Maxtor Central Axis Business Edition NAS Server

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You'd be hard pressed these days to find a small business or even family home that doesn't have at least a few computers being used by a number of different local users. This multi-user scenario poses at least a couple of potential complications for managing all the files and data that gets created, stored, and used by the different users: How do you share files with the other users on your network and how do you seamlessly back up files that are stored on the different user systems?



Network-attached storage (NAS) is the answer, and the new Maxtor Central Axis Business Edition Dual-drive network storage server aims to provide simple solutions to these and other file-sharing and backup challenges--as well as a number of useful features that serve the needs of small business and home users. In fact, home users should not be put off by the "Business Edition" moniker; this NAS device is well-suited for homes with multiple, networked users. In our opinion, the Business Edition part of the product name was added on so as to differentiate this NAS device from Maxtor's previous iteration of the device, simply called the Maxtor Central Axis, which is still widely available.

The Maxtor Central Axis Business Edition is actually more than just an updated version of the Maxtor Central Axis. The previous version featured 1TB of storage capacity, while the new version supports up to 2TB. The Maxtor Central Axis Business Edition includes two user-swappable, 1TB hard drives and the device supports RAID 0 and RAID 1. By default, the device comes pre-configured to RAID 1, which provides 1TB of total storage capacity. RAID 1 is a mirrored array where identical information is written to both drives simultaneously. Should one drive fail, the data is still safe on the other drive. Note that this is data redundancy, which is a sort of a data failsafe, but it should not be considered data backup--redundancy and backup are two different things--users should still be backing up their data, which the Maxtor Central Axis Business Edition also lets you do. The Maxtor Central Axis Business Edition also features a redesigned, larger chassis than its predecessor, and includes two USB 2.0 ports (as opposed to the single USB port on the previous version) for additional storage, removable backups, or even networking a printer.

 
Maxtor Central Axis Business Edition
Specifications and Features
 

Storage capacity:
Hard drives:
Cache Buffer:
RAID:
Connectivity:
 
Compatibility:

Maximum number of networked users:
Dimensions:
Weight:
Warranty:
Package contents:

2TB
(2) 1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 SATA-II
32MB
RAID 0 (2TB) or RAID 1 (1TB)
10/100/1000 RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet port, (2) USB 2.0 ports, UPnP AV 1.0
Microsoft Windows XP or Vista; Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later

20
7.4x2.02x11.49-inches (HWD)
6.70lbs
5 years
Maxtor Central Axis storage server, Maxtor Installation CD (Windows and Mac software), Quick Start Guide, Maxtor Manager Software, Ethernet Cable, AC Power Adapter, User Guide on CD

MSRP: $479.99



In addition to the small 12-page Quick Start Guide, the Installation CD also includes very detailed and extensive electronic guides for Windows users, Mac users, Admins, and for the free Seagate Global Access service (more on this later). The Maxtor Manager software is nearly identical in functionality for both the Windows and Mac versions. We focus on the Windows version in this article, but Mac users should expect the same features.
 

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Wow... I've only skimmed the article, but this thing looks *really* nice.

I didn't see it mentioned, but are their any restrictions on media that can be accessed on it via the internet?  You know, like the way Western Digital crippled their (not)"MyBooks" to block access to any type of file that might be music or a movie.

>> but if you don't install the software, you won't have access to some of the device's features.

Which features are we talking about, exactly?  You know where I'm coming from:   What would be missing if I used it with Linux?

>> While this is not documented, the drive used for backing up the Maxtor Central Axis Business Edition gets formatted using the EXT3 file system.

Which likely means that the drive itself is running Linux or BSD.  I wonder if that gives us any hope of connecting to its shares via NFS instead of SMB or FTP?

>> You can use an EXT3-formatted external drive for both backups and as additional storage.

Consider this scenario:  You backed up to an external drive like this... threw the drive in a fire-safe... and your house burns down.  What's the restore process?  Can you boot a Linux LiveCD, mount the volume, and retrieve specific files without having to go buy another NAS Server?

Right now, I backup all the systems in my house using BackupPC, running as a service on my arcade cabinet.  The benefit there is that you can set up an rsync daemon on all of your other machines (Linux, Windows, or whatever) and have everything done in the background.... but this looks *much* easier to setup/configure, if I were recommending something to a relative or neighbor.

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Its interesting that they call it a "Business Server" with *up-to* 2TB of storage....the interface looks awesome, but it'd be fairly easy to fill up 2TB of storage and then be stuck. If they throw in a eSATA slot with port multiplier then I'd be a titch more bought in (If i was a business IT guy looking for storage and remote access AIO) 

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This thing is a piece of junk and Seagate's service is horrendous. My drive crashed under warranty and after 3 attempted calls and finally waiting on hold for 25 minutes I'm screwed. It appears my options are to pay Maxtor $1,600.00 to get my data off their lousy drive and get a replacement or pay an outside source to recover my data and void my warranty. I think I'll go the second route and throw this piece of trash away and never buy another Seagate product. It apparently has a serious overheating problem and a very high failure rate. It has a 1.5 rating on Amazon and horrendous reviews pretty much across the web - STAY AWAY.

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