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back to article Buffalo Terastation III

Heading Buffalo’s Terastation range of Nas boxes, the new Terastation III is aimed at demanding users and businesses. It certainly feels heavy duty, weighing in at 6.3kg with a locking door to secure its drive bays. Buffalo TeraStation III Secure storage: Buffalo's Terastation III A greyscale LCD on the front reveals a …

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Flame

What's a PC?

So, you get software that works on Windows, Linux, BSD, Solaris, ReactOS, OSX, ... or software that works on OSX? Or do you men that you get Windows software and OSX software?

I expect better from El Reg than the Apple line of "PC" or "Mac".

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Netgear ReadyNAS Business edition anyone?

Six bays, FlexRAID allows decent hotswapping, and happily writes to my 4x15000rpm SCSI disks at welll over 70MB/sec. At least I think it does. Will check it later when I get into work.

Had a Terstation II at the last place I worked at and was never impressed with it's AD integration or the software that came with it - bloody flaky stuff it was back then. Sounds like it's improved, but I'd still take the Netgear.

Well, if I didn't have an Athlon 2400 machine here just *begging* to be rehoused into a smaller chassis and having Solaris+ZFS+4x1TB drives dropped on it for a couple fo chunky iSCSI and CIFS shares...

Steven R

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So how did you like that Weeds 5x01 episode ?

Pirates...arrrghhh

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For that price...

I'd rather get a ReadyNAS - Having used buffalo products before, I wouldn't want to trust my data with their kit.

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Odd...

It's a bit odd to have a business-class device with Xbox 360 and Bittorrent support...

...though full marks for the screenshot illegally downloading TV episodes \o/ Genius :D

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Heart

Lol Ringtone

Lol It comes with it's own ringtone.

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Boffin

ECC RAM?

Missing from the review. Does it have ECC RAM?

This is particularly important if you are running RAID-5. Without it, a memory fault can corrupt your array. In the worst case it's a slow insidious process rather than sudden, and by the time you notice, your backups are also toasted.

The cheapest way I know is to build your own: use an AMD Phenom, a Motherboard that supports ECC (ASUS mostly do), ECC RAM, 4 to 6 SATA disks, and Linux Software RAID. Intel doesn't support ECC except on expensive Server and expensive top-end Workstation products.

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Does anyone sell a NAS that can do this...

RAID mirroring is all well and good, but I'm also concerned about putting all my eggs in one basket WRT the device being stolen or fire damaged. Ideally I'd like to be able to buy two identical single-drive NAS units and set them up so that one is the slave/copy of the other. Whatever I copy to the master gets copied over the network to the other one (ideally using intelligence to wait until I appear to have finished copying to the master before the master starts sending to the slave). OK, so it won't be realtime, but it'll be more than good enough for most scenarios. That way I can put one backup drive in the study and the slave drive somewhere more secure or obscure in the house, in the loft or something.

Does anyone do something like this?

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Alert

RAID misgivings

Quote: "Configured in Raid 10 [...] two drives can fail and still no data loss."

Caveat: but not just ANY two drives; in case of failure of both HDs in the same set, your data is toast.

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@Andy Turner re. Does anyone......

Synology and QNAP NAS boxes have a facility where the entire NAS drive contents are automatically copied onto either a connected USB drive or over a network to another of their NAS drive products. The idea being (obviously) that you can quickly get up and running again if one fails (or is stolen).

This may work out well for you, but then again why not just hide a RAID-1 NAS box in the loft or somewhere else anyway. All you need is a low power mains supply and a network cable. If you use the mains-ethernet kit (e.g Solwise, Devolo, etc) then all you need is a mains supply to it and you have a hidden NAS drive.

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Re: Does anyone sell a NAS that can do this...

Yes, QNAP NAS boxes support remote replication over LAN or WAN.

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Happy

Remote replication

FYI, Openfiler Linux NAS app supports high availability/real-time replication. One machine downstairs, one machine in the garage over Wifi or something. Bish bash bosh.

Or just set up an rSync job, which, oh, Openfiler supports too. As does the ReadyNAS.

