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Old 07-06-07, 22:43   #1
Hi-Jack

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Default MPC Tutor: What is NDAS? What are the benefits?

A lot of people don't know what NDAS is or what it can do for them.
Especially for people seeking slick and fast storage , versatile and portable,
NDAS is about the best you can get as it is not overloaeded with additional
options, long setup and tweaking all over. We try to offer some clear view
on what NDAS is?

NDAS stands for:
Network (Plug it in your router/switch and share data with other clients)
Direct (Each user directly controls and uses the NDAS drive like "c:" for ex.)
Attached (Ethernet connection allows sharing data between PC, Laptop, PDA, Media Players...)
Storage (Store all kinds of data from movies to photos and mp'3s, to PC backups)

In addition to network connection, most NDAS devices also come with USB2
and eSATA connection. That way, you can share the data over network at
home and take the drive along to work or friends and useit as a normal
USB or eSATA external enclosure.

NDAS is a chip inside a Hard Drive case and not on the hard drive itself. This way,
you can use any hard drive you have already and turn it into an NDAS device.

For PC's and MAC's, a driver needs to be installed to talk to the NDAS
storage device. This is a SCSI driver which takes care of the communications
and it allows you to connect to the drive in READ or READ/WRITE mode. Different
PC's can connect to it in different modes. This part is easy to setup using the NDAS
Device manager which sits in the tray of your PC (on windows).

Media Players do not need any actions from the user to talk to NDAS storage
devices. They will find them since the driver is already integrated in the
player. Examples of NDAS capable devices are N35, iamm NTD35HD, MViX
Mx-760 and so on. Note that in addition to NDAS, all players feature all
other options compared to other media Players without NDAS like SMB,
uPnP and so on... NDAS is not a replacement or alternative, it is an additional
feature on top of the others.

NDAS is much more stable than NAS but the main advantage is it's speed
and ability to have multiple users download and use data without suffering
in performance. For instance, watching a HD movie served from the NDAS
storage while copying movies from or too the NDAS device from several PC's
will work perfectly. The speed between media players and NDAS storage depends
however on the player's capabilities. With PC, up to 42MB / s transfer speed
can be reached. (Average 35, GBit unit)

A 10/100 mbit unit NDAS storage performs as fast as Gigabit NAS.
A GBIT ndas performs between 4 / 6 times as fast as GBIT NAS.

Basic Pros:
- No brain networked storage device. No need ofany prior knowledge of NAS or Network.
- NDAS is extremely fast networked attached storage
- Ndas is relatively cheap for networked storage (for example cheaper than Lacie BigDisk which comes without network)
- Most NDAS storage devices can be used in different ways. (USB, eSATA, Network)
- NDAS Storage is used as a mapped drive as if it was a HDD inside your PC
- NDAS integrates seamlessly with Media Players featuring NDAS (N35, IAMM, MViX etc...)
- Simultaneous connections remain performant

Basic cons
- NDAS is limited in additional functions (FTP, HTTP Server etc which usually integrate with NAS)
- Requires a driver to be installed on all PC's requiring access

Comments:
This introduction is very small. Several reviews on NDAS products have
already been taken care of by MPC. You can find the ShareDisk reviews,
both NDAS storage devices, in our Revoews section.

http://www.mpcclub.com/modules.php?name=Reviews

Additional info:
www.ximeta.com for NDAS Technology
www.coworldcs.com for NDAS Storage devices.
www.kjglobal.co.uk for NDAS Capable Media Players

Hope you liked the short into.
NDAS is something to consider if you need ease of use and high speed or if
you consider buying some USB2 big volume storage (250/400/500GB) like
Lacie, you are far better of, and cheaper with NDAS storage and it offers
much more functionality! I thought you ougth to know that...

Enjoy
Hi-Jack
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Old 08-06-07, 01:04   #2
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Thank you Hi-Jack for sharing this informtion with us. Can a KiSS player connect to a NADS device? I don't think so because you need FreeKiSS or KiSS Link for this.
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Old 08-06-07, 11:10   #3
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This is a good small tutor.
Can you add this one to the Knowledge base / Wiki?
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Old 08-06-07, 11:30   #4
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We will add it to knowledge base and wiki eventually.
The KiSS players are not NDAS capable so you would have to remain working with software to laod data from it over PC or Nalternatively stick to NAS.
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Old 10-06-08, 22:49   #5
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HiJack,

Starting to get a little concerned at the recent news posting new devices which seemed straight from a press release with seemingly little editorial review. The posting on the NDAS seems to one taken straight from a press release. Whilst I welcome awareness of new products it may be worth marking them as Product Releases or Press Releases.

With regards to NDAS, beside being a proprietary system of Ximeta it also has a limited install base, is not open to all devices and is extremely limited in approach. Its main claim to fame is its lack of use of TCP/IP

Like any SAN it is fine when you have control of the devices that attach and also control of the operating systems of those devices. It is however of questionable suitability when the clients are either locked down or where there are not drivers available to install on the client. This applies to most streaming players.

As with any network attached device the performance of SAN systems are limited by the Network speed, the network card in the client and storage device, by the processing capability of the SAN and the disk.

They offer little advantage over NAS devices other that the initial configuration of the device. Significantly where they differ from NAS devices is the configuration is migrated from the Storage device to the client which, especially in large client populations, can be difficult to manage.

With the Ximeta productline there is also only support for JBOD, RAID 0 & RAID 1.

You state that there is advantage in speed. This is not truly correct. The same speed and capability is available to NAS devices but depends upon both cost and network speed. With the higher end NAS devices 30-35GB is available on Gigabit LAN segments (obviously 100mbps LANs cannot support such speed where SAN, NDAS or NAS).

You state "A 10/100 mbit unit NDAS storage performs as fast as Gigabit NAS". This is not true. You cannot achieve anything more than 12.5MB on a 100mbit LAN segment. That is the physical limitation To do any more requires compression techniques which are generally unsuited to video streaming.

If you reference the published independent performance reports of existing NAS devices you will find that the higher units such as Thecus 5200 provide a performance range of 57 - 28 depending upon the file size (the larger the file size the worse performance). This is more than comparable with the file transfers you reported in your review of trhe Coworld Sharedisk and not far off the maximum claimed by Coworld of 60MB/s. Because of this it is difficult to sustain the 5-6 times faster assertion.

Yes, I will accept that the device is cheap and provides good performance for that price. A review of prices indicates that the configured units are approximately 50% of the equivalent NAS. But the price must be read in conjunction with the limitations.
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