back to article Seagate chances ARM with NAS boxes for the SOHO crowd

Small Office Home Office (that's SOHO to you) and SME NAS supplier Seagate, which also makes hard disk drives and SSDs, has launched a pair of ARM-based and Atom-based desktop 2- to 6-slot filers with a set of minor productivity apps and remote access. The Seagate NAS line is for use by up to 25 employees, has from two to four …

  1. samlebon2306

    And it still uses 1GBs Ethernet, limiting it to 100MB/s (200MB/s with NIC teaming) shared between 25 users or more.

    1. jason 7

      So thats...

      ...25 users pinging the odd 33KB word doc back and forth or 25 users streaming HD video 7 hours a day.

      Which seems the more realistic usage scenario in the average small business office?

      1. Jim 59

        Re: So thats...

        Which seems the more realistic usage scenario in the average small business office?

        25 users streaming HD video 7 hours a day. Boom Boom.

    2. Jim 59

      is powered by a Marvel ARM 1.2GHz processor and 512MB of RAM

      100MB/s ? If it gets more than 20 I will eat my hat. Bottleneck here is the wimpy CPU not the gigabit NIC.

      1. jason 7

        My old 400Mhz ARM QNAP...

        will give around 22MBps. Fine for a bit of backup and network storage for two persons.

        The recent small business QNAP with dual core Atom would push 100MBps over a single ethernet. Didn't get time to test it with both ethernet ports but it didn't seem to be breaking a sweat.

        1. Jim 59

          Re: My old 400Mhz ARM QNAP...

          Interesting. My Buffalo Linkstation live tops out at 15 megabytes a sec, despite being having a gigabit NIC. At this speed the ARM cpu is 100% utilized. In other words, it is only about twice as fast as fast ethernet, not 10 times. Impressive you get 22 megabytes/s out of 400 Mhz.

          1. jason 7

            Re: My old 400Mhz ARM QNAP...

            I tell a lie, I just actually checked and is a TS109-II with a 500MHz CPU and 256MB of ram. Not much different I guess.

            Buy yes it pushes around 20-22 MBps on a good day. THe HDD is one of those odd 1TB Samsungs that runs at 5900rpm rather than 5400rpm.

          2. Volker Hett

            Re: My old 400Mhz ARM QNAP...

            Hm, my ancient Iomega StorCenter iX2 gives me 20+ mb/s too

    3. ckm5

      Interesting, my Synology is significantly faster

      It tops out at about 60-70MB/s with 80% cpu load.

      This is on a Synology 413j, which is a 1.6Ghz Arm processor.

      1. jason 7

        Re: Interesting, my Synology is significantly faster

        Seems to tally up that you need 500MHz of CPU power to push around 20MBps. 1.6Ghz = 60+MBps.

  2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    My experiences with La Cie NASes have been universally horrific. Microsoft-licensing-class bad. I hope these Seagate-branded ones are done by a completely different team.

    1. phil dude

      hp microserver...

      I got at least 4 HP microservers (both us and uk) , they were very cheap ($150/150GBP) and had 4 bays, 6 if you do a bit of DIY.

      Since you are spending most $$ on the media, it seems perverse to spend much more than the cost of a drive on the hardware...

      Oh and running Linux+opencloud, does it a treat even for all my MD data...


      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: hp microserver...

        I don't mind the HP microservers, but I honestly prefer the WD Sentinels and Synology's stuff. (ioSafe, if you need a disaster-proof Synology. Now with 5 bays!)

        That said, I have a D-link 4-bay here that cost peanuts and has been a great little storage unit for years and years. Similarly, I have been unbelievably impressed with the Netgear 4-bay NAS I have. It's nice that there are options out there. :)

        1. Jan 0

          Re: hp microserver...

          Yes, but you can have zfs on the HP microserver.

          Can you on WD and Synology?

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: hp microserver...

            if you want to install a relevant OS on the WD system, or log onto the Synology via SSH and install the packages, then yes, absolutely. Is ZFS part of the standard OS offering, available through the UI provided by the vendor? No.

            But Synology units are Linux, and you can install a different version of Linux, Solaris or OpenIndianna on any x86 Synology or on the WD units, if you so choose.

          2. Down not across Silver badge

            Re: hp microserver...

            Yes, but you can have zfs on the HP microserver.

            Yes indeed, however its memory will need upgrading to get ZFS to work in any meaningful way.

