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post #1 of 12 Old 03-21-2006, 07:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Anyone gotten hold of one of these advance units?

http://www.intel.com/design/servers/storage/ss4000-E/

They appear to be in the same price range as the Infrant ReadyNAS NV sub $600 reseller costing but has dual Gig-E plus a backup suite. Raid 10, 5 and 1. 2x USB Ports. Plus Intel generally has a 3 year warranty which is nice.

Big plus for me is remote boot function, that sounds like has much potential for PXE loading...

The true question is how fast is it compared to the Infrant, Buffalo, etc...
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post #2 of 12 Old 03-22-2006, 04:38 PM
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The cheapest I found it on Froogle was $610, with no disks. About the same as my favorite, the Infrant ReadyNAS. Also, I couldn't tell for sure but it doesn't look to by uPnP compatible which might be an issue with some media servers.

Don
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post #3 of 12 Old 03-29-2006, 08:49 PM
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They appear to be using the same processor (and probably a similar board) as the Thecus 4100s. If that's true, they don't compare favorably to the ReadyNAS units from Infrant performance wise (google for ReadyNAS Thecus review). Full disclosure: I am a ReadyNAS fan, and do have either other unit - I just compared specs.

-brendan
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post #4 of 12 Old 04-06-2006, 10:45 AM
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I picked up one of these units with high hopes. I had a ReadyNAS X6 and was disappointed with the performance using NFS (peaked around 12MB/s), so when I saw the SS4000-E I was excited that it might offer better performance.

I plan to do a full review, but the summary is that it's a poor performer. NFS transfers top out at around 9MB/s, and SMB tops out at around 15MB/s - barely worth having GigE at all, let alone 2 ports... Tests from an old G4 fileserver running OSX 10.3 yield numbers in the 30-40MB/s range.

The SS4000-E DOES include a upnp server, and a daap server (iTunes) that needs to be activated through the command line. On the upside, shell access is available, while it's not on the Infrant units. This means that you could potentially add additional software/servers/etc if you needed to run something specific.

One interesting thing is that the SS4000 seems to have an ability to act as an iSCSI target. I don't have an iSCSI initiator for OSX so I haven't tried that, but it looks like the functionality is related to their backup/recovery software function for windows machines...

The web interface is a little faster on the SS4000 than the X6, but it's MUCH more limited.

- Mike
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post #5 of 12 Old 04-27-2006, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T u r b o
I picked up one of these units with high hopes. I had a ReadyNAS X6 and was disappointed with the performance using NFS (peaked around 12MB/s), so when I saw the SS4000-E I was excited that it might offer better performance.

I plan to do a full review, but the summary is that it's a poor performer. NFS transfers top out at around 9MB/s, and SMB tops out at around 15MB/s - barely worth having GigE at all, let alone 2 ports... Tests from an old G4 fileserver running OSX 10.3 yield numbers in the 30-40MB/s range.

The SS4000-E DOES include a upnp server, and a daap server (iTunes) that needs to be activated through the command line. On the upside, shell access is available, while it's not on the Infrant units. This means that you could potentially add additional software/servers/etc if you needed to run something specific.

One interesting thing is that the SS4000 seems to have an ability to act as an iSCSI target. I don't have an iSCSI initiator for OSX so I haven't tried that, but it looks like the functionality is related to their backup/recovery software function for windows machines...

The web interface is a little faster on the SS4000 than the X6, but it's MUCH more limited.

- Mike
I wanted to jot a followup note, I picked up one of these also for testing, your numbers are stronger then what I was able to get on them, even when plugging a gige system directly into the unit, no switch. At best with 4 Seagate 7200.9 Raid 5 I see 11.7MB Reads and 4.7MB Writes.
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-30-2006, 03:08 AM
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i bought also a intel ss4000 and deploy it in a os x/windows network. now i wanted to use the NAS as an itunes server. turbo mentioned this shall be possible. is there any documentation for it? i found nothing via google or intel.
thanks christoph
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post #7 of 12 Old 04-30-2006, 07:37 PM
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Yes it's possible, you telnet into the box and start the service... After I tested the box, and saw how poor the transfer performance was, it got returned, and I didn't record the exact command used to start the service called daapd.

I didn't find it documented anywhere, it was just sitting there on the box when I was looking around. If you poke around in there for a few minutes you should discover it... If not, email me and I can help you nail it down.

