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Home information warehouse – ASUSTOR AS6104T

The progress of computing technology does not stand still and constantly requires not only new high-speed processors, but also the amount of information that it can process. Since the more it is processed, the greater the likelihood of finding in the heap “do not understand why” gold grains that will allow you to become a leader or just stay afloat in times of crisis. But all this bunch of information that needs to be processed must be stored somewhere. It is for these purposes that small NAS are designed (from the English. Network Attached Storage – a network storage system, network storage), which, due to their small size, do not clutter up small offices. However, such devices are necessary not only for business. Storage devices are increasingly in demand by the end user, since the volume of files with video and audio information, which is constantly updated due to new films and photographs taken not only on professional cameras, but also on ordinary smartphones, is constantly growing, and in a year -Two of these volumes can reach frightening values. Therefore, we need a warehouse – a storehouse for information that is needed not only now, but also in the future. To do this, ASUSTOR offers to use specialized network storages that will satisfy ordinary, most ordinary users, and will be very useful for small and even medium-sized businesses. Most recently, in one of the articles we paid attention to the line of network drives ASUSTOR, so back to the hero of our review.

In this article, we will consider a relatively new model of the AS6104T NAS, manufactured by ASUSTOR, which is intended primarily for home users, but can also be useful in small and medium-sized businesses. This NAS allows you to install up to four 3.5 or 2.5-inch form factor hard drives, which is more than enough for a movie collection, photos, and a family document archive.

Appearance of ASUSTOR AS6104T

ASUSTOR AS6104T 4-drive NAS

Model AS6104T comes in plain packaging, on the side of which its technical features and main features are indicated, which are shown in the form of icons. An extended list can be seen on one side of the package, where it is presented in many languages.

ASUSTOR AS6104T 4-drive NAS

The drive came to us in a very ascetic configuration. In addition to the drive itself, in the box there was only a power cord with an adapter (12 V, 7.5 A) and a remote control. The standard equipment includes: a power cable with an adapter, two RJ-45 network cables, an installation disk with the necessary software and user manual, as well as two sets of screws for attaching hard drives (16 each). But the remote control is proposed to be purchased separately.

ASUSTOR AS6104T 4-drive NAS

Externally, the ASUSTOR AS6104T NAS is similar to many other NAS models with vertical drive rails. And like all similar models, it has an information panel located above the slide (in this model it is absent, but it is in a more advanced one) with an infrared signal receiver for control using the remote control, and on the left is the power button, operation indicators and a USB 3.0 connector. The front panel is made of plastic, but the drive body is made of metal.

ASUSTOR AS6104T 4-drive NAS

ASUSTOR AS6104T 4-drive NAS

The slide on the AS6104T has a metal frame that is covered with plastic pads. They have standard mounts for 2.5 and 3.5 inch form factor drives. However, installing SSDs is still quite expensive, so preference is always given to the standard size of 3.5 inches.

ASUSTOR AS6104T 4-drive NAS

The slide has two indicators, one of which indicates the presence of a disk, and the other blinks when there are active requests to this disk.

ASUSTOR AS6104T 4-drive NAS

The underside of the drive is uncoated. It has large enough legs made of soft plastic, which guarantees good stability.

ASUSTOR AS6104T 4-drive NAS

As is traditionally accepted, the vast majority of connectors are located on the back of the case. Behind the grille on the left is a large 120mm fan that removes excess heat from working disks and system board components. On the right are two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, two eSATA connectors, two 10/100/1000 Base-T Ethernet connectors, as well as an HDMI port for connecting a monitor / TV and an optical SPDIF connector for audio output. The HDMI and SPDIF outputs are convenient if the network drive is used as a media center. In addition, at the bottom there are connectors for power and Kensington lock.

ASUSTOR AS6104T 4-drive NAS

This model of the drive came to our editorial office with a control panel that works in conjunction with an IR sensor built into the AS6104T front panel. The control panel is not included in the standard delivery of this model. By the way, a list of additional accessories can be found on the manufacturer's website. The remote control is necessary if the network drive is used as a media center. It works on two AAA form factor batteries.

In general, the AS6104T model is not much different from other similar devices, however, one cannot but note the high build quality and the use of high-quality materials. Now consider its internal structure.

Hardware configuration

ASUSTOR AS6104T 4-drive NAS

ASUSTOR AS6104T 4-drive NAS

The internal chassis of the case is made entirely of metal. The hard drive bay takes up most of the space. The main board is installed vertically on one of the sides of the drive, and the components placed on it are blown by a single standard fan.

ASUSTOR AS6104T 4-drive NAS

The cooling system of this model is based on the FD121225HB 120 mm fan, which is connected via a four-pin connector and controlled by PWM. This allows you to automatically control the speed of rotation of the fan, reducing it in the absence of load.

