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Buffalo's LinkStation Mini network-attached storage device. Courtesy of Buffalo, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Buffalo announces tiny (!) terabyte network storage device
(Tuesday, April 8, 2008 - 08:30 EDT)

Austin, TX-based Buffalo Technology (USA) Inc. has today announced an impressively small network-attached storage drive with RAID redundancy.

The Buffalo LinkStation Mini is so small it literally fits in the hand, and will initially be offered in a whopping one terabyte capacity. A 500GB version is expected follow at a later date. The LinkStation Mini is based around twin 2.5" 5,400 rpm notebook hard drives - roughly 500GB or 250GB depending on the LS Mini version - and can operate either in RAID 0 or RAID 1 modes. In the former, the two drives appear to network-attached computers as a single drive with the combined capacity of both physical drives - good for when capacity is the main goal. In RAID 1 mode, the two drives' contents mirror each others' at all times - meaning that even if the hardware of one drive fails, the second should still contain an exact copy of its contents, ensuring no data is lost.

As an aside, as with any RAID device, don't be lulled into a false sense of security. It isn't necessarily impossible to lose data, just less likely. While RAID 1 can recover from a drive failure, it isn't infallible. If the failure doesn't occur in the drive but in the RAID controller, for example, it is still potentially possible for the contents of multiple drives to be simultaneously corrupted. Still, there's little question it's significantly safer than merely having all your photos backed up to a single drive.

Other features include an auto-sensing 10/100/1000 ethernet port for compatibility with up to gigabit ethernet, plus Active Directory support, a built-in DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance)-compliant media server, and a USB port to increase (non-redundant) capacity with a USB hard disk, or to let the LS Mini function as a network print server for a USB printer. Software is included with which to make the LS Mini accessible from over the internet via your web browser for accessing files when away from home, and the device can even be powered on and off remotely.

All this, in a 1.1 pound unit with dimensions of 1.6 x 3.2 x 5.3 inches. It's rather impressive when you consider that just the two hard disks alone would occupy 0.8" x 2.8" x 3.9" of that space. That's before you even get to the real "guts" of the device - its RAID controller, memory, processor, power circuits, cable connectors, etc. - all of which have to fit into the remaining space.

The Buffalo LS Mini really looks like a rather interesting device. On the one hand, it could appeal to the photographer who doesn't need staggering quantities of storage, but wants some redundancy and wants a small footprint to save valuable desk space. On the other, it could be an interesting solution for those who shoot vast quantities of images at a time in the field, and are looking for a way to keep those images safe and sound temporarily until they can be transferred to a larger and better equipped backup device back at the office. That is, so long as they don't need a battery-powered solution, obviously - the LS Mini does require mains power nearby to function.

Buffalo's LinkStation Mini LS-WS1.0TGL/R1 - the 1TB version - ships in the USA from May 2008, priced at $699. Pricing and availability for the 500GB version have not yet been announced.

Buffalo's LinkStation Mini network-attached storage device. Courtesy of Buffalo, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:


At A Full Terabyte, The Sleek, Compact Design of Buffalo’s New LinkStation Mini Frees Up Work Space Without Compromising Performance or Capacity

AUSTIN, TX – April 8, 2008 – Buffalo Technology, a global leader in the design, development and manufacturing of wired and wireless networking, storage and memory solutions today announced the latest addition to its high performance line of storage devices: the dual drive LinkStation Mini (LS-WS1.0TGL/R1). With its sleek, compact and light form factor, the new LinkStation Mini puts a massive 1TB in the palm of your hand while offering the same great features and protection that Buffalo’s award-winning NAS devices are known for. Buffalo will also soon offer a 500GB version of the LinkStation Mini.

The new LinkStation Mini is the perfect space-saving solution for storing and sharing large amounts of digital content. Best of all, its dual drive configuration provides complete data redundancy through RAID 1. In addition, users with a large media library will appreciate the included DLNA server by TwonkyVision, so they can stream files through any DLNA compatible media player.

“The number of computer peripherals needed to keep up with today’s fast-paced digital world seems to add up daily,” said Takayuki Nishioka, CEO of Buffalo Technology, USA. “Businesses and consumers alike are seeking space saving solutions with the same level of performance and features as standard-sized NAS devices. The new LinkStation Mini is the ideal storage networking solution for these customers because it’s compact and easy-to-use, yet robust, feature-rich and extremely cost effective.”

The LinkStation Mini includes Buffalo’s own Web Access feature, which allows users to easily access content stored on the device from anywhere in the world via a web browser. It also includes a Remote Power Feature, which can power up the unit remotely with the included Navigator software. The extra USB port allows users to add an additional external hard drive for expanded capacity or a printer that can then be shared via the integrated print server. It also supports UPS so the unit can gracefully shutdown in the event of a power failure. The product measures only 1.57 x 3.22 x 5.31 inches and weighs a slight 1.1 pounds.

Other features of the LinkStation Mini include:

  • 10/100/1000Mbps auto sensing Ethernet port
  • Two 5,400RPM 2.5 inch notebook drives.
  • Support for RAID 0 and RAID 1
  • Active Directory Support

Pricing and Availability
Backed by a limited three-year warranty and toll-free 24/7 technical support, the 1TB LinkStation Mini (LS-WS1.0TGL/R1) will be available in May at an estimated street price of $699. The device can be purchased through distributors, online resellers and Buffalo’s web site. For more information about Buffalo Technology and its products, please visit the company’s Web site at www.buffalotech.com.

About Buffalo Technology
Buffalo Technology (USA), Inc., based in Austin, Texas, is a leading global provider of award-winning networking, storage, multimedia and memory solutions for the home and small business environments as well as for system builders and integrators. With almost three decades of networking and computer peripheral experience, Buffalo has proven its commitment to delivering innovative, best-of-breed solutions that have put the company at the forefront of infrastructure technology. For more information about Buffalo Technology and its products, please visit www.buffalotech.com.

Buffalo, Inc. trademark statements. Buffalo is a trademark of Buffalo, Inc. SecureLockWare is a trademark of Buffalo, Inc. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

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