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WD 12TB WD Sentinel DX4000 Small Business Network File Storage Server iSCSI NAS

WD 12TB WD Sentinel DX4000 Small Business Network File Storage Server iSCSI NAS

Whether you’re an IT expert or not, WD Sentinel is easy to install and provides secure centralized storage, complete data protection, and remote file access for your employees and trusted vendors while in the office or from anywhere.

  • Plug-and-play installation
  • Complete Support for Mac OS
  • Build-in secure remote access
  • Equipped with a built-in DLNA media server
  • Dual Gigabit Ethernet and dual USB 3.0 ports
  • 25 client computer backup and restore licenses included
  • Easily manage the setup, administration and deployment of iSCSI storage capabilities
  • Secure remote access via a Web browser, plus a free Web sub-domain

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What customers say about WD 12TB WD Sentinel DX4000 Small Business Network File Storage Server iSCSI NAS?

  1. 72 of 81 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    For technophobes and power-users alike: VERY easy to use, yet very powerful too, January 1, 2012
    Adam Hems (Rosenberg, TX USA) –

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    My hobby is photography, and over the last 20 years I’ve accumulated a large (1.6Tb) catalog of family photos and videos (I’ve digitised all my slides, negatives and video tapes in order to preserve them). They are hence very precious to me and I am fairly paranoid about losing them to a hard disk failure, so have over the years invested in a series of ever-larger external hard drives to back my collection up to.

    Recently I did have a multi-drive solution (Western Digital My Book Mirror Edition 2TB USB 2.0 (WDH2U20000N)) – and it worked great initially (for a year or so) but as time passed the interface (USB 2.) was a bottleneck, it’s a point solution (not on the home network – I have to plug it in to any PC I want to back up), and it only holds two hard-drives (my data needs grew too fast for just two drives). I looked at upgrading that to the newest version as of this writing (Western Digital My Book World Edition II – 6 TB (2 x 3 TB) Network Attached Storage – which can be on the home network so I can back up my other family computers too, and is quite capacious at 6Tb – but it’s only two drives so if one fails it’s toast (unless I configure it to only have 3Tb of space, which is insufficient), and capacity is still limited as it’s only two drives (the problem I gradually had with the previous one).

    I also looked at plugging external drives like the ones mentioned above into my home router (NETGEAR RangeMax Wireless-N300 Gigabit Router with USB WNR3500L) but again capacity was limited, USB 2.0 is slow, it’s still vulnerable to hard disk failure, so didn’t work very well.

    What I really needed was a more-than-two-hard-drive solution that plugs into the network that is fast, as reliable as possible, expandable and brain-dead easy to use. I seriously considered the Drobo FS (Drobo FS 5-bay Gbe Storage Array) for this purpose, along with maybe a pile of extra-reliable hard drives (e.g. Western Digital 2 TB RE4-GP SATA 3 Gb/s Intellipower 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Enterprise Hard Drive – WD2002FYPS). It looks easy enough to screw together and easy to use. Also, another alternative I considerd was this: Buffalo Technology TeraStation Pro Quad 8 TB (4 x 2 TB) RAID Windows Storage Server WS-QV8.0TL/R5 (black). However instead, I went for the item being reviewed, for the following reasons:

    – Unlike the Drobo, the DX4000 comes with four extra-reliable hard drives (Western Digital 2 TB RE4-GP SATA 3 Gb/s Intellipower 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Enterprise Hard Drive – WD2002FYPS) built-in, which at the time of writing is cheaper to buy than individually with the Robo Case, and also means I don’t have to plug them in myself.
    – Unlike the Drobo solution and Buffalo, the hard drives and the case they are in are all from the same manufacturer (Western Digital), so will have been extensively tested together etc. and so I feel better about how well they will all work together from a reliability and performance perspective, which is of paramount importance to me. They are all also covered under the same warranty in the DX4000, of course (which can be extended if I need it to be).
    – The DX4000 has, in my opinion, better Enterprise-grade software running upon it than the Drobo – specifically, Microsoft Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials. The Drobo runs on a version of Linux customised by Drobo, which I personally do not trust to work as well. The Buffalo solution runs Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Workgroup Edition, also a very good choice in my opinion. Both of these solutions are based upon the latest version of Microsofts’ Server Enterprise-grade Operating System (Windows Server Standard 2008 R2 with SP1 x64 1pack DSP OEI 1-4CPU 5 Client), a key feature for me as I think Microsoft knows more about Enterprise Software…

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  2. The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
    42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars
    Nice hardware but all of the downside of using Windows and lengthy RAID rebuilds, July 14, 2012
    Paul (SF Bay Area, CA) –

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine Program (What’s this?)
    This is my fourth NAS. The others have been Readynas and Synology. This is also my first Windows-based NAS so part of my review involves a comparison with the Linux based NAS units. Overall I have to say that I’m disappointed. The hardware looks solid and I really like the trayless bays. Makes it easy to slip in a disk and there’s no need for additional hardware.