ASUSTOR AS6104T 4-drive NAS

ASUSTOR AS6104T 4-drive NAS

As with most NAS, the AS6104T has a specific, custom-sized motherboard. One of its parts is covered with a black plastic dielectric plate, which protects against accidental contact closure. Several microcircuits and two SO-DIMM slots for installing memory are hidden under it.

ASUSTOR AS6104T 4-drive NAS

In addition, the motherboard has a small satellite board on which the device’s initial firmware and bootloader are located.

ASUSTOR AS6104T 4-drive NAS

Hardware ASUSTOR AS6104T:

processor – dual-core Intel Celeron J3060, clocked at 1.6 GHz;
  RAM – 2 GB (2 × SO-DIMM LDDR3-1600);
  flash-memory – ADATA IUM01-512MFHL with a capacity of 512 MB (chip SM3252Q-BB);
  disk space – 4 × 3.5 "(2.5") HDD / SSD with SATA II or SATA III interface;
  slots for HDD – four hot-swappable slots;
  maximum storage capacity – 40 TB;
  network interfaces – 2 × RJ-45-gigabit Ethernet (Broadcom BCM57781);
  USB – 3 × USB 3.0 (one in front; two in back), 2 × USB 2.0;
  eSATA – 2 × eSATA (ASM1061 via ASM1466);
  HDMI – located at the back;
  status indicators – Status, Power, LAN, USB, 4 × HDD;
  buttons – Power, Copy, Reset (located at the back);
  dimensions (h × w × d) – 186 × 170 × 230 mm;
  power consumption in sleep mode – 16 watts.

ASUSTOR AS6104T 4-drive NAS

It should be noted that the memory in this model operates in a two-channel mode, which is still rarely seen in other similar devices. You can increase the capacity of RAM by replacing two SO-DIMM modules at once or install one, but immediately a large amount (1 + 1, 2 + 2, 4 + 4, 4 or 8).

ASUSTOR AS6104T 4-drive NAS

The maximum allowable memory is limited to 8 GB, as the memory controller integrated in the processor no longer supports it. As standard, the ASUSTOR AS6104T motherboard has two DDR3L-1600 modules from the Taiwanese DSL company, based on SAMSUNG K4B2G1646Q chips. The capacity of each module is 1 GB.

ASUSTOR AS6104T 4-drive NAS

A separately installed circuit board with SATA connectors to which the drives are connected is connected to the main system board via the PCI-Express 4x interface. There is one ASMedia ASM1061 SATA controller on it, which supports connecting two disks with the SATA Revision 3.0 interface, that is, it supports a high-speed interface up to 6 Gb / s. The remaining two internal SATA interfaces are implemented on the basis of a two-channel SATA controller integrated in the processor.

To output sound in 7.1 format, an additional digital interface SP-DIF is provided, which is based on the ALC887 controller manufactured by Realtek. The HDMI interface is based on the integrated Intel HD Graphics 400 graphics core operating at a frequency of 700 MHz.

Operating System and ADM Control Panel

ASUSTOR AS6104T 4-drive NAS

In our recent article, we paid a lot of attention to proprietary firmware, so within the framework of this publication we will quickly go through those functions that we have not yet considered.

ASUSTOR AS6104T 4-drive NAS

The firmware of this model as a whole is no different from other devices from ASUSTOR. Due to the availability of a powerful x86 processor, in this version of NAS you can install a larger number of additional packages, and in general it works much faster than its budget counterparts.

In other words, this small server can do a lot, because it is equipped with a dual-core Intel Celeron processor of the Braswell generation with 2 GB of dual-channel memory. According to the manufacturer, in a RAID 5 configuration it is capable of providing a read speed of about 225 MB / s and a write speed of about 188 MB / s. In addition, this model is equipped with hardware support for AES, which guarantees good data protection from the moment it enters the NAS, that is, when this function is turned on, all information on the AS6104T drives will be encrypted. This drive model is one of the few that supports dual-channel memory, and this provides the user with the ability to fully play 4K video. In addition, the storage has extensive expansion options, because in addition to four internal disks, it has two USB 2.0 ports, three USB 3.0 ports and two eSATA ports. The maximum internal capacity of the drive is 40 TB (depending on the type of RAID used and the number of drives installed). Supported modes: Single disk, JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6, RAID 10. And all this with warranty service for three years.

ASUSTOR AS6104T 4-drive NAS

In addition to the basic and previously considered basic modules, the ASUSTOR AS6104T NAS has support for the VirtualBox virtualization system, which will satisfy all requests for creating and maintaining virtual machines. With VirtualBox, you can do everything from installing various supported operating systems, importing and exporting virtual machines, creating snapshots of virtual machines, and assigning physical network ports to network attached storage for use with special virtual machines.

