Looking for a (NAS?) Raid external storage unit - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 40 Old 12-19-2006, 06:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

I wonder if some of you could provide me with some advice:
I need to buy a data storage unit but I've failed to found what I'am looking for:
Here are my specs:
RAID5
slots for 4 sata disks of 750 gig each (500 gig would be ok too)
USB host to plug additional disks/printer (that's actually just nice to have, not really a concern for the time being)
gigabit ethernet connection
so far, it's quite easy!

the problem is that I'd like to connect the unit directly to my computer through USB, firewire or eSata.
And I can't find any!

I would eventually connect the drive over a network but not before a year.
my laptop has only 100 Mbits ethernet connection and I'd rather use USB or firewire until next year when I plan to change it and buy a HTPC.

I read on ehomeupgrade a post saying that the buffalo terastation can be plugged directly to the computer through a USB port but on buffalo's web site, nothing is said about that.
Also, I would the drive to be either dlna smb upnp compliant.
also I must say that I still need to investigate further the pros and the cons of these 3 standards.

I found bizzare that all single-disk (or some dual disks) external units support USB, firewire or network but not the quad disk units

Can anyone help please?

Cheers
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post #2 of 40 Old 12-19-2006, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hatbrox View Post

Hi all,

I wonder if some of you could provide me with some advice:
I need to buy a data storage unit but I've failed to found what I'am looking for:
Here are my specs:
RAID5
slots for 4 sata disks of 750 gig each (500 gig would be ok too)
USB host to plug additional disks/printer (that's actually just nice to have, not really a concern for the time being)
gigabit ethernet connection
so far, it's quite easy!

the problem is that I'd like to connect the unit directly to my computer through USB, firewire or eSata.
And I can't find any!

I would eventually connect the drive over a network but not before a year.
my laptop has only 100 Mbits ethernet connection and I'd rather use USB or firewire until next year when I plan to change it and buy a HTPC.

I read on ehomeupgrade a post saying that the buffalo terastation can be plugged directly to the computer through a USB port but on buffalo's web site, nothing is said about that.
Also, I would the drive to be either dlna smb upnp compliant.
also I must say that I still need to investigate further the pros and the cons of these 3 standards.

I found bizzare that all single-disk (or some dual disks) external units support USB, firewire or network but not the quad disk units

Can anyone help please?

Cheers


no such device. doesn't exist... Do you want a NAS or an external Drive array... Your not going to get both....

The closest thing to what you want is to use the PC as a file server and add an external drive case and a sata raid controller... This requires your PC be on and functional....

Sean
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post #3 of 40 Old 12-19-2006, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
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is this because of a technical challenge or because there is no customer for it?
I though a few people would be interested in home NAS system that could be accessed from both a USB and a network connector.
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post #4 of 40 Old 12-19-2006, 10:16 AM
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hatbrox, without going into too much details, a NAS works on file protocols to allow different operating systems to access the same data without any intimate knowledge of the underlying NAS file structure. A USB drive works more on a sector basis, similar to your local disks. If you intend to use the storage on the network, why not just do it from the beginning? If you don't want to set up a network, you simply use a network cable to connect your PC directly to the NAS.
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post #5 of 40 Old 12-19-2006, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm not convinced that the absence of USB/firewire is due to the fact the unit in a NAS device.
Many single-drive external NAS unit come with a USB flavor.
Example: Maxtor 300GB Shared Storage Hard Drive NAS.

I'd rather bet on the RAID feature. Maybe there is no controller that can handle both USB and RAID drives. Although I don't see an issue here. the RAID controller should be enable to tell the USB port how many drives are "logically" available.
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post #6 of 40 Old 12-19-2006, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hatbrox View Post

I'm not convinced that the absence of USB/firewire is due to the fact the unit in a NAS device.

