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NAS Reviews

Introduction

D-Link DNS-343 4 Bay Network Storage Enclosure

At a Glance
Product D-Link 4 Bay Network Storage Enclosure (DNS-343)
Summary Four drive, RAID 5 version of D-Link's popular dual-drive RAID 1 NAS
Pros • Good performance
• Up to 9k jumbo frame support
• Supports separate drives, JBOD, RAID 0, 1, 5
• FTP, iTunes, UPnP AV servers
• Quiet
Cons • No logging
• Tricky RAID fail recovery

This isn't going to be a very long review because, if you're familiar with D-Link's DNS-323 [reviewed] or 321 [reviewed] dual-drive RAID 1 NAS, then you basically know the DNS-343. Take the 323's feature set, add two drives, RAID 5 and a fancy OLED front panel display, then subtract BitTorrent downloading and there you have it.

Speaking of the front panel OLED display, it's actually pretty useful. Figure 1 shows a composite of the three screens that you rotate through by pressing really hard on the Next front panel button.

D-Link DNS-321 main board
Click to enlarge image

Figure 1: DNS-343 Main board

The three OLED screens are (top to bottom): System Information; Hard Drive Status; and Server Status. It's nice that if the network connection drops, the whole screen flashes a connection dropped message. I just wish something similar was done when a drive fails!

On the System Info screen, the drive icons flash to indicate access and the arrows between the two computers also flash to indicate network activity. The Hard Drive Status page shows space used and changes to show rebuild status during RAID resyncs or drive formatting. Note the little "R5" next to the 1 (indicating the volume number), which indicates the volume mode. Server Status shows USB printer connection and up/down status for the UPnP AV, iTunes and FTP services.

Internal Details

The slideshow has a few more shots of the 343's innards. But I've grabbed a photo of the main board in Figure 2 below. The CPU is a Marvell 88F5281-D0 C500, the same as used in the DNS-323, while a Marvell 88SX7042 is used for the SATA ports and a Marvell 88E1118 provides the Ethernet port. There is also 128 MB of RAM, 16 MB of flash and a SyncMOS SM5964A 8 bit micro controller.

D-Link DNS-321 main board
Click to enlarge image

Figure 2: DNS-343 Main board

Jumbo frames up to 9k are supported on the 10/100/1000 Ethernet port. Controls consist of an enable and MTU selector of increments of 1000 from 3000 to 9000.

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