PS4 Update Sneaks in Key New Features

While most people know that the new firmware update for PlayStation 4 allows gamers to remote play via Windows PC (but not Windows 7, sadly), Sony managed to sneak through a number of appealing new features that didn’t make the headlines, including support for 4TB external drives.

Thankfully, A reddit thread has emerged, detailing all the “tweaks” introduced by the update, from those advertised by Sony to ones discovered by PS4 owners during their own investigations:

Detailed Tweaks:

  1. User Scheduled/Created Events;
  2. Play Together button – easily invite people in your party to the same game;
  3. Friend online notifications can be turned on or off on a person to person basis;
  4. Appear offline;
  5. Remote play on PC/Mac;
  6. Dailymotion Live Support for streaming, etc;
  7. Teens (13-17) can now create their own accounts with limited access to play offline games, rather than having to use a sub-account;
  8. Easier to search for communities by text, language, time zone;
  9. You can now share OTHER people’s activities so your friend’s can see it too;
  10. Tweaks to messaging – you can see short replies to messages without jumping to a different screen;
  11. You can TAG other players when sharing video and screenshots (if you have your FB/Twitter permissions enabled, the tags will carry over to the sharing on those sites);
  12. You can check the status of PSN (this is a feature? just use the website…);
  13. USB music player is back;
  14. Improvements to PS+ (improvements to managing online storage and ability to see friends who play the same games as you).

Unannounced Tweaks:

  1. You can disable the screenshot on-screen notification (in Settings under Notifications) allowing you to take multiple screenshots in a row without the screenshot taken pop-up. The sound indicating the screenshot was taken still functions as normal;
  2. Life From PlayStation Improvements:
  • There’s a search field on the game list now. Previously you had to use the “global” search, that’d return matches for everything (pre-recorded, videos, screenshots) and not just live streams;
  • You can pin up to three games that will stay on the top of the list. I watch Bloodborne and DS2 streams all the time, now I don’t have to scroll down every time to find them;
  1. You can set a party member limit now. From 2-8 people;
  2. Issue with early PS4s and >2TB HDDs has (probably) been fixed.

Toshiba’s Read-intensive 2TB and 4TB PX04SL SSDs Now Shipping

Enterprises need a whole different set of hardware than we consumers do and Toshiba has a lot to offer in this area and among the available enterprise products is a whole list of solid state drives optimized for different kind of workloads. The newest in this category is the very read-intensive enterprise SAS SSD called the PX04SL that just began shipping as samples today. The Toshiba PX04SL series is optimized for read-intensive application workloads such as data warehousing, web servers, media streaming, and video on demand (VOD) services.

There are two main factors for enterprises when they pick the hardware to use. It has to work as good as possible in the intended usage scenario and it has to have a total cost of ownership that is as low as possible without compromising the needed performance. Toshiba’s PX04SL generation SAS SSDs offer both and come in both 2TB and 4TB capacity versions.

Thanks to the 12Gbps dual-port SAS interface and the used components, these PX04SL drives are able to deliver a sustained 4K random read performance of 270,000 IOPS and a sustained 64K sequential read performance up to 1900MB/s. This helps read-intensive application workloads achieve superior results and should prevent bottlenecks.

The Toshiba PX04SL is a 2.5-inch form factor drive, but it is 15mm high to make room for all the hardware inside. It is rated for up to 25 complete disk writes per day for a period of 5 years with 100% random workload, therefore be reliable for a long time. The series features a full power-loss-protection and end-to-end data protection that both help to keep every bit of your data correct, even in the case of power failures and other unforeseen circumstances.

The PX04SL SSDs also allow for customer-tunable power and performance optimization as well as self-encrypting and FIPS options. Everything an enterprise with respect for itself will want.

Feature Highlights

  • Impressive Read/Write Bandwidth and Random IOPS
  • Up to 4 TB Storage Capacity
  • Dual-Port 12.0 Gbit/s SAS Interface
  • 2.5-Inch Form-Factor, 15mm Z-Height
  • Up to 25 complete DWPD for 5 years with 100% Random Workload
  • Full Power-Loss-Protection and End-to-End Data Protection
  • Customer-Tunable Power and Performance Optimization
  • Self-Encrypting and FIPS Options

SanDisk Plans 6TB and 8TB Enterprise SSDs for 2016

While consumers have just been treated to some of the largest SSDs they’ve been able to buy yet in the Samsung 2TB 850 EVO/Pro, the enterprise segment is already looking beyond that. SanDisk is reportedly planning to launch their data center focused 6TB and 8TB SSDs sometime in 2016. These drives will likely be part of the Optimus Max series targetting 12Gb/s SAS connectors in a 2.5″ form factor. These drives will replace the 4TB models that have just recently launched.

