MicroNet MaxNAS 2.5TB Server ReviewNemo - November 27, 2009
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MicroNet provides a web-based management interface that you use to configure the different options on the MaxNAS. Accessing the UI is done through your browser using the IP address you set up in the initial configuration section earlier, in our case that would be http://192.168.1.32 since we assigned the unit a fixed address. The first page is a login screen where you will need to use the administrator ID and password. The default values are admin/admin, but if you changed the password earlier like I suggested, you will need to use the new password in place of the default. Once you log on, the system defaults to a product information page.
The different options for managing and configuring the MaxNAS are divided into six different sections that can be seen in the menu bar at the to of the page. Moving your mouse across each heading will bring up a drop down list of the different options available.
Status – this section offers a series of displays about the general system status, printer and UPS information as well as configuration screens for power management and wake-on-LAN features.
Storage – the Storage section provides information on disk status and health and is also where you configure the volumes on the unit in different RAID configurations, set the iSCSI target, create folders (shares) and make use of more advanced features such as volume expansion and RAID level migration.
Network – you use this section to set up the WAN/LAN connections and enable/disable the different network services on the MaxNAS such as Apple File Protocol (AFP), Network File System (NFS) and File Transfer Protocol (FTP).
Accounts – this section is where you set up user accounts and groups and set the unit up to use Windows server services such as Active Directory (AD).
System – various system control functions are available in this section such as configuring alert notifications, setting the system time, checking system logs and rebooting/shutting down the server.
Language – the MaxNAS supports multiple languages, which can be selected in this section.
You can choose from seven different options in the Status section.
The System information page presents a snapshot of various aspects of the system and services on the MaxNAS. The System Status pane shows the CPU utilization rate, the status of the CPU and system fans and the uptime of the server. The section does not report the actual fan speeds, however. Under the Service Status section you can check which services are running on the box. Only the SMB/CIFS and Nsync services are enabled by default. Later in the review we'll look at how to manage the different services when we get to the Network section.
The System Information screen enables you to provide a detailed description of the particular server to differentiate it from other servers you might have on the network.
The MaxNAS can function as a print server for a printer attached to one of the unit's USB ports allowing you to share the printer across the network. There are no configuration steps involved as the unit will automatically detect any connected printers. You can use the Remove button to clear out the print queue and restart the print service using the Restart button. Unfortunately, the documentation does not tell you how to access the printer. In order to access the printer you will need to set it up in your operating system by pointing it to the URL “http://MaxNAS_IP_ADDRESS:631/printers/usb-printer” where 'MaxNAS_IP_ADDRESS' is the IP address of the server on your network, which is where having a fixed IP address assigned to the server is useful. Under Windows you can also substitutue the NetBIOS name (e.g. MaxNAS) for the URL. Once you have the printer assigned you will need to install the printer driver on the local machine.
The MaxNAS can be set up to monitor a UPS attached to the serial port on the rear panel. Once you have enable UPS monitoring you will need to select the manufacturer and model number from the drop down lists. You can configure the unit to send notifications when a power failure occurs and also have it continue to send notifications on a periodic basis. You can also set it up so the server powers itself off gracefully once the UPS battery level reaches a certain point, which is quite useful in preventing data loss and RAID corruption.
Unfortunately, my UPS, an APC Back-UPS XS 1500, only supports a USB connection and can't connect via a serial cable. Plugging the cable from the UPS into one of the rear USB ports didn't work. While the user manual provides a list of compatible UPS units in Appendix D, it would have been nice to have the unit automatically detect the proper UPS unit as we saw with both the QNAP TS-509 and Synology DS408, both of which accommodate USB connections.
Wake-up On Lan
You can enable the Wake on LAN (WOL) feature that will enable the MaxNAS to respond to specific network commands to power itself on during any scheduled downtime. The command must conform to the Wake on LAN protocol called Magic Packet.
The MaxNAS includes a power management feature where you can set up a schedule to turn the unit on and off. Clicking the Enable Schedule Power On/Off checkbox enables the schedule window where you can set two on/off events each day. The times use 24-hour/military time and can be set in five minute increments. During scheduled powered off periods the unit will respond to WOL commands if that feature is enabled.
During testing I was able to get the unit to shut down on schedule and then respond to a WOL command and restart with no issues.
The About page provides information on the unit including name, firmware version and uptime and is the page you see upon initial logon as described above.
The next item on the configuration agenda is to look at how you set up different volume types, allocate space, create folders and manage the disk array.