Atom-Powered NAS: Thecus N4200 And QNAP TS-459 Pro

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pletopia

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ummm .. why would i pay that much for 4-bay NAS ?? i have 2 thecus N7700's and i got them for ~$900 nearly a year ago
 

fatedtodie

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I have a thecus 4100pro with 4 drives it was less than 800 bucks
not sure what the advantage of the 4200 is over that except for the battery and that is what a UPS is for.
 

cknobman

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$700-$950!!! Holy cow those are expensive. While I see the purpose for these I just cant justify spending that kind of cash for one.

I just built me a data/media server with exponentially more power for only $533 tax/title/license and no freaking rebates.

My build may consume more power than these but it is much more versitle than these NAS boxes and at least a few hundred bucks cheaper. Plus I it will be suited to use as an HTPC or workstation if ever needed.

FTR the build is: LiteOn dvd burner, MicroATX tower case (6 3.5 bays), 2 Samsung EcoGreen 2tb hd (will be raid 1), AMD athlon x2 250 (65w), Gigabyte ga-ma785gm (5 sata2, 6 usb, 1 esata, radeon 4250 integrated graphics, dvi-hdmi-dsub out), Antec EarthWatts Green 380w power supply, 4gb RAM.
 

snarfies

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I build my own Atom-based mini-ITX NAS about a year ago. It cost less than half of this. What I used: MSI IM-945 (at the time the only Atom miniITX board with four SATA connectors), Travla C138 case, Minibox picoPSU-120, A thin Sony Optiarc DVD-RW, a pair of Western Digital Caviar Blue notebook drives in RAID1, and the OS (FreeNAS) boots off a 1gb CF card.
 

tommysch

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NAS are indecently overpriced.

I build my ''NAS'' with a low end PC and 2 SATA controllers. I have 8x 1.5 TB HDDs in 2 RAID-5 config.

Seriously a 4 bay NAS cost like 900$ w/o HDDs...
 

zelannii

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How does the TS459 directly compare to the previous generation, the 459 pro, or even the 439 Pro II? Both run the Atom as well, with the 459 Pro using a Dual Core Atom 1.66GHz.... Both also can run the latest qNap OS as well.

Keep in mind to all the home-NAS and custom guys out there, these units are PROFESSIONAL, not SoHo class units. The qNap 410 and 419 are small business/home units, and even those still include native AD integration, and more, and not only operate as NAS systems, but backup systems, media servers, and more (dozens of features). These still are not even in the "personal" NAS class most home users can build on their own for about the same money.
 

zelannii

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[citation][nom]TommySch[/nom]NAS are indecently overpriced. I build my ''NAS'' with a low end PC and 2 SATA controllers. I have 8x 1.5 TB HDDs in 2 RAID-5 config.Seriously a 4 bay NAS cost like 900$ w/o HDDs...[/citation]

These are professional class systems, with iSCSI, Native AD support, IP multipathing, load balancing, VMWare certification, and more. These are not cheap "file share" NAS systems like you might want for a media server in your house, or simple storage and backup. Simply features like online data migration to larger disks, archive by file age automatically, IP camera support, iTunes servers, TimeMachine support, and more make these very different from what you can do with a mini-NAS or FreeNAS setup on old PC hardware (not to mention the savings in electricity). qNap does sell "home" system that are less capable, but still FAR more than most people need. If all you want is a bid gisk and media server, get a WHS or a home-built solution. if you;re hooking servers or VMs up to it, using it in a high bandwidth or office environment, and care about the NAS ability to protect itself, back itself up, and migrate data to larger drives later, that's what the $300 price difference covers.
 

70camaross396

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these NAS devices are way over priced. that 900 dollars with out the drives. if you add 4 WD Cavier Raid Edition 1 TB sata drives, you can tack on another $640 to the price tag. that nearly $1600 for a NAS. just for compairison, you can buy a Dell Poweredge T110 with a hardware accelerated raid card and 2 250GB sata drives, a Xeon Processor, and 2gb of ram for $528 after instant rebate. granted it doent come with an OS, but you can download OpenFiler NAS/SAN OS or Ubuntu Server and have somthing that has way more capabilities than either of these NAS Cubes both of these OS's offer far morn that either of these NAS cubes. even if you stripped out both 250 GB drive and replaced them with 4 the WD's you would still save ove $500 compaired to the cost of these nas devices. the only way these would make sense is if the price was around 150-200 dollars with out drives.
 

ta152h

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I wonder why they chose Atom over the Nano. Nano is considerably faster, doesn't use a lot more power, and can support more than two SATA ports on the chipset.

Also, cats don't normally chew on wires. Dogs are much more likely too. A cat might knock it off the desk, or spill a glass of water near it, but chew wires? That's what dogs do, not to mention eat homework.
 

jblack

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I think these systems do have a place. I would never buy one for myself. However at work we had a remote location needing a file server. They weren't big enough, and I don't trust them enough for a full-blown server (And the location is far enough I can't drive).