Yes, of course there are ways in which a NAS act as a USB target device (if the NAS manufacturer chooses to do this), but the files you store from the USB interface will not be accessible from the network interface. The two access methods would need to be partitioned and thus your NAS capacity will be less what you've preallocated for USB.
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post #7 of 40 Old 12-19-2006, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I found a product that provide both ethernet (NAS) and USB connection:
thecus.
Their N5200 support USB (2 host and 1 client), eSATA (host, for extra capacity) and up to 5 internal sata disks and 6 RAID modes. not bad!
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post #8 of 40 Old 12-19-2006, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
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I also found this product: SANS DIGITAL MR5CT125
Drive Hard Drive: 5 x 500GB SATA II
Drive Interface: SATA I/SATA II
External I/O USB 2.0 , Firewire 800 and eSATA
RAID Levels 0, 1, 0+1, 3, 5, 6, JBOD
$2650, though!
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post #9 of 40 Old 12-27-2006, 04:37 AM - Thread Starter
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I finally found a very nice box:
it houses 5 sata drives, has buit-in RAID, and provide esata, firewire, usb connections!!!
I'm finally going to give the NAS, I'll put my HTPC behind the routeur to distribute content over the network.
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post #10 of 40 Old 12-27-2006, 04:38 AM - Thread Starter
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I finally found a very nice box:
it houses 5 sata drives, has buit-in RAID, and provide esata, firewire, usb connections!!!
I'm finally going to give up NAS, I'll put my HTPC behind the routeur to distribute content over the network.
http://www.nitroav.com/product/400/
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post #11 of 40 Old 12-27-2006, 08:49 AM
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You said you were looking for a NAS (network attached storage) device. I did not see where the box you decided on, has a network interface.
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post #12 of 40 Old 12-27-2006, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hatbrox View Post

I found a product that provide both ethernet (NAS) and USB connection:
thecus.
Their N5200 support USB (2 host and 1 client), eSATA (host, for extra capacity) and up to 5 internal sata disks and 6 RAID modes. not bad!

I have one of thest things and they claim it does a lot of things that actually don't work. It is fast but the firmware is currently garbage... The infrant a far better choice for features and stability...

Sean
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post #13 of 40 Old 12-27-2006, 08:33 PM
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Sean,
Do you also own the Infrant to be able to say that it's better, or are you just guessing? I ask because I am --->this<--- close to buying one myself. I like the eSata and the 4-port gigabit "router" to make things easy. Least not forget the option to hold 5 drives. 4 drives for a Raid5 setup just seems counter-intuitive to me.

If those 3 features work all by themselves, especially considering it's the exact same price as the infrant, then I can't see how the infrant is better.

Oh, and another thing.... according to this website:
http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/index...per&Itemid=153
it's the "FASTEST" NAS device available today.

So as an owner of this device, please tell me why I shouldn't buy one. is yours for sale? *smile*

Shannon W. Rawls ~ Motion Picture Producer & huge advocate of Digital Aquisition.
Cinema Hill Motion Picture Company ~ Shoot.Move.Communicate

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post #14 of 40 Old 12-27-2006, 09:13 PM
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$1000 for that device and it doesn't include disks!!!! I built my file server for $1400 including 5 250GB drives and a $700 12 bay 3U server case AND a 12 port SATA raid card... And I didn't skimp on the hardware either, today I could probably build it for under $1000(I built it a year ago). The most expensive piece was the case, but a good case is important.

Please shop around for different options.
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post #15 of 40 Old 12-28-2006, 12:45 AM
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$1000???
It's currently only $639 @ newegg. cheaper then an empty infrant.

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post #16 of 40 Old 12-28-2006, 06:36 AM
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I have seen a lot of NAS and for me this is the best

Wireless Network Storage (Gigabit EthernetQuad Drive)
Support 4 HDD SATA in all RIAD Format included RAID5

if you go in IOMEGA web site you can download manual in PDF format

if it is so expansive there is the 500GB with the same features(GIGABIT,WIRELESS,RAID)

Chhers
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post #17 of 40 Old 12-29-2006, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm giving up on an external NAS.
I'll set up my HTPC as my NAS server. It'll give me more flexibility over the different standards. Since the HTPC box will be quite small, I'll have the storage set up externally.
the Norco DS-1220 12-Bay Dual SATA PM Enclosure ($800) is currenlty my best option but I'm still fishing around and reading reviews.

