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MicroNet MaxNAS 2.5TB Server Review

Nemo    -   November 27, 2009
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Configuration:

Storage:

Folder

The Folder section is used to create folders or shares on the volume and assign access permissions. When you create a volume the system sets up default folders for the nSync backup function, the USB Hard Drive and USB Copy. To create a new folder you click on the Add button and specify the RAID ID and a name and description for the folder. The RAID ID is used when there are multiple RAID arrays on the MaxNAS to determine which volume to use. You can also set whether the folder can be seen when browsing the network and whether the folder is publicly accessible. The final option is the share folder limit where you can specify the maximum amount of storage space in gigabytes available to the folder, setting it to 0 means there is no limit.

Once you hit the Apply button you'll see a system confirmation message letting you know the folder was successfully created and it will show up on the Folder page along with the others. The are four buttons to configure aspects of the folders: NFS for setting up access using the Network File System protocol, ACL used to manage the access control list and assign user and group rights, Edit which allows you to change the folder characteristics such as name, description and whether the folder is browseable or public and the Del button which will remove the folder and all of its contents so it should be used with caution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFS is a file system used by Linux/UNIX systems and this button allows you to set up and manage mount points for the shares on the MaxNAS. Clicking the NFS button brings up the Config NFS Share page where you can use the Add button to create a new mount point. On the New NFS Share page you need to enter the IP address or range of the allowed hosts, the privilege level and the guest OS access the share. Once you click OK, you edit or remove the mount point from the Config NFS Share page.

 

 

You'll notice in the screenshot that the ACL button next to the Public folder we created, used for setting access rights, is grayed out since we declared the folder to be public, meaning anyone has access and there is no need to set rights. I created another folder, OCC Test Folder, and made it non-public. The system recognizes this and reminds you to set up the access control list (ACL) for the folder. Clicking the ACL button next to the folder on the Folder page brings up a separate window for managing the access to the folder. I created a test group along with several users (covered later in the review) in order to demonstrate the features. Along the left side you'll see a color-coded list of groups and users. You can highlight one or more entries in the column and then click the Deny, Read Only or Writable button depending on the level of access needed. You can also use this screen later to remove access if needed. You will need to press the Apply button for the changes to take affect.

The last button, Del, is for deleting shares. Using this button will delete the folder and all of files in it so it should be used with caution. The system will ask you to confirm the delete twice, once with by pressing the OK button on a confirmation dialog and again by asking you to type 'Yes' into a pop-up prompt to ensure you agree to the deletion. The Del button is only available for user-defined folders and will be grayed out for system shares.

 

 

 

Filesystem Check

You can perform a manual check on the file system on the MaxNAS in the event of a suddent power loss or other event that may have led to corruption of the file system. Under normal operating conditions it should not be necessary to run this option.

 

Stackable

In addition to serving up its own iSCSI targets, the MaxNAS can function as a stackable iSCSI host service where you can specify up to five iSCSI targets and have the MaxNAS offer networking services to those targets. Clicking the Add button launches the iSCSI page where you can specify the necessary information about the target.

 

 

ISO Mount

ISO Mount is a way to mount an ISO image and make the files contained in the image available over the network. Up to 50 different ISO files can be mounted using this feature. The first step is to select the folder containing the ISO image from the drop down list and hit the Select button. Once you have chosen a folder the screen will show you the folders within that ISO and then all the files from a selected folder. You can specify a mount name and then click the Add button to mount the ISO. You will be prompted to confirm you want to mount the image and after you click OK, you'll see another dialog telling you it was mounted successfully. Once you return to the main page you'll see the mount path and the ISO path.

 

 

 

If you map a drive from your local client to the /Public folder on the MaxNAS you can see the mount name showing up as a folder. You can then access the files within the ISO image like any other files on the system. This is a real handy feature as it eliminates the need to burn the ISO image to a CD/DVD and makes the files available to any user on the network.

 

 

Nsync

nSync is synchronization method used by the server to backup and restore shares to another MaxNAS unit or to an FTP server. The other server can be on the same network or anywhere it can be accessed via a valid IP address. Clicking the Add button will allow you to set up an nSync task that will perform the backup on a set schedule, either daily, weekly or monthly. You will need to specify the source folder to back up and the login credentials on the target server. Once the task is created it will appear in the task list page. In addition to creating new asks, you can modify existing tasks, start a restore from a backup or delete a task. You can also manually launch a task using the Start button located to the right of the task name. The Restore function is an atomic function, meaning its restores all of the files from the backup set, there is no option to select individual files to restore. The manual also mentions an option to set bandwidth limits used by nSync but I did not see any option for that function on the page.

 

 

 

Advance Option

 

This page offers the option to display the host name on the LCD panel on the front of the unit.

 

That brings us to the end of the Storage section and all of its features and now let's move on to the Network section.




  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Installation
  3. Configuration: Initial Setup
  4. Configuration: Web UI & Status
  5. Configuration: Storage
  6. Configuration: Storage (continued)
  7. Configuration: Storage (continued)
  8. Configuration: Network
  9. Configuration: Accounts
  10. Configuration: System
  11. WebDisk User Interface
  12. Specifications & Features
  13. Testing: Setup
  14. Testing: SiSoft Sandra
  15. Testing: Intel NAS Performance Toolkit
  16. Testing: Intel NAS Performance Toolkit (continued)
  17. Testing: Operation
  18. Testing: Features
  19. Conclusion
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