THECUS N8900 Full-Featured 8 Bay 2U Rackmount NAS Server
  • Manufacturer Bio
  • Product Overview
  • Product Specs
  • Features
  • Performance

Manufacturer Bio

Thecus NAS ProductsThecus Technology is a specialist NAS and associated product manufacturer based out of Taiwan as well as maintaining healthy channel partnerships with leading storage providers globally including the highly successful regions of Europe and USA. Thecus produces a bevy of products for all sectors inclusive for home and business users alike in various form factors from a single bay to enterprise level 8, 12 and 16 bays.

Thecus has become a leading de-facto manufacturer in this class with its reputation for manufacturing value for money and performance based NAS appliances and continues to maintain its reputation at every conceivable opportunity.

Thecus® USA

487 Montague Expressway, Milpitas , CA 95035
Tel: (408)262-6331
Support Tel: (909) 869 9110

Technology support: http://ussupport.thecus.com/esupport/

Support e-mail: support@us.thecus.com

Product Overview

The Thecus N8900 features the latest firmware revision as well having full 64-bit kernel support making provision for 6Gb/s dual SAS and SATA support courtesy of the PCI-e LSI combo controller. Designed from the ground up and not like many other units, merely a CPU upgrade here and there then repacked and sold, this one hosts the Intel Core i3-2120 processor, integrates 2 cores at 3.3GHz and the performance is optimized with a generous 8GB of DDR3 memory allowing for excellent response times for virtualized environments and storage operations.

This is a total shift from the traditional onboard controllers normally found on all NAS devices in this class. The SAS aspect of the N8900 is a welcome addition as it helps to provide further longevity of the entire system and squeezes that extra bit of performance that is currently prevalent over SATA drives. Mind you it is at a bit of a premium! However not so if you select Enterprise Class SATA III drives as the same specification drives in the SAS class are very close to the same cost. Prudence calls for examining SAS pricing.

The Thecus N8900 is designed and built well, clearly to last with quality materials that clearly depict the seriousness of Thecus’ commitment to the Enterprise market. As users continue to struggle with keeping up under the deluge of increasing data, the N8900 with support for a total of 30TB will be a breath of fresh air. The N8900 provides support for multiple file systems that includes EXT3, ETX4 and also its popular XFS, without the normal volume barriers. Packed with a generous 8GB DDR3 memory, its’ a real boon when working under virtual modes as the extra memory provides the necessary oomph, when needed. Mind you one does not need to start with all 8-bays populated as adding more drives is quite simply a matter of inserting drive/s and selecting to expand within the current volume or creating a new volume, also supported is RAID expansion that allows RAID migration from RAID 5 to RAID 6 without loss of data, this basically means one can go upwards in RAID levels but not backward, which is only possible if you delete and start over. The one thing that stands out head and shoulders above all is the excellent performance sustained over numerous tests and coupled with certification to be VMware, Hyper V and Citrix Ready and support for iSCSI with Thin Provisioning and many other features, the N8900 is ready for enterprise prime time.

Product Specifications

Hardware

Item Spec
Processor Intel® Core™ i3-2120
System Memory 8GB DDR3 SDRAM
LAN Interface (PCI-e) RJ-45x3: Intel 82574L 10/100/1000 BASE-TX Auto MDI/MDI-X
WOL supported
USB Interface USB 2.0 host port x6 (front x2, back x4) (Type A)
USB 3.0 host port x2 (back x2)
LED Indicator Power: (Blue)
System busy: (Yellow)
System alert: Redundant power or system fan failure (Red)
HDD 1-8 Activity/Fail (Green/Red)
OLED Displays system status and information (Multilingual)
HDMI Output HDMI port (Back x1)
Audio MIC input, Line input, Audio output
SAS/SATA controller (HBA), PCI-e (8-lane) LSI 2008 HBA card supports 6G SAS/SATA (x8)
Disk interface 8 x SATA for internal
1 x eSATA for external
Power Supply Redundant power supply 500W or more (80plus)
PCI-e Slots 8-lane (x3), One is used by SAS HBA
4-lane (x1)
1-lane (x1) used by CU30N (USB 3.0)
Thermal/Fan Control Thermal sensor on processor temperature
CPU Fan control
System Fan control
System Fan Hot swappable (x2)
Buttons Power button(Front, shutdown controlled by user interface)
LCM button (ENT, ESC, UP, DOWN)
System reset button
Locator button
RS232 1 (For UPS)
Environment Temperature: 5°C to 40°C
Humidity: 0 ~ 80 % R.H. (Non-condensing)
Chassis 2U Rack mount
Dimensions (HxWxD) 87 x 437.5 x 595 (mm)

