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WD ShareSpace NAS Brings IT Home

Advanced Software Functions

Western Digital seems never to have considered whether a company too small to field a softball team, or a family four, is equipped to access the features of the WD ShareSpace, let alone take advantage of them all.

Features like Microsoft Active Directory support (the Windows 2003 Server flavor), pages of system logs, not to mention RAID settings and quota management, are probably beyond the scope of most users’ interest and ability.

How many of your friends and family could make sense of these system logs ? :

Here’s what the RAID management screens look like :

On the retail box, WD advertises ShareSpace’s ability to function as an FTP server. That’s nothing special. A third-party client software FTP program is required to manage movement of files from the NAS to a computer. First off, this doesn’t add much functionality to a system that can already share files across a network (and even outside of it with WD’s MioNet web based add-on), and second of all, WD doesn’t even provide a built-in FTP client designed for plug-and-play use with the ShareSpace.

Additionally, if the ShareSpace can be used as a Print Server, there’s no how-to provided by WD. The manual occasionally makes references to “printer events,” but makes no mention of how to set the share space up as a print server to manage multiple printers—something almost any small office would need.

One fun part of the ShareSpace’s Advanced mode is the iTunes “media server” access. Computers on the ShareSpace’s network can share their music with everyone else who has access, and can stream music sitting on the NAS. Granted, iTunes already allows fellows in a network setting to view and play what’s inside everyone else’s iTunes, but with ShareSpace, at least it is all sitting in one place rather than in a list of computers. The media server here supports Mp3, WAC and AAC, but we’d love to see a similar feature for video.

  • Why give a NAS to somebody who clearly has no idea what RAID 0 is. Tom's is loosing its air of authority with every word she types.
    Reply
  • TeraMedia
    25c per GB (36c in RAID 0; I think author inverted the math?) is really pretty good for storage. If the included drives are the RAID-ready WD1000FYPS drives ($210 ea on newegg, OEM), then the cost of the empty system is only $159. So for $159 you get all of the rest of the system you need for a file server with pretty large storage capacity.

    I think this device is very well suited for a media-file-server role for a home network. You don't need high write speed for that, and the read speed looks to be more than adequate for 2 or 3 streams of HD Video. If you try to put this much storage under a TV in an HTPC case, you begin to face heat and noise issues.
    Reply
  • TeraMedia
    (sorry - meant 36c per GB in RAID 5)
    Reply
  • TeraMedia
    Question for Rachel: What model drives are in this thing? Are they the RE2 versions, or just the Caviar Green? The latter cost only $130 ea, which would make the value of this product much less appealing.
    Reply
  • TeraMedia
    Nevermind. These use EACS drives, not FYPS. No longer an interesting product; I don't need to pay $480 for the empty shell with RAID 5 capabilities.
    Reply
  • Tomsguiderachel
    gyrodec2Why give a NAS to somebody who clearly has no idea what RAID 0 is. Tom's is loosing its air of authority with every word she types.Thanks for your comment, Gyrodec2. Please offer a better definition for RAID 0 than the one I used, and I will consider changing the article.

    All the best,

    Rachel Rosmarin, Editor, Tom's Guide
    Reply
  • michaelahess
    gryodec2, +1!

    "I had to dig deep to re-share the ShareSpace’s public folder on a computer after the original mapping had been messed up."

    Pretty sure that's in lesson 2 of "Basic Networking for Idiots"

    "Or, Raid 0 (little failure protection, but incorporates striping)"

    Pretty sure that's NO PROTECTION not "oh just a little bit"

    "and if something goes wrong, everything might be affected—scary"

    Assuming it's JBOD, you only loose what's on the failed disk, less scary than RAID0.

    "Forget about it if you don’t have Windows Server experience"

    Or, ya know, maybe a little more accurately, if you don't have an actual AD environment. In which case you would be completely mental to use something like this.

    This is probably the single worst review I've ever seen on Toms.

    BTW, windows has a built in FTP client, it's called Internet Explorer. DOH!
    Reply
  • What's the point of testing a NAS device without testing its power consumption, particularly its idle power, but also its power under load? How is its response time if it's in a low power state? Does it even have a low power state?

    These things are plugged in and on all the time. The true price of ownership has to take into account the number of kilowatt hours per year you're going to use to run it.
    Reply
  • Tomsguiderachel
    michaelahessgryodec2, +1!"I had to dig deep to re-share the ShareSpace’s public folder on a computer after the original mapping had been messed up."Pretty sure that's in lesson 2 of "Basic Networking for Idiots""Or, Raid 0 (little failure protection, but incorporates striping)"Pretty sure that's NO PROTECTION not "oh just a little bit""and if something goes wrong, everything might be affected—scary"Assuming it's JBOD, you only loose what's on the failed disk, less scary than RAID0."Forget about it if you don’t have Windows Server experience"Or, ya know, maybe a little more accurately, if you don't have an actual AD environment. In which case you would be completely mental to use something like this.This is probably the single worst review I've ever seen on Toms.BTW, windows has a built in FTP client, it's called Internet Explorer. DOH!Michaelahess,

    Thanks for your comment. Most of your criticisms here seem to focus on your opinion that networking knowledge SHOULD be required to use a product like the one in this review. I disagree. Western Digital is marketing this product to people with No Experience of this kind. My review aimed to point out that a person without this experience and knowledge might struggle with certain tasks. For instance, drive mapping is not a skill most basic PC users have ever learned. This product aims to make the drive mapping function easy, but did not work on a second attempt, meaning someone had to know how to map manually. And, why would a HOME USER have an Active Directory environment? Perhaps you should reserve your criticisms for WD's marketing department?

    Rachel Rosmarin, Editor of Tom's Guide
    Reply
  • Tomsguiderachel
    Luke DWhat's the point of testing a NAS device without testing its power consumption, particularly its idle power, but also its power under load? How is its response time if it's in a low power state? Does it even have a low power state?These things are plugged in and on all the time. The true price of ownership has to take into account the number of kilowatt hours per year you're going to use to run it.
    Luke D,

    This is an excellent idea. I will look into power consumption tests to see if they are feasible for our Tom's Guide test lab.

    All the best,
    Rachel Rosmarin, Editor of Tom's Guide
    Reply