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Is Zettabits Next Generation Storage?

Zettabits ZBox Professional

The Zettabits Pro version looks much more solid than the basic edition, but the service is also more expensive. The box is made of black coated metal and makes a very good impression ; two 80 mm fans inside make sure that the entire system is properly ventilated. It starts at 140 GB and goes all the way up to 690 GB as well. Zettabyte uses two Western Digital WD1600SB hard drives (validated for 24/7 operation) in a RAID 1 configuration to ensure local data redundancy. In addition, data is synchronized hourly with the Zettabits online storage services.

Unlike the Zettabits, the Zettabits Pro is a fully featured x86 PC based on a MiniITX motherboard and a 1.2 GHz VIA C7 processor, together with 1 GB DDR2 RAM. This isn’t really necessary for the RAID 1 - which doesn’t have high hardware requirements - but the Zettabits Pro not only encrypts files when they’re being stored on the online backup location, it also encrypts the entire local content using the same 256-bit strong AES algorithm. The Zettabits Pro also has a Gigabit Ethernet controller, whereas the 100 Mbit Zettabits basic runs on a 100 Mbit/s Ethernet port. According to the vendor, the Pro edition is capable of handling more data requests and more simultaneous connections per second, which sounds very credible given the hardware differences between Zettabits and Zettabits Pro.

Since all content is encrypted, you need to provide the decryption key to the Zettabits Pro if you want to boot the storage system. Zettabyte provides two Corsair Flash memory sticks, which hold the AES key. It needs to be plugged into one of the USB ports (one at the front, four at the back), and can be removed once the Zettabits Pro has launched its operating system successfully. Again, you can download the key from the zBox’s web interface to access the online storage mirror, but this isn’t really necessary with the Pro version, as it is the same key you will find on the two USB sticks. The idle power requirement of the Pro edition is 30 W and didn’t exceed 45 W during our testing.