Thecus N5550 5-Bay Home NAS Review

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Thecus N5550 5-Bay Home NAS Review

Postby Apoptosis » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:03 am

Thecus N5550 5-Bay Home NAS Review

The Thecus N5550 5-bay server is powered by the mighty Intel Atom D2700 processor and has 2GB of DDR3 to make sure building an array and transferring data is done quickly. It also features link aggregation, SuperSpeed USB 3.0, HDMI video out and a ton of other features. Read on to find out more about this NAS and to see if it is right for your home or small business!

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When it comes to performance the Thecus N5550 did not disappoint. The Intel Atom D2700 processor running at 2.13Ghz and 2GB of DDR3 1333MHz memory felt snappy on our setup. In real world use you can expect file transfers to the N5550 come in at ~95MB/s for uploads and~ 50MB/s downloads as this is what we get with most file types on our RAID 6 array. Streaming multiple HD movies was also not a problem...


Article Title: Thecus N5550 5-Bay Home NAS Review
Article URL: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/2093/1/
Pricing At Time of Print: $439 shipped
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Re: Thecus N5550 5-Bay Home NAS Review

Postby egloeckle » Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:00 pm

The defacto RAID type is RAID 5 as it will allow you to lose one drive and not any data. Many experts are now saying that RAID 5 is not the way to go. Hard Drives have a 3% chance of failing in the first three years of drive life, and then after that the failure rate starts rising. With five brand new drives you have a ~15% chance (3% x 5 drives) that something will fail. If one drive went down in a 5x 3TB RAID 5 setup, you have four 3TB drives left and will have to rebuild the cripled array once you get a new drive. What could happen during the rebuild is that the RAID controller will see an unrecoverable read error (URE) or two on the other drives that are needed to rebuild the data on the new drive. SATA Hard Drives have a URE rate of once every 100,000,000,000,000 bits, which sounds like a small, but that is once ever 11.4TB! Since we are using five 3TB drives we will have 15TB and that means we will likely have at least one URE. So, with a RAID 5 array that has one drive fail and a URE on a used part of the drive will usually result in a RAID array that can't be rebuilt. The last error you want to see on a NAS is that your RAID volume can't be built. With disk drive capacities increasing to 4TB and beyond in 2012 it will make running RAID 5 very risky. Most people don't want to backup a NAS, so be sure to run the right RAID type! (RAID 6 is recommeneded by many experts as it uses two parity blocks and not one like RAID 5.)


While this is almost completely correct you are slightly mistaken on one small part of this. 5 drives do not give you a 15% chance of having a failure, but a 3% chance of failure 5 times. When talking about drive failures it isnt really cumulative in this way as each drive is its own (ideally) completely separate entity. It is a bit harder than this though, due to how drives are manufactured. 5 drives all of the same batch may or may not have a higher chance than 5 drives each being of a different batch.

My wording is probably a bit off here, but I think it at least describes the point well enough. Either way, you are correct about everything else in that paragraph making this point somewhat moot.

Oh, and because I cant stress this enough to people... RAID IS NOT A BACKUP! (not intended for you but for anyone reading this :) )
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Re: Thecus N5550 5-Bay Home NAS Review

Postby egloeckle » Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:12 pm

I just thought of one request I have for this. Mind running some quick IOPs tests on it (in whatever RAID setup it is currently in) using something like IOmeter?

Would like to compare to what I see on my Synology DS1512+ using Enterprise SATA drives. Not a really good comparison, but I am guessing there isnt much difference between the Thecus and Synology and it would come down to the drives themselves.
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Re: Thecus N5550 5-Bay Home NAS Review

Postby KnightRid » Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:24 am

egloeckle wrote:Oh, and because I cant stress this enough to people... RAID IS NOT A BACKUP! (not intended for you but for anyone reading this :) )


I hear this all the time but there is problem with this statement. If you are using your RAID setup AS a backup then it IS a backup.

You do not have any better of a chance using an external hard drive for backup than you do a RAID setup. Can RAID fail, sure but I have seen more external drives used for backups fail than I have seen unrecoverable RAID setups.

Best backup is something that stores your information in no less than two separate locations across the planet but who can afford something like that?

Biggest point you keep missing egloeckle is that these are aimed at the HOME or SMALL business not some corporation that needs petabytes of storage. Huge corporations have to worry about data redundancy a lot more than the people this is intended for. Don't get me wrong, home users could use it for backups with little online backup storage space, while small businesses might have a full copy online, offsite or even in a separate NAS. Even some of that would not need to be done due to paper requirements in certain businesses.

Do I think RAID can be a backup? Yes because it is the same as an external hard drive yet if you use NAS drives, the drives are rated for storage for a lot longer than any external drive out there and you at least have a certain level of repair compared to the external drive that fails an loses everything at once.