At 6-8TB, SSDs will be closer than ever to matching their spinning disk cousins. HDDs currently top out at around 810TB, a bit over double what most SSDs top out at. While hard drives aren’t likely to stay still, capacity gains have been hard to come by, so 12TB may be where HDDS end up in 2016. An 8TB SDD would finally be able to reach more than 50% capacity of the top hard drives. Given that SSDs are already so much faster than hard drives, it makes sense to target capacity next.

It is important to note that 8TB SSDs are not exactly new. Other firms have demoed high capacity SSDs before, but this marks the first time a company with NAND fabs has reached this point. If SanDisk feels that NAND has reached a state where 8TB SSDs make sense on a large scale, the market and pricing is probably good. Hopefully, consumers will benefit from the advances and maybe some of you can get a 4TB SSD to go with your new Skylake-E/Zen and Pascal/Arctic Islands builds!

Thank you WCCFTech for providing us with this information 

WD Turns Their Blue Series Into SSHD Drives

Western Digital has a colourful range of hard drives which is kinda fitting right now with everyone turning their Facebook profile into a rainbow. We know the RED NAS drives very well from our review section and WD also has their Purple series for NVR, Black series for performance, Green series for the environment, and the Blue series that is kinda of the normal desktop series.

It has been a while since we’ve seen any new drives in the Blue series, but that has just changed as WD released the newest evolution of this drive series. The WD Blue series has turned into a SSHD series and gotten a NAND boost.

The new WD Blue series initially comes in two version, a 3.5-inch 4TB version (WD40E31X) and a 2.5-inch 1TB version (WD10J31X). Both of them have 64MB cache and 8GB MLC NAND.

The 4TB drive has a speed rating of 150MB/s while the 2.5-inch 1TB drive only performs up to 100MB/s. The NAND should however boost up the hot file access a lot and improve boot times as well as overall load times of frequently accessed data.

The two new WD Blue drives are expected to launch on July 2nd and come backed by a three-year limited warranty. As for the prices, the new WD Blue 4TB is currently listed starting from €189.90 and the 1TB is listed from €94.90.

WD My Cloud EX4100 4-Bay Expert Series 16TB NAS Review

Introduction


We ain’t all equally skilled when it comes to the configuration of network and storage devices nor is it everyone that has the same interest in that. Sometimes you just want to purchase something, enter your preferred name and password, and then be ready to rock.

WD’s My Cloud series is designed for just these scenarios and it comes equipped with drives and is pre-configured. All you need to do yourself is connect it, turn the power on, and set your password. Today I’m taking a closer look at the WD My Cloud EX4100 from the Expert series and will give it a good spin in the test area.

The MyCloud EX4100 it is a 4-bay NAS unit and in this case it comes pre-loaded with four 4TB WD RED drives. Other disk configurations are available if 16TB shouldn’t be the right match. You can get it from driveless all the way up to 24TB raw capacity.

You will need some power on the insides to handle what the EX4100 promises and it comes with a dual-core Marvell ARMADA 388 processor that clocks at 1.6GHz and 2GB DDR3 memory. This should be plenty, but if it shouldn’t be then the EX4100 also comes with three USB 3.0 ports allowing you to connect extra external storage.

Two gigabit Ethernet ports take care of the network traffic and they fully support both port trunking and link aggregation for failover redundancy and improved traffic capabilities.

A nice bonus for every device is the built-in display at the top of the unit. It allows you to quickly see what’s going on with your unit, its name, network details, and storage setup. It will also keep you updated on the progress when you changing major configurations such as the drive setup.

Just because the unit comes pre-equipped with four drives doesn’t mean that you can’t replace them with smaller, bigger, or just other ones if you want to – or in case you bought a driveless unit. The EX4100 supports hot-swapping and comes with easy-release front bays for quick access. Pop the slider and the drive will eject.

It comes as no surprise that WD used their own RED series of NAS drives in these units. They are built especially for NAS usage, so what better to pick. In this case, the unit is equipped with four of these 4TB drives. The WD RED series uses an IntelliPower RPM systems up to 5400 RPM and come with 64MB Cache.

The EX4100 doesn’t have any dedicated drive trays and is as such tool-less to upgrade. The drives are still firmly secured inside thanks to the large dividers. Not using drive caddies allows for a smaller and more narrow footprint, something anyone can appreciate.