We purchased the Qnap TS-239 Pro for the location. I was able to install BIND on it as well to handle DNS. I was quite impressed with just how flexible the units are.
 

psychosomatic

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[citation][nom]zelannii[/nom]These are professional class systems, with iSCSI, Native AD support, IP multipathing, load balancing, VMWare certification, and more. These are not cheap "file share" NAS systems like you might want for a media server in your house, or simple storage and backup. Simply features like online data migration to larger disks, archive by file age automatically, IP camera support, iTunes servers, TimeMachine support, and more make these very different from what you can do with a mini-NAS or FreeNAS setup on old PC hardware (not to mention the savings in electricity). qNap does sell "home" system that are less capable, but still FAR more than most people need. If all you want is a bid gisk and media server, get a WHS or a home-built solution. if you;re hooking servers or VMs up to it, using it in a high bandwidth or office environment, and care about the NAS ability to protect itself, back itself up, and migrate data to larger drives later, that's what the $300 price difference covers.[/citation]
And so which of those features are unavailable from the open source FreeNAS operating system, and thus validate the $300 hike?
 

MattPenner

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Like jblack, these are definitely for a specific space. I could easily see them being used in off-site locations where the extra few hundred dollars easily offsets the need for a dedicated IT technician. Even if I have a dedicated IT tech on-site, if he spends more than a day building a server and installing/configuring the software, and then troubleshooting any weird hardware/software issues in the future (rather than calling support or warranting a unit) then I've already expended the $300 savings over building my own.

If I had to put a few of these in place I'd probably do it just to have my IT guy (or me) put them all out in a day and be done with it.

It's just the nature that these types of articles on Tom's Hardware are read by us types that like to do it ourselves. No, most likely these would not find a place in our homes or small businesses that we intimately manage. But I don't think that's their target group.
 

spoofedpacket

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[citation][nom]milktea[/nom]No Superspeed USB 3.0? I think I'll wait.[/citation]

It is a really bad idea to run a RAID box off USB 2 or 3. One bus reset and you stand to have some corrupted data. Stick with Ethernet and iSCSI if you care about your data.
 
G

Guest

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I am a real user and had this for 3 months which was agonising. Performance is there but if you are worried about uptime this is a product not for you.
Read on:
Bought an N4200 and a disk kept dropping.
Upgraded disks to a different model, copied all data back on...disk still dropped
Replaced a single disk that kept dropping...issue reoccurred
Took it back for repairs and Motherbord, DOM and internal SATA cables were replaced and still a disk kept dropping from the RAID. (Basically a new unit now) HDD was on the compatibility list.
Each time a disk drops and I re-seated the HDD, the RAID will rebuild, iSCSI access lost and in two cases corrupted some of my running virtual machines on vSphere ESXi 4.1. The virtual operating systems (Server 2003 and 2008) blue screened on boot up and I had to restore the OS from a backup. (This device is also VMware certified!)
From there, each time a disk rebuild occurred I shutdown my VM’s first until the rebuild completed (average 15 hours).
Upgraded to the latest firmware and this possibly gave me a new issue. When performing a storage vMotion on the VMware side, and at the same time a file copy was in progress to a NAS share, the storage vMotion will crash. The iSCSI drivers were upgraded in the version 5 release and I believe caused this new issue. I have not been able to confirm this however.
One time after a reboot it hung on a screen "Assemble RAID". It does not come out of this. You have to reset everything to factory default (Data on disks is not lost at least) which requires putting a flash file on a USB stick and booting with it. If you had running VM’s then they probably will blue screen on boot up now! NAS needs to be reconfigured from scratch once more.
A few times the unit hung, No access to Web UI, no response from the front panel, hard reboot got it running again but all my virtual machines blue screened on boot up and again spent a lot of time restoring from backup.
Finally the place of purchase upgraded me to a N4200 Pro. It was a lot faster, disk did not drop at all but after 2 weeks the unit hung twice within 3 days and one resulted in a "assemble RAID" error. Again a full restore on my VMware environment. It corrupted my Exchange database on two occasions also.
Getting a refund. Purchased a QNAP TS-459 Pro II (Spent a lot more on this unit)
Even though stats online show that the Thecus performed better than a few high end QNAP devices, copying my data back onto this unit with the same hard disks was noticeably quicker.
Complete set up time was in hours and not 2 days (Adding Thecus to domain was a pain, working out how to lock down FTP access was a waste of time, Photo server was too complicated for what it should be) Synology still have the best Photo server in my opinion. Easy to use and easy to administer.
With QNAP, performing a Storage vMotion while copying data to a share works fine.
With QNAP, I have not had any instability issues what so ever.
Support for Thecus takes 2 days minimum for a response, I got a reply from QNAP on the same day for a query I had.
While using the Thecus, there were odd occasions where I will get VSS errors while backing up with Veeam. I have not had this issue since using QNAP. My backups have been 100% successful every day. This may be a coincidence however.
FTP access on Thecus will show all public directories such a websites, Photo Server (Piczza). You cannot lock down a user to a home folder. There is a module you can install which will allow this but it did not work for me. This is a security risk.
Camera support is very limited on Thecus. QNAP will support generic cameras at least but with limited functionality (can’t use pan and tilt)
On the Thecus, Web UI is borderline “Engrish” and the modules you need to install to get more functionality are worse if you read the instructions.
Thecus asks for a reboot on things like changing IP or DNS settings. Imagine having to reboot your computer or your server every time you had to do that! QNAP does not require this. If you have running VM’s you have to shut them all down first for a basic change.
Creating users and setting up folder shares is a lot cleaner on QNAP and there are lot of very good Wizard driven set up options though out the whole system. The PC-less set up is great. Set up IP and RAID without a computer!
QNAP has expanded features to backup to the Cloud. I do not use this but it is the way things are going these days. It is very innovative.
There you have it. Hope this encourages you to do what I should have done from the start. If you want a solution, don’t get the half assed one. Spend more and you will have no headaches.
 
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