Infortrend EonNAS Pro 500 review

£623
Price when reviewed

The array of options for SMB NAS devices is already mind-boggling, but Infortrend’s EonNAS Pro 500 has a few tricks that help it stand out. It offers NAS and IP SAN operations, data deduplication, unlimited snapshots, thin provisioning and more – yet a diskless unit costs just over £500.

It uses the ZFS file system, which supports virtual storage pools, mirroring and copy-on-write for fast snapshots. It has integral data-integrity checking and handles a maximum pool size the entire planet couldn’t use up.

So what’s the catch? Poor write performance has always been a bugbear with ZFS, which is why most NAS vendors prefer EXT. ZFS maintains a ZFS intent log (ZIL) for integrity checking, which it uses in parallel with the target volume during write operations. You can turn off ZIL for individual NAS shares and IP SAN volumes during creation. We can’t say it made much difference, as our tests showed the EonNAS was a nippy customer regardless of whether or not it was enabled.

Infortrend EonNAS Pro 500

During installation a wizard guides you through initial setup, where you create storage pools and choose a RAID array type. Infortrend dropped in two mirrored 1TB Hitachi drives for testing, and we added three Seagate 2TB drives and created a second RAID5 storage pool.

For NAS shares, choose your pool, name it and decide what features to apply. You can set storage quotas, enable compression and deduplication, and disable ZIL transaction logging.

iSCSI targets have the same feature options as NAS shares. Thin provisioning can be enabled, where you decide on the minimum space to be reserved for the target and leave it to dynamically allocate blocks as space is consumed.

Unlimited snapshots of NAS shares and iSCSI volumes are supported. You can snapshot all shared folders, home directories or specific folders that include iSCSI volumes, and apply schedules.

Basic specifications

RAID capability yes
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec

Connections

Ethernet ports 2
USB connection? yes
eSATA interface yes

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