NAS Appliances

Along with building up a solid range of Intel-based servers, Evesham Technology has been nurturing an equally impressive family of NAS and iSCSI storage appliances. The latest SilverSTOR NAS 3142 represents the pinnacle of its NAS products and looks to deliver a huge amount of storage.

The 3142 is an amalgamation of Intel server specific motherboard and Chenbro chassis. We haven't been overly impressed with Chenbro's built quality in the past but it has improved considerably recently. It's not perfect as we found two of the drives had to be coaxed out of their bays as the levers wouldn't release them properly but other than that it's a very sturdy box. The front panel can be locked to secure access to the hard disks and it provides status LEDs for each bay along with a backlit LCD panel in the centre which displays chassis environmental values.

Evesham has shown some imagination with the storage scenario as fourteen bays have 500GB Seagate SATA drives installed whilst the two right hand bays have 80GB WD Caviar SE drives loaded. The latter have the sole job of looking after the Windows Storage Server 2003 (WSS2003) OS and are connected to the motherboard's embedded controller and set up as a mirror. The other drives are linked to a 16-port Areca RAID card and configured as a whopping great 5.5TB RAID-5 array.

There's plenty of room to expand and Evesham offers extra SCSI cards for adding local tape drives. As you'd expect with this level of hardware, performance should be good and the 3142 doesn't disappoint with its keeping up with NEC's SCSI equipped appliance.

Management features see a big change as it may be Microsoft at the helm but the 3142 is running the latest R2 version of WSS2003. You can manage the system locally but remote connections are now via an RDP connection and the main reason for this shift is to tighten up security. The web browser interface and its chunky icons are gone to be replaced with an MMC (Microsoft management console) snap-in which provides access to all storage features. If you're used to the web browser interface this'll take a little while to get to grips with this but each feature is accompanied by plenty of help and wizards. Another advantage is performance as we found the older web interface can be a bit sluggish at times.

Users and groups are created in the normal Windows fashion but shares creation can be run straight from the MMC console and are helped along nicely by a wizard. Evesham's implementation of WSS2003 is packed with features so you get full support for volume and file quotas, the Volume Shadow Copy snap-shot service and the file screening tool which allows you to block users from copying specific file types to the appliance.

The 3142 combines an excellent range of NAS features all managed by the latest version of WSS2003. Build quality could be a little better but for sheer capacity and value this is a tough customer to beat.


The 3142 delivers masses of storage for the price and backs this up with excellent overall performance and quality management facilities

3U chassis Motherboard - Intel Server Board SE7525EP2 CPU - Intel Xeon 2.8GHz Chipset - Intel E7525 Memory - 1GB PC2-3200 SDRAM expandable to 8GB Storage controller - Areca ARC-1160 16-port controller with 256MB cache Disk drives - 14 x 500GB Seagate MaXLine Pro 500 SATA, 2 x 80GB WD800 Caviar SATA Spare expansion slots - 3 x PCI, 1 x PCI Express Network ports - 2 x Intel Gigabit Power - 3 x 400W hot-swap Operating System - Windows Storage Server 2003 R2 Management - Local and RDP Protocol support - CIFS/SMB, NFS iSCSI - No Warranty - 3yrs on-site NBD

Dave Mitchell

Dave is an IT consultant and freelance journalist specialising in hands-on reviews of computer networking products covering all market sectors from small businesses to enterprises. Founder of Binary Testing Ltd – the UK’s premier independent network testing laboratory - Dave has over 45 years of experience in the IT industry.

Dave has produced many thousands of in-depth business networking product reviews from his lab which have been reproduced globally. Writing for ITPro and its sister title, PC Pro, he covers all areas of business IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, network security, data protection, cloud, infrastructure and services.