Buffalo Technology TeraStation Pro Rackmount review

Price when reviewed

Buffalo has recently moved wholesale to Atom processors for its TeraStation Pro desktop appliances, and the new Pro Rackmount model is the latest to join this dual-core club. Memory gets a healthy boost to 2GB of DDR2, and Buffalo has added many more business features as well.

Buffalo Technology TeraStation Pro Rackmount review

This low-profile 1U unit has four hot-swap drive bays and is offered in 4TB, 8TB and 12TB capacities. It can’t be bought diskless and, when swapping out failed drives, only Buffalo’s replacement drive kits can be used.

The drives can be secured behind a lockable metal bezel and the front panel offers plenty of status indicators, plus a tiny backlit LCD panel. The noise emitted from the cooling fan is quite high, so the appliance is best placed in a cabinet.

At the rear there’s a pair of Gigabit ports, plus pairs of USB 2 and USB 3 sockets. There’s another USB 2 port at the front that can be used for direct copies and can be secured behind the bezel when not in use.

Buffalo’s NAS Navigator 2 utility makes light work of installation by locating the appliance on the network, providing a drive mapping service and giving quick access to the web interface. A RAID6 array is preconfigured out of the box (we used this for testing), although RAID5, mirrored or striped arrays can also be created.

NAS Navigator 2 also watches out for firmware updates, one of which it spotted during testing. We quickly applied this from the web interface, and it delivered noticeable speed improvements. Using a Broadberry dual Xeon X5560 server running Windows Server 2008 R2, we saw drag-and-drop copies of a 2.52GB video clip return read and write speeds of 96MB/sec and 52MB/sec.

Buffalo Technology TeraStation Pro Rackmount

FTP tests using the FileZilla client reported 103MB/sec and 54MB/sec, and our 17.4GB folder of 10,500 files was copied to the appliance at an average of 27MB/sec. The Buffalo TeraStation Pro 6 Bay running the original v1 firmware produced noticeably slower speeds all round.

Along with a speed boost, the new firmware adds antivirus scanning. This monitors selected folders and creates a quarantine area for suspect files. The appliance also supports Amazon’s S3 hosted backup service.

The WebShare feature is similar to Qnap’s MyCloudNAS. Selected shares can be made available securely over the internet to remote users, and the free Buffalo NAS hosted service handles host name registration and DDNS mapping.

We had to manually configure a port-forwarding rule on our router, but the process is well documented and we had no problems getting it to work. Users enter the name of the appliance at the Buffalo NAS portal and, after logging in, can access permitted shares, upload or download files and view photos and slideshows.

Further backup options include support for the OS X Time Machine service and replication across two appliances. A ten-user copy of NovaBackup Business Essentials is included, and this supports both Windows workstations and servers.

Buffalo’s new TeraStation Pro Rackmount offers much improved performance and plenty of business features in a very compact unit. It isn’t cheap, though, and Synology’s four-bay RS812 offers similar performance, IP SAN support and better expansion potential for less.


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