When NAS appliances first began to get popular, it struck me as a little odd that hard drive vendors weren’t latching-on to the market too hard. While companies like Seagate and WD have had network-attached storage offerings over the years, the companies’ focus on NAS hasn’t been quite the same as it is for companies dedicated to the product – Synology, QNAP, Thecus, and so on.
Well, over the past two months, we saw WD release three new NASes, and one of them shakes things up: It’s offered without storage (a first from a hard drive vendor as far as I recall). That’s one change: Another is the building of some rather packed models for those who need a serious NAS.
Last month, WD updated its Sentinel business line of NASes with models that pack in Windows Server, a server CPU (dual or quad), ample amounts of RAM, and a pricetag that proves it’s not for the home user (about $2,200 for a 4TB model, at current check).
What about Seagate? Doesn’t it also want in on this important market segment? Yes, of course it does, and it proves it with a direct competitor to WD’s above-mentioned NAS, called “Seagate Business Storage“.
Like WD’s top-end Sentinel models, Seagate’s comes in a 4-bay flavor, and packs Windows Server 2012 under the hood. Also like WD’s, there is ample amounts of RAM (4GB). Where things begin to differ is with the CPU. While WD’s DS5100 utilizes a Xeon server CPU (E3-1220LV2, 2.3GHz dual-core), Seagate sticks to an Intel Atom SoC; dual-core, 2.13GHz (possibly similar to the one found in our reviewed Thecus N5550 from last fall).
Will that difference in CPU matter, or did Seagate drop the ball on equipping a server chip like WD? That’s a question we can’t quite answer, and won’t be able to answer since high-end business NASes like these aren’t our focus. What we do know is that Seagate’s offering is designed to support 50 users, so despite its modest SoC, it’s built to handle some abuse. Further, Seagate touts a throughput speed of 200MB/s in the best conditions.
On the front of Seagate’s Business Storage NAS are status LEDs and a power button at the bottom, along with a USB 3.0 port (another one can be found at the back, along with a 2.0). Up top, a bay for a dockable 2.5″ hard drive can be found (enclosure included) – a great touch.
Available soon, Seagate’s Business Storage NAS can be had in 8TB, 12TB, and 16TB options, with prices ranging from $1,599 (4TB; $600 below WD’s 4TB offering with Xeon CPU) to $1,999 (16TB).