> sean_w_smith
Yeah I realized that, I saw a guy from Germany who got really pissed off with this box.

It's quite challenging to find a product, it already took me 20 hours surfing the web. I keep changing mind as I read reviews, forums, articles... Quite interesting! I really thought I could buy a box, plug it and enjoy. But I feel I'm going to end up building my system myself, piece after piece, just because I can't compromise!
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post #18 of 40 Old 12-29-2006, 10:56 AM
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hatbrox, why not just go for the Thecus N5200? it does EVERYTHING you want.

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post #19 of 40 Old 12-30-2006, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Nah, the thecus is nice on paper, but it's too slow (especially on RAID 5). And I read it's too noisy.
Some users also reports problems with Maxtor drives.
I haven't found any good reviews yet! So I definitely give up on thecus.
I found good stuff out there, especially unit with triple interface (USB, Firewire and esata)
I finally was very keen with the esata port, but none of them support esata II yet although they often have an internal sata II controller. Quite weird.

As I said, the Norco DS-1220 12-Bay Dual SATA PM Enclosure is my favourite unit so far. And it's damn fast when stippring over the 2 internal SATA controllers. But it's not distributed in my country yet. So I'm still thinking!
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post #20 of 40 Old 12-30-2006, 08:03 PM
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The Norco is not a NAS. It is just a drive enclosure.
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post #21 of 40 Old 01-01-2007, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
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I know, as I said earlier, I'm giving up on external NAS. I'll use my HTPC as my upnp server to broadcast movies in my other room.
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post #22 of 40 Old 01-01-2007, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shannonrawls View Post

Sean,
Do you also own the Infrant to be able to say that it's better, or are you just guessing? I ask because I am --->this<--- close to buying one myself. I like the eSata and the 4-port gigabit "router" to make things easy. Least not forget the option to hold 5 drives. 4 drives for a Raid5 setup just seems counter-intuitive to me.

If those 3 features work all by themselves, especially considering it's the exact same price as the infrant, then I can't see how the infrant is better.

Oh, and another thing.... according to this website:
http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/index...per&Itemid=153
it's the "FASTEST" NAS device available today.

So as an owner of this device, please tell me why I shouldn't buy one. is yours for sale? *smile*


I own a Buffalo Terastation, A Infrant ReadyNAS X6 and a Thecus N5200....

All the fancy stuff the thecus claims to do is pretty much null and void because most of it doesn't work. The infrant software is at least 10x better. Everything works and has worked since Day1. Not 1 reboot in a year with the infrant... The thecus is fast though. Gig switch is ~$25. Toms hardware said depsite the speed buy the infrant and they were right. Yoda gives great support. Thecus support won't return phone calls or emails.... Totally useless...

I would trade for NV+ in a hearbeat....

Sean
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post #23 of 40 Old 01-01-2007, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walter.ciacci View Post

I have seen a lot of NAS and for me this is the best

Wireless Network Storage (Gigabit EthernetQuad Drive)
Support 4 HDD SATA in all RIAD Format included RAID5

if you go in IOMEGA web site you can download manual in PDF format

if it is so expansive there is the 500GB with the same features(GIGABIT,WIRELESS,RAID)

Chhers
Walter


What makes the Imega better than the competition which does all those things and more...

Buffalo and Infrant make solid products. So far we have seen no reviews on this gadget. Any pointers would be appreciated...

Sean
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post #24 of 40 Old 01-01-2007, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hatbrox View Post

Nah, the thecus is nice on paper, but it's too slow (especially on RAID 5). And I read it's too noisy.
Some users also reports problems with Maxtor drives.
I haven't found any good reviews yet! So I definitely give up on thecus.
I found good stuff out there, especially unit with triple interface (USB, Firewire and esata)
I finally was very keen with the esata port, but none of them support esata II yet although they often have an internal sata II controller. Quite weird.

