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Sans Digital MN4L+B

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Tim - Thanks for this one - good to see Sans Digital showing up on your charts!

I've used their stuff for a while - often found it to be great performance, but a wee bit quirky - for instance sometimes the hot swap hard drive brackets are made from some odd metal that feels very wimpy but also strips the threads off my hard drive screws. Strange.

Anyways, at the risk of being an annoying QNAP fanboy, you gotta love how the TS-509 Pro stands up to this thing quite handily, WITHOUT Jumbo frames!
Don't get too excited yet. I discovered that the review unit they provided is loaded with 2 GB of memory, not the 512MB that's in the retail product.

I'm trying to sort it out with them now.
Here's the update. Sans Digital is offering a upgrade option from 512MB to 2GB of memory for product purchased from their online store. They say that they are in the process of rolling that option out to the general retail channel. They just forgot to tell me.

I have changed the article to reflect the 2GB memory, which is the maximum supported.
Hi Tim,

Is it easy to remove the upgrade? If easy, would you be willing to re-run your NAS chart test with the 512 for comparison?
Hi Tim,
Is it easy to remove the upgrade? If easy, would you be willing to re-run your NAS chart test with the 512 for comparison?
You have to disassemble the entire unit to get to the DIMM. But the main problem is that syncing a 4TB array takes 12-13 hours. I just don't have the time to do that again.

I'm redoing some RAID 5 testing using filesize up to 4GB and will post the results here.
How's that full review coming along?

Anxious to hear how this unit shakes out -- looks like it could be a compelling alternative to the QNAP 4 bay unit at a comparable price. Also interested to hear confirmation that there really is no power-saving mode. Thanks!
Had some problems with the pull-a-drive test that delayed the review.

If power save is in there, I couldn't find it.

The product is high performance and people experienced with a Linux command line will love it. Could be rough going for a first-time NAS user, though.
Great review!

It was good to see honest praise for the performance of the device but also a good plain spanking for their quality issues with interface and documentation.

I especially like the prominence you gave to what clearly looks like a plain GPL violation. With so many Linux-based devices out there these days, this is an important issue. We all benefit in so many ways every day from Linux if we use this stuff, even if we use Windows only on our computer. Honestly, it is Linux that gives these companies the ability to build so many cool and functional features into their NASes and routers, and yet release them to us at very affordable prices. Linux, however, comes with one string attached - the GPL. And if you spend the effort to figure out exactly what it is that these companies are required to do because of the GPL, it is actually very beneficial for us!

I would encourage everyone on this forum to add GPL compliance to your list of requirements when making your NAS choice purchase. If you don't want to do this because it is the "right thing to do", then at least do it because if the FSF ever gets around to an enforcement case, you could find your NAS suddenly orphaned because a court order prevents the company from selling this device any more.

Food for thought anyway.

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