The EX4100 supports RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 as well as JBOD and Spanning. While the RAID 0 to 60 modes are self-explanatory, how the terms JBOD and Spanning are used variates a bit, including Single disk. Essentially, JBOD and Spanning is the same thing but with a small difference. JBOD stands for Just a Bunch Of Disks, these can either be presented as single volumes or one large where they are used as extension for each other. Spanning, on the other hand, will create one large volume with all the drive space available and the drives don’t even need to be the same capacity.

JBOD stands for Just a Bunch Of Disks, these can either be presented as single volumes or one large where they are used as extension for each other. Spanning, on the other hand, will create one large volume with all the drive space available and the drives don’t even need to be the same capacity.

In the EX4100’s case, JBOD will result in four individual volumes and spanning will create one large volume without redundancy or performance improvements. As always, which mode i

As always, which mode you chose is down to your own needs. Whether you need a maximum amount of capacity, redundancy, performance improvements or a little of each.

Storage is just one side of the story, you also need to connect that storage somehow. The EX4100 comes with two Gigabit Ethernet ports that support both failover and port trunking.

The addition of a dual power supply system with a backup for emergency situations is awesome and something more NAS should feature. Any product can break for one reason or another and it should have a backup solution in case that happens.

The single and relative large 120mm fan helps to keep everything cool without creating too much noise. It only needs to rotate at low speeds to keep everything cool and operate optimally.

So far I’ve talked a lot about the hardware, but that’s just one side to the story. The software has to match with the right features, otherwise what would be the point.

It doesn’t matter if you want to connect to the WD MyCloud EX4100 from Windows, Linux, or your Mac OS based system, everything should be covered with Samba, Bonjour, and NFS3 support. The EX4100 also support VLAN, UPnP, iSCSI, SSH, and WebDAV and comes with an FTP server.

It is well suited to stream all your stored content to anything from smart devices to TVs and media players. Twonky’s UPnP media server, DLNA, and iTunes server are all present and it supports connection to devices such as WD TV Live, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows 8, connected TVs, Blu-ray players and digital picture frames.

Security is important everywhere and WD has that part covered too with features such as Active Directory support and 256-bit AES full volume encryption.

You can set up backup plans to local and remote locations as well as the same system, use Apple’s Time Machine, or use the cloud-based services Amazon and ElephantDrive. You can also sync drives with the attached USB 3.0 ports.

Security also involves power management and the EX4100 doesn’t just come with redundant PSU support, it can also control both network and USB connected UPS power backup devices.

Within the package you’ll find the NAS device with the drives inserted, a network cable, a power supply and, in this case two connector cables: one UK and one EU. There’s also a startup guide that will get you set up, even if you don’t know the darndest thing about NAS systems.

Remote access can not only be achieved through the web interface, you can also get both a desktop application and several mobile apps for your Android and iOS devices.

Other features such as a download server for both HTTP and P2P services, being IPv6 ready, supporting jumbo frames up to 9000 bytes, and SNMP for easy administrator management in larger environments are also all present.

If you’re concerned about the environment and having a device running all the time, then WD has you covered too. It features disk spin down when not need, which also will increase the drives lifespan, wake-on-LAN, automatic power recovery, and scheduled power on-off times.

The PCB has a simple build where only one side is utilized. The memory is soldered onto the board, so you can’t upgrade that, but that would also be kind of missing the target audience for a pre-setup unit.

We see that the memory used comes from SKhynix and the LAN ports are controlled by two Marvell 88E1512 chips. The USB 3.0 ports are controlled by a Renesas µPD720210 4-port hub controller.

Eurocom Launches Upgradeable M4 Ultraportable Laptop

If you’re in the market for a compact laptop that still packs a great display and enough power for even demanding usage scenarios, then you might want to take a closer look at the new Eurocom M4 ultraportable laptop with up to Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M graphics, intel Core i7-4940MX upgradeable processors, and a QHD+ 13.3-inch display with a resolution of 3200 x 1800 pixels.

The new Eurocom packs a lot of power but only weighs 2kg and measures just 330 x 227 x 31.9mm. As with all Eurocom models, you can customize just how much performance you need and want to pay for. The M4 now provides three levels of graphics cards to choose from, the GeForce 960M, 860M, and 765M. The new 960M might be the perfect choice for a system like this, providing a great performance at decreased power consumption.

