MicroNet's Big RAID Goes Small

The RAIDBank IV offers huge capacity that fits on a small corner of your desk.
Posted September 18, 2008

Lauren Simonds

It's not your imagination, and you're certainly not hallucinating. Tech wizards do keep stuffing vast amounts of storage capacity into boxes with an ever-shrinking footprint. Case in point, MicroNet has just-announced RAIDBank IV, a 4T, high-performance, RAID capable storage solution.

This capacity behemoth weighs in at 18 pounds but its footprint measures just 6.5 by 4.7 inches, which according to Joe Trupiano, MicroNet's director of marketing, takes up about the same amount of desk space a standard hard drive.

Designed especially for small, data-choked businesses that need reliable, fast storage, the RAIDBank comes in two sizes – 2T and 4T – and includes both eSATA and USB connectivity.

You can plug the RAIDBank into either a server or into a desktop computer. "It offers flexibility with an eSATA connection for SMBs that require high-end performance and a USB port connection for companies that don't need high-speed transfers," said Trupiano.

The solution comes with a two-port eSATA card, and the company claims a 300 MB per second data transfer speed. Trupiano got a bit more specific and broke it down to 176 MB/s write speed and a 210 MB/s read speed. MicroNet also offers an optional four-port eSATA adapter card.

The device comes with four hot-swappable hard drives encased in a lightweight aluminum enclosure, and MicroNet said it's advanced, 64-bit processor and high-speed, error-correcting cache memory provide "accuracy and excellent throughput under the heaviest data loads."

"This device also supports every RAID configuration you can create with a four-hard drive box, and it's a true hardware RAID solution," said Trupiano.

The RAIDBank IV is operating system independent – the company says it works with PC, Mac and Linux – and it offers logical unit support.

Trupiano said this is particularly important to anyone who uses Windows XP, because the largest data volume XP can see is 2T. In the most basic terms, a logical unit is similar to a partition on a hard drive.

"If you want to see a 4T drive on Windows XP, you have to break it into two hard disks of 2T each," he said. "You could name one 'Work' and the other one 'Play.'" He added that Microsoft Vista has no such limitation, and that the Mac OS (version 10.4.8) can see drives larger than 2T.

"This is the only storage device available that lets you have a 4T drive on a Windows XP machine," he said.

MicroNet includes a single license of NTI Shadow, a data backup application that Trupiano said provides real time, continuous data backup, which simply means it's designed save your data as you make changes to it.

The 2T version of RAIDBank IV sells for $999, and the 4TB version costs $1,499. "For the price you're paying," said Trupiano, you won't find anything else like this."

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com

This article was first published on SmallBusinessComputing.com.

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