    On the downside (although some of the complexity is hidden) this is not an easy device to manage. It’s basically Windows on a server with all of the regular Microsoft updates and the ability to install and configure it almost like a Windows box. The Linux based NASs are actually much easier to use and configure because more of the complexity has been hidden away. Here are some of my notes after using the Sentinel DX4000.

    Physical – The Good
    + Can connect two power supplies
    + Two Ethernet w/teaming possible (unlike the Readynas Ultra 6+)
    + USB 3.0
    + 2GB RAM. Most of the NASs I’ve used came with 1 GB standard
    + Intel Atom D525 @1.8. Reasonable compromise between Power and power consumption

    Physical – The Bad
    – Power brick. Would be nice if the PS was internal.
    – Loud fan. Doesn’t quiet down on it’s own
    – Fan won’t turn off when it’s powered off

    Hardware – The Bad
    – Only takes expensive WD Enterprise Drives. Would be nice if there was a larger list of compatible drives but that probably would be unreasonable from a NAS manufacturer that’s known as a drive manufacturer as well.

    Setup – The Bad
    – Very long boot time (“Loading OS… Please Wait”)
    – Must use Windows PC for Setup?
    – Windows Server 2008R2 – regular updates etc. unlike the linux-based NASs
    – Long initial setup
    – All the windows updates
    – Plus firmware updates
    – Only one chance to name the DX4000 during setup – because “Certification Authority Service” is installed
    – A couple of different setup and initialization phases. Took a couple of hours overall
    – Although it doesn’t tell you the password is for the “administrator account”

    Operation – The Good
    + The fan does slow down after final setup
    + Wanted to avoid using software on each machine so found out you can RDP using administratpr/password created in setup and just launch the Dashboard

    Operation – The Bad
    – Must install connector software on each computer. One at a time. It’s a real pain and takes forever. But it’s only necessary if you want to monitor computer from DX4000, backup it or manager the DX4000 from the computer
    – Alternatives are to just connect to a share that has already been setup

    Administration – The Bad
    – Through RDP feels like a really slow windows machine

    Monitoring/Notification – The Good
    +SNMP Available – must be added on in add windows features

    RAID – The Bad
    – RAID rebuild/sync after unexpected shutdown can take days. I can’t emphasize how big of a problem this is. You’ll see a lot of reviewers complaining about it and I’ve never experiencing anything like it before.

    Additional Features
    – Remote access
    – Only works with Internet Explorer
    – Windows Phone 7 Integration


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  3. stem
    The manufacturer commented on this review(What’s this?)
    Posted on

    Aug 6, 2012 1:29:55 PM PDT

    We appreciate your feedback and apologize for the inconvenience you may have experienced with your Western Digital Sentinel DX4000, as this is not the intended experience with the product. The Western Digital Sentinel design incorporates the security and reliability of having the Microsoft Server 2008 R2. This added benefit along with our WD Guardian services provides the user with the assurances that their valuable data is backed up securely. Packed with remote access, easy maintenance, real-time system status, and an LCD display make this unit a great addition to any small business environment. You may learn more about the Sentinel’s specification here: http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=610

    To start the setup process, we recommend reading the user manual thoroughly and using our connecting software. You may refer to the following link for the user manual: http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/library/?id=297&type=25

    The drives that are tested and supported to work with the Sentinel are RAID Class drives, which allow for 24×7 uptime and durability. You may refer to the following link for additional information on the specification of the drive found here:


    In the event of a power interruption – (unplanned shut down) The WD Sentinel unit will automatically start a “verification process”.

    The “initialization process” does two primary tasks:

    1. A 100% Verify of the Integrity of the RAID set up & configuration – Power interruptions can cause Data Integrity concerns for a RAID system.

    2. Insures that there has been no data corruption as a result of the improper shut down or loss of power – Inadvertent shut downs can cause loss of Customer data. During the “initialization process” a client retains full access to the WD Sentinel & Data Access. The WD Sentinel will operate in degraded mode until the task is completed.

