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This review is from: Thecus N5550 Diskless System NAS Server | Enterprise - Tower
Pros: - 5 Bay
- USB 3.0
- Dual Network
- Linux OS
- Established and Active community for tips & troubleshooting
- Support for wide array of internal 2.5 and 3.5 HDD/SSD's
Cons: - Not hardware raid, instead software based
- Memory limitations with Local Display
- No supported way to include eSATA disks into array
- USB 3.0 port only in front and only with door open
Other Thoughts: Intending to use for home media streaming, TimeMachine backup, and general file storage, the Thecus N5550 from NewEgg fit the bill. This particular order came with the device and a free 2tb USB 3.0 device, thus making it, cost wise, comparable to the Synology and Netgear solutions being considered.
Loaded with 5x2tb WD RED disks, the initial boot did not recognize the disks, however a firmware update to the latest revision recognized all disks: internal, eSATA, and USB 3.0 after the reboot. From that point there was no problem accessing the disks or creating a RAID set.
New firmware claims access to HFS+ on eSATA, however I was unable to view the filesystems on my external devices. Maybe with more time it will become apparent how to make that work.
The software RAID is not an issue for me. Primarily interacting with the device through wireless connections, the limiting factor is the network. In my setup it proved difficult to drive the system to miss-behave, seems to handle everything thrown at it in stride without missing a beat.
iTunes server appeared instantly upon activating as did NFS access. Recognized my UPS immediately and can fully integrate into Active Directory or LDAP if desired. User configuration is straight forward as is assigning ACL's for shares. Setting up NIC bonding is straight forward via the web console, providing a refreshing amount of redundancy for the price point. SSH access provides a decent amount of standard linux features, enough to get a little deeper in performance and configuration. I would caution, as the MOTD does, against making any changes from the shell prompt.
It is important to read through the manual (downloadable only). There are a few things that I thought were problems until I read the manual to see it was expected. Example being AFP. It can take up to 5 minutes for AFP to be fully alive on your network while the device broadcasts to all your OS/X devices. This will impact TimeMachine and at first may make you think it is not working.
All in all I am very happy with my purchase. Thecus hosts an active community that is available to provide tips and tricks to get the most out of your device. Lots of expansion and configuration options are available, some are supported, others might void warranty, however is all goes back to your appetite for risk.