Cisco NSS2000 review

The NSS family signals Cisco’s moves into the SMB network storage market. In this review we find out whether the NSS2000 has what it takes to stand up to the established names.

Price
£272

Cisco has traditionally been quite happy to leave its consumer division to handle all small and medium-sized business (SMB) network storage products but the Linksys brand has never really cut it for businesses. With its latest Network Storage System (NSS) products, Cisco has taken over the entire family and beefed it up with the release of 11 new appliances.

This is the result of Cisco's new Small Business Technology Group, which was formed earlier this year with the express purpose of developing a number of affordable networking solutions for SMBs. Another member of this initiative is Cisco's Virus & Spam Blocker and you can see an exclusive review of this over at our sister title PC Pro.

On review here is the entry-level NSS2000, which is a dual-drive desktop unit. The family also includes the NSS3000 quad-drive desktop appliances and then you have the NSS4000 and NSS6000 quad-drive rack mount systems.

Standing at nearly a foot tall in its chunky desktop stand, the NSS2000 is certainly imposing but is extremely well built. The two hot-swap drive carriers are accessed from the front and a single lock in between them secures both bays.

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A key focus of the NSS2000 is small offices that value their peace and tranquillity and we found noise levels from the cooling system to be very low. The appliance is supplied diskless but check Cisco's approved drive list first as it comprises a modest selection of Seagate and Western Digital drives. For testing we popped in a pair of approved 1TB WD GreenPower drives.

Although the appliance offers three USB ports the two auxiliary ports are designed to accept flash drives only for backing up and restoring system configuration files. The third port accepts an APC UPS, which can be monitored by the appliance where it provides a status readout of available power and can initiate an orderly system shutdown in the event of a prolonged blackout.

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