|D-Link DNS-323 SATA RAID Gigabit NAS|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Network|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Saturday, 11 August 2007|
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D-Link Software & Configuration
I must admit that as an IT professional, my disdain for unnecessary software runs deep. When it comes to network appliances (primarily routers) from D-Link, Linksys, Netgear, and similar others, I often jump directly to the HTML-based web interface to configure the device. The same thing could be said about my work with broadband modems; find the IP and program through the browser-based interface. The D-Link DNS-323 SATA RAID Gigabit NAS is not going to be an exception.
For those readers who are like me and discard the disc that comes with these devices, I will tell you everything you need to know right here: When first powered on, during the initial boot sequence, the DNS-323 will wait to be assigned an IP address via DHCP. If it does not receive a DHCP assigned IP address, by default it will have a self-assigned IP address of 192.168.0.32. So there you have it... experts, you can thank me by clicking the ad at the top or bottom of the page.
For everyone else, here is a rundown of the Easy Search Utility D-Link offers with the DNS-323 to help locate the NAS on your network and get you started. You can still click an ad if you want, I won't hold you back.
To run the Easy Search Utility, simply insert the CD-ROM that came with the DNS-323 NAS into your CD-ROM drive. A window will appear, and prompt you to highlight an available DNS-323 and click "Configuration" to access the web-based utility. When logging into the DNS-323 for the first time, you will be asked to choose a drive configuration and format the drives. There are four options, Standard, JBOD, RAID 0 and RAID 1. Standard configures each disk as a separate volume, while JBOD combines both disks into a single volume. RAID arrays will also need to select the disk format type. Available options are Ext2 and Ext3, with Ext2 providing better performance and Ext3 providing better support for crash recovery.
After the initial format is complete, the DNS-323 will restart itself. The DNS-323 has a setup Wizard that allows you to quickly configure some of the basic device settings, such as DHCP or static IP address, device name, and password.
You can also dive deeper into the configuration interface and setup user accounts and groups, as well as configure the DNS-323 as an FTP server, and an iTunes server. The DNS-323 can also be used as a DHCP Server, used to serve IP addresses to devices on your local network. This feature should not be enabled though if you already have a DHCP server, such as a router on your local network. Otherwise, you will have a lot of fun troubleshooting your network (sarcasm).
Really, this is much more than just an enclosure for network hard drives; which is why NAS devices are becoming so popular as file server replacements, and much more. This server provides the ability to share music and videos to computers on the local network running iTunes as well. If the iTunes server is enabled, the DNS-323 will be automatically detected in the iTunes program and the music and videos contained in the specified directory will be available to stream over the network. So the DNS-323 is not just strictly business after all.
As I previously suspected, the D-Link DNS-323 SATA RAID Gigabit NAS seems to suffer from poor cooling ventilation. Prior to taking the test readings I inspected the device information from the web browser interface. Despite an ambient room temperature of an even 25.0°C, you can see from the image above that the DNS-323 was already 113°F/45°C at a standing idle. That's not going to be very helpful in high-traffic heavy-load environments.