Western Digital ShareSpace 4TB NAS box
NAS for the non-geek?
Review Western Digital has been selling external hard drives for ages, most notably its MyBook range. That line-up has included NAS boxes, the MyBook World Edition series, but now, here comes their big brother.
There's a sense in which the networkable MyBooks are simply multi-users hard drives ready for backing up and file swapping in the home. The ShareSpace, on the other hand, is a more serious storage appliance.
Take storage size. The World Edition II tops out at 2TB, but that's entry-level for the ShareSpace, which is also available with a stonking 4TB of raw disk capacity. You can take the drives out of the WE II, but it's not a straightforward process. Swapping out drives from the ShareSpace is easier. It also supports four RAID modes to the WE II's two.
WD's ShareSpace: sober looks
The ShareSpace is a squat box with a minimalist dark-grey metallic look that's rather more sober than the shiny silver styling of rival NAS boxes like Netgear ReadyNAS NV+, or iPod-like consumer-oriented black and white the WE II comes in.
The faceless front panel is home to a USB port above which sits a button that triggers an automatic back-up to any sufficiently capacious external hard drive connected to that port. Moving upward, there's a cluster of indicator LEDs and the power key.
Round the back, alongside a large fan outlet sit two more USB ports, the Gigabit Ethernet port and, further down, the power socket. There's a Kensington lock slot too. The AC adaptor isn't built in - it's a separate brick that, for us at least, came with a European power cable.
Fortunately, we had a UK lead handy. Plugging it in, we were pleasantly surprised to find said cooling fan runs extremely quietly, especially compared to the gale blowing out of the back of our ReadyNAS NV+. It's not silent: drive noise echoes around the inside of the shell, but it's still one of quietest NAS boxes we've tried.
To quote performance speeds in Mb/s (Megabits/second) instead of the industry standard MiB/s in order to mislead is so underhanded. You do not expect TheRegister to sell out like that!
"Copying a 10.59GB folder containing 180-odd sub-folders and more than 3300 files from the notebook to a shared folder on the ShareSpace yielded an average throughput of 70.73Mb/s."
The reason I ask is because: a couple of years back the people I worked for bought (on my recommendation) a NAS box based on the universal "this product is great" reviews seen on the interweb. It was fast, quiet and supported CIFS, NFS, FTP, RAID5 all the usual stuff. Turns out all the copy speed reviews used CIFS because the reviewers only tested it with Windows and the box was crap at FTP and NFS. It would freeze for an indeterminate time on the middle of a transfer which meant it was useless for automated copies as you could never be sure when it would finish.
So, CIFS, NFS or FTP?
is the death of this product... perhaps if they did a 'normal' version as well they might sell...
Qnap all the way! does all this and more for less... (and its quiet too)
A supper SLOW box, isn't it?
70Mb/s. that's < 9MB/s.
@Tony Smith re: speed
Tony, is that 70 MBytes/second or 70 Mbits/second ?