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Seagate Business Storage Windows Server review: No-nonsense NAS for business

Jon L. Jacobi | March 31, 2014
Running Microsoft's Server Essentials 2012 Workgroup edition, Seagate's Business Storage Windows Server NAS box is a good fit for Windows-centric houses. But it's pricey for the features provided.

Components and Features
All Seagate Business Storage servers sport dual gigabit ethernet connections that support link aggregation and failover. The STDM16000100 also features a 2.5-inch Universal Storage Module bay at the top of the box. USM drives have recessed SATA power and data connectors and can be paired with USB, FireWire, Thunderbolt, and other interface adapters. These drives can can also dock with USM bays or docking adapters. If you buy in, USM can be extremely handy for backing up the unit and storing backups offsite. Finally, the NAS has a USB 3.0 port in front for making quick copies, and another in back for connecting USB storage devices or a printer.

The Business Storage Windows Server has a two-line, front-panel LCD that displays the IP address and various other data. There are two buttons up front for navigating and selecting options. Quick button-presses navigate, while pressing and holding either button selects an option. Having a dedicated select button would be quicker and more intuitive.

The box is sturdily built with an all-metal frame and case cover, and it runs quiet and cool. The CPU is a dual-core 2.13GHz Intel Atom D2701, paired with 4GB of RAM. This model comes with four of Seagate's ST4000DX000 hard drives (7200 rpm, 4TB capacity) mounted in four quick-change bays hidden behind the swing-open door. There is no provision for securing the drives with a lock and key.

Seagate's STB1600100 proved to be a very good reader when benchmarked, but a rather weak writer. It wrote PCWorld's 10GB mix of files and folders at 31.6MBps, and it wrote a single 10GB file at 35.8MBps. That's about half the speed the Lab recorded when it benchmarked QNAP's TS-469 Pro. On the other hand, Seagate's box read PCWorld's 10GB mix of files and folders nearly twice as fast as the TS-469 Pro, hitting 87.2MBps, and it was only a nudge slower reading a single 10GB file, at 110MBps. In practical terms, this is not a great NAS box for client backups, but I haven't anything that's faster at sharing files.

Final thoughts
If you're looking for Windows-based NAS, you could do a lot worse than the Seagate Business Storage Windows Server. It has no peer in small file serving, and it's more secure out of the box than Linux-based systems. Windows shops will love it, but consumers and other small businesses might be better off with one of the less-expensive Linux-based alternatives.


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