The system is powered by Intel’s HM87 Chipset that can handle the full line of Intel’s 4th Gen Core i7 processors, including the Core i7-4940MX with four cores and eight threads, running at 3.1GHz. You can equip the system with up to 16GB DDR3-1866 memory via the two SO-DIMM slots and with up to 4TB storage capacity through one 9.5mm 2.5-inch and two mSATA storage bays, even the most demanding users needs should be covered.

The display is also customizable, not everyone want’s a QHD resolution on a 13-inch screen. Other options besides the 3200×1800 display is a 2560×1440 Quad HD matte display and a 1920×1080 Full HD matte display. Even with all that power at your disposal, the M4 can still give you a long battery time of 5 hours.

EUROCOM M4 VGA / GPU Graphics Options:

  • 2GB GDDR5; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M (N15P-GX-B); 640CUDA; GPU 1029MHz; VRAM 2500MHz; Maxwell GM107 28nm; on-board
  • 2GB DDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M (Kepler); 128-bit; 768 CUDA; GPU/VRAM Clock 850MHz/2000MHz; on-board
  • 2GB GDDR5; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M (N16P-GX-B); 640CUDA; GPU 1097MHz; VRAM 2500MHz; Maxwell GM107 28nm; on-board

EUROCOM M4 Processor / CPU Options:

  • 2.40 GHz (up to 3.40) Intel Mobile Core i7-4700MQ (Haswell); 4C/8T; 6MB L3; 22nm; FCPGA946; 47W; DDR3L-1600
  • 2.50 GHz (up to 3.5) Intel Mobile Core i7-4710MQ (Haswell); 4C/8T; 6MB L3; 22nm; FCPGA946; 47W; DDR3L-1600
  • 2.60 GHz (up to 3.20) Intel Mobile Core i5-4210M (Haswell); 2C/4T; 3MB L3; 22nm; FCPGA946; 37W; DDR3L-1600
  • 2.80 GHz (up to 3.80); Intel Mobile Core i7-4810MQ; 4C/8T; 6MB L3; 22nm; FCPGA946; 47W; DDR3L-1600
  • 2.90 GHz (up to 3.90); Intel Mobile Core i7-4910MQ; 4C/8T; 8MB L3; 22nm; FCPGA946; 47W; DDR3L-1600/1866
  • 3.00 GHz (up to 3.90) Intel Mobile EXTREME Core i7-4930MX (Haswell); 4C/8T; 8MB L3; 22nm; FCPGA946; 57W; DDR3L-1600/1866
  • 3.10 GHz (up to 4.00); Intel Mobile Core i7-4940MX Extreme; 4C/8T; 8MB L3; 22nm; FCPGA946; 57W; DDR3L-1600/1866

Western Digital Introduced the Purple NV 4TB and 6TB NVR HDDs

Western Digital introduced the new WD Purple NV hard disk, a purpose-built line of 3.5-inch high-capacity drives for the greater demands of scalable network video recorder (NVR) surveillance systems. The new Purple NV drives will be available as 4 TB and 6 TB hard drives to suit the ever growing need for video storage.

Compared with the standard WD Purple drives, the new member of the WD’s surveillance video recording family is designed for larger-scale network surveillance systems utilizing higher hard drive bay counts and greater numbers of attached cameras, which demand increased storage capacity and durability. The new drives’ high capacities also enable long video retention periods for analysis and reference.

“The global video surveillance market is expanding with the increased accessibility to easy-to-use systems for small businesses and municipalities,” said Matt Rutledge, senior vice president of HDD marketing at WD. “WD optimized the WD Purple NV line of hard drives for NVR digital surveillance systems to improve high-definition video playback for high-camera-count applications. NVR surveillance systems can produce incredible amounts of data which makes the WD Purple NV hard drives a perfect solution for NVR systems needing high quality recording and playback and high capacity storage.”

WD Purple NV is designed to withstand the demands of always-on digital NVR recording environments and at the same time it offers a low power consumption and many advanced performance features typically reserved for higher end surveillance storage. Among the features are the WD AllFrame technology that helps to reduce footage loss with a proprietary cache policy, the premium protection through tarnish-resistant components, and support for even the highest camera-count systems.

The new hard drives are covered by a three-year limited warranty and the drives will be available later this quarter, so before July sometime.

Inateck FD1006C USB 3.0 Lay-Flat Docking Station Review

Introduction


I’ve taken a look at many different drive docking solution lately and today it has become time to take a closer look at the Inateck FD1006C USB 3.0 Lay-Flat Docking Station. The FD1006C offers UASP support for maximum USB 3.0 transfers speeds as well as support for large capacity hard drives.

