Evesham Technology has a reputation for delivering good value, well-specified PCs and servers but it has also been very busy of late building up an impressive family of network storage products as well. It has a good selection of NAS (network attached storage) appliances with the latest SilverSTOR 500Q representing the entry point of this extensive portfolio.
The price looks comparatively high for an entry-level NAS appliance but the 500Q does come with Windows Storage Server 2003 (WSS2003) at the helm. This also includes the FalconStor Storage Server iSCSI (Internet SCSI) plug-in module which allows volumes to be set up as targets. These are accessed by remote systems equipped with a hardware or software iSCSI initiator where the drives appear as though directly attached. One feature Evesham has standardised on across its NAS appliances is storage as all SilverSTOR products are equipped with SATA hard disks. It’s easy to see why as this interface offers the best combination of performance, capacity and value.
The 500Q is certainly a compact package although the sleek aluminium side panels are on the thin side and could easily be dented or damaged. On initial inspection it’s clear that it isn’t a purpose built NAS appliance and some investigation revealed it to be a Biostar iDECQ220T Mini-PC package – just like the Evesham e-Style PC we reviewed a while back. As the manufacturer has aimed this primarily at the consumer PC market it comes with a lot of baggage that will most certainly be wasted in its role as a network storage device. Features such as sockets for surround sound speakers, game ports, a header for S-Video output and S/PDIF optical connectors are totally wasted here.
On the plus side you get a 2.4GHz Celeron processor teamed up with 512MB of PC3200 SDRAM memory. Storage capacity is also looking good as the price includes a brace of Hitachi Deskstar 400GB SATA/150 hard disks and the embedded VIA SATA controller supports RAID-0 and RAID-1 arrays as well as individual drives. The system comes supplied with the drives configured as a mirror which provides good fault tolerance but reduces total capacity down to 200GB. You can’t add any more SATA drives as although there is room where the CD-ROM drive would normally go the motherboard only has a pair of interfaces. You can’t add another SATA controller card either as the only PCI slot is occupied by an Intel Gigabit Ethernet card.