Do I think you need more than one backup solution for critical data? Yes but RAID can be one of them. Most home users do not have critical data. Sure you have pictures, movies, etc but you will not be thrown in jail if you lose them like a company would for losing documents. People should learn to burn pictures to cd/dvd/bluray or use an online picture site to make sure they always have them if they are concerned.
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Re: Thecus N5550 5-Bay Home NAS Review

Postby Apoptosis » Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:40 am

egloeckle wrote:I just thought of one request I have for this. Mind running some quick IOPs tests on it (in whatever RAID setup it is currently in) using something like IOmeter?

Would like to compare to what I see on my Synology DS1512+ using Enterprise SATA drives. Not a really good comparison, but I am guessing there isnt much difference between the Thecus and Synology and it would come down to the drives themselves.


I have it in a RAID 6 array with a 128KB stripe right now.

I have Iometer 1.1.0 installed, so if there is anything you want benchmarked let me know. Please attached a screenshot of the settings you use as there are many variables on that benchmark as you know.
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Re: Thecus N5550 5-Bay Home NAS Review

Postby egloeckle » Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:36 pm

KnightRid wrote:I hear this all the time but there is problem with this statement. If you are using your RAID setup AS a backup then it IS a backup.


No, it isnt.

Oops, I deleted a file on accident. Restore it from RAID.

Granted its wikipedia, but ill quote the first line from their 'backup' entry:

In information technology, a backup, or the process of backing up, refers to the copying and archiving of computer data so it may be used to restore the original after a data loss event


RAID is not an archiving method and is not used to restore the original after a data loss event. It is used to rebuild or prevent lost data using various methods after a drive failure. Backups are usually defined to be able to restore upon any failure, not just specific ones (single drive failure, etc).

RAID is not a backup, even if you 'use it as one'. You or I do not get to make up the definition of things. RAID is data loss prevention, backups are data loss recovery. This is a HUGE difference.

Now, if you are being especially deceiving in your statement and you are using a raid setup to backup data that primarily resides elsewhere then that qualifies as a backup as you are just using a raid array as a backup medium.

Most home users do not have critical data

??? Really? People dont run quicken? They dont store various scanned documents to have non-paper copies? I would really argue this one these days, maybe 10 years ago 'most' would not have but lately people are using computers more and more for various things. Combine that with companies pushing to go paperless for things like bills, banking/mortgage/etc statements and I would happily argue that people store 'critical' data (critical to them, maybe not to you).

edit cause i missed this comment:
Biggest point you keep missing egloeckle is that these are aimed at the HOME or SMALL business not some corporation that needs petabytes of storage

You just contradicted yourself. If a 'small business' of which I do work for maybe 100 (5 users or less) dont have a proper backup then they will get bit by it eventually. RAID does not do anything in case of fire, theft or some other disaster, and doing a proper offsite backup can cost less then $100.

What you are assuming is I am thinking you have to have some elaborate backup solution in place. I am not. 2 USB drives that get swapped out and alternately taken offsite is a perfectly valid backup solution. Having all of your data reside on a single drive solution without another copy elsewhere is just begging for problems.
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Re: Thecus N5550 5-Bay Home NAS Review

Postby egloeckle » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:01 pm

Apoptosis wrote:
egloeckle wrote:I just thought of one request I have for this. Mind running some quick IOPs tests on it (in whatever RAID setup it is currently in) using something like IOmeter?

Would like to compare to what I see on my Synology DS1512+ using Enterprise SATA drives. Not a really good comparison, but I am guessing there isnt much difference between the Thecus and Synology and it would come down to the drives themselves.


I have it in a RAID 6 array with a 128KB stripe right now.

I have Iometer 1.1.0 installed, so if there is anything you want benchmarked let me know. Please attached a screenshot of the settings you use as there are many variables on that benchmark as you know.


I dont have the typical configuration I use here since its on my office machine which is apparently powered off for whatever reason. Quick search though found this one which is pretty similar to what I normally use so it will work.

IOMeter Test File

Interested in response times as well as IOPs for my typical usage. Fully admit my usage is different than most though..
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Re: Thecus N5550 5-Bay Home NAS Review

Postby Apoptosis » Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:03 pm

That config is for IOMeter 2006 and it errors out on Iometer 1.1.0

error.jpg
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Re: Thecus N5550 5-Bay Home NAS Review

Postby egloeckle » Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:48 pm

Apoptosis wrote:That config is for IOMeter 2006 and it errors out on Iometer 1.1.0

error.jpg


I opened and ran it in IOMeter 1.1.0-rc1 just fine?
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Re: Thecus N5550 5-Bay Home NAS Review

Postby INeedAFnSuffix » Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:35 pm

Those fans are actually 23.5dB. I do not recommend putting noctuas on that ... Putting 5 blue HDDs (because greens are bad for RAID) would heat up to 45C if you try a noctua in that thing
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