We would like to thank Asustor for supplying the review sample.
As the name implies, Asustor is a subsidiary of the famous ASUS focusing on Network Attached Storage (NAS) and video surveillance products. ASUS apparently realized that there is much potential in these products as connection speeds with the World Wide Web constantly increase, allowing everyone to create their own cloud storage to upload large amounts of data effortlessly. So far, only a few companies had a strong presence in this area, and they shared all the profit, but things will definitely change with the introduction of huge companies like Asus and Gigabyte (with their new GR-EZI04H NAS) into the market, which will ultimately benefit the end-user. It is, nevertheless, not easy to compete against companies like QNAP and Synology since they have huge amounts of experience in this field. That said, the time needed to offer good and competitive products can be reduced greatly if the necessary resources are available, and a company like ASUS has a lot of resources.
Asustor was founded rather recently in 2011, and their current line of products only consists of the AS 6 series that includes four members with high-end specifications. In this review, we will fully evaluate their AS-606T model: it is designed for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), or for enthusiast home users that want huge amounts of storage at their fingertips, which is not a problem with this NAS since it can take up to six disks. The AS-606T offers, in a glimpse, cross-platform sharing, is equipped with USB 3.0 and SATA III ports, supports Windows Active Directory, and uses military grade AES 256-bit encryption for individually shared folder protection. It also supports RAID 0 – 10 levels and is powered by an Intel Atom 2.13 GHz Dual-Core processor, which is more than enough for the needs of a NAS server. Since we do not want to reveal everything about this NAS in the prologue, it is time to skip to the next page for a better look at its specifications.
|Asustore AS-606T Specifications|
|Processor||Intel® Atom™ 2.13 GHz Dual-Core Processor|
|Operating System||Embedded Linux|
|Memory||1GB SO-DIMM DDR3 (Expandable. Max. 3GB)|
|Storage||6x 3.5"/2.5" SATA III|
|RAID Levels:||Single Disk, JBOD, |
RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10
|Capacity||up to 24 TB (disks not included)|
|iSCSI||Target & Initiator|
|Networking||2x 10/100/1000 Mbit Ethernet|
|Additional Connectors||2x USB 3.0, 4x USB 2.0, 2x eSATA|
|Dimensions||185.5(H) x 233(W) x 230(D) mm|
|Power Consumption||Sleep: 1.4 W|
In operation: 40.3 W
|Power Supply||Internal, 240 W, 100-240 V|
|Fan|| 1x 120 mm (main)|
1x 40mm (PSU)
| Price excluding VAT|
(at the time of the review)
The AS-606T is equipped with a dual core Atom processor, which is quite enough to handle its needs because its custom-tailored Linux operating system has low processing power demands. It includes 1 GB of available memory that can, according to Asustor, be expanded to 3 GB. The NAS also supports up to six removable HDDs or SSDs (SSD support makes sense because their prices have dropped greatly) through the SATA III protocol to ensure the highest possible transfer speeds. Needless to say, all popular RAID levels are supported, which is something common to all NAS servers of this category. Finally, if you install 4 TB HDDs, its max capacity will reach 24 TB. This huge storage capacity will cover nearly anyone's needs, but you can go with the eight-bay AS-608T model if you need even more storage space.
The AS-606T is equipped with two Gigabit Ethernet ports, and you can, if you want, link them to achieve the maximum possible transfer speed. You will, in order for the link aggregation protocol to work, have to connect the NAS to an appropriate switch that supports the IEEE® 802.3ad Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP).
Regarding the I/O ports, the NAS is equipped with two USB 3.0 and four USB 2.0 ports, and two eSATA ports. As you can see, Asustor was quite generous with I/O ports, and you can easily hook many devices up to the AS-606T at the same time.
The dimensions of the NAS are neither small nor large since the AS-606T occupies about the same space as a regular HTPC, but its power consumption is much lower than most HTPCs. It, according to Asustor, only consumes 1.4W in idle and 40.3 W during operation; however, they forgot to inform us with what HDDs the AS-606T achieved a 40.3 W consumption during operation, and such information would have given us a nice point of comparison to our own power-consumption measurements.
