Asustor, because the title hints, is a subsidiary of Asus and was established in 2011 to develop cloud networking (NAS) and video surveillance options.
Ten years later, this model has established a popularity for delivering well-made and specified for each small and medium companies and residential customers.
Asustor has lately launched some new merchandise into its ‘Power User to Business’ vary, and I have been testing the Lockerstor four AS6604T, a four-bay NAS with many fascinating options.
Design & Construct
Eradicating the AS6604T from its packaging for the primary time, it’s virtually inconceivable to not examine this with that made by the market chief, Synology. And, the AS6604T makes use of far more steel and fewer plastic than a equally priced four-bay NAS by that model.
The drive trays are principally steel, and the inclusion of an informative show panel elevates this design over many competitor designs.
It may appear a minor level, however having the ability to see the IP quantity that the field was given by the community allows speedy entry to the net interface with out the necessity to use a utility or different strategies to extract it.
The format is nothing radical. It sports activities 4 vertically mounted drive trays on the entrance, together with USB three.zero port and some buttons, and two extra USB three.zero ports on the rear together with twin 2.5GbE LAN ports and a single HDMI output.
With HDMI included it’s doable to attach a mouse and keyboard on to the unit and work on the system like some other sort of laptop working a Linux distribution.
A big rear mounted fan attracts air from the entrance and expels it rearward to maintain the drives and system cool, and is temperature-controlled.
The specification states that the system can take two M.2 NVMe drives internally, and on some NAS containers I’ve seen detachable panels to entry the M.2 slots. On this design, three screws should be eliminated to detach the case slid again to put in these, and likewise entry the spare DDR4 reminiscence slot.
A detachable panel would have been higher, however realistically most customers is not going to be including or eradicating this stuff frequently, so it’s hardly an enormous inconvenience.
What none of this preliminary exploration of the AS6604T reveals is the quantity of energy that Asustor put on this field, and the way in some respects it betters most of the merchandise it’s pitched in opposition to.
Specs & Options
I’ve seen NAS containers in recent times that had loads of inner energy, however had been unable to successfully get that efficiency to the customers they assist. It’s a superb promoting level to place a quad-core CPU and many RAM in a NAS, but when it principally sits idle due to a community log-jam, then it’s typically superfluous.
At this value level, others have gone with 4 1GbE LAN ports with the intention that these will be aggregated on the swap to supply extra bandwidth to distribute to the related customers. Just a few have gone 10GbE, although that it an costly expertise to deploy.
Asustor has as a substitute gone with a extra reasonably priced possibility with two 2.5GbE ports, giving an aggregated potential of 5Gb/s when used with an appropriate Swap. And, by ‘suitable’ an answer like the cheap Netgear MS510TXPP is what I take note of.
However curiously, there’s much more bandwidth on this , if you understand the place to look.
This NAS has three USB ports all with the USB three.2 Gen 1 (5Gb/s) specification. One is on the entrance with an related button that may copy the contents of any USB drive plugged into the inner storage, and the opposite two are on the again.
However these USB drives received’t solely work with USB storage and printers, as you may count on, however with a a lot wider collection of USB peripherals than most NAS containers assist. These embrace Wi-Fi and USB to 2.5GbE LAN adapters, increasing the obtainable community bandwidth even additional.
The apparent query is why didn’t Asustor engineers give this field a PCIe slot, enabling full 10GbE and a pair of.5GbE LAN adapters to be added to it? Properly, it did embrace a PCIe slot however used it for the NVMe adapters.
A future model of this design may permit that to be swapped out for a card, however right now those who need extra community capability ought to think about the USB adapter pathway.
One fascinating observe in regards to the NVMe M.2 slots is that on different I’ve coated these can solely be used to cache the bodily drives (or SSDs) in the usual slots. However Asustor by no means utilized that distinction, subsequently an NVMe drive will be outlined as a cache useful resource or an strange drive like some other mounted on the unit.
