Seagate BlackArmor NAS 440
BlackArmor NAS: A polished storage server with an open source heart
- Low power consumption, bare-metal backup and restore, discovery utility also does drive mapping, Gigabit Ethernet LAN port aggregation and fail-over
- Scanners and multifunction units not supported, discovery utility will map even if sharing is disabled on workstation, no Active Directory, NT Domain, or LDAP support for user authentication
The Seagate BlackArmor NAS 440 is more than just a small Linux box with Webadmin slapped onto it. Although late to the crowded SMB storage market, the BlackArmor appliance is a solid filer with a level of polish that should make it welcome in any small office seeking a few terabytes of network storage.
Seagate BlackArmor NAS 440 stands apart with smooth setup, a nice set of features, and potential for growth
Unlike a great number of NAS offerings on the market, the Seagate BlackArmor NAS 440 is more than just a small Linux box with Webadmin slapped onto it. Although late to the crowded SMB storage market, the BlackArmor appliance is a solid filer with a level of polish that should make it welcome in any small office seeking a few terabytes of network storage.
Seagate has done a good job of catching up with the Joneses. BlackArmor boasts the now-expected features, including fully enabled drive trays for easy expansion (BlackArmor 420 comes with two drives, but four trays), print server (unidirectional), backup utilities, dynamic DNS, USB backup and drive mounts, and the NFS/CIFS/FTP trio. However, Seagate has wrapped and polished these features in a way that stands out from its foreign competition. You could easily create a functional equivalent to BlackArmor using Openfiler, OpenNAS, or just straight Linux, but you'd have to work very hard to build it for the same bucks, the same power draw, and the same polish.
My great frustration with testing NAS devices is that the available tools such as Iometer and IOzone are designed to bypass the bulk of the operating system and dive deep into the mechanics of the storage subsystems. As a computer scientist, what I really wanted was something that just about anyone could run and confirm my results. The answer turned out to be the new Intel NAS Performance Toolkit (see my review). It lets you run a wide range of tests — from office document reads and writes to video playback and recording -- either separately or all at once, and it couldn't be simpler to use.
Kudos to the Seagate team for including both Windows and Mac setup tools -- Mac users are typically left out in the cold. Installation is literally as easy as plugging the unit into the network and letting it get a DHCP address. Seagate's Discovery tool will search your local network (same subnet only) and display all the BlackArmor servers it can find. Check the box next to your server, and Discovery will display all the shares, with private shares popping up a standard user authentication window. Just click the Manage button to open a Web browser to the administrator interface.
The Web GUI can be forced over HTTPS by uploading an X.509 PEM-formatted SSL certificate or clicking the Generate New SSL Key button to self-sign. Another feature that moves BlackArmor out of the SOHO realm and firmly into the SMB market is how the dual LAN connections can be aggregated into either a round-robin load sharing or a fail-over configuration. Seagate claims this unit can handle upward of 20 simultaneous users, and I just bet it's through the load sharing that this tiny unit is able to handle the workload.
Another indication that Seagate is listening to users is the ability to change the Web access and FTP port numbers -- handy if you're already running something on the normal firewall port. One of my favorite features is the download manager, which allows you to schedule Web or FTP downloads from either anonymous or authenticated sites. The download manager also lets you throttle the queued tasks so as not to overwhelm your normal operations. It's a good way to keep a local cache of drivers always updated while not sucking up precious prime-time bandwidth.
Although NFS is supported, Seagate has not included NIS (Network Information Service) or Kerberos authentication. All NFS security is by allowed IP address, which might explain why NFS is turned off by default. Most SMB customers are using CIFS anyway, and configuring allowed IP addresses may be fine for the rest.
Seagate has additional features planned for the near future. On the blackboard are both freeware (but not open source) and open source widgets to extend the platform, additional UPS and DDNS support, and perhaps even greater power optimization. Seagate promises a drop in average power consumption from 45 watts to 15 watts with a forthcoming firmware upgrade, and I've got to imagine that judicious sleeping could drop the power usage even lower.
The crowded NAS marketplace is churning out some very capable gear at very affordable prices. The differentiation will lie in what services the vendors can shoehorn into the box and how fast they can make those services run while keeping the price reasonable. Keep watching. We'll be running the new Intel NAS Performance Toolkit against a whole slew of SMB filers in the coming weeks so that we can start lining them up on the proverbial level playing field.
Join the newsletter!
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Apple iPhone X
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Toys for Boys
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Bose SoundLink Micro
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Xbox One X
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Google Home Mini review: a welcome addition to the smart speaker family.
- 4 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 5 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
Latest News Articles
- New Collaboration for Fortinet
- Wanawiki is the WannaCry fix that might save affected PCs—if you work fast
- The WannaCry ransomware might have a link to North Korea
- Paying the WannaCry ransom will probably get you nothing. Here's why.
- WannaCry attacks are only the beginning
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- LG V30+ review: The videographer's smartphone arrives
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- Xbox One X review: Brave new world
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTRetail Stock/Warehouse ManagerOther
- CCDesktop Support EngineerNSW
- FTTest ManagerACT
- CCWeb Applications Project ManagerQLD
- FTClinical IT Support Consultant - Medication Management - Permanent - North RydeNSW
- CCTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- FTSenior .Net DeveloperACT
- CCProject Manager x 2 (Infrastructure)NSW
- CCTechnical Support OfficerNSW
- FTDevOps EngineerOther
- TPProject Manager - CRMQLD
- FTRigger TechniciansOther
- FTLead Change ManagerOther
- FTSolution Architect - Feasibility/ImpactSA
- FTBusiness AnalystOther
- FTLevel 2 Mobile ICT AdministratorACT
- CCDataPower AdministratorACT
- TPDesktop Support & PC DeploymentVIC
- FTMicrofocus Cobol DeveloperOther
- FTForm Analyst/DeveloperOther
- FTCyber Security- ManagerSA
- FTInsights AnalystOther
- CCSenior Data Centre Capacity / Facilities Engineer - Large Telco - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTDeployment TechnicianVIC
- FTTechnical Services AdministratorVIC