Buffalo Technology TeraStation Pro Quad WSS review

Price when reviewed

Not content with an extensive range of Linux-powered NAS appliances, Buffalo Technology now moves firmly into Windows Storage Server 2008 (WSS2008) R2 territory. The family consists of four new models, and here we look at the TeraStation Pro Quad WSS.

The Quad WSS uses the same hardware as the TeraStation Pro: our review unit included four 1TB Samsung SATA II hot-swap drives. Buffalo also offers an 8TB version, but a diskless appliance isn’t available and replacement drives can only be bought from Buffalo. All the WSS appliances run WSS2008 R2 Workgroup, which has a few limitations over the Standard and Enterprise editions. The two that matter are the maximum of 25 user accounts and the lack of support for SIS (single instance storage), which provides file-level deduplication.

Buffalo includes Microsoft’s iSCSI Software Target 3.3, and target creation is wizard-assisted. You can also set up virtual disk snapshots for point-in-time backups and run them to daily, weekly or monthly schedules.

The appliance is preconfigured with the OS on a dual-drive mirror and a RAID5 data storage volume spread across all four drives. Installation is aided by NAS Navigator 2, which finds the appliance on the network and provides a share-mapping service.

You can manage the appliance locally by connecting a mouse and keyboard to the USB ports and a monitor to the front VGA port. However, this means the door will have to remain open; it’s easier to remotely manage it over RDP, which can also be fired up directly from NAS Navigator 2.

Buffalo Technology TeraStation Pro Quad WSS

Windows Server Manager provides access to all storage from one location. A wizard helps set up network shares and guides through assigning NTFS permissions, sharing over SMB and NFS, and defining access restrictions.

FTP services can be activated, but only after installing the Web Server role from the Server Manager.

Installing the File Server Resource Manager role service also adds file screening, quotas and storage reports. These stop certain file types from being copied to the appliance, limit the amount of space users can consume, and provide storage usage reports.

Buffalo also supplies a ten-user copy of NovaBackup Business Essentials for backup, supporting Windows workstations and servers. It runs scheduled backups of local folders to selected shares on the appliance, and manages a combination of full, incremental and differential backups.

For real-world performance testing, we called up a Dell PowerEdge R515 server running Windows Server 2008 R2. Drag-and-drop copies of a 2.52GB video clip using a mapped share returned read and write speeds of 103MB/sec and 74MB/sec.

Our collection of small files took noticeably longer, with a 17.4GB folder of 10,500 files copied to the appliance at an average of 46.5MB/sec. However, IP SAN performance was very good: running Iometer against a 50GB target delivered raw read speeds over Gigabit of 108MB/sec.

You’ll always pay a premium for Windows-powered NAS appliances, and the Quad WSS costs around £100 more than a Linux-based TeraStation Pro. But if you want a NAS appliance that focuses on the job of network storage without all the frippery of so many other products, then the TeraStation Pro Quad WSS is a worthy choice.

Basic specifications

RAID capabilityyes
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec


Ethernet ports2
USB connection?yes
eSATA interfaceno

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