Business/E-Business
Commentary
6/24/2009
09:32 PM
Jake Widman
Jake Widman
Commentary
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Seagate And Western Digital Show Mac Shops Some Storage Love

Mac-based SMBs looking to beef up their storage capabilities will find some attractive choices in new announcements from Seagate and Western Digital.

Mac-based SMBs looking to beef up their storage capabilities will find some attractive choices in new announcements from Seagate and Western Digital.Seagate announced new portable and desktop external storage units ready for Mac use. The company's portable line is the FreeAgent Go series, and it announced a FreeAgent Go Drive for Mac, a Go Pro for Mac Drive, and a Go Dock+.

The drives come already formatted for Mac use and are "Time Machine-ready." Generally, reformatting a drive for Mac use is a straightforward procedure, but some users have reported difficulty with Seagate drives, enough so that Seagate has posted special instructions for Leopard users. In any case, having the drive preformatted for the Mac is an attractive feature for any SMB's IT personnel.

The FreeAgent Go models come in three sizes: 250 GB at a suggested price of $100; 320 GB for $120; and 500 GB for $150. This group features a USB 2.0 interface.

The FreeAgent Go Pro for Mac Drives add FireWire 800/400 interfaces for higher-speed data transfer, and use 7200 rpm disks for faster operation. (Most portable hard drives, including the non-Pro FreeAgents, have 5400 rpm platters.) They also come in three sizes: 250 GB for $130, 320 GB for $150, and 500GB for $190.

(Bargain hunters should get over to the Seagate site right away, as the company is selling last-generation FreeAgent Go drives with USB and Firewire interfaces for cheaper than the new USB-only models. You'll sacrifice the higher-speed disk inside, but you'll get the faster connection.)

Seagate also introduced a nice accessory in the FreeAgent Go Dock+. The Dock is a USB hub with a direct connection to the drive, providing a quick and easy way to plug in the FreeAgent Go as well as three additional USB ports.

On the desktop, the company added the FreeAgent Desk Drive for Mac 2TB. With two terabytes of storage and a Firewire connection, the drive costs $340.

Moving from the individual to the network: Western Digital announced a My Book World Edition II dual-drive NAS system. The drive comes with two drives configured for RAID 1 mirroring and backup software for Mac as well as Windows.

Besides the security features of automatic backup from one drive to another, the My Book World Edition II also incorporates Western Digital's MioNet remote access service. Users can retrieve data from the network-attached drive via any browser. According to the My Book's Quick Install guide, the unit will show up on a Mac network without any special configuration needed. In Leopard, you would find the drive in the Shared list; in Tiger, you would need to connect to it via the Network utility.

The My Book World Edition II costs $700 in the 4TB version (2x2TB drives) and $400 for the 2TB model.

Don't Miss: New SMB Storage Options From Seagate And Caringo

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