As I said, the Norco DS-1220 12-Bay Dual SATA PM Enclosure is my favourite unit so far. And it's damn fast when stippring over the 2 internal SATA controllers. But it's not distributed in my country yet. So I'm still thinking!

Can you point me to some benchmarks on this thing. Toms Hardware tested the thecus and its the fastest thing going at the moment and I haven't seen anyone claim otherwise. Whether it will stay up for a while and whether most of the features work is a different issue...
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post #25 of 40 Old 01-01-2007, 11:36 PM
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It's kinda like trashing Mercedes Benz because the fancy heated seats feature doesn't get hot enough, so instead you give praise and encourage people to buy a Honda instead because their winshield wipers work just fine. And get this....Honda costs more! lol

OK, so let's forget the fancy stuff Thecus claims to do, because as far as I can tell, the Infrant could never do any of it anyhow. Let's talk about basic operation and intended use of the item.....

Nobody is claiming the Thecus is "bad" or "crashing" or anything like that. If it wasn't booting up then that's one thing....... but if it fulfils the basic neccessity of serving your data from it's internal hard drives, and it serves it FASTER then the competition...the i'm lost as to what can be so wrong.

These are just hard drive boxes. It's not like we're surfing the web and checking email with them. Just serve my media files to my TV's and I'm good. What it's REQUIRED to do, it seems to do better then the others (protocols & connections), holds more then the others (5 drives) and delivers it faster then the others (both read & write). OK, so the SNAPSHOT feature is not all what it's cracked up to be...but so what.

Maybe I guess it depends on your intended use. If you are needing this for data type files for day to day computing needs then maybe you do in fact need the web user interface to be a bit more prettier and for the 'extra' features it claims to do to work better (even though none of the competition offers it). But for people who need it for nothing other then storing & serving media files (Music, Photos & Video especially multizone HD Video) to a media player or HTPC then I cannot see how the Thecus is not the best choice considering the lower price, connectivity options, 5-drive capacity & higher serving speeds.

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post #26 of 40 Old 01-02-2007, 11:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shannonrawls View Post

It's kinda like trashing Mercedes Benz because the fancy heated seats feature doesn't get hot enough, so instead you give praise and encourage people to buy a Honda instead because their winshield wipers work just fine. And get this....Honda costs more! lol

Your analogy is wrong. The infrant is an MB S class. The thecus is a honda with a thousand HP motor in it. Sure it goes fast but the MB does everything else better...

Quote:
OK, so let's forget the fancy stuff Thecus claims to do, because as far as I can tell, the Infrant could never do any of it anyhow. Let's talk about basic operation and intended use of the item.....

Actually the infrant does far more useful stuff correctly than thecus currently can:

UPNP - Check
Slim Server and Roku Support - Check
iTunes Support - Check
Mail Notifications that work - Check
SNMP Notifications that work - Check
UPS Managment that works - Check
Snapshot Capability - Check
Power Down Support - Check
Good Backup Client Support - Check
Recycle Bin Capability - Check

These BASIC functions that infrant does well aren't supported or don't even work on the Thecus. They claimed to have Snapshot and Power Management and they removed it from the latest firmware it was so bad.... How they decided to do that when the mail notificaiton is useless and there is no SNMP support...


The thecus does none of these things. I'm sure other infrant owners can chime in on what else they like... Bottom line here the infrant has dozens more features than the N5200. Sure the idea of 5 drives excites me... but the fancy new raid modes... no, having a cold spare is a nice idea... One of these days I will get up the balls to find out if it works...

Quote:
Nobody is claiming the Thecus is "bad" or "crashing" or anything like that. If it wasn't booting up then that's one thing....... but if it fulfils the basic neccessity of serving your data from it's internal hard drives, and it serves it FASTER then the competition...the i'm lost as to what can be so wrong.

