Stand Alone Drive- Aug-17-2007

NetCom USA offers a line of external drive arrays primarily targeted to stand alone (DAS) host usages including video editing/processing, personal, and general data storage (archiving, database applications, etc.). Each of the arrays ships with a one year warranty and is delivered in somewhat of a mini-tower case (the smallest array is enclosed in a 5.11 x 4.75 x 11.58 inch case), and include multiple drives accessible from the host via eSATA connections. Windows XP/Vista, Mac OS X 10.4+, and Linux machines are all listed as supported.

Further similarities between the models include 7200 RPM SATA drives with an average latency of less than 8 ms and a cache size of 8 or 16 MB, depending on the size of the drives loaded. On that point, each of the three models themselves ship in three possible configurations; with a full complement of 250 GB, 500 GB, or 750 GB drives (the number of drives supported depends on the model, see below). A PCI, PCI-X, or PCIe eSATA card is provided with each system, as is a host cable.

On the low end of the drive models is the NR0-2, which supports up to 2 drives configured as RAID 0 or RAID 1 (the RAID levels for the NR0-2 and the NR0-5 are provided by the operating system). Throughput is listed at 140 MB/sec (typical) for RAID 0 configurations, and the array ships with a better than 60,000 hour MTBF rating.

Next in line are the NR0-5 arrays, which are packed with 5 drives also configurable as RAID 0 or 1 (again, provided by the operating system; the vendor notes that RAID 1 is available only for 4 disks). Throughput is listed at 230 MB/sec typical (RAID 0); with the MTBF increasing to better than 100,000 hours.

The newest entry in the product family is the NR5-4 arrays, which boast hardware-based RAID protection at levels of 0, 5, and 10. The NR5-4 includes 4 drives, lists a throughput of 105 MB/sec typical (RAID 0), and also has an MTBF rating of better than 100,000 hours. Network based remote monitoring with E-mail notification is also included for Windows based environments.

The NetCom USA arrays are available now. The NR0-2 is base priced at $709, the NR0-5 at $1,449, and the new NR5-4 has a starting price of $1,949. The vendor also notes that a 1U, 8-bay version of the NR5-4 is expected to be available by late September.

Enterprise IT Planet


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