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Published on July 1st, 2012 | by Greg

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Hybrid Storage: Akitio’s Entry-Level Drive

Safe­ty and per­for­mance. Those are of­ten the trade-offs with ex­ter­nal stor­age, since hav­ing a disk near­by speeds up ac­cess, but in­creas­es the risk of fail­ure or dam­age or theft. Mov­ing your da­ta in­to the cloud is safer, since there are typ­i­cal­ly mul­ti­ple man­aged back­ups, but mov­ing larg­er files can take for­ev­er. Blend­ing both of these is a good idea, and we’re start­ing to see more and more de­vices come with cloud op­tions.

Aki­tio’s Cloud Hy­brid 1 Bay al­so blends net­work-at­tached stor­age with di­rect-at­tached stor­age, since you can plug in­to the de­vice with ei­ther eth­er­net or USB 3.0 (you can on­ly use one at a time though). There aren’t Thun­der­bolt or wire­less op­tions on this mod­el, but we haven’t found wire­less net­work stor­age to work all that well, and Thun­der­bolt isn’t wide­ly avail­able or sup­port­ed (and is still quite ex­pen­sive). Speak­ing of costs, this is a very val­ue-fo­cused en­clo­sure, as it comes with­out a hard drive in­clud­ed, and costs a re­mark­ably in­ex­pen­sive $100 or so.

We weren’t fa­mil­iar with the com­pa­ny be­fore, but they’ve got a long his­to­ry in this type of gear. We popped in a 2TB drive, plugged in via eth­er­net, and threw on some files (mu­sic, movies, doc­u­ments) to test out how well ev­ery­thing ran. Me­dia lovers, there is a DL­NA uP­NP serv­er and iTunes mu­sic serv­er sup­port built-in. We didn’t get a chance to test out both of the free mo­bile apps, but the iOS ver­sion is de­cent, with some awk­ward lo­gin and us­er in­ter­face is­sues (An­droid is al­so sup­port­ed). The hard­ware specs are not im­pres­sive, but you do get what you pay for: 300 Mhz pro­ces­sor and on­ly 32 MB of RAM. This meant that trans­fer speeds and over­all per­for­mance were not up to many sim­i­lar de­vices, though the oth­ers do cost quite a bit more. This isn’t a RAID-ca­pa­ble, high-end NAS (there’s on­ly room for one drive af­ter all), but meant for fair­ly light me­dia and file use.

One thing to note: you’ll have to plug in via eth­er­net at first, and for­mat the drive us­ing the web in­ter­face to a pret­ty spe­cif­ic for­mat (ex­FAT). It’s pain­less, and doesn’t take long, but does mean you’ll have to start with an emp­ty drive or lose your in­for­ma­tion. Al­so, there’s no SSH or Tel­net ac­cess to the drive, not an is­sue for most peo­ple, but still a lim­i­ta­tion. Ba­si­cal­ly, if you’re look­ing for a “starter” or en­try-lev­el NAS, some­thing in­ex­pen­sive to get your files shared lo­cal­ly and with net­work ca­pa­bil­i­ty, this is one of the cheap­er op­tions out there. Folks who want 1080p net­work stream­ing and slick in­ter­faces, RAID sup­port or a ful­ly-fea­tured Bit­Tor­rent client (the in­clud­ed one is pret­ty awk­ward) should look else­where. Avail­able now, on­line and in stores, and

 

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.



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