Review of the Sentinel DX4000

On January 3, 2012, in news, by

The Sentinel DX4000’s capability to comprehensively backup and restore client computers makes it a standout in the segment, which is why its inability to backup itself is such a disappointment. Due to a limitation of WSS’s built-in server backup utility (it doesn’t work with volumes 2 TB or larger), the utility has been omitted from the Sentinel DX4000.

This leaves no out-of-the-box way to back up the contents of the server (including any computer backups it’s storing) to an external hard drive. WD is working on a fix for a future firmware update, but there’s currently no timeframe for its release.

For the time being, therefore, the only way to back up a Sentinel DX4000 is via an optional third-party add-in utility from KeepVault. This subscription-based software will back up the contents of the server to both a local drive and the cloud, and prices start at $300 annually for 250 GB of online storage. (Costs rise to $999 a year for 1 TB of online storage, but you can back up as much as you want locally no matter how much online storage you buy).

Although the added cost of having an off-site backup is entirely justifiable, it’s unfortunate that the Sentinel DX4000 effectively requires you to pay extra for something as rudimentary as on-site backup capability.


Pros: Automatic migration from RAID 1 to RAID 5 when adding drives; dual AC connectors enable redundant power supply; does full backups of networked computers; good remote access features, including remote desktop to Windows PCs.

Cons: Setting up computers can be time consuming, error-prone when not up-to-date; RAID migration takes an extremely long time; can’t back-up server itself without optional add-on software.

Just about the same comments I had during the beta.

“error prone when not up to date” is I’ll bet = .net 4 not installed on those systems by WU.


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