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Sharkoon Dock Connects SATA HDDs via Gigabit Ethernet

Tuesday Sharkoon revealed the successor to its SATA QuickPort Pro LAN docking station, now packed with a Gigabit Ethernet interface. But like the model before it, Sharkoon's new SATA QuickPort Pro LAN Giga allows users to add a hard drive or SSD, USB drives and an SD card to a local home or business network, only at a faster speed.

According to the specs, the docking station plays host to a 2.5-inch HDD/SSD or a 3.5-inch HDD via a port mounted on the top. On the front Sharkoon has installed two USB 2.0 ports and an SD card slot supporting SD, SDHC, MMC and MS cards. On the back, Sharkoon has added alternate means to interface with the docking station (other than the Gigabit Ethernet port) including an e-SATA port and a Type-B USB 2.0 port for connecting the station locally to a desktop or laptop.

Sharkoon's new docking station also comes with software that's required to be installed on all networked PCs if the device is connected directly to the local network. "The individual user can add the device to their computer through the Software menu," Sharkoon explains. "If a user accesses the device then it is closed to all remaining network users. If another user needs the device, they can simply send the current user a request for release. If needed, the reset button on the backside allows the USB server to be restarted."

Essentially this means if a user is hogging the hard drive, then other network users can't access the drive unless the first user disconnects -- one local IP address per storage device at a time, please.

In additions to the ports, the Sharkoon SATA QuickPort Pro LAN Giga is equipped with a hard drive ejection button and LEDs indicating power supply and disk activity. The device itself measures 5.23 x 2.79 x 3.74-inches (W x H x L), weighs just over 1.3 pounds and includes an instruction manual with the Tool CD, power supply, patch cable, USB cable and eSATA cable.

Sharkoon's new docking station is arriving in the UK first for 59.90 euros, but it should become available here in the States shortly.

  • kcorp2003
    This is awesome. My harddrive on my router is okay but its USB so its slow. but this i can use.
    Reply
  • palladin9479
    Appears to be a proprietary implementation of iSCSI. Pretty brilliant actually.
    Reply
  • nikorr
    I like USB better.
    Reply
  • jryan388
    Having to install software to mount it kills it for me. I doubt they have linux drivers. Why can't it work like drives attached to a router?
    Reply
  • spectrewind
    jryan388Having to install software to mount it kills it for me. I doubt they have linux drivers. Why can't it work like drives attached to a router?
    Exactly. This sounds similar to D-Link's SHAREPORT product to mount a hard drive via USB port on one of their routers.

    Vendors: Give us a product we can mount as something like "net use x: \\host\share", or no deal.
    Reply
  • palladin9479
    9318697 said:
    Having to install software to mount it kills it for me. I doubt they have linux drivers. Why can't it work like drives attached to a router?

    Because it's not running a Linux OS. I bet it doesn't even have a generic CPU, just a couple of specialized chips with connected to an Ethernet interface. It sounds identically to iSCSI, only one target can connect to an initiator (without MUXing involved). Its not a shared volume, its just extends the SATA bus over the network.
    Reply
  • __Miguel_
    palladin9479Because it's not running a Linux OS. I bet it doesn't even have a generic CPU, just a couple of specialized chips with connected to an Ethernet interface. It sounds identically to iSCSI, only one target can connect to an initiator (without MUXing involved). Its not a shared volume, its just extends the SATA bus over the network.Although I'm not sure about it (haven't seen any reviews or spec sheet), this seems more like USBoE (USB over Ethernet), something I've heard about a while back.

    If that's the case, Linux should not be too much of an hassle, given that USBoE actually started there.

    It's interesting, actually: much lesser computing power is needed on the dock side (hence its low price for a LAN-enabled drive holder), you only need a USB hub, a USBSATA bridge and an Ethernet controller, plus something to pass data around the interfaces. The CPU grunt work will be offloaded to the host PC, so your speed will basically be capped by how fast your PC can process Ethernet and USB data packets.

    Quite cool, actually, but I honestly don't know just how interesting that might be... Unless you're REALLY that squeezed for space, you'd probably be better off with a standard USB enclosure. Or a dedicated 1-drive NAS, but those seem to utterly lack the ability to be able to handle even 30MBps constant read/write...

    Now, if only someone created an ultra-small, ultra low-power storage processor capable of giving you full speed SATA (300Mbps max, even if the SATA port was PM-aware, which would mean it could scale from 1 to 5 drives easily) over Gigabit , with an added core for general purpose computing (managing a web server, DLNA, Torrent client, etc.) at an affordable price, now THAT would be a sweet NAS processor.

    Cheers.

    Miguel
    Reply
  • drwho1
    What's the point on having a network connection if only ONE user in the network can access the drive?

    This is pointless to me.
    Reply
  • brn_gomes
    Have I skipped some important event, or is the UK still using the pound? Do you mean 59.90£ or the conversion of the 59.90€ into pounds?
    Reply
  • __Miguel_
    brn_gomesHave I skipped some important event, or is the UK still using the pound? Do you mean 59.90£ or the conversion of the 59.90€ into pounds?I lolled at that one.

    AFAIK, the UK is in no hurry to join the €uro wagon. Their currency is much stronger (and steadier) than the Euro, so it would be bad for them.

    In any case, either the article messed up (UK instead of EU), or the announcement was indeed with Euro prices. It's not unheard for that to happen, though it's not very common...

    In any case, €59.90 is an ok-ish price, it should translate to $59.90 USD (sadly, that's true), and around £50 or something. If there was indeed a typo and it's £60, then it's way too expensive. You're entering 1-bay NAS territory at those prices, and those are REAL NASes, not make-belief ones like this.

    Miguel
    Reply