Software

RAID
RAID Modes RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 60 and JBOD
Auto-rebuild Supported
Hot-swap Supported
Dedicated Hot Spare Supported
Global Hot Spare Supported
Online RAID Migration Supported
Online RAID Expansion Supported
RAID Volume Encryption AES256bit
Disk
Power Management Available spin-down while idle setting
Bad Block Scanning Supported
SMART Info Supported
SMART Test Supported
Disk Roaming Supports volume-based roaming to other N8900
Network
Configuration Fixed IP address, dynamic IP address
IP sharing mode Can be enable/disabled
Transport Protocols TCP/IP/AppleTalk
File Protocols SMB/CIFS, HTTP/HTTPS, FTP, NFS v4, AFP
Link Aggregation Load balance, Failover, 802.3ad, Balance-XOR, Balance-TLB, Balance-ALB
Data Access
Client OS Support Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/7
UNIX/Linux
Mac OS 9/X
FTP Build-in FTP server with bandwidth control
Secure FTP Build-in secure FTP Server with bandwidth control
Download Manager HTTP/FTP/BitTorrent/eMule (via DLM2 module)
Printer Server (IPP) Supports USB printers
Supports a wide range of IPP printers
Client can manage print tasks (list/delete) via web user interface
Data Backup
Client Incremental Data Backup Acronis True image(OEM version)
Client System Disaster Recovery Acronis True image(OEM version)
Single Volume Remote Replication Incremental or synchronized (via Rsync module)
USB device copy to NAS Controlled through LCM
Bi-directional USB copy Supported (via USB Copy module)
MAC time machine Supported
Block Level Access
iSCSI Target/Initiator Supports Microsoft/Mac OS X/Linux initiators and Thecus NAS targets
iSCSI Thin Provisioning Configurable to virtual size 16TB
MPIO Supported
MCS Supported
Clustering Supported
SCSI3 persistent group reservation Supported
Power management
Scheduled Power On/Off Supported
Volume management
Multiple RAID Supported
Multiple File System Selectable EXT3/EXT4/XFS
Multimedia Support
iTunes Server Supports AAC, MP3 w/ ID3 tag and WAV
Media Server Support uPnP AV streaming protocol
User Authentication
Local User Supports built-in user accounts
Local Group Supports built-in user groups
Windows ADS Supported
File System
Type Journaling File System
Capacity 24TB (XFS)/16TB (EXT4)/8TB (EXT3) per volume
Language Support Unicode Support
Authorization (ACL) “Read”, “write”, or “deny” privileges to individual users or groups in folders and sub-folders
User Quota Supported
Administration
User Interface Web-based user interface supports English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, Korean, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Polish and Portuguese
Utility Program MS Windows Setup Wizard,
Supports Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/7
Mac OS X Setup Wizard
Email Notifications Sends system messages via e-mail to the system administrator
SNMP Trap System information trap out
Others
Dual DOM Supported
Recycle Bin Supported
Web Server Supported (via module)
ISO Mount Supported
User Module Supported
IP Cam Surveillance Supports up to 10 IP cameras (via module)

Outstanding Features

Connectivity – The Bandwidth Frontier!

Thecus has always been rather innovative in this area and in some instances it does seem they have been overlooked when credit is due to them. The first company to adopt 10GbE and of course this systems is again 10GbE prepared and all that is required is an add-on card. Currently this is available and supported via Intel and also Thecus have their own make 10GbE which is more than adept at this time. Once again, for the first time Thecus has provided support for media fans whether be it at home or in a business, professional environment with the addition of the HDMI connector. This is champion of Thecus and again shows the adaptability the system can mould to allowing a larger audience for the system. Enter USB 3.0 with speeds 10x faster than USB 2.0. Whether connecting digital cameras and smart phones, backing up large external hard drives, or extending the capacity of the NAS, USB 3.0 will crunch away at up to 5 Gbit/s. backwards compatibility ensures compatibility.

Proficient Data Backup

Secure your data with the sophisticated features and refined simplicity that only Thecus can offer. Incremental backups and recover data with Acronis’s True Image software take and revert back to system snapshots at your leisure, and remotely backup to anywhere in the world with native Rsync support.

Remote Replication Rsync

Backing up your data is very necessary, and everyone has specific needs when it comes to storage. Thecus’s Rsync functionality gives users great flexibility with remote backup capability, a flexible scheduler, and the stability of Linux-based transfer.

Selectable and Flexible File Systems

Support for multiple file systems including Ext3, EXT4, and XFS, gives Thecus NAS flexibility to handle many different types of environments. Users can simultaneously use different file systems across multiple RAID volumes to get the better of each one, without compromising limitations of Volume sizing.

iSCSI Thin Provisioning Support

Get the most out of your storage space with the extreme speed of iSCSI and the efficiency of iSCSI thin provisioning. Connect through iSCSI for the fastest data transfer speeds available and make wasted disk space a thing of the past with thin provisioning flexible storage functionality.

RAID and More

An important factor in the measurement of the good system is RAID level support that it can handle. The N8900 comes out on top with support for all the required and most necessary levels, RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 60, + Spare and JBOD, whilst still retaining the ability to hot-swap at any time this may become necessary.

Online RAID Volume Management

Managing RAID volumes will never been easier thanks, to the N8900 Online RAID Volume Management. Administrators can easily expand or bind RAID volumes without having to power down the system, eliminating costly downtime.

Performance

The Thecus N8900 stood out as one of the fastest and undeniably the one we would keep in house as one of our NAS support devices as it also churns our excellent results with the add-on 10GbE card with results just below 423 MB/s combines’ average for read and writes. We are certain we could have achieved much higher rates if we tweaked a few setup modes but for us this was a standard let us try and see what it can record. We were impressed. The 8GB DDR3 memory did help during large file/s transfer as having reduced the memory down to 4GB we lost around 23% of performance under the same data transfer conditions. That is a huge loss and we were happy to go back to our 8GB standard, VMware we were able to get 6 sessions running simultaneously without any discerning loss of performance. Traditionally NAS systems are not expected to be high performances devices but more a non-maintenance file sharing central data storage. However, in this instance performance is one of the N8900’s biggest strengths and one that Thecus clearly recognizes from its customer base to be an important factor when considering to buy your next NAS.

This unit rocks when it comes to speed and there is no compromise in the area of features. Will it stack up against its competitors? Well we shall see, the pricing is irresistible and the performance is irrefutable.

 

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Reviewed by SimplyNas Editorial Team on , rating 4