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  • roman.md - Sunday, July 06, 2014 - link

    imho, The average user will be happier with a 100$ cubietruck, with dual-core 1 Ghz ARM (vs single-core 800 Mhz PowerPC), 2 GB RAM (vs 512 MB). Reply
  • Impulses - Sunday, July 06, 2014 - link

    Average user or average enthusiast? The latter - maybe, the former - not even. Reply
  • nvalhalla - Sunday, July 06, 2014 - link

    cubietruck is a bare MB for $100. You still need a case. And it only has 1 SATA2 and USB 2.0. So there goes RAID.

    I'll take a dedicated device over a hacked together mess.
    Reply
  • jabber - Sunday, July 06, 2014 - link

    Meanwhile back in the real world...

    Some people (read most) just want something that works out of the box. I dont blame them in this instance.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Sunday, July 06, 2014 - link

    thank you for making the obligatory "I could build something myself for less money and can't understand why anyone would want a prebuild NAS as a result" comment.

    /sarcasm
    Reply
  • Guspaz - Monday, July 07, 2014 - link

    I did build my file server myself for less money than what was commercial available... but only because what was commercially available was enterprise-grade stuff that cost a small fortune.

    If there had been any prosumer-grade prebuilt appliance-type stuff that could have held 15 drives, I would have bought it instead of doing it myself. The problem is the only things that can do 15 drives are big, expensive, and very loud stuff meant to go in a datacenter. My home-built solution fits in a mid-tower ATX case, but building it was a huge pain, pain that I would have liked to avoid.

    I understand perfectly well why somebody wants something that just works out of the box. Such a thing just doesn't exist for more than a handful of drives at once.
    Reply
  • Samus - Monday, July 07, 2014 - link

    cubie, seriously, has the worst IO performance of anything I've ever seen. I think the [single] SATA 2.0 connection is actually a bridged via USB, because I've never seen transfers over ~25MB/sec. You'd be just as bad off with a $35 RaPI as a NAS. The CPU and memory means very little if they are that IO limited. Reply
  • betam4x - Sunday, July 06, 2014 - link

    I'm going to be honest here, you should stay FAR away from Thecus as a company. We made the dire mistake of buying a Windows based NAS from them. The NAS didn't come with a full version of Windows (despite practically all the resellers claiming it did). In addition, getting a copy of Windows Storage Server 2008 is impossible due to it being discontinued and they refuse to certify Storage Server 2012 for use with their products DESPITE the fact they still sell the NAS hardware itself. To top it all, the RAID is software only. It has a RAID card, but reads something like prototype or beta only (can't remember which), do not distribute. After contacting Thecus we were told that their windows storage solutions are meant for software RAID only. Our purchase led to a major retailer pulling the Windows based NAS completely from it's website due to our issues and offering us a considerably large gift card for the trouble. Reply
  • Samus - Monday, July 07, 2014 - link

    I've had iffy luck with Thecus (honestly, I've not used one of their NAS) but by no means are they as bad as, say, Norco, Sans Digital, or as Ganesh stated, D-Link/Netgear/WD. Reply
  • Samus - Monday, July 07, 2014 - link

    Even though this runs a standard linux kernel, Synology is hard to ignore in the consumer (and even SMB) NAS market simply because the OS is so flexible. I've set them up to run everything from remote access servers to MySQL (which can host a Quickbooks database, website CMS, etc.)

    Synology offers dozens of free apps for their OS, such as uTorrent, cloud replication\remote backup services, AirTunes server, XBMC portal, VPN, database hosting, even WINE emulation. Then there are the paid apps that bring in the big dogs like mail services (hosting, ie Exchange, SPAM filtering, domain management,) RAS, and recently, virtualization. The hardware isn't really powerful enough to do this stuff on a corporate scale, but the point is it can be done for light loads, making the death of the small business server even more obvious in the near-term as these network appliances offer nearly all the services servers do.
    Reply
  • poohbear - Monday, July 07, 2014 - link

    i thought this was an enthusiast site? why write reviews of average hardware like this? still waiting for your Haswell refresh devil canyon review.... Reply
  • jabber - Monday, July 07, 2014 - link

    It is an enthusiast site but in order to survive on the web you have to appeal to more than 200 people. Plus some of us enthusiasts just want a simple cheap solution as we don't have the time or requirement to spend $1000 on fifteen individual components when one $150 box will do the job. Even for enthusiasts 'good enough' is just fine. Reply
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    True enthusiasts don't discriminate on price. They like to be informed about the whole range of products. What good is looking at the best if you can't compare it to mediocre? Besides we are enthused by technology as a whole.

    Not to mention, AT hardly ever reviews the absolute best, which is often some expensive hardware you probably have never heard of and only a limited few would be able to afford. Instead, they target popular, prosumer products that are available to the masses for a reasonably affordable price. These products are often from popular brands which have a decent reputation. You don't see them reviewing quantum computers or SSDs with ridiculous amount of throughput.
    Reply
  • PEJUman - Monday, July 07, 2014 - link

    Please don't take this the wrong way, but I can't help but wonder why the average geek would pick this instead of old PC/kaveri/low power sandy desktop?

