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Buffalo Terastation Review

By
Brian Nadel
,
business.com writer
| Updated
Jul 24, 2019
Home
> Technology
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Rack-mounted RAID storage doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg, because Buffalo's TeraStation TS 3410RN mixes fault tolerance with economy. With lots of experience with small and medium-sized businesses, Buffalo loads up the TS 3410RN with high-end features, like hardware data encryption and malware scanning, but keeps its price tag within reach for small companies. The RAID storage system can handle standard RAID levels, recover from losing two drives, and it's our pick as the best RAID storage system for heading off a data disaster. 

Buffalo Terastation

Buffalo Terastation

The Best RAID Recovery Services and Hardware of 2019

The Verdict

Buffalo's TS 3410RN not only slides into a standard server rack but searches out malware hidden among your key files. It's an excellent choice for companies concerned about data security and ransomware.

View all of our recommendations for RAID Recovery Services on our best picks page. 

Features

If your small business relies on rack-mounted servers, you can't do much better than filling it with Buffalo's TeraStation TS 3410RN RAID storage system. With room for four drives, the device is a drive short compared to the likes of Drobo's 5N2. Still, with the ability to encrypt data, recover lost files and scrub malware from the data, it is like having a small data center on the cheap. 

Designed for organizations with up to 35 users, Buffalo engineered the 1.7 x 16.9 x 16.9-inch TS 3410RN to fit into standard server racks. This not only eases installation but allows for the full integration of a company's digital infrastructure in one place. The array comes with its drives ready to go. 

As is the case with other rack-mounted gear, the device gets by with a minimum of lights and controls, because users are meant to interact with it via the device's software dashboard. In addition to a power button and light, the TS 3410RN has LEDs that glow when there's network activity, and there is one for each drive; a red light warns of a drive failure. 

Inside, the system has an Annapurna 1.4-GHz Alpine dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. Neither can be upgraded, and the Buffalo infrastructure is slower and has less memory compared to RAID products like Western Digital's EX4100. The system lacks the hardware accelerator of Drobo's 5N2. and it is limited to using traditional rotating media. 

Unlike other rack-mounted networking gear, the TeraStation has a single AC power input that might prove to be a point of failure. It also lacks an internal battery, like the one on Drobo's 5N2, to keep the array running long enough to finish its current read-write cycle. The back of the unit has a pair of gigabit Ethernet ports for data redundancy and port aggregation for top speed. 

In addition to a pair of cooling fans, it has USB 3.0 ports for expanding its storage potential with extra drives. On the other hand, the TS 3410RN does without a Thunderbolt connection for directly working with high-speed video data, as in a film editing firm. 

Based on the XFS file system, the TS 3410RN comes into its own as a self-contained RAID file server. It can work with RAID levels 0, 1, 5, 6 and 10. The device tops out at 5Gbps and can be ordered with a variety of drives up to a total raw capacity of 16GB. Of course, using one of RAID's fault-tolerant settings will reduce that. 

Like the Drobo 5N2, the TS 3410RN is the one to get if you plan to upgrade its capacity. Just remove a drive, put a new one in and the RAID Mode Manager will format the new drive and rebuild it with the old drive's data. 

Security

All operations by the TeraStation TS 3410RN are protected by a password, and its logs track the system's internal operations. The system, though cannot track who has changed or deleted a file. All the data can be encrypted as it is written using the super-secure AES-256 format, making every bit of your company's data unreadable by anyone other than those with the right password. 

The array can be set up to boot up only when authenticated by a company server and the RAID device works with anti-malware software from Trend Micro. It can be set to continually scan the drive for rogue code but this protection costs extra; a three-year license costs about $150. In this age where small businesses are being targeted by hackers, this extra layer of protection can be a company-saver. 

The TS 3410RD's drive bays are numbered, and the drives slide in for easy mounting and quick changes; a lever holds each in place. Like others in its class, the TS 3410 RN lacks a lock for its drives, although the array has a Kensington lock. By contrast, Buffalo's similar desktop TS 3410DN's front door has a lock and key. 

Software and Interface

After unpacking the TS 3410RN and plugging everything in, the setup wizard takes over. While each unit comes with its drives in place and set to a specified RAID level, you can change that and other configuration details before it comes online. 

The system's dashboard shows current activities alongside processor and memory usage graphs. Each drive in the array is identified; at any time, you can change all the internal details in the Management section. 

Like some competitors, Buffalo has integrated the ability to link with other systems, like another TS unit to mirror its contents in the same rack or offsite for increased redundancy and protection. Also, the RAID array is cloud-ready with the ability to link with Amazon's S3, Dropbox Business, Microsoft Azure and OneDrive. 

No company should rely exclusively on a RAID server to keep their data safe and secure. Buffalo includes a copy of NovaBackup with every purchase. The license is for 10 systems, making it a bargain for small businesses. 

Support and Pricing

Although the TS 3410RN quickly and easily integrates with a company's rack servers, it is remarkably inexpensive. There's no base unit without drives, but 4-, 8-, 12- and 16GB versions cost $900, $1,000, $1,130 and $1,180, making them genuine bargains for companies desiring to keep all their gear together in a rack. If your company is a light data user on a tight budget, the TS 3410RN should fit right in, but its capacity for future growth is limited. 

The good news is that the TS 3410RN includes a comprehensive three-year warranty that comes with drive and controller repairs at Buffalo's repair facility. The equivalent of a data recovery service, this can potentially save valuable time in the event of a failure. 

Buffalo has 24/7 support and repairs for the life of the warranty, putting it a step ahead of Drobo's 90-day support policy. The company sells extended warranties for up to five years of service; an extra three years costs $150. 

Want to make sure that every bit of company data is secure and safe? Buffalo's TeraStation 3410RN can not only recover lost files but encrypt everything while scanning for and stopping malware. With a 16GB array selling for $1,180, it is the rare rack-mounted storage system that won't break a small business's bank account.

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Buffalo Terastation

Buffalo Terastation

The Best RAID Recovery Services and Hardware of 2019

The Verdict

Buffalo's TS 3410RN not only slides into a standard server rack but searches out malware hidden among your key files. It's an excellent choice for companies concerned about data security and ransomware.

Brian Nadel
Brian Nadel
Brian is a technology writer based north of New York City. He writes stories for Business.com, Tom's Guide, ComputerWorld and Scholastic Magazines. He is the former editor-in-chief of Mobile Computing & Communications magazine.