Reminiscient of a small toaster, the Netgear SC101 provides a simple method of employing file storage and backup on a network. Whilst physically it does look alarmingly like a toaster, it does differ slightly in that there are no slots in the top for the bread. The back of the unit has a single RJ45 port and socket for a PSU. The front of the unit sports three LEDs (to show the power is on as well as network and disk activity) and a small 'screw-lock' for access to the drive bays. The SC101 can house up to two disks, which must be ATA IDE drives, that need to be purchased separately. It is also worth checking the Netgear compatibilty list before purchasing these. These can be accessed as two separate physical drives or can be set up as a mirrored pair. Alternatively, it is possible to partition some of the drive capacity as a normal drive whilst using another partition as a mirrored drive in a pair. Management of the unit is performed using the SC Management Utility thru' Windows where drives can be partitioned, formatted and setup as mirrored or non-mirrored. There is also a DOS-based utility called UT that can be used to list partitions or delete them. The SCM utility can also be used to assign drives to the Windows file system so that they appear as conventional local drives both in Explorer and in the Windows Disk Manager. The SCM utility is also required for use on client PCs to allow them to access the data on the SC101, although it is perfectly possible to share the SC101's drives via MS Networking, much like any other drive.
Netgear SC101 SAN
Connecting to a Network Hooking the SC101 up to a network is quite a simple affair, just connect an RJ45 cable between it and a router or switch, then power the device on. There must be a DHCP server available on the network as it is not possible to set a fixed IP address on the unit. Once the device has booted it is possible to manage the unit using the management utility. Note that it may be necessary to open the necessary port for the SC101 in any firewalls running on the management PC, specifically UDP port 20001. The following diagram shows some possible deployments for the SC101.
The SC101 can also be used across a wireless network but be aware that this can be slower than when a wired connection is used, depending on the speed of the wireless connection. Setting up the Drives Once the unit is up and running (and there is one or more discs installed!) the SCM utility can be used to setup the partitions on the disc(s). At startup the SC manager polls the network for any SC101s then prompts to check if there are any updates available. If yes is selected, the software will attempt to connect to Netgear's site and download any updates then install them. The SCM performs this task every time it is run, so if this task has just been completed then it is possible to select 'skip checking for updates' to continue the setup process:
The first screen proper offers the choice of running either Wizard or Advanced configuration. The Wizard configuration just runs thru' the necessary steps to configure partitions or manage existing ones, whilst the advanced mode allows the modification and views of the status of drives, as well as the ability to create new partitions. The following screen dumps are a step-by step view of the Wizard setup of a drive.
To create a new drive, select the first option. This is actually the default choice:
First give the drive a name, then allocate the size in GBs. The Wizard will inform as to the available free space:
Next, the Wizard will ask if Mirroring is required, then prompt to set the drive as either shared or non-shared. Setting a drive to shared allows it to be accessed by other PCs on the network that are running the SCM utility.
It is also possible to password protect a drive, if required:
Once the settings have been selected for the drive, then the SCM will allocate the desired space for the partition and proceed to format it:
Finally, the drive will be set as shared and/or mirrored (if configured) then assign a drive letter for use with Windows. Note that the SCM will allocate the next available drive letter.
Using the UT Utility The UT utility that is supplied with the SC101 is a small program that can be used to list the current setup of the SC. It is also possible to list details of a particular partition and also delete them! This latter could be quite damaging where you have multiple users with the SCM software installed and you haven't changed the default password, which incidentally is password! Just typing 'ut' at the command prompt shows the possible commands. Presently, there appear to be just four possible commands, so the ut command is quite limited but it does show some info that is not viewable from the SCM software:
C:\Program Files\NETGEAR\SC101 Manager Utility>ut ================================================================================ Zetera uSan Tools [version 0.1.7] Release Date : Aug-18-2005 (c) Copyright 2005 Zetera Corporation. All rights reserved. ================================================================================ Commands: remvpart: remvpartTyping 'ut listall' shows the disc and partition information for any SC101's found on the network:
getpart: getpart upload: upload listall: listall EXAMPLE : ut getpart 192.168.100.37 192.168.100.4 zetera ut listall
C:\Program Files\NETGEAR\SC101 Manager Utility>ut listall =============================================================================== =============================================================================== VERSION : 4.14.0 ROOT IP ADDR : 192.168.3.101 TOTAL(MB): 286163 # PARTITIONS : 1 FREE (MB): 122323 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- PARTITION LABEL IP ADDR SIZE(M) 0A57C8BE-78AE-11DA-ADD8-00095BBDA3A5 SC101_MP3 192.168.3.103 163840 =============================================================================== VERSION : 4.14.0 ROOT IP ADDR : 192.168.3.102 TOTAL(MB): 286163 # PARTITIONS : 1 FREE (MB): 122323 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- PARTITION LABEL IP ADDR SIZE(M) BA6B3362-78AE-11DA-ADD8-00095BBDA3A5 SC101_MP3_2 192.168.3.104 163840 =============================================================================== 2 MicroSan found within subnet 192.168.3.255The above listing shows two MicroSans found but in reality this is a single SC101 with two discs, each with a single partition. For each drive the list shows the total size, available size and the partition information. Note that each drive has it's own IP address as does each partition. It is therefore important to ensure that any dhcp server has enough of an IP scope to cope with the number of partitions on the SC101 and all the other devices set up to use dhcp on the network. If an partition is unable to obtain an address, then it will not appear correctly in either the SCM or thru' UT. Two other options available with the ut command are the getpart and remvpart. The getpart option displays some extra info about a particular partition, as shown below, and remvpart allows the deletion of a specified partition. Note that the output of ut on it's own shows the use of a roottoken switch. This is actually the SC101 password as discussed earlier and also shown in the getpart command below. The information from the getpart command is really not all that useful as the listall option really gives most of the important information.