    I have a 4gb kaveri n mobo that cost me $200 without a case, it is a 8 sata, 4x usb 3 with gigabit, WiFi and VM support, not to mention expandable pci-e

    I built a cheap file server with old license of vista/7 pro. Using a primocache as initial line of defense for home use I/O spikes, I was able to use this thing as file server, media center, Plex server, torrent/VPN simultaneously, in a pinch I can do real work on it as well.

    So my question is, yes in vacuum these 2-4 bays nas boxes are cheap.
    But if one consider what he/she have around the house, homebrew windows with cheap caching (Intel SRT/primocache/nvelo/samsung rapid)
    Reply
  • PEJUman - Monday, July 07, 2014 - link

    The PC route is not that much more expensive, but infinitely more configureable and repairs are more dependable/possible.

    Note: I am a geek, asking the elder geeks, on what benefit (for geeks, not layman) am I not seeing on these Nas?
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Monday, July 07, 2014 - link

    Do you have the capability to access data outside your home with a nice mobile interface (both Android / iOS devices)?

    I used to think along the same directions as you a couple of years back. However, with the increasingly mobile lifestyle and social sharing culture, these sort of 'appliances' are geared towards getting something working without hassle while providing features to enable the upcoming consumer behaviour (access data on the go with a pleasant and easy-to-use UI, easily generate links for files in the NAS to send to friends/family etc.).

    There are certain things that a PC does well, but we are now at a stage where even geeks can be well-served with an off-the-shelf NAS appliance for many aspects.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, July 07, 2014 - link

    Would adding a "advantages of buying pre-built" page to the reviews cut down on the flood of this type of comment on every NAS review on this site; or would the people who do it continue to do so because they don't bother to read the article before commenting? Reply
  • PEJUman - Monday, July 07, 2014 - link

    Dan, I can read well enough to realize my homebrew nas that took <2 hrs to configure (from bare install to up and running server) can wipe the floor with N2310 or others at this bracket on 5 user simultaneous access.
    the question is aimed at a geek level, was hoping that i missed something such as: network QoS improvement, small file I/O with Raid 1, automatic bandwidth balancing of JBOD, etc

    My comment was meant to be constructive, and I even clued you before I start. yours on the other hand...
    Reply
  • Beany2013 - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    Thing is, when we're talking about homebrew stuff vs NAS appliances, we're talking different classes of the same category of device here - I have a syno 214+ and I could wipe it, throw it at my dad (who is technically minded but not a geek) and he could have it set up within an hour.

    I could also throw a Kaveri mobo at him, a fistful of disk, RAM and an OS install disk, and it'd take him days to sort it out. I used to that sort of thing semi-regularly, but the *good* devices (primarily from QNAP and Syno) are just too well priced to ignore for what they do these days.

    This sort of review isn't just for 'us' - it's for the people we know who don't want to be splicing up two power supplies to feed fifteen disk drives in a single chassis, and who don't want to be worrying about cooling requirements and airflow. But who always ask us what to buy (and often, to set it up for them)

    So now we know, if your father/uncle/second cousin twice removed asks about one of these NAS things, and says they've seen these cheapy Thecus things, to ward them off it. You could build them one if you want, but then you support it for life.

    Also, as I've said here before, I'm considered to be an extreme tech nerd even among my sysadmin/sysop cohorts (I don't see it meself...) - and even *I* can't be arsed dicking with this stuff when I get home from a day of setting up load balanced routers and hacking up ATX12v cables to power a SAS backplane from a dead rack server. Don't worry, you'll get old and lazy too one day ;-) and then you'll learn the value of just throwing a bit more money at the problem (but it's getting cheaper all the time) so you don't have to mess about with this crap! And trust me, that day *will* come.

    Steven Raith.

    PS: Incidentally, have you set up your Windows rig to do iSCSI LUNs? I never did find a decent iSCSI server for Windows that wasn't a ballache to set up (although it has been a few years since I looked) - the Syno one is nice and easy. And does NFS too, which is nice. And iTunes server, torrent client, *good* CCTV server, etc....all out of the box. Saves a lot of time...
    Reply
  • tuxRoller - Monday, July 07, 2014 - link

    You can run owncloud and access your data from a nice GUI.
    That's what I use instead of Dropbox, plus it has integrated libre office support (which I haven't used).
    Reply
  • PEJUman - Monday, July 07, 2014 - link

    Thanks! 'Convenience' exactly what I thought, just wanting to make sure I am not crazy/stupid :D

    I used to have an FTP server with public access on the router, but have since moved to Dropbox-Sky/OneDrive-Gdrive combo. Small files and slow upload speed drives me into these guys:
    - Dropbox with truecrypt files for sesitive files (Dropbox supports segmented uploads, i.e. only changed portion of a large file is uploaded).
    - Grandfathered skydrive for huge files.
    - Gdrive for sharing with people.

    For now these guys works very well for my cloud access needs... I use symlinks to change the windows default mapping to the above folders, and it's fire and forget to the whole family :D.
    Reply
  • Phasenoise - Monday, July 07, 2014 - link

    The answer is simple: opportunity cost. It's not a question of cash alone.

