WD has today added a couple of new models to its Sentinel line of business NAS servers; brace yourselves: These are beasts. The Sentinel models of old featured Intel’s Atom SoC under the hood, up to 4GB of RAM and came either in a “pedestal” or 1U form-factor. For the most part, the specs of these particular NASes weren’t too different from what we were used to.
Enter the Sentinel DS5100 and DS6100. To call either of these a “NAS” would be understating it, because plan and simple, these things are servers with a storage focus. Under the hood of either is an Intel Xeon server CPU (dual-core for the DS5100; quad for the DS6100), up to 16GB of RAM, between 4TB~16TB of storage, a spare drive for the OS, and a license of Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials.
Clearly, these are no ordinary NASes. These are designed for small or medium businesses that have a bit of a Windows focus, and plan to make good use of the power that their NAS provides. Both Sentinel models include support for certain cloud products, such as Microsoft’s Azure and Office 365, and are compatible with Apple’s Time Machine. Further, both include 4x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, dual gigabit Ethernet and iSCSI support.
Storage redundancy is important, but so is power. On the DS6100, a dual power option is available from the get-go; this can be added to the DS5100 after-the-fact.
Starting at $2,560 for the 4TB / DS5100 model, it’s clear that a product like this isn’t going to be for everyone, but for those who take full advantage of Windows Server and need far more power than what a regular NAS appliance can provide, these would prove to be an excellent solution.
The fact that there’s this much power and potential inside of a standard pedestal form-factor is rather mind-blowing to me. While others are putting Atom chips in their NASes, WD has gone ahead and put in a true server chip. And for those worried about heat: Don’t. WD assured us that much research went into the design of these latest Sentinels, so while it seems unbelievable to put a Xeon in a small box of a unit, heat and noise won’t be an issue.
Those wanting to pursue a Sentinel can do so at CDW, PC Connection, Insight and other partners shortly. WD itself won’t be selling these Sentinel models on its own website, but that might not be too much of a surprise given the target market.