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NAS Reviews

Seagate NAS 2 bay and 4 bay

At a Glance
Product Seagate NAS 2-bay and 4-by [Website]
Summary Marvell ARMADA 370 powered desktop NASes with bundled and optional add-in apps
Pros • Rsync, FTP, SMB and WebDav backup
• Installable apps
• Supports many service types
Cons • Long volume build times
• Spotty and hard to find documentation

Introduction

Updated 8/7/14: Miscellaneous edits

Seagate's acquisition of LaCie back in 2012 has been a long slog. As in any merge of two companies, Seagate had to figure out what to keep and what to jettison. The way things have settled out, LaCie will now focus exclusively on attached storage and Seagate is where new networked storage products will come from.

In keeping with this house-cleaning spirit, Seagate replaced all its desktop NAS lines with two new ones earlier this month. The simply-named NAS and NAS Pro lines replace all BlackArmor and Business Storage products, except the Windows Server powered Business Storage Windows Server 4-Bay NAS.

This review covers the NAS 2-bay and 4-bay members of the new lineup. We'll cover the NAS Pro line, which has 2, 4 and 6 bay members, in a separate review once Seagate gets a review sample to us.

The NAS 2-bay and NAS 4-bay are available diskless or populated with Seagate's 3.5" drives from the company's NAS drive family in capacities shown below.

Seagate NAS models

Seagate NAS models

The NAS-2 and -4's styling couldn't be simpler. Both are very square matte-black boxes with little adornment. Status is conveyed via multi-colored LEDs and two backlit buttons. I can live without an LCD status panel, but I wish Seagate had included a buzzer.

Seagate NAS 2-bay callouts

Seagate NAS 2-bay callouts

The callout diagrams above and below show a single Gigabit Ethernet port on the NAS-2 and dual ports on the NAS-4. Both models get two USB 3.0 ports.

Seagate NAS 4-bay callouts

Seagate NAS 4-bay callouts

Memorize the LED chart below. There will be a test later. Maybe a LCD display wouldn't be such a bad idea...

Seagate NAS LED decoder

Seagate NAS LED decoder

Seagate sent a 16 TB STCU16000100 NAS-4 configured with four Seagate NAS HDD 4 TB (ST4000VN000) drives. Since the same processor / RAM platform drives both the NAS-2 and -4, I removed two drives and created dual-drive volumes to post NAS-2 test results in the NAS Charts.

Seagate is still in the process of getting documentation posted and linked as I write this and the user manuals are not linked from the NAS or NAS Pro main support pages. So here are the links for the NAS and NAS Pro hardware manuals. The user interface has links for User manual, forums, video tutorials and creating a support case. All work except the User manual link, which currently takes you a page that contains links that send you back to product pages, not manuals.

Updated 8/7/14

The Seagate NAS OS 4 software manual has been posted.

Inside

Both NAS-2 and NAS-4 have a 1.2 GHz Marvell ARMADA 370 at their core. The board photo shows the SoC covered by a heatsink. The board is marked DART - 2BAY - 4BAY so that's a good clue it is used in both models. The NAS-2 board probably doesn't have either the Marvell 88E9170 PCIe-to-SATA dual host controller loaded that supports the two additional drives in the NAS-4 or the second Marvell 88E1518 Gigabit Ethernet transceiver.

Seagate NAS-4 board

Seagate NAS-4 board

All the key components are summarized in Table 1.

Seagate NAS-2 Seagate NAS-4
CPU Marvell ARMADA 370 @ 1.2 GHz Marvell ARMADA 370 @ 1.2 GHz
RAM 512 MB DDR3 512 MB DDR3
Flash 128 MB 128 MB
Ethernet Marvell 88E1518 (x1) Marvell 88E1518 (x2)
SATA None Marvell 88E9170 PCIe-to-SATA dual host controller
USB 3.0 Asmedia ASM1042A PCIe dual USB 3.0 Asmedia ASM1042A
Table 1: Key component summary

Power draw with drives spun up for the NAS-4 was 29 W and 12 W when they spun down after a programmable idle drive time. I noticed that drives didn't stay spun down, however, so Seagate needs to work on this. When I loaded only two of the NAS HDDs, total power was 18W with them active and 9 W when they were spun down.

Despite the large 120mm case fan, the NAS-4 got a medium low noise rating since the NAS was clearly audible in my quiet home office. Both fan and drive noise contributed to this.

I should note complete sync for a 4 X 4 TB RAID 5 volume took 25 hours and 10 minutes. This would not affect normal use since the volume is available for use during sync. But it slowed down testing because I have to wait for sync to be completely finished lest the extra drive activity affect test results.

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