To complete the package, Buffalo bundles Memeo AutoBackup software for use with the Linkstation Quad. This is an easy-to-use and blessedly unsophisticated program for scheduling automatic backups from the computers on the network to appropriate shares on the Nas.
The front fascia is only there to keep the dust out
You can also use the web management interface to establish an automatic schedule for backing up shares on the Nas itself to an external, USB-attached storage device. Mac users will be pleased to note that the Linkstation Quad supports the Time Machine automatic backup feature in Mac OS X 10.5. However, it appears that you can only set it up with one Mac on the whole network. There seems to be no way of linking different shares as Time Machine volumes to different Macs.
The Linkstation Quad is a powerful and well-built product that also happens to be fairly simple to configure and manage. Home users wanting high capacity storage options, hardware versatility and a good web-based interface should like the product very much, as will demanding small offices having to deal with large quantities of data. The only drawback is that once you take full advantage of the RAID support, the Linkstation Quad looks expensive next to single-drive consumer Nas drives of similar capacity. ®
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Buffalo Linkstation Quad
I have 10 Terastations in service all around the country, and have replaced drives in them before. They are an old model however. I think on the models I have the os is held on cmos. The new discs are seen as 148 GB drives regardless of the size.
Reading that, it sounds like they've brought out a competitor to the Netgear ReadyNAS NV+ range, just too expensively and missing half the useful features of the latter.
Did look at them for our office, but real big panic point was getting the drives from them exclusively. If using RAID5 at least the drives should continue, but having to source the drive from them isn't good especially if you're using this as the office fileserver which is where it's best suited.
Re. raid expansion - from everything I read you'd have to buy 4 new disks from them, then clear it all and recreate the RAID array. Which isn't good compared to the X-RAID system on the ReadyNAS where you can expand it just by adding a new disk and it just gets on with it.
No hot swappable drives? OK, not a major issue generally, but again fails compared to the competition.
Well priced, erm, not too sure about that. Only serious home theatre users and offices are likely to be buying something this expensive, and it fails to meet a lot of their needs.
Mind you, they do a nifty little linkstation 1TB drive which is seriously tiny, no fan etc. and very portable for backups.
No RAID6 ?
I think the Synology DS409Slim is much better for the money, but whatever floats yer boat ;-p
Is it possible to expand the RAID, when bigger capacity disks become available?
If it is anything like the Terastation & Terastation Pro products, the O/S is striped across all drives in the array. This means that you can't buy one without drives and you can only buy replacement drives from Buffalo in the event of a failure or upgrade.
Of course, there are means of getting around this but it is a bit of a pain having to do so.
If you want to source your own disks, you are better off with another NAS manufacturer. Cheaper too.