Buffalo Technology TeraStation TS5800 review

The latest TeraStation TS5800 offers an Atom CPU, DDR3 memory and combined NAS and IP SAN operations

IP SANs

For IP SAN configuration you create a new iSCSI volume and decide on a size for the target. As with NAS volumes, you can increase the size of an iSCSI volume into spare space on the fly.

Access can be restricted to each iSCSI target with a username and password and you can use Buffalo's mutual authorisation and limit access to specific initiators. Host connection is aided by Buffalo's connection tool which automates iSCSI initiator configuration.

Backup features and IP surveillance

The TS5800 scores well for its backup features. Along with replication to other TeraStations, it can manage scheduled jobs for copying data from local shares to other shares that have the Backup option enabled allowing them to be used as destinations.

Workstation backup is a cut above the rest as Buffalo includes NovaBackup Business Essentials licensed for ten users. It runs scheduled backups of local folders to selected shares and includes the plug-ins for SQL Server and Exchange. You get v13 and NovaStor offers a free upgrade to v14 but with a 20 processing fee'.

Another new feature is support for IP camera recording although Buffalo implements this differently to the competition. Qnap and Synology, for example, handle the entire process locally on the appliance where you define IP cameras, set up recording schedules and enable motion detection.

For the TS5800, this is all handled by Buffalo's Surveillance Server suite which runs on a separate Windows or Mac host and uses the appliance as a recording vault. All you do at the appliance is define a share as a recording vault with all other recording, scheduling and vault management functions configured and managed from the host PC.

Buffalo Technology TeraStation - 4

IP camera recording is handled by a separate software suite that runs on a dedicated host PC and uses the appliance as a storage vault

Performance testing

The improved hardware showed its mettle in our real world performance tests. We used a Dell PowerEdge R515 server loaded with Windows Server 2012 and saw drag and drop copies of a 2.52GB video clip return fast read write speeds of 105MB/sec and 87MB/sec.

FTP speeds were in the same ball park with the FileZilla utility reporting speeds for the same file of 100MB/sec and 94MB/sec. Our 22.4GB collection of 10,500 files was handled well with this copied to the appliance at an average of 56MB/sec.

The NovaBackup software was noticeably slower as using it to backup the test data returned only 30MB/sec. IP SAN speeds were on the money though, with the Iometer utility reporting a fast raw read throughout of 109MB/sec for a 100GB target.

Conclusion

It's been a long wait for Buffalo to integrate NAS and IP SAN features into one appliance and it works well enough once you the hang of its LVM feature. Performance is good but the TS5800 still comes up short on features when stacked up against the similarly priced but ultimately superior Synology DS1812+ and Qnap TS-869 Pro 8-bay boxes.

Verdict

The TeraStation TS5800 is much faster than its predecessor and scores well for value. NAS and IP SAN integration is long overdue but very welcome and general data backup features are good. However, if you want a lot more for your money then check out Qnap’s and Synology’s 8-bay appliances.

Chassis: Desktop

CPU: 2.13GHz Intel Atom D2700

Memory: 2GB DDR3

Storage: 8 x 1TB WD GreenPower hot-swap SATA hard disks

Array support: RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 51, 60, 61, JBOD

Network: 2 x Gigabit

Other ports: 2 x USB2, 3 x USB3

Management: Web browser

Software: Buffalo Surveillance Server (1 camera license), NovaBackup Business Essentials v13 (10 licenses)

Warranty: 3yr RTB

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