Thecus Technology is a specialist NAS and associated product manufacturer based out of Taiwan as well as maintaining a 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 quickly established its reputation for producing value for money and performance based NAS appliances and continues to maintain its reputation at every conceivable opportunity.
487 Montague Expressway, Milpitas , CA 95035
Support Tel: (909) 869 9110
Technology support: http://ussupport.thecus.com/esupport/
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The Thecus N7700PRO / N7700 PRO is a 7-bay hot swappable NAS server that currently represents the highest pinnacle for Thecus in the desktop arena, with an Intel Core 2 DUO processor supported with a generous 4GB memory the6unit is designed to perform as well as support the plethora of features included.
The business sector will welcome iSCSI, VMWARE and CITRIX compatibility and the numerous RAID options enhance the possibilities for protection of critical data. A special mention for RAID 10 that is now a standard feature in all 5-bay and above Thecus devices and whilst the RAID is software RAID do not be fooled with those who claim software RAID is less superior than hardware RAID, it may have been a decade ago or so, but developments in the field of Software RAID have overtaken that theory long ago. The home user will enjoy the media options that the N7700PRO has to offer including compatibility for DLNA as well being able to establish your very own web and photo servers if required.
The exterior of the unit is well designed and somewhat ergonomic, the drive bays are covered with a door that clips into place. Open the door and you see 7-bays of hot-swap trays ready for action, that is a lot of storage!. The recent advent of 3TB SATA drives the unit has the potential of packing a gross 21terabytes (TB) an absurd amount of capacity, one that would have been dismissed as mere exaggeration just a few years back. The build quality is middle of the range and does not suffer from any issues, looks are very subjective area and depend largely on individual preferences, so we shall not influence anyone’s buying decision with our opinions!
The Thecus LED indicators serve and provide Power, System Status, LAN, WAN, USB, eSATA, and HDD activity 1-7. The LCD panel provides a constant status report on the RAID status, along with any drive issues that may occur, with current LAN and WAN IP addresses as well as connectivity.
Connectivity is plentiful with 4 x USB 2.0 ports, UPS support can be USB based or via the dedicated RS232 port. This is further supported by dual RJ-45 Ethernet ports with jumbo frames support aptly labeled WAN and LAN with port trunking modes that enhance the overall bandwidth performance as well as provide active fail-over of the ports when needed.
Thecus makes a claim to uniqueness with its PCI-e x 8 slot, specifically designed for 10GbE network cards for providing support for 10GbE networks. This is a great addition at this level of the NAS platform as the performance gain can be huge as well as providing a seamless way to communicate between the two interconnecting Thecus N7700PRO devices by merely connecting both units via the 10GbE ports and improving data transfer taking it to the next level!
The Inside of the N7700PRO is a fresh welcome, easy access to all major components upgrading memory or removing your motherboard for repair/replacement is relatively easy to do to as well. The components used for integration are of high quality and the Power Supply installed is a 300W 100-240V auto-switching, ample power to handle 14TB or even up to 21TB without too much cause for concern.
Redundancy option - The normal RAID level support is provided RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10 and JBOD, with support for both Hot-spare and Hot-Swap. The RAID 10 is a welcome option as it allows RAID 12 pairs, but drive number 7 will need to be spare as all RAID 1 have to be in pairs, or you may have 2 x RAID 1 and one RAID 5 for 3 drives, does not make a lot of sense, but possible. Adding drives is not an issue as the N7700PRO accommodates on the fly capacity expansion as well as RAID expansion as and example you could go from RAID 5 to RAID 6 without loss of data, but you cannot go backwards the key her eis to carefully follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. File system support is more than adequate, EXT3, ZFS and for large file volumes XFS is supported which is mostly the preferred file system selected by enterprise users.
DUAL OS Firmware - DOM architecture accommodating a DUAL Fail Safe Operating System to allow for failure without loss of functionality.
Secure Data Protection by AES 256-bit Volume-based Encryption – The unique "volume-based encryption" feature secures the server data by AES 256-bit encryption. Even if the hard drives were stolen, there is no need to fear that the confidential data would be leaked since the data can only be accessed using an authorized password.
PCI-e x 8 slot the availability to connect with 10GbE networks by merely installing an add-on card does signify Thecus having a strong commitment for providing innovative devices. We installed the E10G42BTDA Intel 10GbE card and did a quick test within the 1GbE environment and found the speed accelerated over nearly twice as much with results of 225MB/s. This is a great option if you are looking for raw speed as there is nothing in this class that will even come close to what Thecus offers at this price point.
Thecus management GUI interface has a Flash based home page and the functionality of the GUI has all the options one will need to manage and maintain the unit.
The Thecus N7700PRO / N7700 PRO systems are well endowed as it is on par with all the other units at this level. The QNAP TS-809PRO is slightly slower whilst the Netgear 6-bay ReadyNAS PRO Business edition is again slightly slower as is the ReadyNAS Ultra 6 Plus which is much the same as the ReadyNAS PRO business edition. The N7700PRO is the fastest of the bunch just piping the TS-809PRO to the finish line.