Back to the ReadyNAS, I take it back on the speed, I'm getting 35MByte/sec over GbE CIFS - but 75MByte/sec over FTP. See screenshot. Have blurred out the file names [works box, natch] but left the capacities/speeds showing.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v713/Beany2004/fastedit.png

Silly quick, might try teaming the LAN sockets to see if it gets any quicker...

Steven R

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Gates Horns

@ Cameron, Andy, Steve & Nigel

@ Cameron Colley: the TeraStation III, like most Nas boxes I've tested, doesn't come with any Linux software on the CD (probably something to do with that tiny desktop market share Linux has). Linux file shares are supported via NFS on the TeraStation III though.

@ Andy Turner: Many Nas boxes will do what you want. The Promise NS4600, recently reviewed on the Reg, calls it 'replication' and the TeraStation III calls it a 'distributed file system'.

@ Steven R: FTP is often very quick, but doesn't reflect how most users use a Nas (I think!)

@ Nigel 11: The TeraStation III doesn't have ECC Ram. When asked whether this will increase the likelihood of Raid 5 errors, Buffalo responds:

"Absolutely not, we use software RAID controllers to constantly synchronise and monitor the array when RAID 5 is enabled.

When configuring RAID 5, either on a server or a dedicated NAS product there is a lengthy synchronisation check that takes place to make sure everything is working correctly, you can even schedule this check to happen on our product every week if you so wish."

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Spin Alert!

Quote Buffalo:

"Absolutely not, we use software RAID controllers to constantly synchronise and monitor the array when RAID 5 is enabled.

"When configuring RAID 5, either on a server or a dedicated NAS product there is a lengthy synchronisation check that takes place to make sure everything is working correctly, you can even schedule this check to happen on our product every week if you so wish."

What does that actually mean? That they don't use ECC, but that you can check for inconsistent checksums a week after the corruption is irreversible? That's worthy of "Yes, minister"!

Or perhaps what they mean is, they use a hardware RAID controller, so that a RAM error in the memory attached to the network-facing CPU can't affect RAID-5 XOR calculations, but can only corrupt the data sent to and fro on the network without any sign of trouble. That's supposed to be better?

My question stands. Do they use ECC RAM -- for the network-facing CPU and even more critically, for the RAM built in to the RAID controller. No ECC, no warning that what was written into the RAM is not what came out, so one can suffer creeping corruption without any explicit hardware errors.

My own opinion of hardware RAID controllers is very jaundiced. I've had nothing but grief over the years from various Adaptec and 3Ware 4 or 8 disk offerings. Of course, past experience may not generalize to current products. Another nasty FAIL with such beasts -- if (when!) the controller dies, you may find that it is impossible to reconstruct the array by connecting the disks to a new controller (new model because the one you have is obsolete, or even same obsolete model with a new firmware revision). In contrast, with up-to-date Linux software RAID, you just attach the disks to a new motherboard and everything auto-assembles and works. Combine this with the advanced mdraid features like resizing and reshaping, and I'll go for Linux-based software RAID every time.

And don't get me started on fake RAID controllers - pathetic one-function chips that calculate XORs at a small fraction of the speed of the cheapest Athlon you can buy! They might have been a good idea when state-of-the-art was a 100MHz i486. They're snake oil today.

(Enterprise-class hardware RAID and NAS is a different kettle of fish - I'm flaming about NAS boxes that cost a couple of grand tops here.)

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What I wanna know....

So, does this latest Buffalo product have the same annoying file name/path length restriction as earlier products?

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Happy

6.3kg?

Its a NAS for schoolgirls....

The old 7 bay CD jukebox enclosure in which I intend to build my NAS weighs 14kg sans drives....pretty sure its bullet-proof.

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Is it still flawed?

The TS2's were fundamentally flawed in that they striped their own operating system to the drives. So if a drive failed then you needed to boot back into "safe mode" sans any patches you needed to get it to work on your network. Ive had *nothing* but trouble from our TS2 having corrupted OS following power outages (the drive have never failed) as you cannot get them to work properly on UPS's.

Personally I would go for a dedicated PC with linux software RAID on it (as a previous poster suggested) as they are far more flexible in a small office environment. If you are a home user then spend your money on a far cheaper raidsonic unit.

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