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Proware EPICa Series EN-T800 SAS NAS - Final Thoughts

Proware brings an industrial feel to the NAS market, but can this product that is built like a tank keep up with the big boys in data transfer rates?

| SOHO NAS/DAS in Storage | Posted: May 18, 2010 1:25 pm
TweakTown Rating: 89%      Manufacturer: Proware

Final Thoughts

 

Proware launched their IPO in 2006, but the company started R&D for their products back in 1996. The company might be a little late to the global stage, but they are working very hard to put on a good show. For the most part, smaller consumer and mid tier NAS products like the MiniEPICa and EN-T800 that we looked at today are more of an offshoot rather than their core business. Once you take a look at their website it becomes clear that Proware has much deeper ties to real enterprise storage products where bells and whistles mean the ability to hold several hundreds, if not thousands of TB of data attached to fiber channel arrays. Products like the EP-4423J that occupies only 4U, yet holds a massive 42 drives with 2200 watts of power via dual redundant power supplies make up the bulk of Proware's business. Given the fact that a company making such hardware is even considering entering the consumer and small / home office market is quite exciting and without a doubt I think we will soon see Proware delivering products that are secular.

 

The problem is that we are looking at a product the company has delivered now and what type of market they are positioning the EN-T800 in today. When I used the term Industrial Grit earlier, I meant it to be a very accurate description. Thecus and QNAP produce Lian Li type NAS products for the most part; they are flashy, do more than they need to and perform very well, yet retail a bit of elegance. The Proware EN-T800 is heavy duty; a product that can survive a factory environment. Put the EN-T800 next to a large sand blasting cabinet and it will survive years without a scratch and even if it did get a little banged up, it wouldn't matter because it would just add to the character of the NAS. I have never really seen a product like it in the consumer side of the market. Not all of Proware's products are like this; the MiniEPICa that we reviewed actually excelled in the elegance factor, almost like it was a totally different Proware all together. There is nothing wrong with either of these approaches, but they should be detailed when discussing them.

 

When it comes to data transfer rates, the Proware EN-T800 performed quite well in nearly all of the tests. Since the unit isn't designed to sit in grandma's computer room collecting scans of old pictures, we aren't going to beat it up for very slow Photo Album performance. The EN-T800 does perform best as a file server getting dumped on with very large files. RAID 5 performances was generally much better than RAID 6, but this is the case with nearly all NAS servers.

 

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