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Written by Bruce Normann   
Thursday, 14 February 2013
Table of Contents: Page Index
EonNAS 850X NAS Network Storage Server
Closer Look: EonNAS Pro 850X
Insider Details: EonNAS Pro 850X
Technology Details: EonNAS Pro 850X
EonNAS 850X Features
Hardware Specifications
Software Specifications
NAS Setup and Usage
NAS Testing Methodology
Basic-Disk Test Results
RAID 5 Test Results
Intel NASPT Test Results
Non-Traditional NAS Results
NAS Server Final Thoughts
EonNAS Pro 850X Conclusion

EonNAS Pro 850X Conclusion

Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. As Albert Einstein said, "Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusions, as they represent our product rating for the sample received which may differ from retail versions.

The performance of the EonNAS Pro 850X has to be considered in context. All of the other NAS devices it is being compared with are using the EXT file system, which does not offer any protection from data rot. The ZFS file system used on the EonNAS Pro 850X is known to consume more overhead resources, especially DRAM. Unfortunately, there's no way to level the playing field for testing purposes, so we are left with an imperfect comparison. During timed transfers of 1GB and 10GB files the EonNAS Pro 850X recorded Read speeds above 99 MB/s and Write speeds of 116 MB/s. The Intel Core i3-2120 processor and the 8GB of SDRAM were far from being maxed out during these tests, leaving quite a bit of overhead left for deduplication or data encryption. The balancing act of capacity, speed and cost has to land somewhere, and Infortrend is making full use of the available hardware to support the power hungry ZFS file system. The dual GbE network interfaces are perfectly suitable for a small business, and the dual 10GbE interfaces offer increased performance for larger loads, either now or later.

The tower form factor of the eight bay EonNAS Pro 850X means lots of space on the front panel, and in normal use the front panel is the most visible part of the unit. The eight drive trays span almost the entire height, are hidden behind a hinged door, and they both have vents on the front for bringing fresh air into the drive bays. The status LEDs for each HDD are mounted on the right hand edge of each drive tray, and are visible through the ventilation holes on the front door. The On/OFF button is fairly large, with a status light, and the status LEDs just left of it are easy to see and well-marked. The two-line LCD display has a light blue backlight, which shuts off some time after the last message is displayed. It's one of the nicer styled NAS towers I've seen, with very clean lines executed in basic black. The side and top panels are powder coated steel, and have no distinctive markings, besides some small ventilation holes on the left side.

Infortrend_EonNAS_850X_NAS_Server_Front_Panel_01.jpg

The construction quality of the EonNAS Pro 850X consistent with its all-business mission statement. The inner framework has more in common with smaller NAS models built on the tower format - punched and pressed sheet metal, but it's still a sturdy design. The unit came apart fairly easily when needed, by removing four screws and then the top cover. All the components were securely mounted, and good cable management was in evidence throughout. The assembly techniques all showed evidence of good industrial practice, and most parts were well finished, without any sharp edges. The sheet metal chassis had a lot of sharp edges unfortunately, but I managed to avoid any cuts on my fingers while I was working on it. The backplane was well mounted, with rigid supports where they were needed. I also saw effective RFI shielding in all the places it was needed and good airflow design. Infortrend provides a 3 Year warranty, which is quite reasonable.

The EonNAS Pro 850X is targeted to a well-established class of NAS users, the business community. What they've done with their latest round of products is to bring high-end information assurance features down to their base models. Very large data centers know from experience that some piece of data stored in their facility gets corrupted about every 15 minutes. That's the sort of thing that kept people awake at night, until they found a solution. Sun built the ZFS file system into their Unix-based operating system in 2005, and now it's one of the stars in the EonNAS product. The other thing that kept CIOs and IT Directors up at night was the exponential growth of non-structured data, most commonly, email. Once again, ZFS comes to the rescue, with deduplication capability that was incorporated in 2009. ZFS is also very good at managing snapshots, being both quick and space-efficient. Given all of these benefits, you might wonder why every NAS doesn't use ZFS. One of the reasons may be that porting ZFS to Linux means having to comply with BOTH the GNU General Public License, and the Sun CDDL, which isn't currently possible. Almost every NAS I've tested to date ran a custom Linux distro; the EonNAS models are the only ones to run Solaris 11, a derivative of the original SunOS that pioneered ZFS. So, while the functionality and features of the EonNAS Pro 850X are strictly limited to its intended business role, they are extremely advanced and Infortrend is pioneering the use of high-end data integrity tools in the low end of the marketplace.

