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Hardware Reviews
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Buffalo TeraStation Pro II Rackmount review

£1,182 inc VAT (4TB version)

Manufacturer: Buffalo Technology

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

The Buffalo TeraStation Pro II Rackmount comprises four disks, RAID, enjoys good management and okay software, and it all comes at a bargain price.

The Buffalo TeraStation Pro II Rackmount comprises four disks, RAID, enjoys good management and okay software, and it all comes at a bargain price.

What else does the Buffalo TeraStation Pro II Rackmount do? It integrates with Active Directory, supports Windows server 2003’s DFS, has two extra USB ports for adding storage, a built-in FTP server, and comes with Buffalo’s favourite backup utility, Memeo (which you can take but might leave - the licence covers only a single client anyway). Thankfully there are no silly gimmicks such as print server support. Any self-respecting network will have other hardware to do that job. This is a storage-and-backup device.

The first thing to say about the TeraStation Pro is that it’s pretty much plug in and go and to hell with redundancy on components such as PSUs and ethernet ports. If either of these elements of the server should need replacement, an engineer would probably need to visit the prize the box open. Ninety-nine percent of the time that won’t be an issue for the small business, but if resilience is important then that will mean paying a lot more for that last 1 percent of comfort.

It does support a UPS, however. Loading the client drive mapping utility (required to access the TeraStation), it took a call to Buffalo to work out what the mysterious ‘file security tool’ was for. It turns out to be necessary for Vista users using earlier TeraStation models. Security, otherwise, is a matter of the user policies pulled from Active Directory with file security provided as part of the Memeo backup software in the form of password protection and encryption. Security is one area to watch with any SAN, however.

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Buffalo TeraStation Pro II Rackmount Expert Verdict »

4TB NAS device
Ethernet - RJ45 Twisted-Pair (XBaseT), USB - Universal Serial Bus 1.0/1.1 interfaces
RAID levels: JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10, RAID 5
Gigabit Ethernet (1000 Mbps)
Cooling Fan, LCD Display
  • Build Quality: We give this item 7 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 8 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

This system offers a huge amount of storage for the money – up to 4TB per system at today’s capacities – and enough data and hardware redundancy to suit most users. We’d choose it every time over the more general-purpose PC-based SAN systems on offer. Performance is okay through the single Gigabit Ethernet port, and disk I/O was satisfactory. But fussing about details isn’t what the sub-£1,000 SAN is about. It’s about reforming storage, putting it into a grown-up rack and developing a rational policy towards backup, archiving and availability. Go beyond the usual obsession with storage and think what a SAN basic would would be like to set up, manage and use every day. It's one place to put everything but it's also one place for problems to occur.

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