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Most network attached storage (NAS) devices purchased by small business are ‘naked’ - the choice of hard disk (HDD) to populate it can be critical. It seems not all drives are the same.

Seagate has addressed that by designing a range of NAS certified HDDs aptly named NAS HDD.

I am sure that other manufacturers have certified designs as well so this is more a primer to alert you to that, for example, all 4TB HDDs are not the same and range from say, well under $200 to well over $300 each.

On the surface drives of this capacity will be SATA III 6Gb/s and that is about where the similarity ends. Some use 4 x 1TB Platters, some use 5 x 800GB patters. Some have 5200 RPM and some have 7200 RPM. Some have 64MB cache and others have 32MB. Some will take 30G shock and others 80G shock and so on. Then we need to compare heat generation and power usage, mean time between failure and warranty.

Back to NAS. You need reliability, low noise, low vibration, low heat, special error recovery circuitry and surprisingly less larger platters makes a lot of difference.

Seagate’s 4TB ST4000VN000 NAS HDD has 1 million hours mean time between failure (theoretical measurement) and are rated for continuous use for 24x7x365. They draw 4.8W of power. RRP is $399.

These drives are best used in one to five bay NAS enclosures from companies including Lenovo/EMC2, D-Link, ASUSTOR, Synology, LaCie, ANAP, Drobo and Thecus.

My advice – don’t skimp on NAS drives by using OEM hard disks destined for PC’s.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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