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Western Digital Sentinel DX4000

Conclusion

Western Digital has delivered an interesting product here. On the one hand, they have made it clear that they are aiming for the SMB and SOHO market. On the other, they have put features into the NAS that make it closer to an enterprise product. Since they are aiming for the Sentinel to be a plug and play appliance for the small office, they can’t be docked for doing things like limiting the types of replacement drives that can be installed. The dual NIC’s and dual USB 3.0 are solid features for any NAS. The support for redundant power supplies is almost unheard of in the NAS market (it’s usually found in enterprise grade SAN’s instead). If you know anything about managing a Windows or Windows Server machine, managing the Sentinel is a cakewalk. Scheduling backups is even easier thanks to the connector software provided by Microsoft. The only downside is the 25 machine limit that is inherit with Windows Storage Server Essentials. This isn’t even a real limitation, as you can still configure a host machine to backup to a folder share on the NAS without using the connector software, enabling you to bypass the 25 machine limit.

In summation, the Western Digital Sentinel DX4000 is an awesome product for your small office or home office. It offers a solid feature set and build quality. Management is easy if you’re familiar with managing Windows machines. For being an awesome NAS, we’re proud to award it our Gold award.

gold t jpg Western Digital Sentinel DX4000

Pros

  • Redundant power supply support
  • Dual USB 3.0 ports
  • Dual gigabit NIC’s
  • LCD status display
  • Solid build quality

Cons

  • Restricted list of allowed drives
  • No drive bay lock
  • Fan remains on when unit is powered off
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  • 10 Comments
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10 Comments... What's your say?

  1. What makes you think this is a pci-e connection instead of just a similar form factor connector using Sata/SAS signalling ?

    I am betting its the latter and they are not using a hardware raid chipset anywhere on this device. I want know more about the system to see if it is entirely software based. as it would be easy to force it to do a raid 0 setup if that were to be the case

    • When I read your comment I went ahead and disassembled the NAS again to make sure I hadn’t missed something. There is no discrete RAID chip connected on the backplane. It is instead using an Intel ICH9R chipset on the motherboard for hardware RAID. As far as the PCIe not actually being what it looks like, it appears that we may both be correct. Some motherboards are able to use their PCIe slots as SATA ports, but still retain PCIe functionality when a drive isn’t plugged in. I think that may be what they’re doing in this instance.

      All that being said, I can’t really see the point in enabling a RAID 0 on a device like this. It’s main purpose is to keep data safe, something completely defeated when using RAID 0. I could see you wanting to use something like RAID 1+0 though.

      • Well with dual GBe and sudo software raid that the ich 9r provides you will probably limit throughput by the ich9r chipset or cpu.
        In some situation with multiple people accessing large files at the same time performance can really degrade, so a raid 0+1 would provide better throughput because of less overhead in the parity calculations.
        With some enhancements a raid 0+1 can read just as fast or faster than a 4 disk raid5 (again parity calculations, more read heads available with less processing overhead delays), just like in some cases a 2 disk raid 1 array can read faster than an identical single drive on the same controller (read optimization’s, more heads available).

        I wonder how this device will perform in a realistic home use situation ( 2 parents 2 children, accessing multimedia content, dvd backups, home movies, and pictures ) or an office situation ( 5-10 people with office documents, access/quicken database, and pictures ) with 2 drives in raid 1 vs 4 drives in raid 5

  2. For the performance you just included screen shots of the Windows transfer manager! LOL

Trackbacks

  1. [...] This page of the review has a number of screen shots of the NAS as it is disassembled. One of the interesting hardware choices that Western Digital made is described: One interesting feature is the redundant power supply of Sentinel. You don’t typically see that in consumer grade NAS’s. This just shows that Western Digital is packing some enterprise grade bells and whistles in their small office appliance. Purchasing an additional power brick to enable redundant power will set you back $60. Also included on the back of the NAS are 2 USB 3.0 ports and dual gigabit NIC’s to help in your high speed data transfers. [...]

  2. [...] TechwareLabs Digg Diggvar dd_offset_from_content = 40; var dd_top_offset_from_content = [...]

  3. [...] Western Digital Sentinel DX4000 @ TechwareLabs [...]

  4. [...] Western Digital Sentinel DX4000 @ TechwareLabs [...]

  5. [...] Western Digital Sentinel DX4000 @ TechwareLabs [...]

  6. [...] NetworkingWestern Digital Sentinel DX4000 NAS @ TechwareLabs [...]

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