The front mounted hot swappable drive bays are securely locked and the front USB 3.0 port provides a 'Copy to' button. The dual-port gigabit ports can be configured in a number of ways including fallback, load balancing and split network modes with full dual IPv4 and IPv6 support.
Beside the usual user management for security there is AES 256-bit volume-based encryption, HTTPS support and SSL/TLS FTP transfers.
Fired up with 10GbE connections, the QNAP TS-879 Pro can touch 600MBps for file transfer, although with GbE it's a solid 110MBps all the way.
If you've invested in a 10GbE infrastructure then the QNAP TS-879 will deliver. Also, a rackmount model is available with the QNAP TS-879U-RP.
2. Synology DiskStation DS1812+
Designed for any business wanting copious amounts of storage, the Synology DiskStation DS1812+ is an eight bay NAS capable of being expanded up to 18 via two additional DX510 units. With SATA II 4TB drive support, this offers a maximum base capacity of 32TB and a maximum expanded capacity of 72TB with a file system limit of 108TB.
Alongside this it offers two USB 3.0, four USB 2.0 and two eSATA ports. It's running a 2.13GHz dual core processor and is kitted out with 1GB of memory.
For networking it offers dual port gigabit LAN connections. These can be run in either a redundancy or load balancing mode with a suitable switch.
In redundancy mode this will limit transfer speeds to just over the 100Mbps mark, but with load balancing it will go up to 195MBps average read and writes.
The Synology DiskStation Manager software offers RAID 0, 1, 10, 5 and 6, beside an utterly comprehensive list of services, management and virtulisation support for VMware, Citrix and Hyper-V. It only sits below the QNAP TS-879 Pro model due to its lack of 10GbE support.
3. D-Link DSN-6120
For larger SMB and enterprise network storage the D-Link DSN-6120 offers a suitable 2U rackmount solution. Its 12-bay design can provide 48TB of SATA II storage and the system scales to 60 drives using four DSN-6020 JBOD expansions for a total 240TB of capacity.
Designed with data centres in mind, the D-Link DSN-6120 comes with speed and redundancy at hits heart. It has twin 500W PSUs, no less than eight gigabit LAN ports on two controller cards and 4GB cache cards per controller.
The PSUs, LAN controllers and cache can be all hot swapped if one should fail. Dual port 10GbE support is offered via replacement controllers, but at extra expense.
The D-Link provides all the core storage and network services you would demand: all the RAID modes through to 6 with global hot spare from a dual RAID controller, iSCSI SAN and visualisation support for VMWare, Citrix and Hyper-V. It also provides snapshot, cloning, rollback and remote duplication.
Thanks to its quad port controllers, even with a gigabit LAN connection, cumulative read speeds can touch 450MBps and writes as high as 305MBps, providing the throughput without the need for 10GbE infrastructure. It is well worth the investment when high redundancy, high throughput is required.
4. Iomega StorCenter PX6-300d
The six bay Iomega StorCenter px6-300d is an SMB level NAS suitable for distributed enterprise level businesses.
It's built around a compact, quiet chassis running a dual-core Intel Atom 1.8GHz processor with 2GB of memory. Unusually for this level, it utilises an external power supply, which some users will not be keen on.
The hotswap drives cannot be locked but are covered by a basic front cover. Connection wise there's a single USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports.
For network action are dual-port gigabit LAN connections that can be used in a redundant or load balancing mode with a suitable switch. The NAS uses SATA II and is limited to 3TB drives for a maximum capacity of 18TB.