What’s missing from NAS reviews


It’s another of my blog posts where I ask you to read something and take a guess. Here’s a review of a drive enclosure from a well-known storage review site. Can you see anything missing?

The Netstor Mini Dual NA460C is a desktop direct attached storage device in a tiny compact form factor. The NA460C has a built-in hardware RAID processor and support four RAID modes including RAID1, RAID0, SPAN, and JBOD. The device provides a physical option for selecting the desired RAID mode on the back of the device, giving users the option for data protection through RAID1 or maximum storage through SPAN (16TB according to Netstor using two 8TB HDDs). The NA460C also uses USB-C interface.

That’s right, there aren’t spaces between the drive capacity and units. It should be 8 TB, or 8 TiB if they’re really referring to tebibytes. I made that mistake many times, and I’ll likely make it again.

Jokes aside, is a phrase with two words. There’s no mention anywhere in the review, including the opening description, about how loud the unit is. It seems like an odd omission, yet it’s the norm on most review sites.

I understand that data centre hardware will be noisy: it’s specifically optimised for a dust-free, temperature-controlled environment with engineers who (PARDON!?) wear ear plugs. But it’s reasonable to assume a mini NAS could just as easily end up sitting in an open-plan office or home as it would be in a sound-proof comms room or basement. Worse, the problem is compounded by proprietary connectors, interfaces, and controllers that hamper easily replacing fans with handsome, quiet Noctua units upon discovering you’ve bought an industrial-strength gas turbine for your desk.

Please include sound information, at idle and under load, when writing NAS reviews. It doesn’t need to be detailed decibel descriptions or other forms of delightful alliteration, just whether it’s LOUD or not. Our wallets, and our ears, will thank you :).

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