After connecting the server to our test network and logging in for the initial setup, we were worried. The Windows operating system is slow to respond to commands. This is apparent when connected directly with a keyboard and monitor as well as when using remote desktop. There are a couple of reasons for this, and one is self-induced. The first issue is that we are used to the low latency performance from SSDs, so anything using a mechanical disk drive seems slow to respond to commands. It takes a minute to remember that mechanical disk drives are slow to respond to commands, but that isn't the end of the issue. The software RAID 1 spanned across two drives IS actually slow for operating system performance. Once you get the initial setup configured, you can get out of Windows and use the server as a storage station over the network.
Everything gets much better when you use the Buffalo 5400r WSS as a storage server. Our file transfers were very fast, and copy / paste commands moved along with very low latency while issuing commands. Our published tests back this up with solid performance in both CIFS and iSCSI.
Our multiclient test did show slower than expected performance when many users read and write small office files on the server. We've used servers with the same Intel D2700 processor and 4GB of DRAM with Linux and not had the same issue. Other Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 servers we've tested showed the same lack of multiclient throughput and latency as the 5400r, so we can point directly to the operating system for our performance issue.
The Buffalo TeraStation 5400r WSS is also expensive in both 8TB and 16TB configurations. At $2,600 as tested today, we've seen products that offer a higher value but without Windows and without drives preinstalled. The 5400r WSS does ship preconfigured, which is very nice, and you can start using it after less than 5 minutes of setup time.
The 5400r WSS is a nice unit with a familiar interface for everyone who grew up on Windows. We feel that the system is a bit underpowered for a Windows server with the Atom D2700 dual-core for large offices, but this system will work well for a small office for data storage / backup purposes.
PRICING: You can find the Buffalo TeraStation 5400r WSS (8TB) for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The Buffalo TeraStation 5400r WSS (8TB) retails for $2,660.57 at Amazon.
Canada: The Buffalo TeraStation 5400r WSS (8TB) retails for CDN$3,546.58 at Amazon Canada.