Cisco Systems’ first venture into this market, the Cisco NSS2000, offers the ability to add multiple SATA (Serial ATA) hard drives easily to a network. High-speed networking ports offer enhanced bandwidth. The operating system is incorporated directly into the chassis, allowing users to mix and match (or hot-swap) drives. Includes RAID support: RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5 and RAID 10 functionality. For pricing, please check Cisco’s Web site.
Seagate Technology is heading in a fresh direction with its new Barracuda LP series, which use 50 percent less power from the wall. The drives still can run at 5900 RPM and feature an average latency of a mere 5.5 milliseconds and a 32MB cache. Available in 1TB, 1.5TB and 2TB varieties (all 3.5-inch). Pricing: $118 for Barracuda LP 1TB, $156 for 1.5TB and $358 for the 2TB version.
The Iomega StorCenter Pro ix4-100 NAS has the small footprint of a compact desktop with either 2TB or 4TB capacities. This is a four-drive NAS (network-attached storage) device powered by EMC’s LifeLine Linux software. With just four mouse clicks, the ix4 is ready to work with any computer on the network. Lots of features! Pricing: 2TB,$800; 4TB, $1,300.
This inexpensive USB desk storage unit, the Hammer MyShare, can be installed in a few simple steps on any home or small and midsize business network. Users can set multiple users and passwords to control access, and an optional configuration can make mirrored copies for optimum file protection. The MyShare uses standard protocols to bridge content for use with PCs, Macs, Linux and Unix. Pricing: 1TB, $264.
The WiebeTech RTX400 is designed to be taken on the road, if necessary. It features Quad Interface:FireWire 400/800 and USB 2.0 or fast eSATA, up to 4TB capacity using 1TB drives, and new, quiet fans, and is rugged and portable with a new handle design. Pricing: Enclosure for SATA drives: $899; 2TB, $1207; 4TB, $1515.
This is an inexpensive but generally well-regarded maker. The Buffalo DriveStation Combo 4 features 1TB/7,200 rpm; ports: USB 2.0, FireWire 400, two FireWire 800, eSATA; weight: 3.2 pounds. Pricing: MSRP is $579, but the Buffalo DriveStation Combo 4 is available for as little as $230 through online retailers.