    There are a few ways to reduce the likelihood of the WD Sentinel from triggering the Initialization process:

    1. Implement a UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply )in your environment – provides power for a clean shut down.

    2. Use the power-restart button within the Dashboard for Clean shutdowns and or restarts.

    3. Add a second power cord which is supported by the WD Sentinel (reduces the likelihood of an unplanned power condition).

    4. Refer to the QIG Quick Install Guide for step-by-step onboarding instructions – process for a clean installation.

    Title: Loading takes a long time when initializing a drive in the Dashboard of a WD Sentinel DX4000
    Link: http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/8632/
    Main Product Support Page:
    User Manual:
    Although the issue you experienced was not satisfactory, nor the typical experience with the device’s initial onboarding, we understand your concerns, and would appreciate the opportunity to follow-up with you and address them directly. Please contact WD at this telephone number: 1 (855) 556-5117, or via email at: http://support.wdc.com/contact/contact.asp?lang=en&ct=sentinel. Please indicate within the online case creation or with the first support agent you speak with, that you are responding to an Amazon review, so we route you and your information to the correct team members.

  5. 32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars
    Purchase this product and six days later you can use it!, August 15, 2012
    PhotoGeek (New York, NY USA) –

    This review is from: WD 12TB WD Sentinel DX4000 Small Business Network File Storage Server iSCSI NAS (Personal Computers)
    This Western Digial 12TB Sentinel DX4000 raid is the third Western Digital raid I have owned. The first two are WD Sharespace devices and have been humming along without a problem for more than three years.

    My first Sentinel would not initialize and I spent two hours on the phone with the tech support guy who finally gave up and told me to return it. Note to engineering: it’s a problem when you put the software on the device. If something happens to the device after it leaves the factory (cosmic rays, magnets, whatever) the customer is screwed and you have another return.

    The second Sentinel set-up was no problem. After waiting for the thing to initialize (45 minutes) and installing the Windows software, I was ready to go. Or so I thought.

    I made dinner and when I came back the device had started initialzing itself again. The front panel on the device said 0.004% had been done. I was shocked because I read about similar problems with the device but didn’t think I was in the same boat. Wrong. It’s been 24 hours and only about 15% of the drives have been initialized.

    I called WD tech support this morning and got the standard line “It’s supposed to take a long time to initialize.” When I quoted the WD Tech responses on Amazon they escalated me to level 2 support and the guy repeated the mantra, “It’s suppose to take a long time to initialize.” When I quoted chapter and verse from WD support comments here on this site he put me on hold for 20 minutes and came back and said I must have pulled the plug or powered down improperly. Typical–blame the customer. When I said I had done no such thing and in fact the device and my two Sharespaces were on a UPS, he was sympathetic but continued to insist it must have been user error. I assured him it was not. When I suggested it was a problem with the device (or the software) he assured me all trouble reports get sent to engineering. The fact that he never asked me about my OS (Windows 7 64 bit) leads me to believe they don’t really care about the problem. In fact, I belive Wd has known about this problem for a while now.

    So now I’m sitting here waiting six days for the Sentinel to finish initializng and fuming over the fact the the WD tech support comments on this site are pure bull.

    As I told the level 2 support guy, WD should fire the whole engineering team and start over. He did not disagree. I mean really, they had a Web based interface that worked just fine with the Sharespace product line. Why fix something if it ain’t broke?

    Note to WD Tech Support guys (or whoever you are) monitoring this site: I know you feel bad about my problem but why don’t you do your customers a favor and fix the damn device rather than coming on this site trying to spin the situation. You’d have a better product and happier customers.

    Even after all this I am going to keep the device (provided it works properly six days from now). WD does make good hard drives and I am impressed by my Sharespace RAIDS. I hope my faith is not misplaced.

    Update: 8/8/2013

    The WD has performed well this past year (once I got by the trials and tribulations listed above.) The only problem now is that one of the 3TB drives has failed and is not covered by the “Limited Warranty.” I am looking around the Web for a replacement drive and will report how well the device reconstructs the info on the damaged drive once all is up and running.

    Update 11/14/2013

    WD took their sweet time in replacing the bad 3TB drive mentioned above. It finally arrived and the unit was working fine until 11/1/2013 when the fan failed. WD’s slow and clunky support has yet to respond to two requests for support. I must say the product works ok but the support is among the worst I have encountered. It’s like they don’t even look at their Web-generated support cases until they have been up at least two weeks. I will not be purchasing any more WD products and will probably migrate my data to another NAS device.


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