updated 08:50 am EDT, Tue September 30, 2008
Western Digital today leapt into more serious home and SoHo network-attached storage with the appearance of its ShareSpace line. The four-bay system is designed to be simple, with a built-in iTunes server for sharing content over the network and pre-supplied backup software, but is also more powerful than the company's normal home drives. All ShareSpace boxes can run in either a RAID stripe for sheer space or a mirror for simple redundancy; a top-end model with all four bays full can also run in RAID 5 for a combination of backup and striping that makes the most of the available storage.
In addition to its usual local network backup features over gigabit Ethernet, the new NAS device can serve as an FTP server for remote access and carries three USB ports with different roles. While two back ports provide a straightforward route to expanding the capacity of the network drive, a front port lets users offload information from an external USB drive directly to the network without needing software or consuming bandwidth on the network.
The core ShareSpace unit sells for $700 with a total of 2TB of space spread across two drives and with drive rails for users to add more drives of their own; a $1,000 flagship model fills all four bays for a maximum of 4TB and comes preset to run in RAID 5 mode. Both arrays are already shipping and should be available today.