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.