|At a glance|
|Product||Seagate Business Storage 8-Bay Rackmount NAS (STDP8000100) [Website]|
|Summary||High capacity, fast, quiet rackmount NAS in a slim 1U chassis.|
|Pros||• 8 drives in 1U rackmount space|
• High performance
• Included chassis mount kit includes cable mgmt.
• Surprisingly quiet for a rackmount NAS
|Cons||• No 10 GbE option|
• Remote access requires UPNP or port forwarding
Typical Price: $2354 Buy From Amazon
Updated 12/16/2013: Corrections from Seagate
It has been quite awhile since we reviewed a rackmount NAS. The main reason is that SNB readers don't seem to be much interested in them, judging from review pageviews. But when Seagate asked us to review the new Seagate Business Storage 8-Bay Rackmount NAS, I agreed for two reasons.
First, I felt I owed them one since we could not solve the issue that kept causing its desktop Business Storage 4-Bay NAS to chew through all of our NAS testbed's RAM while running the Intel NASPT Directory Copy from NAS test.
Since we couldn't get the test to complete, I couldn't post full test results and returned the product without reviewing it. Please note that Seagate had no problem running the test and has had no problems of a similar nature reported from users. I chalk this one up to subtle differences in testbeds.
The second reason is that the Seagate Business Storage 8-Bay Rackmount NAS (SBS-R8 for short) is the first product produced under a reorganized design team since the LaCie buyout early this year. Since I haven't been that impressed by past LaCie or Seagate efforts, I wanted to see what the new design team came up with. While the result isn't the perfect NAS, I have to say that I'm impressed by what they produced in the SBS-R8.
It's obvious that the product is designed for server room use, not only because of its high cost, but what you get for the money. The SBS-R8 comes with everything you need to install it into a full-depth rack, including slide rails and cable-management arm. Dual, easily removable power supplies are also included in all models.
The unit itself takes up only one rack unit (1U), but manages to house up to eight hot-swappable 3.5" hard drives in that narrow space. This trick depends on being able to easily slide the SBS-R8 in and out of the rack, hence the supplied slide rails and cable management hardware.
The other things that are easily replaceable are the three miniature fans and each of the hard drives. The fans are plug-in modules and the drives are mounted on brackets that cleverly click into a sole-plate on the chassis bottom. The photo below shows a fan and drive removed.
Fan module and drive on tray
A picture (video in this case) is better than a bunch more of my words to convey the key serviceability features baked into this product.
The callout diagram below identifies the SBS-R8's ports, switches and indicators. Note there is no LCD panel. It's a bit disappointing that the three USB ports are 2.0 not 3.0. But they are more intended for quick file tranfers (front port) and keyboard/mouse connection (rear) for maintenance, than for storage expansion or keeping a USB backup drive attached.
Seagate SBS-R8 feature callouts
Seagate sent its priciest 32 TB SBS-R8 version for review (STDP32000100), which lists for a whopping $5,100 (I rounded up a penny). The cheapest way you can get the SBS-R8 into your rack is the 8 TB version for $3,000 (there's that extra penny again). There is no diskless configuration, but you can also opt for 12, 16 and 24 TB flavors All versions come with 4 TB Seagate Constellation ES.3 (ST4000NM0033) drives installed. Since the entry-level model has only two drives, it can't do RAID 5 or higher without adding drives.
The SBS-R8's hardware platform is based around an ASUS P8B-M Micro-ATX server motherboard. Its LGA1155 socket is loaded with a 2.3 GHz Intel Celeron G1610T, which I haven't seen powering a NAS before. The internal photo below shows a total of four UDIMM slots, with only one occupied by a 4 GB DDR3 ECC UDIMM. Nowhere on Seagate's website does it say that RAM can be expanded. So if you choose to do so, you're on your own.
Seagate Business Storage 8-Bay Rackmount NAS board
The SATA configuration is interesting. The Intel C204 companion chipset supports two x SATA3 6Gb/s ports and four x SATA2 3Gb/s ports. The other two SATA ports are lit up by an ASMedia ASM1061 PCIe SATA3 6Gb/s SATA host controller that resides on the small PCIe board I unplugged from its socket and flipped over. So that's why the SBS-R8's spec says "8 hot-swappable 3.5-inch SATA II/SATA III" for the drive bay spec.
The other PCIe slots are obviously not meant to be used because there are no back panel cutouts for them. The ASMedia board also covers them all when it is plugged in. Table 1 summarizes all the key components. By the way, getting at the motherboard to take the photo involved removing two top-accessible screws and sliding the panel off. So you could even swap out the motherboard without removing the NAS from its rack.
|Seagate Business Storage 8-Bay Rackmount NAS|
|CPU||Intel Celeron G1610T @ 2.3 GHz|
|Companion||Intel C204 Chipset|
|RAM||4 GB ECC DDR3 UDIMM|
|Ethernet||Intel WG82547L (x2)|
|SATA||In Intel companion device + ASMedia ASM1061 PCIe SATA host controller|
|uC||ASPEED AST1100 PCI Graphics & Remote management Processor|
|I/O||Nuvoton NCT6776F Super I/O|
Table 1: Key component summary
In keeping with our standard practice of testing with four-drive volumes, I loaded only four of the eight 4 TB Seagate Constellation ES.3 drives that came with the NAS. This brought power draw to a comparatively high 73 W when the NAS was active. I wasn't able to measure power consumption with drives powered down, because the 5 minute idle drive spindown period set seemed to have no effect.
I was ready to banish the SBS-R8 to my back lab for testing since the small fans used in rackmount gear usually scream like banshees. I was very pleasantly surprised to find, however, that system noise was quiet enough to earn it a medium rating. You could definitely hear the fans and even a bit moreso when tests were being run. But I was able to run all of the SBS-R8's tests with it sitting in my office and not have a headache at the end of the day.