The FD1006C is designed to work with both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch SATA hard disk drives and solid state drives to offer speeds close to the theoretically 5Gb/s that the USB 3 bus has to offer. The serial USB protocol allows for more commands to be issued at the same time, resulting in an overall improvement of up to 70% compared to non-UASP systems.

The FD1006C comes with a top cover to protect the drive from unnecessary dust and other dirt, a great addition that protects your drive better especially if it stays in the enclosure for longer periods of time.

Due to the Plug and Play nature of USB, the enclosure is widely compatible with everything from Windows 2000 over Linux to Mac OS 9.1 and above. It also supports hot-swapping of the drives

While solid state drives easily will get enough power directly from the USB 3.0 connection, mechanical hard drives require more power. Inateck included a power adapter to make sure that enough and stable power is provided to the plugged in drive.

The use of a full-sized USB 3.0 connector on the drive further aids in stability and security. This bigger connector is a lot easier to handle and plug-in as well as being more sturdy than a micro type connector – and there is enough room on the FD1006C to use the full-sized B-type connector.

The tool-free design allows you to both easy and quickly add, remove and replace drives in the enclosure without the need for any tools or mounting screws.

Two LEDS will show when the device is powered and when the docked drive is being accessed. An ASmedia ASM1153E USB to SATA bridge chip takes care of the internal transfers between the two connections.

Silicon Power Scores Two iF Design 2015 Awards

SP/ Silicon Power is well known for their storage products and they are often wrapped in a gorgeous outside. SP has once again received one of the most influential and prestigious recognitions from iF Design Award 2015 for the Stream S06 3.5-inch external hard drive and the Mobile X31 USB 3.0 OTG flash drive.

The iF Design Award was founded in Germany in 1953 and has since become one of the most reputable and famous design awards all over the world. iF Design Award attracted 4,783 entries from 53 countries this year and SP was one of them.

The Stream S06 3.5-inch External Hard Drive is a 4TB USB 3.0 hard drive wrapped in an elegant look. The handle combines design with functionality and allows for easy carrying from place to place.

The Mobile X31 USB 3.0 OTG Flash Drive takes advantage of a micro-USB and a USB 3.0 connector in a compact form factor. The duality allows the use on both OTG enabled Android devices as well as an ordinary USB host like your PC. The SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface allows for those speedy transfers while the swivel cap design allows quick and easy use as well as protection.

Thanks to SiliconPower for providing us with this information

LaCie Announces the Rugged RAID Mobile Drive

LaCie has announced the new Rugged RAID mobile hard drive for the active person that needs that extra data safety. The bright orange drive features both a built-in Thunderbolt cable and an extra USB 3 connection for the ones without Thunderbolt ports on their systems.

The drive has 4TB capacity in total, but the available storage depends on the setup. It supports both RAID 1 and RAID 0, and it also comes with support for 256bit AES-encryption. Transfer speeds also depend on the configuration and the drive can achieve up to 240MB/s.

LaCie Rugged is resistant to shock, dust, and water: perfect for the outdoors. It is tested to withstand drops of up to 1.5 meters and 1 ton of pressure. It is IP 54–rated for superior resistance to dust and water splashing with the cap in place, even during operation. The backup software suite is compatibility with both Time Machine and Windows Backup.

The LaCie Rugged RAID will be available for an MSRP of $449.99 this quarter through both the LaCie Online Store and LaCie Resellers and the drive is backed by a 3-year warranty that can be extended.

Thanks to LaCie for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of LaCie

Seagate Unveiled New Personal Cloud NAS

Seagate has unveiled their newest NAS-like devices designed specific for Personal Cloud storage and backups. The Seagate Personal Cloud devices will come as one or two bay devices, where the two bay automatically mirrors the data for additional safety.

The software system is the thing that once again sets a device like this apart from other network connected storage devices. It is built up from the ground up for just this one usage scenario instead of just having it as a side option. It isn’t everyone that likes to trust their data to a free or commercial cloud provider, but they might still like the benefits that cloud storage brings along: Having access to your files no matter where you are. And the Seagate Personal Cloud looks perfect here.

Seagate’s Personal Cloud devices come with apps for iOS and Android and work well with Windows, Mac and Linux systems alike. It can store all your backups and sync with USB drives while connecting to your network wirelessly. Most NAS devices can do this by now, but it’s rarely we’ve seen such a comprehensive device compatibility list.

