James Hawkins Sun, 06/13/2010 - 05:38
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It is good to see that the new boxes have support for iSCSI, media streaming, Time Machine etc.


I do not really get involved much in this market as I am voice focussed but I believe that if some functionality were added then I could possibly sell one for each IPT deployment that I do.


The features I would like to see are:


SFTP server to allow CUCM, Unity Connection, CUPS etc. to be backed up to the NSS.

TFTP server to act as a server for IOS upgrades and config backups

SMTP server to allow devices that support email notifications for alerts etc. to forward emails


I would also use the NSS to store all the software patches, BAT files, custom ring tones  etc. used for the deployment. These would then be close to hand in the case that a server fails.


It would also be great if there were a service available to replicate nominated directories between NSS units so that if one dies the data is not lost.


I would also be good to have a cheaper non-RAID version for the home market if the features above get implemented!


Hope this is useful feedback.


James

James Hawkins Sun, 06/13/2010 - 05:48
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One question - does these units come with any PC software that allows data to be backed up to the NSS? If yes what platforms are supported and what restrictions are in place?


One other great feature would be a "CCO download agent" - this would work with the Cisco web site download facility and allow scheduled downloads to be made from the web site to the NSS. This would be useful as these upgrades are often large (particularly for voice apps) and customers often prefer them to be done outside working hours to avoid hogging Internet bandwidth during the daytime.


Another great feature would be a "Go to my NSS option" similar to the well know Go To My PC service. This would allow partners to go to NSS units at customer sites without requiring a VPN.


Again hope this is useful feedback.

doishi Mon, 06/14/2010 - 08:32
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James,
Thanks for the feedback.  All good ideas that we'll look into


There is no client software included with the Smart Storage products.  For Apple MAC clients, we support Time Machine.  That is native support without having to perform any command line updates to the MAC or the Smart Storage.  For Windows, you can use the built-in backup client provided from Microsoft or you can use the Cisco Small Business LBACDP Continuous Data Protection backup software.  The LBACDP software is an additional sku that provides.


You can find more information about the Continuous Data Proteciton software including a 30-day free trial at the link below.

http://www.cisco.com/cisco/web/solutions/small_business/products/storage/index.html

j.riley Fri, 06/25/2010 - 14:13
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I've actually owned QNAP for a couple years with great success, but being a big Cisco fan - decided to purchase as my 2nd NAS the NSS326 instead of the original QNAP.  I didn't expect much more than some rebranding and GUI tweaks - but was pleasantly surprised to find some VERY long needed features such as syslog and radius.


Overall construction of the NSS326 is excellent, and personally I like the cosmetic changes as well.

I enjoy the "meat and potatoes" GUI which is also more well organized than the original brand.


1 Comment and 1 question -


Comment - Cisco has to understand it's serving the SMB market with this product, and small things such as the box/packaging has value in this market.  The original manufacturer had a box I'd keep (and still do own one, and still have the box).  The traditional "brown box" same as all cisco products was a dissapointment.   Some may say "it's only packaging, it's only a box"  - true.  But there's a small company out there call "Apple" you might have heard of that would argue the value of packaging and the value of initial reactions/perceptions of the product.


Question:  QNAP is releasing a v3.3 firmware which addresses many issues that have also been replicated in the NSS326.   What sort of turn around time can we expect from Cisco when these firmwares are released?  Some of the fixes (media server) has been broken for almost 6 months with Twonky 5.1.x.


But overall - excellent job Cisco on doing MUCH more than just re-branding what was already a great product - and making it better.


Cheers

izhiltsov Sun, 06/27/2010 - 21:09
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Hi, if you already have Cisco NAS, could you please check if it has the IP cameras connection (Surveillance) feature as Qnap has. I cannot find this feature on the Cisco website. Did they remove it?

j.riley Mon, 06/28/2010 - 06:08
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Hi Ilya;


     Unfortunately this is the 1 feature Cisco deleted.  Not sure why.  Although I don't use it myself, I do wish they would ad it back in.


     I have 2 NAS's, for this reason I've kept 1 of my QNAP's.


     Scouring through the menus it looks like Cisco deleted IP Video Camera support, and added Syslog and Radius (both nice additions)


Cheers

doishi Mon, 06/28/2010 - 17:11
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Smart Storage firmware releases will follow a Cisco schedule based on bugs and customer requirements.  There is no link to OEM software releases.

j.riley Mon, 06/28/2010 - 17:27
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Ok, maybe I need to re-word


There are inherent issues with 3.2.x (among other things) some of the larger items being backup (rsync) and the media server.

