|EonNAS 1100 NAS Network Storage Server|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Network|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Wednesday, 05 December 2012|
Page 15 of 15
EonNAS 1100 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 1100 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 1100 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. That sort of thing happens all the time in the computing world; it's called progress, so we will just have to consume our benchmarks with a little salt sprinkled on them. During timed transfers of 1GB and 10GB files the EonNAS 1100 recorded Read speeds of 75 MB/s and Write speeds above 87 MB/s. These are the RAID 5 results, and the only ones that really matter, since I suspect 90%+ of all users will choose that operating mode. The Intel Atom D525 processor and the 4GB of SDRAM were often maxed out during these tests. 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, but the absence of USB 3.0 slows down data transfers to common external devices. eSATA is the better solution here, and there is one port available on the rear panel.
The 1U form factor of the four-bay EonNAS 1100 limits the amount of free space on the front panel. In normal use, the front panel is the only visible part of the unit, unless you walk around to the back of the rack. From that vantage point, a multitude of Ethernet cables will compromise your view of the back panel, anyway. On the front panel, the four drive trays span the entire width, and are nicely styled, with functional air scoops for bringing fresh air into the drive bays. The status LEDs for each HDD are easy to see, mounted on the right hand edge of each drive tray. The On/OFF button and status LEDs on the far left are easy to see when needed, but are subtle enough when you don't. All in all, it's one of the nicer styled pizza boxes I've seen, especially since it makes do with basic black. The wild colors you see in today's data centers are really something; purple and green and everything between. One USB connector is located on the far right, and I do wish the inside of it was blue, indicating USB 3.0. The side and top panels are bare, anodized aluminum, and will almost always be hidden from view.
The construction quality of the EonNAS 1100 consistent with its all-business mission statement. The drive trays are very nicely built, and slide in and out smoothly. The inner framework is a very sturdy design, especially in the area of the drive bays. The unit came apart easily when needed; 90% of the replacement parts can be accessed by removing two captive screws, and then the top cover. All the components were well aligned during assembly, and went back together the same way. The assembly techniques all showed evidence of good industrial practice, and parts were well finished, without any sharp edges. 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 1100 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 1100 is the first to run Solaris 11, a derivative of the original SunOS that pioneered ZFS. So, while the functionality and features of the EonNAS 1100 are strictly limited to its intended business role, they are extremely advanced and Infortrend is pioneering the availability of high-end data integrity tools in the low end of the marketplace.
As of December 2012 the EonNAS 1100 model was listed for $1089.99 at Newegg. It's also available from several storage integrators like Eaegis and Provantage. Given the unique data integrity features it has, the number of drive bays, the construction quality, and the performance it offers, I think that's a very attractive price for a small business that needs to keep its data safe. The IT crowd 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 will no doubt go for the two larger units in the EonNAS 1000 series.
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, consumer-focused applications, or 10GbE-class performance, then you need to look elsewhere to meet those needs. If you need the storage capacity, the high throughput and continuity of service that four bays of RAID 5, 6, or 10 provides, the deduplication capability, and the unparalleled data integrity provided by the ZFS file system, all in a small 1U package, then the EonNAS 1100 is an excellent candidate for you.
+ ZFS File System = No Data Rot
- ZFS file system slows performance
Final Score: 9.20 out of 10.
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.
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