ASUSTOR AS6104T 4-drive NAS

Using VirtualBox, you can install any operating system on a network storage, including varieties of Linux and Windows. Thus, a network drive can be used as a full-featured, but at the same time virtual computer. It doesn’t matter whether you send e-mail, edit files in Word, Excel or PowerPoint or work in Skype, you can do everything on one machine.

ASUSTOR AS6104T 4-drive NAS

In addition to officially recommended applications, you can also find quite specialized ones, for example, an email server. The simplicity and ease of management will allow you to create and maintain a mail domain of a small company at no additional cost.

ASUSTOR AS6104T 4-drive NAS

In addition to the built-in VPN client, on ASUSTOR AS6104T you can install a package with support for several VPN servers (PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN), which will allow you to create encrypted tunnels for it from anywhere in the world.

ASUSTOR AS6104T 4-drive NAS

The presence of an HDMI port and optical SPDIF will allow using the AS6104T as a full-fledged multimedia server, but, on the other hand, UPnP support will facilitate the search for storage on the network.

ASUSTOR AS6104T 4-drive NAS

It should be noted that the network drive AS6104T, like other models in this series, is ideally suited for creating an integrated video surveillance system to protect personal property, loved ones and business. When you install the Surveillance Center application from the App Central application center, the network storage instantly turns into a high-definition round-the-clock video surveillance system. Surveillance Center provides comprehensive cross-platform support so that Windows and Mac users can use familiar web browsers to access camera images. Moreover, ASUSTOR offers the free AiSecure mobile application, with which users can view images from all cameras while on the go. AiSecure provides the ability to receive instant push notifications from Surveillance Center, informing users about the latest developments.

Testing methodology

We have repeatedly published the full NAS testing methodology, so we’ll only highlight the main points. In the latest version of the testing methodology, we added a test that simulates downloading files directly from the NAS via HTTP, since many of them now support this mode. Access to data using this connection method will certainly be in demand by those users who want to access data from outside, since the FTP protocol is hopelessly outdated, requires a client in some cases, and is inconvenient to use in principle. We did not remove the testing of the NAS using the FTP protocol, but only optimized the script for its execution. In this technique, we tested the data transfer rate with a remote disk subsystem using the CIFS protocol by simulating file transfers using the copy functions built into the operating system. Thus, we obtained the most approximate results when using the copy function of the Windows 7 operating system.

The test bench had the following configuration:

processor – Intel Core i7-3960X 3.3 GHz;
  system board – Biostar TPower X79;
  memory – DDR3-1333 (4 GB, dual channel mode);
  system disk – Intel 520 240 GB;
  graphics card – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760;
  network controller – Realtek 8111E.

Testing was conducted under the control of the operating system Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate (32-bit). The choice of a 32- rather than a 64-bit operating system is explained by the presence of Intel NAS Performance Toolkit among the programs for testing, which, as you know, works optimally only with the 32-bit version of the OS; on the 64-bit version, the results can be completely incomprehensible and inconsistent .

The system disk of the test bench was connected to the 6 Gb / s SATA port, implemented through a controller integrated into the Intel X79 chipset. NAS was connected directly to the gigabit network interface without intermediate switches. Thus, the test results were not affected by other network devices, except for the adapter and controller Realtek 8111E integrated in the tested network storage on the stand motherboard.

ASUSTOR AS6104T 4-drive NAS

An important feature of this test was that this time, in order to get the maximum speed performance, we used port aggregation on both gigabit network adapters. This is because ASUSTOR claims to have very high speeds for this NAS model. Alas, if we only had two disks out of four, we could not emulate ASUSTOR tests, but in general, the results of high-speed tests turned out to be interesting.

The AS6104T has been tested in two RAID modes: RAID 0 (Stripe) and RAID 1 (Mirror). A pair of modern Western Digital WD40EFRX WD Red series drives of 4 TB each were installed in the network storage. Recall that this series of disks is designed to work specifically in various systems with RAID arrays. We also note that during the tests, the caching modes of data recording were disabled. Before testing on the NAS, the latest internal software available for download at the time of testing was installed.

All tests and utilities used in this testing were automated using AutoIT. A special script written in this language allows you to run tests in streaming mode, one after another, with reboots between starts. Each of the tests was run at least three times, and based on the data obtained, tables of results were compiled that were based on the average value for each of the tests. This approach allowed us to avoid errors during testing, reduce the time of the tests themselves, and completely eliminate the influence of the human factor on the testing process itself. Поскольку особого смысла описывать сам процесс разработки скрипта нет, далее мы рассмотрим каждый из тестов, используемых в нашем тестовом пакете.