  • TVs and Blu-ray players: LG Smart TVs (2012 or later) and Samsung Smart TVs and Blu-ray players (2012 models or later with SmartHub)
  • Streaming media players: Roku, Google Chromecast, and Apple TV (via Apple AirPlay)
  • Smartphones: iPhone, Android
  • Tablets: iPad, Android, Kindle, Windows 8/RT
  • DLNA Streaming, including PS3 and newer and Xbox360 and newer.

For those comfortable with the public cloud offerings, Seagate Personal Cloud offers sync options with Amazon S3, Box, Baidu, DropBox, Google Drive, HiDrive, and Yandex.Disk. The devices also feature an app-store like dashboard with a variety of apps including WordPress, BitTorrent Sync, and ElephantDrive.

If this still isn’t enough, Seagate created a software development kit (SDK) for its app manager to enable 3rd party developers to create new and exciting use cases for Personal Cloud drives.

The Seagate Personal Cloud devices will be shipping to retailers this month, so you don’t have to wait long in this is something for you. The one bay version will be available with 3TB for $169.99, 4TB for 219.99 and 5TB capacity for $249.99. The two bay version will be made available with 4TB for $299.99 and 6TB for $379.99. There is also an 8TB 2-bay version, but that one didn’t have a price sticker at the time of writing.

Thanks to Seagate for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Seagate

Galaxy Enters the SSD Market on the SATA and PCI-Express Lane

Galaxy is most known for their absolute top-tier graphics cards, but now they’re starting to venture into other areas including the solid state market. The products are still aimed at gamers and they are preparing a default 2.5-inch SATA drive, but also a PCI-Express based solution with speeds up to 1600MB/s and a capacity of up to 4TB.

The cards, or rather the parts, are jointly developed with JMicron and feature a custom and optimized firmware directed at the kind of usage a gamer is likely have. The most interesting of the two is probably the HOF branded PCIe SSD featuring the Heracles JMF811 JMicron controller and a PCIe 2.0 interface (x4). As previously mentioned, it can reach speeds up to 1600 MB/s and will come in capacities of 1TB, 2TB and 4TB. The large amount of capacitors on the back of the card will help to flush all pending data in case of power loss.

There are still a lot of open questions regarding the card. We don’t know whether it will be AHCI or NVMe based nor if the card is passive or active cooled. The great looking casing might point towards an active cooling, simply due to the accumulated heat in such a module.

The 2.5-inch drive is slightly less spectacular with read and write speeds around the 550 / 460 marker and 32/26K IOPS respectively. But these are still great figures considering we’re dealing with a 128GB drive while a 256GB version also is said to become available.

That is all the information we have at the current time, but with CES in Las Vegas just around the corner, I’m sure more details will emerge very soon.

Thanks to TweakTown and MyDrivers for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of TweakTown

Seagate Announces Enterprise NAS HDDs up to 6TB

Seagate has just announced their new lineup of hard disk drives for Enterprise NAS environments. Where they’ve had the normal NAS series for a while, it’s now time to get the last gear in and bring out that extra performance needed on a bigger enterprise scale.

The new drives are optimized for up to 16 bays and come in up to 6TB capacity. The platter speed has gone up to 7200 RPM from the 5900 RPM in the consumer models. Seagate also offers these new drives as 2, 3, 4, and 5 TB models. But the 5 and 6TB are a first in this market segment as WD’s equivalent as RED Pro only go up to 4TB at the moment.

In the event of a failure, be it environmental, human error, or accident, the Enterprise NAS HDD is supported by Seagate’s optional Rescue Data Recovery plans, which provide end-to-end protection enabling industry-leading data recovery with more than a 90 percent success rate.

The new Seagate Enterprise NAS drives come with a 5-year warranty and have built-in RAID Rebuild technology for reduced downtime, Error Recovery Control for data accuracy and protection, and RV Sensor for detecting and compensating for vibrational disturbances.

Some shops already have the drives listed, but with 3-weeks or more on estimated arrival and with prices that seem very far fetched. Once an MSRP gets out, I’m sure the price will drop down to a normal level just as well as the mis-labeled current listing will be fixed. There seems to be a lot of mis-match between the Enterprise NAS and normal NAS models.

Thanks to Seagate for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Seagate

Seagate Introduce 4TB Enterprise HDD with Ethernet

Seagate introduced us to the concept of Kinetic Open Storage Platform back in 2013 for the first time, and now they’re presenting the first HDD for this system. The Seagate Kinetic 4TB hard drive is designed for cloud storage applications and has built-in ethernet abilities.

