In March, MicroNet Technology announced the Platinum NAS 4.0, At the time, Joe Trupiano, the company's director of marketing, said the 1 TB version would cost $879 and the 4 TB version would sell for about $5,000.
What a difference a few months make. Yesterday the Torrance, Calif.-based storage company unveiled the latest in its PlatinumNAS Plus line. Prices for the new NAS product, which also includes a slew of new features, range from $799 for a 1 TB configuration to $2,999 for the 4 TB model.
The most interesting aspect of the new NAS unit is an integrated iTunes music server, which is designed to provide Windows and Macintosh network users a centralized repository of up to 4 TB of digital content.
While iTunes may imply consumer and that's definitely part of the plan Trupiano said, the iTunes server means more than just downloading your favorite Green Day songs. "It's so much easier to make multimedia. What's nice about iTunes is everyone has it, which makes it easier to distribute things like business training software, podcasts and other digital media."
By consolidating file and digital media services under a single, Web-based management utility, Micronet said, small businesses can ensure that their critical data files are protected and highly available to all network clients.
Another appealing aspect of using the iTunes server as a distribution platform is that it means small businesses don't have to invest in setting up an intranet. "I've seen intranets that no one has ever used."
Home office users, Trupiano said, can now store and share content from a central, consolidated server instead of trying to locate files stored on individual PCs. This peer-to-peer approach can be a problem, he added, when the user with files needed logs off the network.
According to MicroNet, the new PlatinumNAS Plus uses the Intel IOP RISC network processor optimized for network file services and four independent SATA drive channels. Four hot-swappable SATA disk drives and RAID support is designed to ensure that data is available in the event of a drive failure. The RAID controllers supports RAID 0, 1, 5 and JBOD across two Gigabit Ethernet connections with support for multiple subnets.
The PlatinumNAS Plus includes support for Windows (including Vista), Linux and Mac OS X via the TCP/IP, SMB/CIFS, UPNP, FTP and WebDisk protocols. It also supports Active Directory service, so your network permissions can be applied to the NAS RAID storage.
The PlatinumNAS Plus also includes dual USB 2.0 expansion slots, which are designed to allow for scalability. That is, you can plug in any USB device and the additional storage capacity is available as a network resource.
PlatinumNAS Plus includes an unattended download manager with scheduler, which is designed to let you run bandwidth-intensive downloads such sa FTP, HTTP and Bit Torrent files, during off-peak hours. MicroNet has also added a built-in a scheduled power on/off feature so you can automatically shut down the NAS device during nonbusiness hours to further reduce energy consumption.