            Which effectively raises its price (yes, I know it was different poster, not you who mentioned the price) from the 150 significantly especially since it would be sensible to carry on using ECC memory.

      2. Down not across Silver badge

        Re: hp microserver...

        The HP microservers are great. I particularly like the USB socket on the mobo allowing usb stick to be plugged in internally to be used for booting. The AMD Neo might not be a powerhouse but enough to run a fileserver (certainly FreeNAS runs without any issues).

    2. Sandtitz Silver badge


      The Seagate Blackarmor NAS series was utter garbage, Oracle-licensing-class bad!

      Seagate has access to cheaper hard drives than all other competitors (excluding WD), so they could compete with price, but probably they'll trust on brand recognition...

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: @Trevor

        Never played with a least, I don't think I have. Sad that they weren't good.

  3. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge


    My experience with NASes tells me that one with a Marvel ARM 1.2GHz processor and 512MB of RAM is vastly underpowered for even a network with one user. Marvell ARM 2.0GHz processor and 1GB of RAM is the bare minimum. A NAS with something like a Intel® Atom™ 2.13GHz Dual-core Processor & 3GB of RAM is about right.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: DOA

      Depends on your goal. If all you need is a backup target, then any old ARM NAS will do. It doesn't have to go fast, just be steady and reliable. That said, if your goal is to stream 1080p video while also handling some basic file work, yeah, those weedy ARM CPUs are not so great. I don't even know if there is an ARM CPU that can handle a proper NAS for 4K streaming.

      Multiple users? Start looking past ARM. Atoms at the very least, but some of the lower power Xeons are great if you want to support more than 25 users. That crappy old D-link is not a proper business NAS. But a higher end Synology or WD Sentinel can handle the task, no problem.

      1. petur

        Re: DOA

        Check out the new TS-x51 range of QNAP, it flies.... bye bye atom, hello celeron :)

        (targeted at home users and small businesses)

      2. ckm5

        Re: DOA

        I regularly stream 1080p from my Synology 413j and it's only a 1.6Ghz ARM w/512mb of RAM. It does this with some background office-type work and two computers backing up to it, all on a gig network.

        No transcoding, though, which would probably kill it. What will really slow it down is very heavy writes (> 30MB/s). I've been through a number of NASes over the years, and had some rack mount servers before that. The Synology is by far the quietest & most power efficient of these. It's also far easier to administer than previous systems.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: DOA

          Streaming an .mkv of 1080p and streaming an uncompressed blu-ray are two totally different things. I can just barely squeak by with a 720p .mkv and light office work on my 411j. But try to stream that .mkv and run a backup from my notebook? Pffffft.

          The 413j has a nice CPU - especially when compared to the 411j - but it's still pretty weedy for an SMB.

    2. swissrobin

      Re: DOA

      The Synology RS814 is a Marvel 1.3GHz CPU and it can sustain full gigabit bandwidth read/write to its drives. So I am not convinced your somewhat arbitrary assertion is correct.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: DOA

        1 gigabit is roughly 100 megabytes sustained.

        And the throughput you get as a nice big sequential read with 4K blocks and a queue depth of at least 8 is very different from a 50% random, 30% write 512b - 8k mxed block with a variable queue depth form 1 to 32. An 814 is absolutely not going to sustain 100 megabytes per second in the latter case. (Which, just by the by, best simulates my access patterns for having my profile and homefolders stored on the Synology while doing basic office work and streaming a blu-ray.)

        Access patterns matter.

  4. Stuart Halliday

    Goodness. My phone runs faster and has more RAM!

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Ok I'll bite, how much does it store?

  5. Truth4u

    "Marvel ARM 1.2GHz processor"


    I just bought a 4-bay NAS with a 1.7 ARM for about £100 new on eBay. So what is that, better in every way? Is this a gouging or is it a gouging?

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: "Marvel ARM 1.2GHz processor"

      What type of ARM processor?

      ARM have loads of different types of processors from fast single threaded to slower multi threaded designs.

  6. M7S

    "designed to perform well in /snip/ multi-dimensional environments"

    Clearly I'm missing something. Whilst I am sure (and as mentioned in comments above) there are plenty of devices that don't work well in multidimensional environments (as in the four that it is generally accepted we live and work in day to day), has anyone challenged the marketing droids about what this actually means?

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