There are three USB 2.0 ports, one on the front and two in back, for connecting USB disk drives or an APC UPS unit. The back of the unit is pretty basic, Figure 3, with a single 10/100/1000 Ethernet port. It is important to note, though, that the NSA-2400 doesn't support jumbo frames. This is too bad, since its performance indicates that it could probably benefit from it.
Figure 3: Back view of the ZyXEL NSA-2400
Installing the drives is a simple task. They are secured into the drive bays using easily accessed bottom screws. The bottom screw holes for disk drives are easier to use, as the screw holes on the side of disk drives can be difficult to access through drive rails. No cables need to be connected as the drives connect to power and the disk controller when slid into place. Figure 4 below shows the top of a drive bay on the left and the bottom on the right.
Figure 4: Top and Bottom views of the drive bays
Installation and setup of the NSA-2400 is a no-brainer. With the four Western Digital 250GB SATA (WD2500JS) hard drives installed, all I had to do was plug in the provided Ethernet cable to my switch and power it on. The device pulled an IP address via DHCP and was immediately accessible via its secure SSL web utility.
The first time you log on, you'll be presented with two configuration wizards, as you can see in Figure 5. You can cancel out of them, or use them to set up both the necessary administrative options and your disk array. I found the Disk Setup Wizard to be the easiest way to configure RAID array options.
Figure 5: Setup Wizards
I like ZyXEL’s menu organization. I've had good experiences with a ZyXEL P-334WT gateway/router, and was pleased to see ZyXEL uses the same menu layout for the NSA-2400. I find the ZyXEL menu intuitive and easy to navigate. A useful Status screen is always available with a single click in the top left corner, as you can see in Figure 6. Additional menu choices are presented along the left side, with submenu options across the top.