Тестовый пакет NAS Performance Toolkit

Чтобы оценить примерную производительность сетевого хранилища при типовой работе обычного пользователя, нами был использован хорошо известный тестовый пакет NASPT (NAS Performance Toolkit),  разработанный компанией Intel. Файловый бенчмарк Intel NAS Performance Test, название которого указывает на то, что он изготовлен специально для тестирования NAS, представляет собой набор из дюжины пресетов, имитирующих передачу данных в популярных приложениях, а также типичную сетевую активность при работе с устройствами такого типа. Кроме того, пользователь с помощью прилагаемой инструкции сам может составить необходимые имитирующие пресеты (компания Intel назвала их трассами — tracers). В нашем тестировании мы использовали стандартные пресеты, предлагаемые утилитой по умолчанию, а именно:

HD Video Playback — проигрывание одного видеофайла высокого разрешения;
  HD Video Playback × 2 — проигрывание двух видеофайлов высокого разрешения;
  HD Video Playback × 4 — проигрывание четырех видеофайлов высокого разрешения
  HD Video Record — запись видео высокого разрешения;
  HD Playback and Record — одновременные запись и чтение видео высокого разрешения;
  Content creation — создание контента на устройстве, типовой тест;
  Office productivity — работа с офисными файлами на устройстве, типовой тест;
  File copy to NAS — копирование файла на устройство;
  File copy from NAS — копирование файла с устройства;
  Dir copy to NAS — копирование директории на устройство;
  Dir copy from NAS — копирование директории с устройства;
  Photo album — работа с изображениями на устройстве.

Поскольку данный тест использует стандартный механизм операционной системы для работы с накопителями, необходимо быть максимально аккуратным при его применении — для сравнения накопителей между собой тестовые платформы и используемое программное обеспечение должны быть идентичны во всех случаях, что сведет к минимуму их возможное влияние на результат тестирования. И не стоит забывать о том, что в современных операционных системах активно применяется кэширование данных: если получены необычно высокие скорости для накопителя, то, скорее всего, операционная система или драйверы контроллера смогли сохранить данные в памяти для быстрого доступа к ним. Поэтому данный тест запускался пять раз подряд, а между прогонами компьютер перезагружался, чтобы очистить все кэш-файлы. Перед тестированием с помощью этого тестового пакета операционная система была переустановлена.

Результаты тестирования

Результаты тестирования этого накопителя получились средними, но из-за наличия только двух дисков мы не смогли протестировать режимы RAID5 и RAID10. Эти режимы в большинстве случае актуальны для малых предприятий, а возможность миграции с одного типа массива на другой (кроме RAID5), позволяет быстро добавить дополнительные накопители. В целом, новая модель AS6104T показала неплохие результаты, но опять же, в данном случае скоростные показатели уже давно не являются важным критерием при выборе. Для современного NAS в первую очередь важна сама «экосистема» — надежная работа аппаратной части с программным обеспечением и широкие функциональные возможности. А именно этого главного у AS6104T хоть отбавляй.

Результаты теста Intel NASPT

ASUSTOR AS6104T сетевой накопитель на 4 диска

ASUSTOR AS6104T сетевой накопитель на 4 диска

Результаты эмуляции копирования

ASUSTOR AS6104T сетевой накопитель на 4 диска

ASUSTOR AS6104T сетевой накопитель на 4 диска

ASUSTOR AS6104T сетевой накопитель на 4 диска

Выводы

Тенденция к полному переходу от десктопных ПК к мобильным компьютерам не ослабевает, а учитывая снижение стоимости жестких дисков при увеличении их объема, становится понятным желание многих пользователей иметь дома персональный сетевой накопитель для складирования разного рода информации, которая всегда должна быть под рукой. Именно этой цели и служит ASUSTOR AS6104T. Приобретение данного устройства будет весьма полезным, а для многих и просто необходимым приобретением, способным удовлетворить их запросы в надежном и доступном накопителе.

Сетевое хранилище ASUSTOR AS6104T предлагает пользователю широкий спектр возможностей по созданию домашней библиотеки файлов, обеспечивая их надежной защитой с защитой при выходе из строя установленных дисков и возможностью вывода данного хранилища в Интернет для доступа к хранящимся на нем данным из любой точки мира. Порты USB и eSATA дают возможность подключать к этой модели не только внешние диски, но и принтер, и источник бесперебойного питания, и другие устройства, что позволяет сделать сетевое хранилище центром домашней сети. Ориентировочная стоимость модели ASUSTOR AS6104T на момент написания статьи составляет около 45 тыс. руб. без предустановленных дисков.

.(tagsToTranslate)ASUS(t)сетевой накопитель(t)NAS(t)RAID(t)хранение(t)AS6104T(t)4 диска(t)ASUSTOR(t)хранение(t)мультимедиа



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Cynthia F. Seaberg

Hey, everybody! Thank you for your interest in my blog, I am glad to see you as a guest! Briefly about me: my name is Cynthia F. Seaberg. I was born in the Ural city of Perm, but at the age of 18 I left for Moscow, where I still live, not counting the time I spend travelling.

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