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Review: Thecus N5200 NAS Appliance - 3.5 terabytes tested

by Steve Kerrison on 13 July 2006, 16:54

Tags: N5200, Thecus (4978.TWO)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qagbf

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Brace yourselves. Hefty spec table inbound...

Feature Implementation
CPU Intel Celeron M
HDDs 5 x 3.5" SATA II HDD, Hot-swappable
eSATA port 1 x eSATA connector for capacity expansion
USB ports 2 x USB A type (Host mode)
1 x USB B type (Client mode)
Ethernet ports N5200 : 2 x Gigabit RJ-45 Connector
N5200 RouStorTM : 1 x Gigabit RJ-45 Connector &
4 port Gigabit switch
LCD Control Panel For basic configurations and status display
Network File Protocols Microsoft Networks (CIFS/SMB)
Apple Filing Protocol (AFP 3)
Network File System (NFS v3)
File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
Secure Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTPs)
Authentication Microsoft NT Domain Controller (PDC)
Microsoft Active Directory Authentication (AD)
Network Client Type Microsoft Windows NT/2000/XP/2003
MAC OS X, OS 9, OS 8.6
Network Configuration Fixed IP Address
Dynamic IP Address
Disk Management Power Management (Disk idle spin-down)
Disk Status Monitoring (S.M.A.R.T.)
RAID RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, and JBOD
Auto Rebuild
Hot Swappable
Hot Spare
Disk Roaming
RAID Level Migration
RAID Expansion
Disk Capacity Supported 80/120/160/200/250/300/400/500 GB
Folder Management Share Folder Level Permission
File Level Permission
Public Folder
Quota Management Share Folder Quota Control
Backup Snapshot
Thecus Backup Utility (Microsoft Windows XP/2000 /MAC OS X)
Thecus Nsync
System Management Web GUI
Multilingual Support (English, French, German, Italian, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish)
Event Notification Email Notification
Buzzer Notification
Supported USB Devices USB Printer
External HDD/Flash disk
USB IEEE 802.11 b/g dongle w/ AP mode support
Setup Utility Windows 2000 / XP / 2003
Safety and Environment CE, FCC, BSMI, C-Tick, RoHS Compliant
Dimension 230 x 190 x 230 mm (H x W x D)
Physical security Kensington Lock Security Hole
Lockable Disk Tray
Operating Environment 0ºC - 40ºC
20 – 85% Relative Humidity (non-condensing)
Power Supply Server-rated AC Power Supply
100/220VAC, 50/60 Hz, Auto detect

...and breathe.

So, before we dive in and take a look at the N5200 for real, some quick specification musings. The processor is an unspecified clock rate, but it's a Celeron M; more will be revealed when we have a poke inside. Still, that makes it much more powerful than an XScale that we're used to seeing in the kind of NAS kit we've reviewed in the past. It must be good for costs to be able to use this x86 hardware, given that they don't have to engineer anything radically new with it, although the motherboard will be bespoke to some degree.

The software feature list appears similar to the N4100, with the same array of services available and Active Directory support. RAID-6 has been added to the list of supported storage methods.

The specs say drives up to 500GB are supported, but we used five 750GB drives without any issues. We're sure Thecus will add official support once they've done the necessary tests to confirm all is well.

We're testing the 'RouStor' version of the N5200, which takes one of the N5200's two Gigabit PHYs and replaces it with a 4-port Gigabit switch. One version acts as a router, while the other has network performance enhancements: 802.3ab trunking is supported, whereby capable devices can be linked together by more than a single ethernet cable, increasing bandwidth (NVIDIA's DualNet - providing it adheres to the 802.3ab standard - is another example of this).

A little less conversation and a little more action, as a royal person once said...