Chris Drage encounters affordable network storage for schools, the Buffalo TeraStation ES
Network Attached Storage (NAS) provides a central place to store all data. Most educational institutions store this on central servers with automatic back-up capabilities.
However, I've often heard network administrators complain: “Such-and-such department always exceeds its storage space on the server and must delete unused or old archived files and material if they want more for their students.” I have even seen heated arguments. What's needed are extra nimble storage devices.
A storage device that is simple to use and instal, like Buffalo’s TeraStation ES (NAS), provides a central location to store, access, and share files. Work, templates, photos, music and videos can be played back from anywhere on the network and it will even keep network administrators happy.
Ideal for 6th form units, design and technology media studies, music and art departments, the TeraStation ES offers compact and affordable storage with a robust back-up capability. It features high-speed transfer rates and four separate hard drives set to mirror each other (called RAID 5 or RAID 1 modes) – even if one hard drive fails, the department’s data is always safe and secure.
The TeraStation ES also features ‘hot swap’ and ‘hot ppare’ functions, so in the unlikely event of a drive failing, the device switches the failed drive to a spare drive, enabling the faulty drive to be safely removed and replaced without losing any data, or experiencing any network down time. A second TeraStation can be connected via one of the network (LAN) ports and can also replicate the data to improve reliability, fault tolerance or accessibility.
'Easy to install, set up and manage'
In use the TeraStation ES is easy to install, set up and manage. It features a clear LCD status display and an intuitive web interface that permits access via a browser from computer within the institution’s network or even across the internet. Other, less mission-critical features include a built-in Bit Torrent client, seamless integration with iTunes and built-in print server capabilities. It even has a USB port for connecting other additional storage devices. The TeraStation ES is bundled with the award winning NovaBACKUP data protection software, which offers easy-to-use yet comprehensive management of all back-ups. With the NovaStore software, all the headaches usually associated with backing up data or even taking images of whole machines, are removed.
Available with 2Tb, 4Tb, 6Tb or 8Tb capacities, the TeraStation ES really is an excellent, low-cost solution for small schools, offices or administration centres or for a dedicated network, say for the sixth form or D&T department where larger capacity, secure storage may be required.
Ratings (out of 5)
Fitness for purpose 5
Ease of use 4
Value for money 4
Buffalo’s TeraStation ES (NAS)
Network attached storage device (NAS) with up to four drives. Internet prices start from £349.98 for Terastation ES 2TB (4 x 500Gb) and £699.98 for TeraStation ES 8TB (4 x 2Tb).