The object-based storage drive has a built-in operating system and direct ethernet connectivity thereby eliminating bottlenecks in software applications by direct connection as well as reducing the total cost of ownership by eliminating the need for legacy software and hardware.

Besides the built-in operating system, the Seagate Kinetic hard drive has 512MB RAM and 64MB cache as well as dual SGMII Ethernet 1Gb/s ports and of course an application processor. Seagate says this system can bring down the overall running costs as much as 50% for data-centres by eliminating the need for extra hardware and the power consumption that comes with that.

The Kinetic Open Storage Platform is backed by a lot of large providers such as AOL, HP, Digital Sense and many more. A really interesting concept that Seagate cooked up and one that incredible useful for our ever-growing need for storage. Live demonstrations took place this week at the OpenStack Summit in Paris.

Thanks to Seagate for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Seagate

 

Toshiba 3.5-Inch 7200 RPM Desktop Drives Now up to 5TB Models

Sometimes 3TB isn’t enough and sometimes 5400RPM or variable speeds aren’t what you need either, and for just that Toshiba has announced their latest release; the Toshiba Desktop 3.5-inch 7200RPM SATA3. The new hard disks are now available with capacities of 4TB and 5TB.

“Toshiba has been developing and manufacturing hard drives for more than 20 years,” said Maciek Brzeski, Vice President of Branded Storage Products, Toshiba Digital Products Division. “The time is right to upgrade our offerings not only to meet, but to get ahead of consumers’ expectations by expanding our offering of our internal 3.5″ hard drives to 4TB and 5TB sizes.”

The Toshiba desktop drives use proven technologies such as Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR), Native Command Queuing (NCQ), TMR Head Recording and Serial ATA DIPM that together will give you a solid drive with good performance and features such as Internal shock sensors.

Both the 4TB and 5TB models have a 128MB cache buffer and have an average seek time of 10.5ms. They are compatible with most major operating systems and are backed by a 3-year warranty.

The new Desktop 3.5-inch internal hard drives are available for purchase at select retailers and on toshiba.com. MSRP prices are set to $299.00 for the 4TB model and $399.00 for the 5TB model.

Thanks to Toshiba for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Toshiba

Silicon Power Unveils Latest 4TB USB3 External Hard Drive

SP/ Silicon Power unveiled their new-designed 3.5-inch USB 3.0 external hard drive, the Stream S06. Taking all aspects into consideration without compromising, the Stream S06 is build upon the USB 3.0 interface and with high capacities up to 4TB. The elegant look and exclusive handle design is the wonderful combination of beauty and functionality and allows for an easier carrying.

With a capacity of 4TB it can store up to 1.952 million high-resolution digital photos, 976 thousand songs or 1,760 hours Full-HD videos and with the USB 3.0 interface the transfer should be swift, may it be backup or storage. The Stream S06 features special-designed case that can be put upright or flat to perfectly fit in different space conditions. Equipped with ventilation holes, Stream S06 enables excellent energy-efficiency and great cooling effect.

To satisfy different users’ needs, the Stream S06 USB 3.0 external hard drive is available in three sizes, 2TB, 3TB and 4TB. All Silicon Power external hard drive products are backed by a 3-year warranty and come with the free download software SP Widget, which provides seven major backup and security tools and a 60-day trial version of NIS (Norton Internet Security). No word on pricing yet.

Stream S06 Product Features:

  • Extremely high storage capacity up to 4TB
  • SuperSpeed USB 3.0 compliant and backwards compatible with USB 2.0
  • Intelligent handle design, easy to carry and use
  • Special-designed case that can be put upright or flat
  • Exclusive ventilation holes, enabling incredible cooling effect
  • LED indicator, easier for users to recognize the transferring status
  • Power saving sleep mode
  • SP Widget free download software, providing 7 major back-up and security functions

 

Stream S06 Product Specifications:

  • Dimension:199 * 117.7 * 36.3 mm
  • Weight:770~876 g (by capacity)
  • Capacity:2TB、3TB、4TB
  • Material:Plastic
  • Color:Black
  • Interface:USB 3.0 / USB 2.0 compatible
  • Data transfer rates:Max. 5 Gbps (USB 3.0 Mode)
  • Power supply:DC12V
  • Supported operating systems:Windows 8.1/8/7/Vista/XP, Linux 2.6.31 or later, Mac OS 10.5 or later
  • Operating temperature:5℃~ 55℃
  • Storage temperature:-40℃~ 70℃
  • Warranty:3-year warranty

Thank you Silicon Power for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Silicon Power.