C:\Program Files\NETGEAR\SC101 Manager Utility>ut getpart 192.168.3.102 192.168. 3.104 password =============================================================================== USER NAME : SC101_MP3_2 UNIQUE NAME : BA6B3362-78AE-11DA-ADD8-00095BBDA3A5 READ TOKEN : WRITE TOKEN : ATTRIBUTE : 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 01 00 01 00 00 00 0A 07 ================================================================================The remvpart option actually deletes the specified partition. Consider the following output of listall where a second partition, 'test', of size 20GB has been created on the second drive. Here it can be seen that the second drive now has two partitions, and this second partition has negotiated another IP address from the dhcp pool.
C:\Program Files\NETGEAR\SC101 Manager Utility>ut listall =============================================================================== =============================================================================== VERSION : 4.14.0 ROOT IP ADDR : 192.168.3.101 TOTAL(MB): 286163 # PARTITIONS : 1 FREE (MB): 122323 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- PARTITION LABEL IP ADDR SIZE(M) 0A57C8BE-78AE-11DA-ADD8-00095BBDA3A5 SC101_MP3 192.168.3.103 163840 =============================================================================== VERSION : 4.14.0 ROOT IP ADDR : 192.168.3.102 TOTAL(MB): 286163 # PARTITIONS : 2 FREE (MB): 101843 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- PARTITION LABEL IP ADDR SIZE(M) BA6B3362-78AE-11DA-ADD8-00095BBDA3A5 SC101_MP3_2 192.168.3.104 163840 9A752E32-7AC0-11DA-ADDD-00095BBDA3A5 test 192.168.3.105 20480 =============================================================================== 2 MicroSan found within subnet 192.168.3.255As the test partition is not really required, it can safely be erased. This can be done using the SCM program but ut allows this to be done much more quickly by using the remvpart option, as shown below. The ut command will prompt to confirm the deletion, but that's about it as far as determining that this is indeed what the operator wishes. This is another reason to change the default password.
C:\Program Files\NETGEAR\SC101 Manager Utility>ut remvpart 192.168.3.102 192.168 .3.105 password =============================================================================== USER NAME : test UNIQUE NAME : 9A752E32-7AC0-11DA-ADDD-00095BBDA3A5 ================================================================================ All data on this partition will be erased, are you sure you want to remove this partition?(No/Yes) yes =============================================================================== Partition 192.168.3.105 removedIf an incorrect password is entered as the roottoken, then ut will display the following message:
C:\Program Files\NETGEAR\SC101 Manager Utility>ut remvpart 192.168.3.102 192.168 .3.104 passworm remvPart : timeout, Partition not exist or wrong tokenAs can be seen this is a catchall error message that covers the SC101 not being visible on the network, the specified partition not existing or the roottoken being incorrect. Issues Whilst the SC101 is a nifty little device it does have one or two issues that can make it's operation a little frustrating. Most of these have already been touched upon in this article but it is worth reiterating some of them.
- Partition not visible
Invariably, this is due to the SC101 being unable to lease an IP address for the partition. Check that there are sufficient addresses available from the dhcp server.
- Assigned Drives Disappearing from Windows
In firmware version 4.14.0, Netgear added the function to set the hard drives to standby after approx 15-20 mins. Whilst this was a good idea to prevent the SC101 overheating, it did have the effect that some discs would not re-awaken, hence they would disappear from Windows Explorer and the only way to make them active was to re-power the unit. Not very helpful. As of writing there is not a fix for this available from Netgear. This behaviour can also cause some unusual behaviour within Windows, with Explorer and other programs hanging.
- Disc Compatibility
Netgear publish a list of compatible drives which are tested to work with the SC101. Whilst other drives may also work, they can have unwelcome results such as inability of the SCM to partition or format the discs.
- SC Manager Program needs to be installed on each PC
All PCs that are to use the discs in the SC101 need to have the SCM utility installed. This means that every client will have the ability to amend drive and partition information. This can be averted by changing the default password, but it still allows viewing of partition information which may not be desirable depending on the unit's deployment. Another alternative is to use the SC101's drives as MS Networking drives thru' sharing of the assigned drives on the management PC, which will at least give a client machine read and/or write access to the data and will negate the need for the SCM utility to be installed on every PC.
© Nig's Net Written using the Bluefish HTML Editor on RedHat 9.0.
All Copyrights and Trademarks ACK'd. Not to do so would be a SYN!