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NAS Reviews

The TeraStation III is Buffalo's latest top-of-line NAS aimed at business users. It's a four-bay diskful NAS offered in 2, 4 and 6 TB versions. The 2 TB TS-X2.0TL/R5 version we tested came with four hot-swappable WD Caviar Blue 500 GB drives (WD5000AAKS) that can be configured in two arrays.

RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10 arrays can be created, which can be optionally encrypted. Hot spare for RAID 1 and 5 is supported, but on-line RAID expansion and migration are not.

The Tera III is the first we have seen to use another new Marvell processor, an MV78100-A0 C080 Single-core ARMv5TE-compliant Feroceon clocked at 800 MHz. A Marvell 88SX7042 SATA II controller handles the 3.5" SATA drives and there is 512 MB of soldered-on-board RAM as well as 512 MB of flash. Dual Marvell 88E1118s provide two Gigabit Ethernet ports that support independent, redundant, auto-failover and multiple aggregation modes. 4, 7 and 9 K jumbo frames are supported.

Two USB 2.0 ports can be used for USB flash and hard drives for expansion or backup and print serving. UPS synchronization is supported via a single serial port and a second serial "factory use only" port provides Linux console output.

Power consumption is 45 W with four WD Caviar Blue 500 GB drives. Fan and drive noise are low, meaning the NAS is slightly audible in a quiet room. Three shutdown / startup schedules are supported, which reduce power consumption to 12W.

CIFS/SMB, AFP and NFS network file systems are supported, and files can also be accessed via FTP and secure FTP. HTTPS is supported for admin access. Up to eight Distributed File System (DFS) links can be made to the Tera III.

Media features include iTunes and UPnP AV / DLNA servers. There is also a BitTorrent-certified download client..

Immediate and scheduled backup can be done to an attached USB drive or other networked Buffalo NASes and the Tera III can also serve as Apple Time Machine storage. A single license for Memeo Windows / Mac OS client backup software is bundled.

The Tera III's performance ranked it at or near the top of our RAID 5 and 10 NAS Charts. RAID 5 write performance with a Gigabit LAN connection averaged 46.6 MB/s for file sizes between 32 MB and 4 GB, with cached behavior not included in the average calculation. Read performance was higher, measuring 53.3 MB/s with the same conditions. File copy performance using a Vista SP1 client under the same conditions (RAID 5, Gigabit LAN) measured 24 MB/s for write and 55.1 MB/s for read.

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