Western Digital Unveils the Sentinel DX4000 NAS for SMBs

Paul Mah
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The Must-Have Features of NAS

Our Paul Mah looks at the necessary elements of any NAS deployment.

Hard disk manufacturer Western Digital (WD) has unveiled a network attached storage (NAS) appliance targeted squarely at the SMB market with support for up to 25 nodes on the network. The four-bay WD Sentinel DX4000 is powered by a 1.8GHz Intel Dual Core Atom processor with Microsoft Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials as the operating system. The internal WD SATA hard disk drives (HDD) can be easily replaced via spring-loaded hot-swap bays.


WD says the unit is designed for non-technical professionals and would require little maintenance once configured. As you would expect, the MX4000 is managed via a built-in Web interface, with a bright multi-function display prominently located on the front panel. File photos of the DX4000 shows the IP address of the appliance displayed, though other information could be conceivably accessible using the built-in buttons.


Underscoring how seriously WD is taking its venture into the SMB NAS space, the company also launched its Guardian Services program to offer support to small business customers. According to Computerworld, the program comes with the following support levels:


  • Guardian Express: Next-business-day delivery of replacement parts
  • Guardian Pro: One- or three-year technical support agreement
  • Guardian Extended Care: Extends product warranties from three to five years


In terms of connectivity, the DX4000 comes with two Gigabit Ethernet interfaces and two USB 3.0 ports. Unfortunately, the Ethernet ports are for fail-over protection only at the moment, and do not support link aggregation for higher speeds. The USB 3.0 ports are a nice touch, however, and its 5.0Gbps speed would go a long way towards speedy data backups.


Interestingly, beyond the ability to connect to Active Directory, the NAS also features a DLNA media server, which is a feature one would not usually expect to find on a business device. As reported on Storage Review, a future firmware update will add device-to-device replication. However, the report did not mention whether this would be a LAN-only capability. Finally, the option to add a second power supply for redundancy is also available, which effectively puts the DX4000 one step ahead of most NAS in its class.


The DX4000 will be offered in a 4TB (2 x 2TB) and 8TB (4 x 2TB) option, with the former preconfigured as a RAID 1 system that will be automatically elevated to RAID 5 when adding in a third HDD. The 8TB option will be preconfigured as RAID 5 mode, which the company says will support a respectable 85MB/sec data transfer rate. The ability to perform automatic migration and capacity expansion is also mentioned under its product specifications page, though I cannot find information on how WD implements it.


The WD Sentinel DX4000 is available at select U.S. retailers and online at the WD Store here at $949.99 for 4TB and $1,449.99 for the 8TB.

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