Testing the NSS326, the same issues are in this unit.


When is Cisco's ETA for fixing a couple of these core functions?


Thanks

j.riley Tue, 07/06/2010 - 05:55
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It's known that the v5 of Twonky Media server included with the v.3.2 firmware on the NSS's have various issues.


A preferred fix among the users since v5 doesn't introduce many new features, is to downgrade to Twonky 4.4.17.   As this is the last/best/stable version of TMS.


This can be done by disabling the MediaServer within the NSS (which is TMS v5), and installing TMS v4.4.17 from a QPKG add-in at:


http://ftp.qnap.com/QPKG/X86/TwonkyMedia_4.4.17_x86.zip


Once QPKG is installed, enable it, and click on it's management web interface to configure just as you did in the bundled v5.

You'll find all issues and proper support for PS3 as a media device have been fixed.


Cheers

doishi Tue, 07/06/2010 - 07:58
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The QPKG applications will not work on Smart Storage.


We'll review the bugs related to Twonky and try to incorporate in a future release.  No firm schedule on a release yet.

doishi Tue, 07/06/2010 - 08:17
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The references are to Cisco Packages.  Cisco will be releasing PKG downloads to add applications to the Smart Storage devices.

eoncablewire Thu, 07/08/2010 - 17:54
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I had been looking for a NAS box that combined several features I was lookign for but all in one box: iscsi target, NAS for Windows SMB, NAS for apple, backup (perhaps with software, or perhaps with support for backup exec), ftp, tftp, and good performance.


I initially found the Qnap devices until I ran across an annoucement for the Cisco product. I initially thought that the Qnap was positioned more for consumers than business customers based on the included media servers and such.


As a Cisco product I am confused by the inclusion of these applications in an SMB product. Where exactly is the product focus for these units?


As a storage product I want a few things: 1. BULLET PROOF 2. Fast firmware updates 3. Good support


I have found the fastest way to lose a client is to bring in product that does not perform. I am concerned about the responses to the firmware issues. I am sure engineers are working on the issues but if a home user needs an update to play media on the PSP... I really dont care. However if I am using the Iscsi target software to supply storage for a server or a digital signage project, I cant wait 6 months for an update. The only way I would be able to give the client a stable product is to run to another vendor and ultimately eat the storage product out of my pocket.


If this is truly an SMB product then please get the software issues resolved right away. I have already had several issues with this unit in the first hour I have had it so I am not optimistic about placing such a critical component such as storage on a customer site with unresolved problems.


I am also dissapointed to hear about the exclusion of the Ip camera support. As this is a Cisco SMB product I would of course expect it to integrate with as much of the SMB line as possible and I cant think of a better use of this NAS device than for IP camera storage.


Thanks

j.riley Fri, 07/23/2010 - 06:22
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I guess no one from Cisco is going to repond to your post Johnny.


I agree with your thoughts, and was excitedly looking forward to Cisco's entry in the small NAS market and rushed out to buy a NSS326 (Equiv to QNAP TS-659) Unit.  I already own a QNAP TS-639 older model for 1.5 years and loved it - and expected Cisco just to make this even a better unit.  Which in some ways they have (Syslog and Radius features) - although as you've already noticed, elimation of QPKG application support which numbers up to almost 2 dozen applications that are not available on Cisco's version


Unfortunately if you look on eBay, you'll see my NSS326 up for sale.


To address your points (from my point of view)


1) ROCK SOLID:  I've found the hardware to be just that (on both units).  Built well, and I'm sure will last for years.   As for software stability, - see next


2) FAST FIRMWARE UPDATES:  It's for this reason that the unit is up for sale.   V3.0 of the firmware was a major release.  And there have been issues - although many/most of them have been addressed with still a few (somewhat serious) issues still lingering.   QNAP seems to be attacking these fairly quickly.   Unfortunately there has been 2 releases from QNAP addressing issues since Cisco's adoption of this unit since v3.2.6.   As you'll see in these posts, Cisco is not following QNAPs releases, and will be releasing their own line of firmware.  For me, this is a serious issue - and I wish I knew this before purchasing.  I feel Cisco is already 2 releases behind which includes many fixes to their current platform. (Also see QPKG note above - many missing applications)


3) SUPPORT:  This is where Cisco excels and always has.   To start 5yr vs 1yr warranty, and of course Cisco TAC is one of the best in the world.  In contrast, QNAP's support quite frankly isn't great - although, it's support community for forums are excellent.   Unfortunately I can't speak specifically on NSS support since I haven't called them for this, so I'm speaking more generally.


So it really boils down to whats more important for your situation.


Cheers

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