    Why don't I just mow my lawn? Why don't I just clean the house myself?

    As an "Elder Geek" - I can make a lot of money in that time I'd spend setting up a file server. It's a solved problem with a commodity solution.
    Reply
  • PEJUman - Monday, July 07, 2014 - link

    I haven't personally looked at the recovery reliability on a failed drive on these things recently. but few years back it was quite a nightmare.

    Botched rebuild/recovery on one of these things could really wipe any opportunity cost you might have saved initially. Go ahead, ask me how I know.... :P

    I make my money by geeking out on things that burn dead dinosaurs, when I geek out on electrons and silicons, it's meant as a hobby :D
    Reply
  • Beany2013 - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    Didn't see the further posts :-$

    I'm pretty sure the Syno RAID1 and RAID10-esque solutions are literally just EXT3/4 mdadm with some performance tweeks in the OS, so file recoverability in the event of a crash = Ubuntu bootable USB drive a machine with a few spare SATA slots:
    http://www.synology.com/en-uk/support/faq/579

    Others - not so sure. I'm not a fan of 'flex RAID' type affairs either.
    Reply
  • wintermute000 - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    I've had a series of QNAPs and they've all recovered a RAID-5 failure at least once, zero issues, just took ages to rebuild compared to a 'real' CPU in a 'real' server.

    Mind you QNAP / Synology is the gold standard for these home/SMB appliances. I wouldn't trust a Thecus myself.
    Reply
  • jabber - Monday, July 07, 2014 - link

    Maybe they just don't have the time? It's just storage. Storage is a commodity item. How amazing or convoluted to do you need to get to have a place to dump some data? Reply
  • kmmatney - Monday, July 07, 2014 - link

    I also have a home-build whs server with 5 storage drives. It generally works fine, but can also annoying at times, especially with windows rebooting itself after updates, and lots of general Windows "issues" that have driven me nuts over the last few years. I would love to have something simple like this, but the expandability isn't there . You can't beat having 6-8 SATA ports on a motherboard, and then the ability to easily expand. I would really like to be able to buy something like an 8-bay NAS, and expand as I need it, but the price of that is ridiculous, so for now I'm just going the computer route (so I agree with you, but wish I didn't have to...). Reply
  • jabber - Monday, July 07, 2014 - link

    You can have 8TB in a dual bay NAS, more soon. A couple of those isnt going to break the bank.

    Thats 16TB....
    Reply
  • PEJUman - Monday, July 07, 2014 - link

    if you have 8TB with Raid 0, it will break the bank when one of the 8TB fails.
    JBOD is better for single gigabit + home use.
    Reply
  • tuxRoller - Monday, July 07, 2014 - link

    What windows only features are you making use of that prevents you from changing the os?
    Assuming that it's mostly a file server the only thing that comes to mind is windows media center's ability to record arbitrary TV shows.
    Reply
  • PEJUman - Monday, July 07, 2014 - link

    nothing I assume... I simply have more windows licenses than PC nowadays.
    For me it's familiarity, a USB 3.0 flashdrive can install win 7/8 in about 15 minutes (to login screen and updates). No google-fu required.
    Reply
  • tuxRoller - Monday, July 07, 2014 - link

    Ah. Well, if you're interested, freenas seems to be what nearly everyone chooses. It's biggest advantage is that it supports zfs, but it also has a really nice web gui management tool.

    http://www.freenas.org/for-home/
    Reply
  • PEJUman - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    been hearing good stuff on both zfs and freenas. although I admit that I haven't looked at it since last year.
    Thanks for reminding me, reading the link now... :D
    Reply
  • tuxRoller - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    NP. Hope it's helpful! Reply
  • PEJUman - Monday, July 07, 2014 - link

    yeap! I understand where you're coming from.
    Disk WILL fail. just a matter of when. I went full circle on this, single disk, RAID 0, 1, 5, JBOD, flexraid, shitty space (also know as storage space).

    Now I am on a RAID 0 hard disks with SSD caching on storage, SSD with RAM caching of network attached scratch/landing drive. Both backed with once every 48 hrs hot storage.

    I finally learn that my storage need will continue to evolve and currently nothing beats 6-8 SATA/USB 3.0 flexibility for expansion, recovery, rebuilds, helping a friend with a drive clone, etc.
    Reply
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    What's the difference in power consumption? Reply
  • basroil - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    Any hope for iSCSI tests? More often than not these devices are used by people who ran out of space on their desktop rather than need file sharing. Reply
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    Already mentioned in the review that the unit doesn't support iSCSI or encryption (given target market).

    We do iSCSI evaluation for all NAS units that we review (provided it is supported by the vendor)
    Reply
  • Fallout552 - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Might be a dumb question here, but could someone explain the the testing methodology for NAS when the listings state 2x HD Stream and 1x HD Stream? I assume it's more than one device streaming simultaneously, but the more streams seem to increase the throughput?

    NAS newbie here.
    Thanks.
    Reply

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