- Mike
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-15-2006, 10:26 AM
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thanks for your answer. i tried to access the box with telnet but they ask for an login/password which is not the same as the web based login. is there a special one?

thanks again, christoph
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post #9 of 12 Old 05-16-2006, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pezenburg
thanks for your answer. i tried to access the box with telnet but they ask for an login/password which is not the same as the web based login. is there a special one?
in case you're still wondering on this one, you have to use "root" for the login name, although the password will be the same as what you use to configure it over the web interface with the "admin" login name.

cheers,
nathan
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-16-2006, 06:44 PM
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It's a shame intel still can't "get things right" when it comes to systems.

They are aiming this for home/soho users so they cripple it on purpose yet they price it at the high-end so it isn't affordable.

If they would just let us knowledgeable folks really use it the way we want, it could be as really great product.

This unit is the same as the Thecus hardware internally but Intel packaged it and added some software.

Some nice touches: the physical hard drive carriers are the same as in Intel servers, so if you already use Intel servers you can stock one common hard disk carrier.

Stupid things: Because of the ill-targeted consumer angle, the web gui is loaded with large fonts, fancy graphics ,and stupid photographs that eat up 75% of the screen area.

Hey, it's an admin screen and supposed to be eyecandy! I'd prefer a slimmer more functional GUI than having to click through multiple pages.

lots of little annoyances: If you set the NIC for DHCP client, you can't override just the DNS Name servers like you can on any PC NIC.

You can't DISABLE SMB file sharing and only enable FTP. For some situations, we would use this only for FTP file storage but without disabling SMB it is very insecure.

The most annoying: As a consumer product, they include a complete disk image backup/restore utility. They go out of their way to make it "friendly" by calling it "protecting your hard disk", but the implementation sucks.

You get one client license and then you have to buy additional software licenses for each additional PC you wish to backup. Assuming a typical home lan with 2 or 3 PCs, this raises the cost quite a bit. If Intel wants to target the home with an complete backup solution, they should have OEM'd enough licenses to at least make it usable.

Most stupid: The backup/restore utility requires a separate partition on the SS4000 to hold the backups and you must statically allocate storage for this when you first setup the unit. You cannot re-assign the storage without completly wiping out all data and reformatting, so if you choose wrong, it is very painful.

The unit uses firmware/software based on Linux licensed from Falconstor. Falconstor produces some good industrial strength NAS/SAN storage array software that is OEM'd by many companies and has a good reputation.

The strange thing is that Falconstor backup utility that Intel licensed and re-packaged with the unit is based on iSCSI technology. So in order to use the backup utility, you have to download and install the Microsoft iSCSI initiator driver (PC reboot required). The whole process sort of destroys Intel's goal of making this thing a consumer friendly device and of course that means you can't backup a Mac or any non modern Windows PC (no Win98).

Now, even worse, the backup utility does some hardcoded stuff under the table to mount the backup partition using iSCSI but you don't get any direct access.

So the unit actually has an iSCSI target driver included! But it is only activated surreptiously by the backup/restore utility and has an encrypted LUN password so you can't mount the LUN or access anything outside of the backup utility. Seems like they went out of their way to screw anyone that really wanted to use it.

Think of the potential: A sub $700 unit that has 4 user installable, hot-swap SATA drives that is actually a dual GigE, complete Iscsi IP SAN box - not just a home NAS box.

Too bad Intel thinks we are too stupid or unqualified to handle this feature and locks us out of using it.

I guess a good Linux hacker could get in from the telnet command line and install a 3rd party open source iSCSI target to do the same thing but that's a little more effort than I want to spend.
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post #11 of 12 Old 05-16-2006, 08:35 PM
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Geez, this sounds pretty painful. My AMD software raid-5 server wipes the floor with this thing. For a company who knows how to make fast CPU's (ok, well fast and hot cpu's), they sure screwed up here.

BTW, checkout the latest openfiler release, very cool, and very fast, all with simple web administration.

Poor intel, it seems like they can't get anything right these days.

Thanks,
mike
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post #12 of 12 Old 10-18-2006, 09:01 PM
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I just installed the latest firmware 1.2 and it looks like they killed telnet access... Anyone know of away around to get in?

Thanks.
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