The CyberStore delivers server-grade hardware in a desktop chassis, making it much more flexible than a standard NAS applianceDave Mitchell |
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Broadberry's new CyberStore XE3-P10 WSE2012 aims to overcome many of the limitations of standard SMB NAS appliances. It combines a range of enterprise-level features in a compact desktop form, and it's powered by Intel hardware, so it can run just about any OS. Factor in plenty of hardware redundancy, and Broadberry looks to be onto a winner.
The CyberStore uses an industry-standard Intel Server Board S1200V3RPL located above the drive bays. The price includes a speedy 3.3GHz E3-1230 v3 CPU partnered by two 8GB DDR3 modules; fill the remaining pair of DIMM slots and you can reach the maximum 32GB without wasting any memory sticks.
Build quality is impressive, if somewhat retro-looking, and the 5mm-thick, brushed-aluminium front panel is home to 12 sturdy and lockable hot-swap drive carriers. Storage options are extensive: the two right-hand drive bays are linked directly to the motherboard's embedded SATA controller, which supports mirrors and stripes. The remaining eight drive bays are cabled to an Intel RMS25CB080 6Gbits/sec SAS/SATA RAID mezzanine card complete with 1GB of battery-protected cache and support for RAID6 arrays. The chassis also has a pair of internal 2.5in drive bays cabled up and ready for SSDs.
The front panel has three key locks – one for each of the two right-hand drives and another for the eight-drive bank. Physical security doesn't extend to the chassis, however, since its cover can't be locked down. We'd also prefer the system-reset button on the front panel to be less accessible.
The CyberStore beats standard NAS appliances hands down for expansion options: all four of the motherboard's low-profile PCI Express slots are up for grabs. There are also three USB 3 ports with one at the front, another pair of USB 2 ports and a pair of Gigabit Ethernet connections at the rear.
Drive cooling is handled by two 120mm fans, while the motherboard has two pairs of smaller fans located front and rear. Overall noise levels are low, too, making the CyberStore a good choice for small, quiet offices.
Our review system came with one 460W Intel hotplug PSU and room for a second above. Power consumption is also reasonable – the system drew 72W idle and 136W under heavy load. Intel's RMM4 Lite module provides a variety of server-grade features. This shares the first Gigabit port, and provides full remote web-browser management. Its interface is more basic than HP's iLO4 and Dell's iDRAC7, but does include KVM-over-IP remote control as standard. You can also remotely control power, view sensor data and link low and high thresholds with email and SNMP alerts.
With Intel at its core, the CyberStore can run a choice selection of OSes. It's been certified to run Open-E's VSS storage software and, of course, it will take on any Windows OS. Broadberry has targeted the system at SMBs that want a general-purpose server, and the price includes Microsoft's Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials (WSE R2). The drive bays have been put to good use, too: the OS is loaded on mirrored 500GB Seagate Barracuda SATA drives while the left-hand bays have four 3TB Constellation drives in a RAID5 array.
Broadberry had already completed the WSE R2 installation wizard for us; the CyberStore arrived ready to deploy as an Active Directory primary-domain controller, supporting up to 25 users and 50 devices. It's easy enough to use – we covered all the main software features of WSE R2 on our review of the WD Sentinel DS6100.
The CyberStore is fast. Iometer reported raw sequential read-and-write rates of 112MB/sec for NAS shares and iSCSI targets on the RAID data volume. Random read rates are good: 4K transfer requests returned around 1,600 IOPS. Real-world speeds are also nippy. Drag-and-drop copies of a 2.52GB video clip to a NAS share returned read and write speeds of 107MB/sec and 103MB/sec. It handled a 22.4GB mix of 10,500 small files well – it copied to a share at an average of 80MB/sec.
The CyberStore XE3-P10 WSE2012 offers SMBs a compact and quiet desktop server with a raft of enterprise-level features. It isn't the cheapest package going, but hardware redundancy, performance and storage capacity are right on the money, and it's more flexible than a standard NAS appliance.