Apple NAS box ties in to Leopard's Time Machine
Time Capsule launched
Macworld Expo Apple today renewed its AirPort Extreme BaseSation Wi-Fi router, adding in a "server grade" hard drive to convert it into a network-attached storage box dubbed the Time Capsule.
Apple's Time Capsule: 500GB or 1TB NAS box
As the name suggests, it's designed to work with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard's Time Machine automatic sequential facility. Like the drive-less AirPort Extreme BaseSation, Time Capsule has a USB port on the back which can take an external hard drive and make it available over the network too.
The 19.7 x 19.7 x 36.3cm unit has dual-band 802.11n on board - the 2.4GHz band and the less crowded, wider 5GHz band - and four Gigabit Ethernet ports, one of them for hooking up an internet modem.
Two models will go on offer: a 500GB unit for $299/£199 and a terabyte product for $499. Both are set to ship in February.
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There IS a solution...
Not all NAS is FUBAR with Time Machine. It seems (from the scuttle on their forums) that the new NAS front end for the Drobo (DroboShare) which was just announced at MacWorld does work with Time Machine. SO, there is a good solution out there that doesn't lock you into a single drive embedded into your router (which sounds like a recipe for disaster!)
just to correct you, whilst the AE does support SMB (using samba I beleive as you predicted) it also supports AFP, and apples own AFP at that so the backup would be from an apple supported filing system on an apple machine, over a supported apple network protocol to a supported apple NAS via a supported apple network protocol onto a supported apple filing system. all from the same vendor, nothing reverse engineered.
so really, it ought to work, now we just need apple to make it work and lets hope that the release of time capsule doesn't make them feel like they've solved the problem...
I hope that this does pave the way for a real add on/upgrade to Time Machine that allows it to work with all NAS devices.
To their credit, the price isn't unreasonable for a 500Gb NAS, especially given the fact it includes a wireless router of 802.11n spec..... if only they did a UK version with a built in modem i'd buy one!