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Seagate Business Storage 2 Bay NAS Review Dicussion

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#1 Brian

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 01:32 PM

Seagate's Business Storage 2-bay NAS is designed for SOHO users and prosumers who require the ability to back-up and centralize storage. The Business Storage 2 bay NAS builds on Seagate's previous generation BlackArmor NAS technology while adding new connectivity features including USB 3.0, an additional Ethernet port, and a universal storage module (USM) slot. Seagate Business Storage 2 Bay NAS Review

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#2 DarkStalkerJ

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 10:11 AM

Long-time watcher of StorageReview, but I registered just to be able to comment on this review.

 

An excellent review, though your testing seems a bit high-end for the likely intended usage.  I'd bet the majority of the target users for this SOHO device won't have a backbone that supports iSCSI or even dual-port aggregation.  As you point out, 2-10 users in a casual / small office setting or for home use seems a likely audience.  Such an audience would be much more likely to have an entry-level GbE switch as opposed to a managed backbone that costs 10x more.

 

To that point, I've used the entire line of BlackArmor devices, and there are three critical issues common to them that seem to be repeated with the replacement Business Storage line... none of which are mentioned in the review, but they may not impact everyone so I'm not sure they necessarily bear mentioning up-front.

 

1) Performance.

You obtained okay numbers in your testbed, but as summarized above, I doubt you'd see that infrastructure in the wild.  I'd suggest you at least pair it with testing results from a cheapo GbE switch using a single LAN plug and simple Windows file sharing / disk mapping.  Unless the BS line has markedly improved from the BA line, you'll see performance on the order of 15 MB/s read, 10 MB/s write.  Horrendous for anything but backups, really, which is all I use my BA boxes for.  Also, I recognize that there's a massive disparity of price points and target audience, but I get 110 MB/s--TEN TIMES the performance--from my Synology boxes, and 50-70 MB/s from my Drobos.  And that's on a cost-conscious backbone of entry-level GbE switches using one LAN port per device and simple, iSCSI-less file sharing in Windows.  There's no comparison at all.

 

2)  Compatibility.  

Massively overpriced with disks, the BA and BS line are very reasonable when purchased diskless.  I've used Buffalo, Seagate, Synology, and Drobo NAS boxes in small-business and personal settings, and diskless BA/BS boxes are far and away the cheapest way really of adding reliable (but not fast!) NAS storage in such contexts.  But these NAS boxes only support Seagate disks.  True, this is a Seagate device, but it seems as though someone had to intentionally code a rejection routine into the firmware, which is just kind of an obnoxious move.  In addition, some of the compatibility notes for "certified drives" listed for the BA line are flat-out falsified--the diskless BA 400 will simply NOT work with the 1.5 TB desktop line of Seagate disks, period.

 

3)  Risk.

For those who know what they're doing, these are fairly easy boxes to deploy, and the web-based UI is second only to Synology's in my experience.  But it's easy, far too easy, to make a catastrophic mistake.  For example, if you set up a BA box using one LAN port, and then try to plug in a second LAN plug, it will not only not work, but it has a strong chance of corrupting the entire array, forcing you to not only lose all data and set everything up again, but in order to even begin to do so, you must eject each disk individually and reformat it using a separate computer.  Otherwise it won't set itself up.  

 

Now, much of my comments above are from my experience with the older BA boxes, but I'd like to know if those issues have been resolved with the replacement BS line.

 

Anyway, as always, I love seeing info on Storage Review.com so keep up the good work!


#3 Brian

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 10:39 AM

Thanks for the thoughtful response. I'll let Kevin comment on the testing bits since he runs the lab, but generally speaking we try to show best case scenario for performance, so you can compare this unit against other 2-bay NAS units we've reviewed or even something like the single drive My Cloud. I do see your point about showing lower end gear, we can think about that some. I do hear your points on pricing and Synology...Synology is definitely the standard we're thinking about when looking at all of these devices. 


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#4 Coeus

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 10:41 AM

Hi there,

 

I have a very specific question about RAID 1 volumes about the Business Storage 2-Bay NAS.

Considering the 8TB model, Can I have one volume of 1.7TB for example which is configured as mirrored on Disk1 and Disk2.
And remaining 2TB per disk is created as non-mirrored volumes?
Volume 1: 1.7TB, Mirrored on Disk 1 and Disk 2

Volume 2: 2TB, On Disk 1 only

Volume 3: 2TB, On Disk 2 only

Or once a volume is created with mirroring then all other volumes created will be mirrored as well?

 

So far I have been unable to get a response from seagate themselves and from their forum. Since you have one lying around in your lab may be you can do a little experiment.

 

Thanks alot.


Edited by Coeus, 13 November 2013 - 10:42 AM.

#5 Brian

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 12:37 PM

It might, that's pretty common in 4+ bay NAS systems. We'd have to power it on to see for sure, will try to accommodate you if we can find some time.


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#6 Coeus

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 11:09 AM

Thanks a lot! :) Looking forward to hear from you about the results.






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