Patriot Valkyrie NAS Raid Device

Posted by on Thursday, January 28, 2010 - 6:04pm

patriot valkyriePatriot, being the memory company, has sent over their Valkyrie NAS box. It's a good NAS box as it is one that provide you with a lot of other services, besides just being a holder data from random PC backups. The Valkyrie provides you with multiple server applications for iTunes, media and printer server, just to name a few. The Valkyrie provides you with all this and much much more. These can be setup from a very easy to use GUI. So read along as we take a tour of the Valkyrie and its long list of features.

 

Introduction to the Patriot Valkyrie Enclosure

I have been dealing with and building computers for a long time now. In that time, the comments that I can definitely live without are these two: "I will never need a hard drive as big as this one. It will never fill up' or the classic "I remember when 200MB was the biggest hard drive around and it cost me $700." I hear them everyday and at the same time I hear 'My hard drive is full and I have no more space'. We all could use a little extra space rather it is for backing up important data, clearing up more space on your HDD for your application installations and collecting all that digital content to shift between your own PC and others.

Chances are people within the same household need to access the same data. This is when NAS drives and enclosures come in handy. The ability to link a hard drive to your local area network is ideal. Who really would wants to take a drive from PC to PC to do backups and data transfers.

The safest way to accomplish all this is to invest in a good external storage device. Personally, I am a big fan of constructing my own. There are people that don't have the knowledge or the time to assemble one and wish to just purchase a unit already to go. I don't knock these people at all. We all have other things to do that is more important. But the ideal of building opens the door for upgrading the drives in the future and doesn't void any warranties.

Patriot, being the memory company, has sent over their Valkyrie NAS box. It's a good NAS box as it is one that provide you with a lot of other services, besides just being a holder data from random PC backups. The Valkyrie provides you with multiple server applications for iTunes, media and printer server, just to name a few. The Valkyrie provides you with all this and much much more. These can be setup from a very easy to use GUI. So read along as we take a tour of the Valkyrie and its long list of features.

Patriot on the Valkyrie

The Patriot Valkyrie Dual Bay NAS (Network Attached Storage) device is ideal for homes or offices with multiple computers when used as a central storage server, digital media hub, or FTP server for remote users. Valkyrie is equipped with two 3.5” drive bays (for up to 4TB of storage using SATA HDD), a 500MHz embedded processor, 128MB of RAM., fast Gigabit network capabilities, RAID 0, 1 and JBOD support to keep your data safe and secure. Among the many built in features Valkyrie offers are: FTP server,
UPnP media server, iTunes® server, user and group management, One Touch Backup (OTB), system backup, scheduled backup, PC-less download via P2P Network, Active Directory Services (ADS), and Dynamic DNS. The easy to use interface and comprehensive setup options bring the versatility of a robust network storage device to everyone.


Specifications

Product Name: Valkyrie
Patriot Part #: PCNASVK35S2
Certifications / Safety: FCC / UL / TUV / CE / KC / PSE
Product Warranty: 1 Year (USA) & 2 Year (EU)
Unit UPC: 0879699009348
Packaging Type: Retail Box
Net Weight: 4.55 lbs / 2062gm
Gross Weight: 6.99lbs / 3175gm
Units per Master Carton: 2

Features

• System: Embedded 500MHz Processor / 128MB Embedded Ram / 16MB Flash
• 10/100/1000 Ethernet
• Built in RAID 0,1, JBOD
• Supports SATA II, up to 4TB storage
• Supports USB external storage
• Supports Network file protocol CIFS/SMB/AFP/NFS/HTTP/FTP
• Supports UPNP Media Server
• Supports user / group management
• Supports folder management
• Supports OTB (One Touch Backup)
• Supports Unicode file name
• Supports system backup, scheduled back and direct USB backup
• Supports FTP, iTunes and Print servers
• Supports PC-less download (BT/HTTP/FTP/e2DK (emule/edonky))
• Supports ADS Active Directory Services
• Supports Dynamic DNS
• Supports multi-lingual user interface


Closer look

The Valkyrie comes to us made of metal with a plastic front door. The unit looks fairly decent and very professional, meaning it can be used as your household appliance or in a very small office where data is important. It boasts impressive features for a mere $150. The brains behind the enclosure is an embedded 500MHz processor sitting beside 128MB of embedded ram. This is not as fast as the specs for Synology DS209 we reviewed back in November, which had a 1.2GHz CPU and 256MB of ram. However, here you are not spending $300 but half of that.

The front of the unit bears all the visual information you need about the unit and the operation of the hard drives inside. It all begins with the large power button on the top left and working our way to the right we have the LAN and USB activity lights. The backup can be used in conjunction with the software and USB ports to do back ups of important data. The USB port can be used to add additional storage to the Valkyrie like flash drives. Falling down the left side of the enclosure is the activity lights for the HDD themselves.