As of December 2012 the EonNAS Pro 850X model has a street price of $2499.00 for a diskless model. It's not available from Newegg yet, but it is available from several storage integrators like Eaegis, SimplyNAS, and Provantage. Given the unique data integrity features it has, the number of drive bays, the included 10GbE interface, and the performance it offers, I think that's a very attractive price for a small or medium-sized business that needs to keep its data safe. The IT staff is going to see this as a huge bargain, compared to the big iron solutions that are the only alternative to keeping bit rot under control and taking a bite out of data growth with deduplication. Larger businesses may go for one of the bigger units in the EonNAS series with 12 bays, but the 850X can hold somewhere between 20 and 30TB of data when filled with modern SATA drives.

Benchmark Reviews has enjoyed testing a variety of network storage solutions, and with the wide range of products on offer from a number of vendors, anyone in need of a NAS server can find one to fit their current and future needs. The biggest problem is choosing one; that's why we go into so much detail in our reviews, to help you figure out what level of performance and features is right for you. If you need a staggering array of features, or consumer-focused applications, then you need to look elsewhere to meet those needs. But, if you need the storage capacity, the high throughput and continuity of service that eight bays of RAID 5, 6, 10, 50, or 60 provides, with 10GbE-class performance, and the unparalleled data integrity provided by the ZFS file system, then the EonNAS Pro 850X is an excellent candidate for you.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award

+ ZFS File System = No Data Rot
+ Data Deduplication is a first at this price level
+ Performance matches Linux-based systems
+ Comprehensive Business Feature Set
+ Single Pool file system
+ Class-leading WRITE performance
+ 8 GB DDR3-1333 SDRAM is standard
+ Migration from 1 disk to RAID is Fast & Easy
+ TotalRecovery Pro Backup S/W (includes 8 License)
+ Integrated 430W power supply
+ One-Touch backup capability for USB & eSATA drives
+ Robust tools to enhance data availability
+ Excellent value compared to current alternatives
+ Disk Roaming for NAS migration (1,2,3,4=4,3,1,2)

Cons:

- ZFS file system slows performance
- No USB 3.0 ports
- RAID10/50/60 has to be setup manually
- Single power supply, no redundancy
- Drive trays not labeled 1,...8

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.50
  • Appearance: 9.00
  • Construction: 9.00
  • Functionality: 9.50
  • Value: 9.50

Final Score: 9.30 out of 10.

Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.

COMMENT QUESTION: What type of environment (work/home/enterprise) do you use a NAS server?


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Comments 

 
# RE: EonNAS 850X NAS Network Storage ServerDavid Ramsey 2013-02-18 09:27
On the first page of the review you refer to an "Intel Atom Core i3 CPU". I think the word "Atom" needs to be removed...
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# True That !!!Bruce 2013-02-18 17:12
There is NO WAY an Atom CPU came anywhere near this product!
Thanks, David.
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# Unable to purchaseSaturn2888 2013-04-02 23:06
Is this product available from anywhere for purchase? It's an awesome box which is actually exactly what I've been looking for the last 4 years.
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# Available in US - YesBruce 2013-04-03 07:06
There are several specialty vendors in the US that have a very deep product line in storage hardware. Here are two that have the 850X:

simplynas.com/eonnas-pro-850X-8-bay-diskless-tower-nas.aspx

provantage.com/infortrend-eonnas-pro-850x~7IFTR0A0.htm
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# Mr.Dean 2013-04-03 07:22
Freenas and Nas4Free uses ZFS. My thoughts on this configuration are:

1. Why no ECC memory?
2. Why RAID when you can use zpools?
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# RE: Mr.Bruce 2013-04-03 09:39
I can't speak for Infortrend, but here's my opinion.

1. Even though the 850X is a high performance model, it's still not in the same class as the EonNAS 3000 and EonNAS 5000 series, which DO have ECC memory as standard equipment.

2. The underlying technology may be using VDev and zpool; I don't know. I'm not a Solaris tyro, so I can't log in to the OS and see that deeply into the machine. The application SW does use the terms "volume" and "pool" in the disk configuration commands, but RAID is mentioned as well.
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