Seagate unveils NAS line-up for homes and small businesses

The new appliances include the Seagate NAS the Seagate NAS Pro lines

Seagate has launched a new range of network-attached storage (NAS) devices aimed at simplifying centralised storage for small businesses, supporting capacities of up to 30TB and including features such as remote access for mobile workers.

Available immediately, the new NAS appliances are split into two lines: the Seagate NAS aimed at firms with up to about 25 users, and the Seagate NAS Pro for those with up to about 50.

The NAS line comes in two-bay and four-bay models for up to 20TB of storage, while the NAS Pro line supports up to six bays for 30TB of storage and are also VMware-ready for use as virtualised storage in VMware-based infrastructure.

Seagate is pushing the new devices as ideal for smaller businesses that may not have a dedicated IT department, thanks to their ease of use and greater reliability, the firm claims. The devices are also available at a more competitive price than some rival devices.

The ease of use comes from Seagate’s new NAS OS 4 software that the devices run, which is built for power users but is simple and intuitive enough for consumers and small business users to get to grips with, according to Edouard Doutriaux, UK sales director at Seagate.

As an example, NAS OS 4 supports a mode called SimplyRaid, where the platform automatically chooses the optimal Raid mode for spreading data volumes across the available disks. It can also support mixed-capacity drives and allow for drives to be upgraded without any downtime, according to Seagate.

NAS OS 4 also includes App Manager, which enables users to expand the NAS appliance’s capabilities by downloading and installing extra applications to it, such as backup tools, anti-malware and surveillance software for managing IP security cameras.

This will be open for third-party developers to build applications, according to Doutriaux, but Seagate will be qualifying any submitted applications before allowing them to be available to end users.

Some applications ship with the devices at launch, comprising Seagate Antivirus and Surveillance Manager, WordPress and BitTorrent Sync.

Doutriaux claimed that Seagate is almost unique in the NAS arena, because all the technology has been created in-house, from Seagate itself or from LaCie, which Seagate acquired in 2012.

This includes the use of Seagate’s specialised range of NAS hard drives, which have been designed to support 24-hour operation, he said, although customers can choose to fit other drives if they wish.

“You can buy the NAS and NAS Pro empty or with other drives, but if you buy them with our drives, you get a single warranty that covers everything, including the drives,” he said.

To support a mobile workforce, the Seagate NAS and NAS Pro also have a feature called Sdrive, which enables access to files from outside the office. With an Sdrive app installed and configured, users can access the NAS from a PC or Mac anywhere there is an internet connection, as if it were a local drive. Sdrive apps are also available for Apple’s iPhone and iPad, plus Android smartphones and tablets.

Pricing for the Seagate NAS starts at just £129 for a diskless two-bay model, rising to £399 with 8TB of storage. A four-bay NAS Pro with 8TB of storage fitted costs £679, which is competitive against comparable models from firms such as Synology. A fully configured six-bay unit with 30TB of storage will cost £1,839.

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