With the restricted capability of NVMe storage at the moment, utilizing it as storage may not seem a good suggestion. However capacities are rising, and it may be helpful to make use of it as lifeboat storage throughout a reconstruction, or as a high-speed backup location.
One other notable characteristic is the HDMI 2.zero port that may output 4K video at 60Hz for anybody wanting to make use of this NAS as a media server. Asustor has a selected HDMI interface, Asustor Portal, that gives fast entry to a collection of streaming companies and features. To take advantage of HDMI output, a USB related distant management is required, and that’s a cheap merchandise so as to add.
The Asustor Lockerstor four AS6604T is retailing on Amazon UK for £579 and on Amazon.com for US$549, making it costlier than the Synology DS420+ by almost £120 and US$49 respectively.
However that’s not an apples-for-apples comparability, because the DS420+ solely gives 2GB of RAM (upgradable to 6GB). Has solely a dual-core CPU, can solely use its M.2 slots for cache, and has two 1GbE LAN ports, not 2.5 GbE.
The computing specification of the AS6604T is way nearer to the five-bay DS1520+, a machine that also can solely use the M.2 slots for cache, doesn’t have 2.5 GbE LAN ports, and critically prices £699/US$699.
For these wanting an inexpensive NAS field, the AS6604T doesn’t supply the identical wonderful worth for cash because the TerraMaster F4-422, which undercuts even the DS420+ and contains 10GbE networking.
However for the specification, the AS6604T combines a high-quality resolution and nice worth for cash. And, for those who just like the fashion, however solely want a dual-drive resolution, Asustor has the AS6602T that sports activities an almost equivalent specification however prices $150 much less.
This pricing most likely pushes this design extra to enterprise customers, even when many residence customers are actually transitioning into 2.5 GbE networking because the reasonably priced various to 10GbE .
Take a look at our chart of the very best NAS drives to see all of your choices.
There’s lots to love on this design. It doesn’t slavishly observe what Synology is doing and injects some desperately wanted impartial considering in what has turn out to be a stagnant sector.
With a troublesome to fault package deal, function-based styling and glorious flexibility, there are various NAS eventualities that the AS6604T matches like a glove. It ticks most of the crucial containers; supporting the BTRFS file construction, NVMe caching, aggregated LAN connections, a devoted HDMI 2.zero port and glorious VM assist.
However, and it is a drawback throughout the Asustor vary, the Asustor branded software suite doesn’t have the vary or polish of its Synology counterpart. And, frankly, that’s the usual by which all NAS are judged today.
This one weak spot stops the AS6604T being a direct competitor to the Synology merchandise. As a result of by way of the specification and corresponding value, that is undoubtedly higher worth.
Any potential purchaser must resolve if the applying suite of this product covers the meant goal, and if the AS6604T covers these bases, give it some real consideration.
For these the place the characteristic set overlaps their requirement, the AS6604T gives a superb platform that may carry out a number of features effortlessly. Asustor has neatly positioned it to take advantage of the transition to quicker LAN speeds already underway.
Asustor Lockerstor four AS6604T: Specs
Processor: Intel Celeron J4125 Quad-Core 2.0GHz as much as 2.7GHz
Reminiscence: 4GB DDR4-2400 SO-DIMM (max. 8GB, 4GB x2)
Drives: four x three.5in or 2.5in SATA HDD/SSD and 2x M.2 NVMe 2280 (drives not included)
Raid Modes: Single, JBOD, RAID zero/1/5/6/10, RAID 1/5 + Scorching Spare
Networking: 2x 2.5GbE LAN port
Networking Protocols: CIFS/SMB, SMB 2.zero/three.zero, AFP, NFS, FTP (Unicode Supported), TFTP, WebDAV, Rsync, SSH, SFTP, iSCSI/IP-SAN, HTTP, HTTPS, Proxy, SNMP, Syslog
USB ports: 1x USB three.2 Gen 1 (Entrance) / 2x USB three.2 Gen 1 (Rear)
OS: ADM three.5
Dimension (HxWxD): 185.5 x 170 x 230mm
Guarantee: three years