Western Digital's SMB / enterprise network storage lineup (the Sentinel series) has been based on the Microsoft Windows Storage Server platform. The most recent update to the Sentinel lineup was the RX4100 rackmount model. Like its desktop pedestal mount counterpart (DX4000), the RX4100 was also based on theh Intel Atom platform. Businesses looking for a network storage / server combination were not being served with these models. To gain a foothold in this niche, Western Digital is launching two S-series Sentinel models today, the DS5100 and DS6100.

The DS5100 and DS6100 are ultra-compact storage units also capable of acting as the first server / primary domain controller in a SMB setting. The Xeon CPUs and ECC RAM allow SMBs to run line-of-business applications reliably without compromising on NAS performance. The servers run Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials. Data protection with backup and restore is available for up to 25 users and 50 devices. The  servers come with WD Se enterprise hard drives pre-installed, and these can be accessed via the integrated RAID controller or Windows Storage Spaces. Time Machine support for Macs is also available.

The members of the WD Sentinel Storage Servers family are compared in the table below.

The most impressive aspect of the new members is the ultra-compact size. It will be interesting to see how Western Digital has been able to pack in Xeon-class performance while managing the thermals in a very small chassis less than 450 cubic inches in volume.

The WD Sentinel DS5100 comes in 4 and 8 TB varieties, with the former having a MSRP of $2560. The DS6100 is available with capacities of 8, 12 or 16 TB. The units are available today at CDW, PC Connection, Insight and through the usual VARs in the SMB / enterprise channels.

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  • dgingeri - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    They designate "Xeon dual core," so these are definitely the new Atom based Xeon processors, not the Haswell or IB based Xeons. They look pretty expensive compared to what I can get from Dell.
  • ganeshts - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    No, these are proper Sandy-Bridge Xeons. I got the model numbers during the briefing.. Will update the piece shortly.

    Btw, the closest I have seen in comparable volume is the HP ProLiant series, but that comes with really weak CPUs.. Not sure Dell has something comparable to this in size..
  • romrunning - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link


    Still looking for a review on RAID-5 SSD arrays - such as the pros & cons of using new SSDs like the Seagate 600 Pro, whether filling them up to max renders the array unusable, and what type of RAID controller can give you the I/O the array might need.
  • IntelUser2000 - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    Actually, there's no "Xeon" based on Atom cores.
  • romrunning - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    Can these be expanded in some manner, like a 2nd "expander" unit with another 4-8 drives?
  • jwcalla - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    $2500 for 4 TB of storage on the super-reliable NTFS. Ok then.
  • Daniel Egger - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    From the specs those are Xeon E3-1220L v2 (17W) and Xeon E3-1265L v2 (45W) processors which is notebook TDP territory. I'm not at all sure what's so impressive about that. The mentioned Turion Neo N54L in the HP thingy is a 25W CPU BTW.
  • bobbozzo - Monday, October 14, 2013 - link

    The CPU in the Proliant MicroServer Gen8's can be (user) upgraded to a Xeon. The 1265L V2 is a great candidate, and is a quad core.

    The HP server, plus adding in more RAM and 4*2TB HDs and the CPU and the Windows license would come out to around $1500 TOTAL.

    I don't understand WD's pricing here in light of this fact.
  • texwiz - Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - link

    The Cirrus 1200 from Advatronix is a much better alternative.
    You can't really do much with 4 HDDs. The Cirrus offers 12 to 18 drives depending on the configuration.

    Also what's the max RAM you can get on the WD sentinel ? 8GB ? that's ridiculous. Windows Server 2012 Essentials loves its RAM. I am running mine at 16 GB and it is barely keeping up.

    I am planning on getting another Cirrus 1200 for work. How does 32GB RAM, 10GB Ethernet Quad-Core Xeon and Fusion-IO sound ??
  • WRD - Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - link

    No this unit supports 32GB of ECC RAM, Has TPM, Secure boot out of the box, Runs enterprise class drives, redundant NIC's, Redundant PS, Windows 2012e R2, and is much smaller and quiet as well. This also has 4 USB3.0 and 2USB2.0 and all the above is standard. The 1265L V2 is just a low power processor not a Notebook processor.

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