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AIC XN 100 WSS Storage Server

Author:  Jason Knappenberger
Date:  2007.04.05
Topic:  Storage
Provider:  AIC
Manufacturer:  Xtore


This is another product from Advanced Industrial Computer, Inc. (AIC) Xtore Extreme Storage.  On February 28th we reviewed the Serial Attached SCSI canister.  This product is their WSS 4 bay storage server, the XN Desktop WSS 100.  It’s a small form factor Windows Storage Server 2003 device that’s a perfect fit for the SMB market.  Before I get into the specifics of the Xtore WSS, let me first give an overview of Windows Storage Server.  All the information regarding the operating system applies to this product unless otherwise stated.

Overview of Windows Storage Server:

Windows Storage Server (WSS) 2003 is a dedicated file server.  Anything not related to file serving has been pulled from the operating system.  Similar to how Windows Server Web Edition has everything removed except for IIS.  Built in hard drive redundancies are included with most WSS solutions on the market including this one.  The product scales from a branch office file server to a data center utilizing Distributed File System (DFS).  Shadow Copy can be setup for shared folders so files can be restored from up to 64 copies.  Replication across a LAN or WAN link can also be setup to increase availability.

Windows Storage Server 2003 will integrate with any network and supports the SMB, NFS, AppleTalk and Netware protocols.  It will integrate with Active Directory allowing IT Administrators to use Group Policy, Kerberos and EFS encryption.  WSS 2003 also supports Print management, security, and a range of other services.

In my opinion the best part of Windows Storage Server 2003 are the economics of it.  It is a simple to use plug and play NAS solution.  With only an Ethernet cable and power you can be up and running in minutes.  It allows the consolidation of multiple file servers into one WSS Server which simplifies backups and restores.  Windows Storage Server 2003 is a great product not only for the SMB market, but for some home users, especially readers of this site as a lot of us have home networks setup and large amounts of files that we would prefer not to keep on our main PC.

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