|EonNAS 1100 NAS Network Storage Server|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Network|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Wednesday, 05 December 2012|
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EonNAS 1100 NAS Server Setup & Usage
The first thing you need to do with most NAS devices is discover them on your network and set them up. Most NAS vendors bundle a small, lightweight "finder" application with their products that has some system utilities included. The EonNAS NASFinder2.2 app provides Device Discovery, System Login, Network Configuration, Storage Configuration, User Account Setup, and Share directory setup, all before you log in to the full monitoring & control application via a standard web browser. The finder app cycles through all these sub-menus during initial setup; once you do that, the setup wizard is always available in case you forget your password or need to reconfigure the NAS. Otherwise, just use your browser and login to the IP address that the NAS is configured to; the default address is 10.0.0.2 for the first Ethernet port. Once setup is complete, the NASFinder app will show you a summary of your initial settings at the end, so you can double check that everything's set the way you want it.
Once the initial setup is complete, you need to log in to the main admin application, which is accessed by typing the IP Address of the NAS device into your browser. The areas you can control are divided up into the following groups:
Each of these menu items is broken down further, as you can see below. If you read through the entire Software Features section, then the number of sub-menus should not be a surprise for you. I can only fit about half of the menu tree on the screen, but you get the idea.
The individual menu items are also available in a larger window to the right of the menu tree. There's an opportunity to view a brief description of the function before you start clicking on anything. Here's what the System maintenance screen looks like:
One of the critical aspects of setting up a NAS is the networking configuration. It's so easy to get it wrong and accidentally shut down access, that Infortrend includes tools in their setup wizard application, which you can still access after you have inadvertently locked yourself out. If you get it completely out of whack, it's still possible to recover by using the system reset function, which can be accessed on the rear panel. Once you navigate to the Network Configuration screen, you can change global settings and individual settings for each of the Ethernet ports available on the system. Manual and DHCP setting of port addresses is allowed, and I ended up setting static IP addresses for this NAS, so that I could run separate data paths through a network switch. IPv4 and IPv6 are both accommodated and the two integral ports are labeled "LAN1" and "LAN2"; no other ports will be listed since there is no expansion slot available for additional NICs on the EonNAS 1100.
A separate Network Trunking menu allows two or more ports to be linked together and configured for 802.3ad Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) mode. The two ports on the EonNAS 1100 are easily linked and unlinked, by using these tools, but may require a restart to be fully functional. All testing in this review was done with single port connections, to keep the playing field level. I have had very mixed results so far using LACP on a variety of NAS products; it's not a simple plug-and-play way to double your throughput, that's for sure.
Infortrend uses the concept of storage "pools" to manage drive allocations. This does not replace RAID volumes, but works with them to provide more management options. One major benefit to this method is that the EonNAS can quickly and easily migrate from a single disk configuration to a fully populated RAID system without having to backup your data to a separate drive. I went from a single disk configuration to a four-disk RAID 5 system in less than five minutes, without losing any data that was on the single disk. I've only tested one other NAS that could do this, but that unit took many hours (6-8) for the disks to resynchronize, after I added additional drives. I used to think this was just a nice feature for reviewers, who have to test with multiple disk configurations, but I had a forum exchange recently that highlighted how useful this capability is during data migrations. During a "normal" setup, the NASFinder software will ask you to select the desired RAID configuration at startup, and you can choose the one that fits your needs the best. The only option you might miss is the use of a hot spare with RAID 5. Personally, I think RAID 6 is a better choice if you need that level of assurance and only have four drive bays to work with. You might also notice that RAID 10 is missing from this setup screen. To make a striped set of mirrors, which is the very definition of RAID 10 You have to build a single RAID 1 (mirrored set), and then add another RAID1 set to it in striped mode. Definitely not as easy as selecting a radio button, but it's all explained in the manual.
Ok, if you've been following along this far, there's not much more I can show you except how fast it is. So let's get down to some benchmarking, and compare it to a variety of other NAS products that we've looked at recently.