Its strange to come across a company that manages to universally fail but Buffalo seemed to have achieved this quite comfortably. At first glance their range of basic NAS gear looks appealing – most of it runs on Linux, authenticates with LDAP/AD, runs sshd, etc – however the fundamentals seem to have been lost in the mayhem to get Linux installed on an embedded device and then Get It The Hell To Market.

At work we have implemented a few of these devices. The List of Fail:

Buffalo Terastation – Uptime for about two weeks, then a disk in the array fails. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue except that someone at Buffalo neglected to read the manual on RAID. Therefore the entire NAS goes down, emits a few beeps and then gets power-killed, understandably, by an annoyed client. Back at the workshop a replacement disk arrives (after a few weeks). The array starts to rebuild and then a second disk promptly fails. Buffalo support request all sorts of wierd tests but essentially the drive is dud.

Investigation of two other Terastations show that another has done exactly the same thing and the third has decided not to come back after a power cut. Zero availability.

Buffalo Linkstation – Also installed a few of these. One exhibits a wierd issue which means it isn’t available on the network when the time comes to receive the backup snapshot so the server just emits a Delayed Write Failure and exits.

We’re now building our own NAS systems using FreeNAS, Atom mobos and 1U rack mount chassis kits. Bring it.


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