New to the Charts: Sans Digital MN4L+B

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Tim Higgins

The MN4L+B (which is also available in the MN4L+ silver enclosure) is a high-performance quad-drive NAS aimed at small-business and buyers who know their way around Linux-based servers. Direct monitor and USB keyboard and mouse connection is provided via built-in VGA and USB ports and full root access is provided to the CentOS 4.1 operating System.

The system is powered by a 1.2 GHz Intel Pentium M with 2 GB of DDR2 memory, 512 KB of flash and a 1 GB IDE flash SSD. Four SATA drives are supported via an Intel 915G Express chipset, which also provides two USB 2.0 connectors. One gigabit Ethernet port that supports up to 9 K jumbo frames is provided by a Realtek RTL8110SC, which connects via PCI.

Multiple volumes can be supported on a single RAID array using XFS, Reiser or iSCSI filesystems. All filesystems are unmodified, so drives are mountable on systems supporting those filesystems for recovery purposes.

The system draws around 60W with four drives installed and has no power-saving features.

Average write performance for file sizes between 32 MB and 1 GB with a gigabit LAN connection measured 48.3, 46.2 and 45.7 MB/s for RAID 0, 5 and 10 respectively. Read performance for the same conditions was 46.9, 44.3 and 46.4 MB/s. These results placed the MN4L+B in first or second place among currently tested products in the NAS Charts.

Read the full review.

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