Seagate delivered a NAS product with a laser focus on what businesses need at this time. While the Business Storage NAS will get its foot in the door by holding eight HDDs in a 1u chassis, the performance will seal the deal. If you need just one NAS for storage or several, rack space comes at a premium, this coming from the guy who just went from a single 45u to three 42u racks. Rack units tend to fill up faster than a company's projected growth, so reducing the size of servers before adding more is an easy way to reduce infrastructure costs before they balloon out of control.
The Seagate Business Storage NAS gives you up to 32TB in a 1U space now and as disk density increases, the NAS density increases by a factor of eight. Previously we were limited to four and five bay models with 3.5" form factor drives in this unit space. Seagate has increased the density and it not only pays dividends now, but in the future as drive density scales the rate of increase to the curve changes quite a bit. On the rack scale, it's nearly unfathomable because it's the kind of increase we've never really thought about before because the tools were not available outside of large, expensive SAN systems.
On the performance side, the Seagate Business Storage NAS does very well with a single 1GbE connection. We're stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to testing 802.3AD until we change the switch infrastructure, but at 1GbE the system is the fastest we've tested.
This leads us to wonder why Seagate didn't chose to include a 10GbE option. The components chosen for the design didn't leave an additional PCIe port for a second card, so the change to the BOM would have increased costs even if the 10GbE card was an add-on option. This system certainly has the processing power and enough DRAM to support a fat pipe back to the network. It's still the fastest NAS we've tested with the methods we use at this time; for that, we can't complain.
From an economics point of view, the Seagate Business Storage NAS makes sense as well. To simplify things, I'm going to use the 12TB model for the example. It ships with eight Seagate ES.3 1.5TB drives. I found these drives online and the lowest price was $99. Again, simplifying things, let's call that $800 so the NAS itself is around $2,100. We want to get down to the actual NAS hardware price since many NAS products ship diskless.
In our review we used a Thecus N8900 for some of the performance comparisons and in the multi-client test the two ran fairly close, but the Seagate unit did perform better; it's only half the height as well. The lowest price we were able to find the N8900 for was just under $2,400. That said, Seagate isn't charging a premium for its one of a kind solution.
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