The sides of the enclosure are tastefully decorated with the model and company names on each side.

The rear of the enclosure has a simple power plug, LAN port which support speeds up to one gigabit. The second USB port is used to connect a printer to the unit and serve as a print server. A 50mm is used to blow some cool air over the drives.


Installation

My first gripe against the Valkyrie is that isn't tool-less. You will need a phillips head screwdriver to secure the hard drives in place. But before that we have to tell you how to get to the hard drive bays. The plastic door that sit up front flips down and gives you access to the removable trays.

The black plastic piece at the rear of the tray serves two purposes: a holder for the screws that are needed to secure the screws and a support figure for the trays when not in use. The Patriot documents do not say anything about this, so we had to figure it out on our own.

Once your drives are in place in the tray, simply slide them back into the enclosure and you are off. In order to power up the enclosure you must hold down the power button for about three seconds.


Software

The software that comes with the enclosure is called Net Tools and is what you will find when you start the Valkyrie. This application has to be copied over to each PC on the LAN you want to access the NAS. If you decide to use it as a FTP server, this step is not necessary. Just on one PC to set up the NAS. To access the drive you have two options via the software first is the quick setup and the second is through web access.

We will briefly talk about each beginning with the brief setup. This is the first screen you will see when you activate the software. You will find all the LAN number for the enclosure. Each of the drives are listed here as well.

If choose to go the Static IP route the network setup utility is where you start.

Believe it or not, this is about all you do with the express setup option. But now it is time to show you what the web access section looks like. Here is where you have access to all the server and setup options. The thing is to setup the drives in whatever Raid option you want. We decided to work with the mirroring option as we like the redundancy. Once the drives are selected, raid option is set all we have to do is way for the format to finish.

Under disk management, you will get a list of the drives attached to the enclosure as well as any USB drive connected. The sizes are reported as well.

Just like the quick setup, you can select whether you want a DHCP or static connection.

Groups and user setting are fully customizable as well. This is important when you decide to make folder and tell what users can access them.

Under the folder settings is what is probably the most important feature. Folders allows the admin to keep things organized and user friendly.


Server options

There are a few server options that is part of the Valkyrie, we will discuss the more popular one at least the ones we would use anyways. The first would be setup a FTP server. This is one of the oldest and easiest ways to share files over the internet. You have to the ability to change ports, download and upload options as well as connection limits. During the FTP setup you can give individuals or groups right to various folders. Allowing them to read, read or delete to these folders.

The UPnP option is what all you media buffs are going to love. They have the Valkyrie house all your digital media files have it stream to any DMA capable device.

Apple fan? Well you can use the Valkyrie as an iTunes server. Simply upload all your media to the unit and link your itunes to the Valkyrie.

If you need a dedicated Bittorrent for P2P file sharing, well the Valkyrie has you covered there as well. Regardless of the image that bit torrents have right now it is the best for businesses to distribute files to large groups of people.

If there is more than you in your household, I am sure you don't want a printer connected to every computer in the house. And who wants to be attached to a printer while using a laptop? The Valkyrie can serve as print server as well. Allowing everyone on the network to print to one central location.


Conclusion

The Patriot Valkyrie is a great little device to have in the home as it can serve as the central location for a lot of different applications. It can be used in the home or small business location. The Valkyrie can house all your important data and allow you to retrieve them from anywhere in the world if you so wanted to. It can be the solution for the lack of printers in the home as your USB printer can be connected directly to it. Have a lot of digital media that you want to be streamable to other device or do you need a place to store all your iTunes' purchased music? Yes, the Valkyrie can do all that.

We once reviewed the Synology DS209+ which is another similar device to the Valkyrie. The DS209+ does have more server options built into like email, security and others but it is more suited for the office than the home. The Valkyrie is more than half the price of the Synology and does pretty much the same thing. Yes, the Synology application advantages but the Valkyrie is easier to assembly and put together. You do not have to disassembly as much to get the drives in. Simply open the front panel, remove drive trays and insert drives.

The Valkyrie a little speed and redundancy in the form of Raid. Raid 0, 1 and JBOD. We tested the unit in Raid 1 as it offered the best in backup as we put some very important data on the unit. And if for some reason a drive crashes just replace it with another and let the Valkyrie do its thing in rebuilding the Raid.

One feature that my wife really loves is the backup feature. She often bring data home on a flash drive. She can instantly back it up to the NAS just by plugging in the flash drive and pressing the backup button. She doesn't have to venture into any setup or software application to get the job done.

Visibly the Valkyrie is not bad look. But the plastic front panel could have been replaced with a metal one. The plastic door is easier to damage. A metal one would have been tough to break.

The Patriot Valkyrie can be had for about $150 without any drives. Not too bad for a complete NAS solution for the home. Add in teh price of a couple of 1TB hard drives you have possibly 2TB of storage for less than that of many of NAS enclosures.

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