the issues by now." It's the software, not Netgear, that's the problem here.
NETGEAR Technical Support Comments
Having read some of the comments featured in the review, I felt it was appropriate for me to post a response directly from NETGEAR. I have addressed each of the issues in turn below. Hopefully my comments should help clarify some of the issues raised….
I unfortunately did no research on the predecessor to the above product and sorely regretted it. And from the screen-shots this newer version is no different.
As the SC101T is part of the SC101 family and therefore both products look similar. NETGEAR's strategy is to maintain similar UI across their products lines.
The biggest issue is the proprietary file system format.
Despite the review's negative comments on the proprietary file system format (ZFS), NETGEAR has been using ZFS as it is far superior to NTFS or EXT2/3 Linux. A lot of NAS products prefer to change to ZFS as it is a pure network file system.
I want a solution for my Linux box but can't use it. Secondly, it's horribly slow. I mean, REALLY slow.
It is important to ensure the Gigabit connection is used as it is at least 3 times faster than 10/100 version. By using a Gigabit router with a PC that has a Gigabit interface, users can take advantage of the faster speeds.
From what I understand, it's the file system and drivers, not the hard-drive that is the bottle-neck.
ZFS has been proven by enterprise customers to be one of the fastest file systems, so it is unlikely to be the cause of any bottlenecks.
Finally, the management software works about half the time. It frequently freezes. Even after I managed to get this installed, the drive doesn't always show up. I find myself constant re-installing.
This is the first time that NETGEAR has heard of this being an issue but we will certainly look into it. NETGEAR has carried out extensive testing and beta testing on the SC101T without freezing occurring.
70% - You have got to be kidding!
Can't see it myself. This looks like a slightly updated SC101 which has got to be one of the poorest pieces of kit ever produced. It should be lucky to get 7%!