Thecus N5500 5 Bay NAS Server Review

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Thecus N5500 NAS

As more and more homes get more and more tech-like tablets, game systems, and network media players in the house, there is a growing need for central storage for all those devices in the house to access data. Some tech savvy users build a file server with RAID capabilities, but not everyone has the skill, time, or desire to build. So those users turn to ready built options; one such device is a NAS or Network Attached Storage.

Thecus N5500 5 bay NAS

NAS systems can be found in all configurations from small twin 2.5” drive units to massive rack mount setups that can hold upwards of 50TB of data. So when picking one you want, first find out how much storage you want/need and start looking from there. Today I’m looking at the N5500 from Thecus. The N5500 is a 5 bay NAS that can support SATA drives up to 3TB in size and up to 10TB per RAID volume. Thecus has this unit in their enterprise line, but for a storage hungry household this little guy could be right at home.

The N5500 has a load of features and options. It can be a print server, iTunes server, storage for IP security cameras, or even handle your BitTorrent work. On the data storage side of things the N5500 supports RAID modes 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, and JBOD. Most users would use RAID 5; it gives some data safety due to drive loss. If one drive dies the data is still safe. Once the bad drive is replaced the system automatically rebuilds itself.

The N5500 also has what Thecus is calling Dual-DOM design. DOM or Disk On Memory is where the operating system for the unit lives. So, if the main fails the backup kicks in. It is basically a fail-over drive for the operating system. This is exceptionally nice for systems that have been setup with an encrypted RAID volume. Once the OS is gone there is no getting the data from the encrypted RAID volume.

Features of the Thecus N5500

  • Unique Dual-DOM Design: In business environment, maintaining functional operation on storage device is critical. With the unique Dual-DOM design, an extra DOM is installed to ensure continuous and flawless operation on N5500. Users do not need to worry about down-time due to unexpected system failure.
  • Incredibly Easy To Use: The N5500 features Thecus’ next-generation web-based interface featuring AJAX technology, making it the easiest-to-use Thecus NAS ever.
  • Three Units In One: Flexibility is the name of the game. The N5500 is the only storage device that can be configured as a NAS, DAS, or iSCSI unit, making it a perfect fit for just about any configuration.
  • Unrivaled Data Security: The N5500 secures your data like never before. It supports RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10 and JBOD and multiple RAID volumes. What’s more, the snapshot feature offers version control for even greater peace of mind by enabling you to easily restore previous snapshots.
  • Flexible Storage Options: Aside from supporting iSCSI initiators, the N5500 is also stackable, allowing you to control multiple N5500 units from one master system for added flexibility. In addition to this, you can choose from a selection of file systems, including EXT3, XFS and ZFS, which enables the N5500 to adapt to virtually any type of network.
  • Total Network Performance and Reliability: Because accessing your data is as important as securing it, the N5500 comes with dual Gigabit Ethernet ports with 802.3ad link aggregation for excellent data throughput. You can even select load balancing or failover, depending on your network configuration, to ensure maximum uptime and data availability.

Thecus N5500 Hardware Platform

  • SATA device: 5 x SATA for internal, 1 x eSATA for external
  • System Memory: 1024MB DDR2 SODIMM SDRAM
  • LAN Interface (PCI-e): RJ-45×2 : 10/100/1000 BASE-TX Auto MDI/MDI-X WOL supported
  • USB Interface
  • USB 2.0 host port x5(Front x1, Back x4) (A Type)
  • USB 2.0 Target mode (B Type)
  • LCM Module: 2*20
  • LED indicator
    • Power(Blue)
    • System Status : Busy (FW Upgrade)(Orange)
    • HDD1-5 Activity/Fail(Green/Red)
    • WAN (Link : Green; Activity : Green)
    • LAN (Link : Green; Activity :Green)
    • RAID Status: Error (Red)
      -USB (Copy LED: Blue)
    • eSATA (Activity LED:Blue)
  • Power supply: 200W Power Supply
  • HDDx5
    Disk interface: SATA I/II x5 via backplane
  • Thermal/Fan control
    • Thermal sensor on processor temperature
    • Temperature controlled system FAN speed
    • System fan monitoring
  • Buttons
    • Power button(Front, power down controlled by S/W)
    • Reset button
    • LCM button (ENT,ESC,UP, DOWN)
  • RS232: 1 (For UPS)
  • Environment
    • Temperature : 5°C to 40°C
    • Humidity : 0 ~ 80 % R.H. (Non-condensing)
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