Quick Clicks: NAS Bake-Off

HP's ProLiant DL320s Storage Server snatched first place on the combined strength of its channel program, I/O performance and features. Priced at $6,666, it was the second most expensive offering in this comparison, but it's worth it for environments where performance matters.

Netgear ReadyNAS NAV+ nabbed second place on the strength of its channel program and its deep feature set. The ReadyNAS matched more expensive competitors feature for feature at a significant cost-savings. It is a desktop solution that packs a large wallop into a small case. The price-per-capacity, $1,599 for 2 Tbytes, is solidly in the midpoint compared with the other four products.

Adaptec Snap Server 520, despite its robust feature set, lost out to Netgear and ended up in third place. At a list price of $6,445 for a 2-Tbyte configuration, the Snap Server has the highest price-per-capcity value compared with its competitors. Netgear had the advantage of having a lower price-per-capacity while matching many of Snap Server's features.

Even though it lacks many of its competitors' features, the LaCie Ethernet Disk was a favorite during testing. The lack of features such as individual disk status information, support for the NFS protocol and a front LCD panel hurt the Ethernet Disk in this particular comparison and helped land it in fourth place, but its performance and price-per-capacity stand out. Despite being the cheapest unit on price-per-capacity, at $949 for 2 Tbytes, the LaCie Ethernet Disk turned in better performance than two of its competitors, Netgear and Buffalo.

Despite having the second lowest price-per-capacity, at $1,200 for 2 Tbytes, the TeraStation Pro II from Buffalo placed fifth because it lacked the robust feature set and performance capabilities of its competitors. Rackmount and desktop versions are available in 1-Tbyte, 2-Tbyte and 4-Tbyte capacities. A desktop is also available in 3 Tbytes. The TeraStation test system was installed with four 1-Tbyte 7,200-rpm hard drives to get a 4-Tbyte storage capacity. The 4-Tbyte TeraStation Pro II is available for $2,200.