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Thread: Thecus N5200

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    Thecus N5200

    I don't normally attempt to write reviews about products, however after using two Thecus N5200 Nas boxes I felt I had to.

    The boxes arrived along with ten 250Gb Samsung drives. The drives were installed into the machine and then the whole thing was turned on for the first time.

    The concept was simple, one Nas box at the main office, one at our second office 18 miles away. The main office machine backs itself up every night over our VPN using the built in Nsync function. Brilliant!

    Setting up the machines was incredibly easy however, I started to notice a few small idiosyncrasies that I didn't like. Permissions could only be set at drive level as opposed to folder and file permission level. So if you have an office with fifteen staff, three of which need private folders for management use, you need to create two shared folders. Awkward to say the least.

    Ok, so we transferred all the data from our old server onto the main Nas box. That seemed to work fine, so we then transfer all the information from the main Nas box (Nas1) to the backup machine which was going to be installed at the second office location (Nas2). That worked fine too, until the RAID array degraded for no apparent reason on Nas1. So after a lengthy rebuild, 5 hours if I remember correctly, we were back up and running again.

    So off to the second office we go, dragging Nas2 along. Installing the machine there was simply a case of connecting it all up and turning it on. Fab!

    Back at the main office we tried to set-up Nsync. ISSUES! Nsync will not work over a VPN, we got in touch with our suppliers and then onto Thecus themselves who simply suggested we update the firmware, we already had! After explaining this Thecus decided they couldn't help us, seeing as they didn't know how our VPN worked. The two machines would, however, connect using the Legacy FTP protocols! Looks like we may be on a winner. No! The backup in essence did work, Nas1 transferred all of its information to Nas2 overnight, however after checking the transfer we discovered two new issues. The folder structure had been destroyed, all of the files were sat at root level. When dealing with 250Gb of data this is a major problem! Also the Nsync status of Nas1 had locked at "ACL Setting" and didn't change, as such the Nsync task never completed and therefore was never able to start up again automatically.

    At this point I got in touch with Thecus with regards to digging deeper into the machines operating system instead of relying on the GUI. I knew the Thecus unit supported SSH however Thecus would not provide me with the user name and password needed to access the machine using SSH. They simply refused and would not tell me why! At this point I was not a happy bunny!

    So we decided, for now, to run the backups manually just to be on the safe side. Then we had issues with the Apple machines trying to access Nas1. Turns out that for some reason AFP (the native Apple protocol) service simply turns itself off every now and again. Not fun! Also it appears that for some reason using AFP has permission problems too, we had cases where the data within a folder would simply disappear to all the Apple machines on the network. Windows machines could see and modify these files, not the Apples though. I got in touch with Thecus again to explain the situation, again they suggested we upgrade the firmware, we already had.

    Also, in the few months we have struggled using these things the RAID arrays on both have degraded a couple of times, although after extensive checking we can guarantee there are no problems with the hard drives themselves. Both units are kept in air condition rooms, so heat build up isn't a problem either.

    The idea of the N5200 is fantastic, and I'm sure once Thecus get their act together they will be great little pieces of kit, however, right now, both machines are on their way back to the supplier who has very kindly agreed to credit us for the units and provide us with the components needed for us to build our own solutions, which to be honest we should have done from the beginning.

    Rating out of 10? 2, sorry, but it just aint reliable enough.
    Last edited by deviantdave; 10-01-2007 at 11:12 AM.

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    ana
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    Re: Thecus N5200

    No reply? it is no bad article.

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    Re: Thecus N5200

    Honest article.. I personally don't rate Thecus NAS boxes.. I've used Buffalo's Linkstations which whilst not perfect do at least support an option to use open source Linux addons to add Bittorrent or Usenet downloading or decent web servers..

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    Re: Thecus N5200

    Modules for the N5200/N5200Pro (should also work on the new N4100Pro, N7700 and N8800 as I believe they share the same base platform architecture)

    http://www.onbeat.dk/thecus/index.ph....3E.3D_1.00.06

    For more on the module development have a look at the Thecus user group:
    http://thecususergroup.proboards106.com/index.cgi

    I haven't had any reliability problems with eiher of my N5200s. Was running firmware 2.00.04 but recently moved to 2.00.08 along with the Perl, SqueezeCenter, and SSH modules.

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    tsj
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    Re: Thecus N5200

    Great review... however I think I'm still going to go for a DS207+ myself... as these Thecus models are too expensive for what you get.

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    Re: Thecus N5200

    Nice to see a real world review based on a required solution for a business.

    So much better than a magazine review!

    Cheers

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    Re: Thecus N5200

    Well done on the review! I have a 5200Pro running 2.00.08 and it seems fine, but not used it much apart from scheduled on/off to co-incide with Acronis backup.

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    Re: Thecus N5200

    I wonder how the thecus compares with a cheap server running linux (or server 2003/8). The IBM servers we can get at work now start at around £600, not far off a Thecus, and a hell of a lot more flexible
    Good review though, I've not tried Thecus, but can recommend Synology.

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