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10/20/2005
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Smaller, Faster, Cheaper Storage

Small businesses in need of fast storage that doesn't take a bite out of their wallets or office space should check out NexonNAS 1000, a nifty little NAS.

Small businesses need storage too. As time has gone on, we've discovered that businesses of all sizes have increasing data requirements, and more recently increasing data retention requirements.

We took a look at the Nexon's NexonNAS 1000 in our Green Bay, WI RealWorld Labs, hooking it into our 10/100 network and utilizing it for full-copy backups and editing of actual files.

At 12x12x12 inches and 9 pounds, this is the little NAS that could. And does. Repeatedly.

The system was a dream to set up, providing a software tool that auto-detected the Nexon and determined both the version and what storage was available, the offered to let me set it up. Configuration is through the browser and for initial configuration the device DHCPs, but allows you to set all of the network settings. I tested just about everything, both in a workgroup and in an ADS domain.


Security options are easy to use and cover the breadth of most NAS solutions.
Click to Enlarge

The only issue I had with configuration was that NFS support on the version I tested was broken, I was not able to NFS mount the volumes I had shared under NFS, though from the same machine I was able to NFS mount more traditional NAS products.

I also pointed IOMeter at the NexonNAS 1000 to see how it fared in the performance department. While it is not a high-end system, it does not advertise itself as one. Through a single gigabit connection I was able to get nearly 400 Megabits per second in 32K sequential reads, and just under 80 Megabits per second in sequential writes. The "All types of access" specification that we use in the Green Bay Labs to determine the likely throughput in a high-volume real-world environment turned up at 65 Megabits per second when run with 20 simulated users.


Access from CIFS, NFS, and HTTP can be configured easily.
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The system uses SATA disks and offers RAID 0, 1, and 5. It does not appear to have any kind of cache, just based upon the read throughput that turned up in my testing. They claim to support CIFS and NFS, but as noted, NFS support seemed to be non-functional. The system is built on a 32 bit RISC chipset, and includes USB support for printers to be shared off of it also.

The NexonNAS 1000 supports security at the folder or volume level, and allows you to set each as public, internal username based, or using ADS for authentication. I ran some simple tests on all three types of access under both ADS and a Workgroup. With the workgroup, ADS authentication was not an option, but per-user authentication and globally open were both valid and worked as expected. In an ADS domain, all again behaved as expected, and it is particularly nice to have ADS deal with usernames and passwords in an SMB NAS device.


Viewing directories through the Nexon web-file interface.
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NexonNas 1000; Price: $999. Nexon, Tel (in UK): 017958 70008. www.thenexon.com/

Finally, the web folders feature is really nice. By granting permissions carefully, certain folders can be made available via web browser. Utilizing this functionality allows you to share files with remote offices without them having to mount drives on the Nexon. The only requirement is that the Nexon's IP address be accessible to them (even better if, the Nexon's host name be DNS-resolvable to them).

I wouldn't utilize the Nexon for editing pictures, but that was inherent in the "Single Gigabit connection" statement. For most general-purpose enterprise use the Nexon works just fine. And with 640 Gigabytes to 1 Terabyte of raw space in the box, the starting price of $999 is astounding. Just proof that storage is getting smaller, faster, and cheaper all at the same time. At that price it might even be advisable to those of us with larger home networks and a need for the space.

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