I recently purchased a Thecus N5200B (the N5200BR has a built in 4 port gigE router) and thought I'd share my initial thoughts as there may be interest here...
Product page: http://www.thecus.com/products_over.php?cid=1&pid=8
Summary: 5 drive (hot swap, SATA) NAS device that supports gigE (2 ports), RAID 0,1,5,6,10, CIFS/NFS/FTP/HTTP(S)/AFP, and eSATA for additional capacity.
I've been playing with the unit for about two weeks now and I can say that I am fairly happy with it. The firmware is still a little rough around the edges but it has ALOT of potential.
5x Western Digital 400GB SATA 1.5Gb 16MB buffer - RAID5 configuration
The unit itself is pretty slick looking. Its well put together except for the drive trays which seem somewhat flimsy (though I don't plan on doing much with them once the system is up and running). I also locked all the trays to keep curious hands from pulling drives 'just to see what happens'.
The blue power LCD and LED are quite bright, so it might not fly so well sitting up in front of a home theater. As for noise, it is more quiet than the old 2-drive Linux PC it replaced and I don't have any issues with it running 24/7 in my 'home office' type environment. Again, you probably wouldn't want it smack dab in the middle of your home theater.
Setup was pretty straight forward via the setup wizard for the initial network config and the web interface for the rest of it. The documentation could be more robust for the people would aren't very computer/network savvy. Once it was all set up, the 1.6TB RAID set took about 3-4 hours to build.
The only main issue I had was with snapshots. When I had snapshots enabled, large files from my Windows box would regularly lock the N5200 up (transfers from my linux box were fine). Once I disabled and deleted the one (100% full) snapshot I had, the problem went away. I'm still not sure if it was a snapshot thing in general or a 'full snapshot' issue, but I'll wait for the next firmware release to try again.
A smaller issue is using the web interface with Mozilla. There are a few annoyances there, but IE will get you by just fine. I was also hoping that power management would be fully implemented.
I've had no problems streaming music and video to my PC or my AudioTron and I can consistantly get 12-13MB/sec writes over a cheap gigE switch with no jumbo frames enabled. I haven't tried to accurately measure reads yet. The writes seem slower than I've seen benchmarked elsewhere, but are still at tolerable levels (any thoughts out there?).
I just wish the support and user communities were as good as those for Infrant (ReadyNAS). I purchased the unit from eAegis.com and they have been top notch so far in the sales and support areas. I was on the fence between this unit the the ReadyNAS NV. I decided to risk on the N5200 due to the comparible feature set, faster CPU, five drive support, and faster performance as noted by Tom's NAS charts.
- Good performance.
- Supports five SATA drives (most competitors support 4)
- Supports RAID 6 and 10 in addition to the typical RAID 0, 1, and 5
- Supports CIFS, NFS, HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, AFS
- Firmware still has some open issues and yet-to-be-implemented features such as snapshots and real power management.
- User community is very small compared to the competition (Infrant wins by far, here)
- Customer Support needs to ramp up for the US market.
- Lacks SFTP
- Lacks SSH/shell/scripting/slimserver support (the N2100 has more of this)
I am happy to answer any questions people may have.
Thecus User Group: http://thecususergroup.proboards106.com/index.cgi
Tom's Networking NAS charts: http://www.tomsnetworking.com/2006/1...p_media_vault/
HEXUS Review: http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=6181