More staff quickly leads to increased data storage requirements. One way to solve data storage constraints is to add a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device to your network.
The Gateway GS 400 is a rack mountable NAS device, capable of holding up to four hard drives, and it comes complete with its own CPU, RAM, network adapter, and fan. By simply plugging the GS 400 into your company network, you can add up to 160GB of storage that can be accessed by workstations and servers, even in mixed platform environments.
Installing the GS 400 took us about 20 minutes. Because the GS 400 was slightly wider than the screw plates on the front of our standard 19-inch rack, we had to install it from the back.
We also had trouble with the installation of the Gateway NAS Manager software on both of the workstations we used. The first installation, on a Pentium III 600MHz system running Windows 98 Second Edition, reported that we were missing a file and wouldn't let us run the software. On the second workstation, a Pentium II 400MHz also running Windows 98 Second Edition, we were able to install and run the program, but each time we booted up, we were told we were missing another file. This time we were able to continue by clicking OK.
The Gateway NAS Manager helped us discover the GS 400 on the network and configure the IP address so that we could access the software tools from a browser. We were pleased with the menu-driven tools screen that let us set up the GS 400's network configuration, system monitoring, security management, storage management, and other settings. We had no trouble saving and loading files from Windows, Unix, Apple, and NetWare workstations connected to our test network. The access speeds we achieved were very close to a 40GB Snap Server we had connected to our network. Although the GS 400 and Snap Server both feature 40GB of standard storage and similar software tools, the GS 400, at $200 more in price, sports a metal, rack-ready case, while the Snap Server is shrouded in odd-shaped plastic.
The GS 400 is a heavy duty and scalable network storage appliance with the capability to let you add drives until you reach four. Once we got past the glitches in the software installation, we were pleased with the GS 400's tools and operation.
Gateway GS 400 Rating: 88
Manufacturer: Gateway;800-846-5211; www.gateway.com
Price: $999 (with one 40GB hard drive, expandable to 160GB and four hard drives); add $380 with two hard drives; add $760 with three hard drives; add $1,140 with four hard drives; add $50 for rack mount option
Requirements: Win 95/98/Me/NT 4.0/2000/Unix/Linux, and/or Apple network with 10/100 Ethernet hub
Pros: Well-built product lets you easily add network storage to networks with mixed workstations and servers
Cons: Size requires fitting in rack from back; software tools had some glitches; more expensive than other servers