The power supply that handles the needs of the NAS is an internal one since its casing by the famous Delta Electronics allows for one. It can deliver up to 240 W, so it will easily meet the requirements of the AS-606T.
The main cooling fan is 120 mm in diameter. Its large diameter makes it effective at even low rotational speeds, which helps in decreasing the output noise while maintaining a good level of airflow inside the chassis. The smaller 40 mm fan cools down the PSU of the NAS.
The warranty of the NAS is set at a short two years, like its competitors. It is worth mentioning that although the warranty period is short, a NAS usually works 24/7, so the operating hours over a two year period will greatly outnumber those of other IT products. Finally, the price of the AS-606T classifies it for the SMB category: the same category as the QNAP Pro models, which will make things pretty tough for the AS-606T. It does include far too many features and its hardware has the same specifications as the QNAP TS-669 Pro, so we have high expectations for it.
The NAS comes in a plain cardboard box, which hides the product's high price pretty well, and the box also has a top carrying handle. The top of this side has a small sticker with a photograph of the NAS, a list describing the contents of the package, and a table giving the product's specifications. To be frank, we expected a fancier box for such an expensive product, but the contents are, on the other hand, what matters most, right?
The single, most noteworthy facet of this side is Asustor's "Made in Taiwan" statement. Contrary to most products that are made in a Chinese factory, this product boasts of having been produced in Taiwan, so we expect it to be of high quality.
Contents & Bundle
The contents of the box, and especially the NAS, are very well protected. The latter is surrounded by two thick layers of packing foam and is also wrapped in a thick nylon bag.
A smaller box stores all the accessories that come with the NAS: two Ethernet cables, an AC power cord, two bags with screws for the HDDs, and a software disc that includes the user's manual and a quick start guide on top of AS-606T's utility programs.
The AS-606T features a metal casing that looks to be of high quality, and its design is similar to that of QNAP's products.
Many LED indicators at the front inform the user about various on-going operations. Through the operating system, you can either make the "power" button put the NAS to sleep or shut it down after continuously pushing the button down for 1.5 seconds. The two-line LCD screen displays several useful pieces of information about the state of the NAS and is, to save energy, de-activated automatically once the start-up or re-boot phase finishes. You can also set it to show custom texts or the local temperature. Four buttons next to the LCD screen allow you to perform some basic administrative tasks or check on various states of the NAS. In the bottom left corner is the copy button with a USB 3.0 port. It was about time a manufacturer chose to install a USB 3.0 port at the face of a NAS instead of its rear - doing so greatly boosts usability. The operating system also gives you a wide range of options for the copy button's functionality, something really convenient for those that want a fast backup to/from an external drive. Finally, the removable trays (or caddies) don't, as you can see, feature any locks, which may sound strange to some administrators since this NAS is mostly intended for business environments where physical data protection is an essential feature.
The above scheme illustrates all LED indicators at the front of the NAS, and the table describes their functionality.
A shot of the NAS's internals with all caddies removed. In the following page, we will provide you with far more interesting shots of its internals by completely taking the NAS apart.
Only one of the two sides features ventilation holes, which reminds us of the QNAP NAS chassis.
A fan occupies most of the back's real estate, with the PSU's fan looking tiny in comparison. Unfortunately, the PSU of the NAS doesn't have an on/off switch, which would come in handy with certain situations. All I/O ports reside on the far right side. They include a fully featured HDMI output, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, and two eSATA and four USB 2.0 ones. A USB 3.0 port (blue colored) can also be found on this side. There is also, if you ever forget the password or want to restore the NAS to its factory defaults, a reset switch you can access with a sharp tool.
The bottom of the NAS has four removable rubber feet.
A macro shot of the caddies, courtesy of our Canon DSLR camera.
Unfortunately, the caddies are not numbered and don't feature locks, but they are an essential feature in business environments. Thankfully, the caddies are of high quality, and they can hold both 3.5" and 2.5" drives. All the necessary screws for both disk types are provided as part of the bundle the NAS comes with.
The caddies feature a nice detach mechanism through which they can easily be removed from the system. You only have to press a button located at the bottom of the tray to release the latch, which allows you to pull the tray out of the disk bay easily.
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