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Thread: HEXUS.reviews :: Thecus N5200 NAS Appliance - 3.5 terabytes tested

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    HEXUS webmaster Steve's Avatar
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    Cool HEXUS.reviews :: Thecus N5200 NAS Appliance - 3.5 terabytes tested

    Yeah, that's right, old Kez here got to play with 3.5TB of storage. Then after a while I got told off and was made to write a review. Oh well.
    It wasn't until writing the conclusion to this review that something really hit home. This little box can currently hold 3.5TB worth of hard drives. That's around 700,000 mp3s, maybe more. It's around 380 uncompressed DVD videos, presuming they take up two whole layers, and that's a conservative number. The point here, is that's a hell of a lot of storage.
    http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=6181
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    This is cool but, it seems a bit strange to have to pay £600 for the enclosure, albeit basically a PC, it makes more sense to me to spend the £600 on a PC which you could not only acheive the same thing, but also gives you a spare PC which is always handy, like you said in your conclusion though, its more of and SME aimed product, although i really cant see it taking off at all this product. i can see it being used by the rich or data hording freaks.

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    Think of the size, the speed and the fact its design as purely a single solution.

    Imagine being in a small office, and having a fileserver - not having a PC to maintain.

    You need to remember not everyone wants a PC kicking around - this isn't a PC with drives - this is a solution

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    I would be very keen to find out what OS lives on the 64Mb flash card that is used as a boot drive. My guess would be linux, but it could easily be a windows XP embedded, BSD or an unusual embedded OS.

    If it is Linux then the possibilities for customising the thing, and running other useful services such as a mailserver or DNS are huge.

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    It runs Apache, and I have a pretty good feeling it's got Linux on it.
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    Nice little review.

    Couple of questions though. How does the RAID Level Migration and RAID Expansion work?

    Can i stick in a single drive of a given size and add more as i go along increasing the RAID level and storage space without having to backup and format?

    What about if i had 5x 250GB disks and started replacing them with 750GB disks, how would it handle that?

    i bet you are going to tell me there is a nice explination on the Thecus site about all this too...

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    Doesnt look like it has very good cooling. Putting 5 750gb drives in that thing would probably melt it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by zag2me
    Doesnt look like it has very good cooling. Putting 5 750gb drives in that thing would probably melt it!
    It has a 92mm fan pulling air across all five drives. The only other things kicking out any real heat are the northbridge and CPU. The CPU is a 600MHz Banias core, so that's hardly hot. Bottom line is, nah, it's not gonna melt. The drives do get warm, but I've felt hotter.
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    You might want to change the last page. DVD is a compressed format If you decompress it 3.5TB will only store about 30 hours.

    So, can you fit a 6th drive using the eSATA and make a 6 disk array?

    And have you tried using the GbE bonding? At home my GbE can pull 80MB/s over the network. I suppose an areca card with Xscale at 500Mhz (or was it 300?) could do RAID5 at 200+MB/s the Celeron M should be able to do better. Dual GbE should be able to pull somewhere around 140MB/s?

    600 pounds for the NAS is a bit too expensive IMO. if they fit an areca card into the NAS (and let the Celeron M handle the network/os/usb) then it would be bargain
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    I suppose you are right about DVD format (in fact you are undisputedly so) but my point is that it's not transcoded into DivX/whatever.

    Indeed you can add external drives, although how the system presents them is a mystery to us as we didn't have any eSATA devices lounging around. The GbE trunking wasn't available on our version which was intended to act as a router. There would have been no other hardware with which to test the trunking anyway.

    GbE can in theory hit around 125MB/s, so that's closer to 90MB after overheads, so I'm not sure doubling up on the bandwidth will help performance much; the limitation could be elsewhere.
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    Great review - a couple of questions:
    1- other sites and resellers report a 800MHz Celeron and in your review you have 600MHz - Do they have different versions or changed the Mhz?
    2- How noisy is the 5200 (with drives running and after spin down)? Can you compare with the infrant NV? Can you shut off all the fans (wol?) on top of having the drives spin down?

    Thanks

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    Hi frny,

    The code on the CPU states it's a 600MHz model. If others are reporting an 800MHz then I'd ask whether they've actually examined the CPU itself. Either way if there is more than one speed out there I'm not sure why.

    Second, the N5200 didn't appear to have WoL. We were using Seagate drives which are reasonably quiet even when on, only really making much noise when a transaction is taking place. There are only two fans in the N5200, one for the system, the other for the PSU; it's not fesible to be able to turn either off.

    Subjectively stating how loud the device is, I'd say, compared to my PC, which uses Zalman/Arctic Cooling and other very quiet fans, it was louder than that, but by no means as loud as some PCs out there.

    Hope this helps.
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    Question IP sharing

    Hi

    I notice a brief mention of "IP sharing"
    This is actually significant if I interprete this correctly . I assume this is reference to NIC teaming. Shared the bandwidth across two NICs. More on this would be useful.

    No mention MTU sizes in the test rig. "Jumbo packets" on/off ?

    Cheers Jim

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    HEXUS webmaster Steve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim222
    Hi

    I notice a brief mention of "IP sharing"
    This is actually significant if I interprete this correctly . I assume this is reference to NIC teaming. Shared the bandwidth across two NICs. More on this would be useful.

    No mention MTU sizes in the test rig. "Jumbo packets" on/off ?

    Cheers Jim
    The IP sharing is actually NAT, we had the router version not the NIC teaming version. What's more, we'd have had nothing else to trunk up with anyway, to test the extra bandwidth.

    Jumbos were off.
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    Excellent review that, best one for ages! I was really interested in getting one of these, until i got to the last page and saw the predicted price :/

    Tis a shame really, looks like a quality piece of hardware. Also the speed increases from the previous models is about damn time!

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    HEXUS webmaster Steve's Avatar
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    Thanks!

    Indeed it's pricey, but the only alternative, really, is to build it yourself. The folks on Slashdot discussed this avenue when our article was posted on there. It can be done, but it depends how much effort you want to put in, your budget, and what features you want/need.
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