End user demand for storage capacity is expanding exponentially year after year, as multimedia content, email, and document and file generation show explosive growth in this age of new media. In addition, protecting that data is becoming increasingly more critical, with investments in digital music and video collections, as well as those all important family photos and business-critical documents in both the Consumer and SOHO markets. As such we've been looking at an array of NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices here at HotHardware over the past few months, many of them designed for do-it-yourself end users.
In the following pages we're going to take a look at the Synology CubeStation CS407 NAS Server. This system comes configured "bare-bones", ready for installation of up to four SATA hard disks with RAID 0,1 and 5 capabilities. With a max total capacity of up to three terabytes of storage, this unit ought to handle plenty of those cute baby-covered-in-mashed-green-peas shots that the family holds near and dear to their hearts. And with this type of multi-drive product, you can "RAID it up" and rest easy, knowing your backside is covered with at least some level of data storage redundancy.
Windows ADS Domain Integration
UPnP Multimedia Support
3rd-Party Backup Support
In addition to its compact form-factor and clean lines, Synology's CS407 provides product differentiation through support for a multitude of cross-platform features like UPnP MultiMedia support, iTunes server functionality, a Web Server with PHP and MySQL support and even an integrated photo management system called PhotoStation2 that has a decidedly "flickr-like" look and feel to it.
The kit itself comes with an external power supply, as you can see above. This is a good approach we feel, to keeping thermals in check inside the unit, especially in a four drive installation. Beyond that, you get assorted SATA and power cabling, an RJ45 Ethernet cable, installation hardware with zip-ties, and an installation CD. The kit does not come with any third-party software for backup processing and scheduling but instead Synology provides back-up functionality with their Data Replicator II utility. We'll cover that in the pages ahead here shortly.