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Two Linux-based NAS devices reach market

Apr 5, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 14 views

Qnap Systems announced a four-drive, rackmountable network attached storage (NAS) “TS-412U” server supporting up to 12TB and aimed at the SMB and workgroup markets. In other Linux-based NAS news, Buffalo Systems started shipping its home-focused Pogoplug-based Cloudstor NAS device, which offers free cloud based-storage in addition to up to 2TB local capacity.

The TS-412U is essentially a rack-mounted version of Qnap's desktop TS-412 NAS, which was announced in early February along with the two-bay TS-212 and the single-drive TS-112. The TS-410 was announced with support for 2TB SATA hard disk drives (HDDs) in its four bays, for a total of 8TB. As of Apr. 1, however, the TS-412 joined the new rackmounted TS-412U in supporting 3TB drives for up to 12TB capacity.

Like the earlier model, the TS-412U provides swappable drive trays for 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch SATA drives. The server also supports RAID 0/1/5/6/5+ storage, says Qnap.

Qnap TS-412U
(Click to enlarge)

The two devices appear to be identical except for size, power consumption, and fan implementations. Like the TS-412, the TS-412U model uses a  Marvell 6281 clocked to 1.2GHz instead. This processor appears to be another version of the Marvell Kirkwood design, which also spun off the related Armada 300

TS-412U detail, front and back

Additional common features of the TS-412 and TS-412U include 256MB DDR2 memory, 16MB flash, dual gigabit Ethernet ports, and four USB 2.0 ports (one front-facing). The TS-412U offers dual eSATA ports for storage expansion, as well as LEDs, buttons, and an alarm buzzer, says Qnap.

For this rackmount system, the innards of the boxy TS-412 were transformed into the 19.0 x 17.0 x 1.73-inch design of the TS-412U. Power output is now increased to 250 Watts, and power consumption inches up to 29 Watts in operation to 15 Watts in sleep mode, says the company. The increase is likely due to the trio of "quiet cooling fans" compared to the TS-412's single fan.

The TS-412U also runs Qnap's Linux-based NAS firmware 3.3, which provides automatic backup of all computers on the network. The firmware also offers the ability to host websites and record home security surveillance video from IP cameras on the network, says Qnap. The firmware provides a UPnP-compliant media server, and can act as a standalone file server for BT/FTP/HTTP and eMule downloads, says the company.

The included TwonkyMedia UPnP server supports media players such as the Sony PS3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 gaming consoles, as well as HD media players compatible with NFS, says Qnap. In addition, Apple iPod/iPad/iPhone or Android devices can be used to stream music and video or view digital photos stored on the NAS via a Wi-Fi or 3G connection.

Buffalo ships CloudStor with free online storage

Buffalo Technology is now shipping its NAS device, which was announced in January. The two-bay, 4TB system is being offered with free online cloud storage, the company says.

Buffalo CloudStor
(Click to enlarge)

In June 2009, Buffalo, D-Link, LaCie, and Seagate announced they would launch  retail versions of Marvell's Linux-based 1.2GHz, five-Watt Plug Computer reference design. Earlier hardware licensees of the Plug Computer included Cloud Engines, whose Pogoplug went on to become arguably the most popular of the Plug Computer devices and was recently updated in a Wi-Fi-enabled Pogoplug Pro version.

Interested in the Pogoplug's cloud capabilities, Buffalo licensed the Pogoplug design and adopted it for the CloudStor. The CloudStor was said to be the first Pogoplug device with integrated hard disk drive storage, as opposed to the PogoPlug's attached USB-accessible storage. 

The CloudStor ships with two bays, and with either 1TB or 2TB of SATA storage, says Buffalo. The device is equipped with a gigabit Ethernet port, as well as a USB 2.0 port. The processor is not listed, but it would appear that the CloudStor uses the same 1.2GHz Marvell 88F6000 ("Kirkwood") system-on-chip (SoC) used by the Pogoplug Pro. A CloudStor Pro version charges $40 extra for an upgrade to a 1.6GHz processor, says Buffalo.

Like the Pogoplug, the CloudStor interacts with a cloud-based portal, which provides for remote web access to local storage. Users can access and share photos, videos, and music "with anyone, anywhere through the cloud," says Buffalo. The company is offering CloudStor users a free account at its own Pogoplug-based "" service.

No content actually resides in the cloud, thereby making CloudStor more secure, says Buffalo. Users own and store their files locally, and decide what they want to share. CloudStor is also said to be accessible via Pogoplug apps on mobile devices, as well as via Facebook and Twitter. (For more details, please see our earlier CloudStor coverage.)


The Qnap Systems TS-412U is available now. More information may be found at Qnap's TS-412U page.

The Buffalo CloudStor is available now for $150 for the 1TB version, $210 for the 2TB model, and $250 for the 2TB CloudStor Pro with the 1.6GHz upgrade. More information may be found at Buffalo's CloudStor page.

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