If you go read the thecus forum which is suprinsgly slow you will find people with data corruption issues. A lot of people myself included have the thing reboot for no apparent reason (The infrant has NEVER once crashed in over 1 year of use). Oh then there are the file deletion issues with the thecus. Sometimes I delte files and they claim they are deleted and you go back on another machine and they are still there. Delete from the same machine again. same problem... try another machine they might actually remove they might not...

and then there is the support.

Non Existant. I have both called and emailed support. 0 replies... With infrtant , Yodah is always helping people out whether by phone, email, this forum or theirs...


Bottom Line:

I own them all and have tested and them and Toms hardware reached the same conclusion. The infrant is king at the moment. The thecus has potential but the
software quality and feature set is poor... So why did I buy one. I was suckered in by the speed and said "It can't really be that bad".... Well yes it is.... and there has been no new firmware in almost 2 months...

Curious which if either of these do you own and have used extensively?

The thecus may sound like a ferrari on paper but its really a 1000 HP Honda... I'll take the S-Class any day...

Some links other might find useful:

Toms Hardware review of the N5200:
http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/content/view/29616/75/

Infrants Support Forums: (Very active)
http://www.infrant.com/forum

Thecus User Group (unofficial, barely has a pulse)
http://thecususergroup.proboards106.com/index.cgi

Thecus Forum (Official, DEAD!)
http://forum.thecus.net/phpBB2/

You can read this thread where some other owners of both chime in and say the Infrant is a better box...
http://thecususergroup.proboards106....ead=1153541166

Its all about the software... be interesting to see how iomegas new device fairs. I still recommend the terastation for the super budget conscious. it works better than the N5200 and its dirt cheap....


Sean
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post #27 of 40 Old 01-02-2007, 11:34 PM
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Well there you have it.

I don't own any of them, but I needed an in-depth (owners) review from someone who can explain it better then just "it sucks".

I ordered one, but i'll promptly return it to newegg if it gives me any sign of data corruption or rebooting.

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post #28 of 40 Old 01-02-2007, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shannonrawls View Post

Well there you have it.

I don't own any of them, but I needed an in-depth (owners) review from someone who can explain it better then just "it sucks".

I ordered one, but i'll promptly return it to newegg if it gives me any sign of data corruption or rebooting.


I waited patiently hoping for the best when I should have returned it... good luck.. hopefully some of those links will help you out....

Sean
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post #29 of 40 Old 01-03-2007, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by shannonrawls View Post

but if it fulfils the basic neccessity of serving your data from it's internal hard drives, and it serves it FASTER then the competition...the i'm lost as to what can be so wrong.

A stream of compressed HD video is only 2.5 megabytes per second - not even 1/20th of the sustained read speed of a modern hard drive. You don't need speed to serve up video streams. You need speed to organize your media collection.

My Linux media server does sustained transfers over gigabit Ethernet at 340-360 megabits per second, and the limiting factor there is the fact that I don't use jumbo frames, not the hard drives.
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post #30 of 40 Old 01-03-2007, 11:47 AM
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jhue,
sounds good on paper, but apparently streaming multiple streams of 20m/b WMVHD or MPEG2 to multiple locations at the same time is a bit taxing on everything including the drive.

But it's not hard disk drives we're talking about here. We are talking about the NAS device that delivers the information.....

And even still, what difference does it make whether its the stream or like you said, the collection itself. The NAS device still needs to be as fast as possible. Thecus is the fastest, but if like Sean said, then the speed is overwhelmed by the buggy firmware, the it may not be the answer right now. The Infrant is the 2nd fastest and there are others in between. Terastation apparently is the slowest of the bunch, and some people are reporting it has problems sending just ONE stream of 20megabit HD, so forget about 2 or 3.

I have quite a few locations to serve @ my house and 3 streams of HD is highly probable dring many times of the week. That's why speed was important to me.

Shannon W. Rawls ~ Motion Picture Producer & huge advocate of Digital Aquisition.
Cinema Hill Motion Picture Company ~ Shoot.Move.Communicate

- Please don't bootleg
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