There's an area of the NAS landscape where the lines between consumer and corporate use are blurred. While high-end NAS arrays cost plenty of money, they also provide essential features like redundant power supplies and superior performance. At the lower end are the truly consumer-grade devices that might seem like they'll work in a corporate environment but fall short of meeting the essentials critical to infrastructures. They are, however, very cheap.
The blurry area is where you find low-cost NAS devices that offer performance and reliability features closer to those found on expensive arrays. The QNAP TS-859U-RP Turbo NAS is one of those examples, providing plenty of storage space with redundant power supplies in a rack-mount form factor at a low price: less than $3,000 with four 2TB hard drives.
[ Keep up with the latest approaches to managing information overload and staying compliant in InfoWorld's Enterprise Data Explosion newsletter. ]
There's nothing flashy about the physical characteristics of the box: It's a 2U rack-mount system with eight 3.5-inch hot-swap, lockable drive bays, a two-line LCD screen, and some activity lights. It can handle just about any SATA-based drive you want to throw at it, up to 2TB per drive. My test system was outfitted with eight 750GB Western Digital drives, which provided a usable capacity of 4.8GB formatted as a RAID5 array with no hot-spare configured.
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.