back to article Western Digital ShareSpace 4TB NAS box

Western Digital has been selling external hard drives for ages, most notably its MyBook range. That line-up has included NAS boxes, the MyBook World Edition series, but now, here comes their big brother. There's a sense in which the networkable MyBooks are simply multi-users hard drives ready for backing up and file swapping …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns


    "The ShareSpace is a squat box with a minimalist dark-grey metallic look that's rather more sober than the shiny silver styling of rival NAS boxes like Netgear ReadyNAS NV+, or iPod-like consumer-oriented black and white the WE II comes in."

    So now anything white or black is 'Ipod-like'? You do know that consumer gadgets has been shipped in white and black colours before the Ipod, and likely way way after?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can I just say...

    ...this looks okay, but you can't beat a Synology. I was going to run a dedicated big-box multi-purpose linux server until I realised the awesome potential (once bootstrapped) of the (relatively modest) Synology DS-107+ I already had.

    Just a recommendation.

  3. Dave S

    I remember...


    .... the day when 16kb cost £500.

    Mine's the one with the ZX81 stick on keyboard in the inside pocket.

  4. Pavlovs well trained dog

    copy from MacBookPro

    Presumably, the 70MB/s from the MBP in each case is bottling out at the max read speed from the single drive in the notebook and not the max read speed in the two tests arrays?

  5. Mark

    No DLNA - No Deal..

    No DLNA support, No deal. Sorry.

    Integrate a copy of TwonkyMedia, and I might be interestedm otherwise I'll investigate the other alternatives...

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Too slow

    A supper SLOW box, isn't it?

    70Mb/s. that's < 9MB/s.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    @Tony Smith re: speed

    Tony, is that 70 MBytes/second or 70 Mbits/second ?

  8. Simon Breden

    Nice, but it should use ZFS

    The box looks nice, but I wouldn't trust proprietary RAID implementations like RAID 5.

    No, I much prefer to have something like ZFS looking after my data -- here are a few great features of ZFS:

    1. Simple administration

    2. Ability to create large, redundant data storage pools with one command

    3. Built-in data scrubbing to enable ZFS to self-heal ‘latent failures’ (bit rot etc)

    4. Built-in 256-bit checksumming used for every block

    5. For redundant data pools you choose from mirror, single-parity RAIDZ1 (a la RAID level 5) or double-parity RAIDZ2 (a la RAID level 6)

    6. Transactional file system to guarantee consistent state of data even when catastrophic failures like power loss occurs

    7. High availability: data scrubbing can occur without taking the storage offline — unlike ‘fsck’ in Linux

    8. Is designed upon the assumption that disk hardware should never be trusted, so solid checksumming, transactions are used

    9. Designed to use cheap, commodity SATA disks, not expensive SAS disks

    10. RAIDZ1 can survive 1 drive failure, RAIDZ2 can survive 2 drive failures

    11. Hot spares can be specified when the data pool is created, or added to the data pool later

    12. Hot spares are used automatically if drive failure is detected

    13. Data pools can be sent and received, to allow easy replication/migration of data when upgrading disks

    14. Failed disks can be replaced and substituted with one command (if no hot spares are available)

    15. Regular snapshots can be made to allow easy file system state rollbacks, or retention of deleted/changed files - they are cheap in storage and fast to perform (uses hard links)

    16. ZFS data pools can be shared via NFS, Samba/CIFS and iSCSI

    17. For super valuable data, you can create a ZFS filesystem within a data pool that creates multiple geographically distant copies of the data on the disk, known as ditto blocks: 2 or 3 copies instead of just one

    18. Sun Solaris OS and ZFS are free and open source

  9. noodle heimer

    copy in / copy out performance

    Is almost certainly limited by the network, not the drive hardware on either side.

    The folks at smallnetbuilder do a lot of NAS reviews, and have a formal benchmarking methodology.

    Any rate, the speed of the WD unit sounds okay. The control interface looks like nothing to write home about. I agree with the synology user that if you're looking to do a 4 or 5 T nas array you'll be putting a lot of money into it. Might as well get a box that can run a real LAMP stack. synology and one other vendor offer 'em.

    Take a look at the smallnetbuilder review - this little guy apparently only supports WD drives and has some lameness about managing RAID that's surprising for a 4 disk box. Also, no hot swap. It's pokey, too, in comparison even with the Buffalo. 16 h to build the array? Ouch.

    It's cheap, but if you want cheap you can buy an empty Promise box and fill it with drives yourself for cheaper. In the US, this guy is supposedly selling for 1k; the promise box can be had for 300, and the WD 1T drives can be found (with patience) for 150/each.

    The new release of the promise is supposed to be relatively quiet. Don't know if that is true or not.

  10. gizmo23

    Which protocol?

    "Copying a 10.59GB folder containing 180-odd sub-folders and more than 3300 files from the notebook to a shared folder on the ShareSpace yielded an average throughput of 70.73Mb/s."

    Which protocol?

    The reason I ask is because: a couple of years back the people I worked for bought (on my recommendation) a NAS box based on the universal "this product is great" reviews seen on the interweb. It was fast, quiet and supported CIFS, NFS, FTP, RAID5 all the usual stuff. Turns out all the copy speed reviews used CIFS because the reviewers only tested it with Windows and the box was crap at FTP and NFS. It would freeze for an indeterminate time on the middle of a transfer which meant it was useless for automated copies as you could never be sure when it would finish.

    So, CIFS, NFS or FTP?

  11. Anonymous Coward


    is the death of this product... perhaps if they did a 'normal' version as well they might sell...

    Qnap all the way! does all this and more for less... (and its quiet too)

  12. Alexander Holland
    Thumb Down

    Sell out

    To quote performance speeds in Mb/s (Megabits/second) instead of the industry standard MiB/s in order to mislead is so underhanded. You do not expect TheRegister to sell out like that!

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