Seagate Desktop 3.5″ 4TB Solid State Hybrid Drive Review

Introduction


In today’s market, there are countless storage options out there for you to choose for your current system or for a new build that you are planning and in general we find one of two main options being selected for the primary boot drive – this being either a hard drive which offers up large storage capacities, or a solid state drive that mainly offers up the speed.  In the OEM sector, the operating system is typically installed on to a hard drive, whilst custom-built systems from the like of Overclockers UK and PC Specialist use either hard drives or the faster technology that a solid state drive has to offer based on the target audience and the price point.

When we look at where we can boost the performance of a system, be it a pre-built system that is already owned, or one that is in the process of being “spec’d” up, one of the key areas where performance can be gained is through the storage medium, but even in today’s market, the price per GB of storage that a SSD sees over that of a hard drive is still quite high. This premium for SSD performance can in some instances leave users with quite a dilemma; do you choose space or performance?  One option that many say you should go down is to buy a SSD for the boot drive and then a secondary hard drive for the volume, but although the price of entry-level solid state products is far more affordable than it was only a year or to back, by the time you take the price of a hard drive into account, the cost is still fairly expensive for some. Naturally the other logical route that many users see is to simply go down the mechanical drive route and sacrifice performance in favour of purchase cost and the larger volumes that are on offer.

There is a third option that still seems to be pushed to one side of the market, namely the hybrid drive. This type of drive which incorporates both solid state technology along with the volume of a spinning platter has been around for a couple of years now and even though there are a good selection of products on the market, there is this unspoken hesitation that a hybrid drive is not all that good and it is better to just cut your losses and get a SSD. The matter of fact is though that as the technology has matured, the performance benefit that can be seen from a SSHD over a straight forward mechanical drive is far greater than it used to be and the result is a drive which can offer faster read speeds and in turn giving the user a notable boost in the overall system performance – particularly when booting into Windows as an example.

Filtering through the specifications of the desktop SSHDs, we can see that all SKUs come with a 64MB cache on a SATAIII interface along with an average seek time as low as ~8.5ms. For the solid state portion of the drive we get 8GB of MLC type NAND and as a result we can see read speeds of up to 190MB/s on offer when accessing cached data (up to ~156MB/s directly from non-cached data.

Western Digital Sentinel DX4000 16TB RAID5 4-Bay NAS Review

Up to now we’ve been looking at network storage servers that come with no drives and are produced by a company other than a drive manufacturer. Western Digital are one of the best hard drive manufacturers our there in the market and their recent changes to their product line-up has not only made choosing the right drive for the job easier, but also a lot clearer. When it comes to network storage, WD has three types of drive that are geared for the job, Red, SE and RE. Red drives are still aimed for the home/SOHO user, whilst their enterprise SE and RE drives are optimised for the constant punishment that they will encounter 24×7.

Setting drives aside, WD has now come out with their own NAS solution, optimised for their own drives, in an all-in-one easy to use solution and so we get the Sentinel DX4000. The Sentinel is a first in a line of self designed NAS solutions that can be purchased with drives pre-installed in a variety of capacities, varying from a modest 2TB, right up to a whopping 16TB. Unlike other NAS solutions on the market, one of the main features that sets this system apart from the rest is the use of Windows Storage Server 2008 and a auto configuration process during the initial set-up that automatically builds the drives into a RAID5 array – the preferred choice for NAS solutions as this gives the best data security and will ensure no data is lost, should one drive fail during operation.

With this unit designed specifically for the SMB environment the use of WSS 2008 should allow for seamless integration through active directory and domain configuration and also for those that are at home with Windows, should make maintaining the system a bit more intuitive. With RAID automatically configured based on the number of drives installed, set-up should be easier as mentioned and knowing how well trusted and reliable Western Digital’s drives are in the NAS markets with multiple lines of drives targeted at this environment, there is good hope that the system has a lot to give.

All NAS’ come with a selection of cables to get you connected and running, this one being no exception. Alongside the user manual, the first thing we note are the two external power inverters, which as we will see on the next page, aid towards a more compact build of the main unit itself. Do note that on all other SKUs apart from the 16TB option, the DX4000 will only come with a single power adaptor, but as a top of the line model, the 16TB option includes both adaptors to allow for redundant power supply feeds. Also included are two sets of power cables for the UK and European markets and a single CAT5e cable. There is also a visible lack of screws that we traditionally see, but this is due to the tool free installation that the DX4000 adopts.