Thunderbolt technology is mostly a feature found on Apple devices, but not exclusively. It’s still one of the most versatile and fastest connections available for connecting peripheral devices and Stardom (RAIDON) is ready with their newest enclosure for this interface, the ST4-TB.
The two Thunderbolt 2 ports on ST4-TB features dual 20-Gbps channels not only allow for very fast file transfers but also has the feature to daisy-chain as many as six Thunderbolt devices to a single port. And since Thunderbolt is based on Display Port technology, Mini Display Port devices like Apple LED Cinema Display can plug right into it as well.
The ST4-TB is also portable and comes with a grip handle to take it with you on the go and it supports both RAID 0 and independent drive mode. In RAID 0 mode, the enclosed four drives will be striped and combined into one large volume for storage to enhance the data transfer speed performance. Under the Independent mode, the enclosed drives are seen as four separate volumes instead of one single volume.
The new ST4-TB can perform with up to 724MB/s while reading, which is quite impressive, and supports up to 8TB drives. The test results seen above were performed with an Apple Mac Pro 3.7GHz Quad-core Intel Xeon E5 with 12GB RAM running Mac 0S X 10.10, four HGST 8TB SATA III 7200 rpm drives and two Adata 64G SATA III SSDs.
Interfaces: Two Thunderbolt 2 ports (up to 20Gbps)
Compatible Drives: 4x 3.5-inch/2.5-inch SATA III HDD/SSD up to 8TB
In the NAS market, Thecus is one of the biggest names out there alongside QNAP and Synology and as we have seen in the past, the performance and features that they have to offer for the price are very well suited making them ideal for SOHO, SMB and enterprise users alike. Focusing today on the SOHO market, typical home users generally are in line to buy two and four bay systems for storing movies, music and photos on to share across their network to TVs, computers and wireless devices such as tablets.
Over the last year or so we have been seeing a slow migration by many vendors to produce products that are white in appearance to target the home user as they offer a cleaner and more conservative look to them that makes then more suited for a home environment rather than a black system that can look a little out-of-place or realistically – less stylish.
The N2560 that I’m having a look at today is one of the first white systems that Thecus have produced, the first being its little brother – the N2520 – and following its showing at CeBIT back in march, the storage giant has been making last-minute tweaks and adjustments to optimise its performance and functionality, in the process bringing the N2560 the line-up as well as the N2520. Over the previewed N2520, the N2560 offers up double the RAM with 2GB of DDR3 and a slightly faster Atom SoC, clocked to 1.6GHz over the N2520’s 1.2GHz chip.
Compared to Thecus’ over 2-bay solutions, the N2560 offers up a tool-free installation with drives that simply slide into the chassis and get closed in behind a simple front door making the unit far more user-friendly for the novice buyers out there. Supporting up to 4TB drives and offering the same host of functionality as any other Thecus system, this Atom based system is internally just like any other NAS that Thecus has to offer.
Thecus always offer a simple, to the point package, with all the bits you’ll need to get up and running. Alongside the usual array of paperwork including a warranty card, there is a UK IEC kettle lead and DC power inverter, a patch lead, two re-usable cable ties and in the instance of this unit, two sets of clip-on drive rails to give the unit its tool-free capability.
The storage markets are growing rapidly at the moment and this is certainly clear from the large number of home and small office users that are jumping onto the NAS bandwagon to increase their storage capacity to satisfy their needs. For some people though the prospect of setting up network devices is still either a daunting process or even more simply, too much hassle. Having a solution that is virtually plug and play is still the main choice of many users and as a result there is a market flooded by USB enclosures for both 2.5″ and 3.5″ drives.
Teratrend is a name that some may look at and turn away as its not recognised, but the sooner its realised that their a sub-brand of SilverStone – the same people of manufacture many great looking chassis and power supplies as well as coolers, the attention is soon brought back with the prospect of a high quality, well build unit.
As storage is not the main focus of SilverStone, the Teratrend brand was brought in to distinguish the new line of products a few years ago and since then we have seen a number of two and four bay options that take the effort out of storage expansion with say to use and simple devices that look good at the same time on any desk.
Like many other drive enclosures on the market, the contents are rather simple and alongside the enclosure itself we find a kettle lead, eSATA and USB3.0 data cables and a simple manual that outlines the RAID selection and drive installation process.