|Thecus N5550 NAS Network Storage Server|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Network|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Tuesday, 25 September 2012|
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Thecus N5550 NAS Server Review
Manufacturer: Thecus Technology Corporation
Full disclosure: The product used in this review was supplied by Thecus
If Forrest is right, and life is like a box of chocolates - i.e. you never know what you're going to get until you bite into it, then NAS devices are definitely like that box of chocolates. You just never know....... Fortunately, this Thecus N5550 turned out to be Benchmark Reviews' favorite flavor - FAST.
The Thecus N5550 is aimed right at the typical small business owner or advanced home user, by virtue of its size and its form factor. With five bays you can have both capacity and redundancy with RAID 5 on a three, four, or five disk array. Want RAID 6 or RAID 10? There are good reasons to do so, and the N5550 supports RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, and JBOD with no trouble at all; plus RAID migration is available, too. The diskless model made it easy to utilize the same drives I have used during previous benchmark testing. I also wanted to test the ability to expand the storage size and migrate from a single disk to RAID 1 and then to RAID 5. In short, I wanted to get my hands dirty....
The Thecus N5550 uses one of the newest Intel Atom Dual-Core CPUs, ticking over at 1.86 GHz, and 2 GB of DDR3-1066 system memory to drive the internals. Two Gigabit Ethernet network ports are standard, with no expansion capability for additional Network Interface Cards (NIC). Five SATA 3Gb/s drive bays offer single disk, JBOD, and RAID 0/1/5/6/10 configurations. The capability for hot spares is available with any of the disk configurations. Thecus employs a single 1 GB flash memory module to store firmware and applications on the N5550 motherboard. This Disk-On-Memory (DOM) acts like the system drive, yet it takes up very little space and uses almost no power.
Benchmark Reviews has tested quite a few NAS products, ranging from the QNAP TS-119 NAS single-disk offering made for home users, to the Goliath QNAP TS-879U-RP 8-Bay NAS for the storage needs of large businesses. We've recently tested the NETGEAR ReadyNAS NV+ v2 NAS servers, which falls in the middle between those two extremes. Let's see how this 5-bay device compares to its competitors.