Thecus Launches Next Generation N7770-10G and N8880U-10G NAS

Thecus is at it again and has released two new NAS units, the N7770-10G 7-bay desktop NAS and the N8880U-10G 8-bay rack mounted 2U NAS. Both NAS are almost identical on the insides, so it basically comes down to the environment of operation when deciding which of the two to pick. The newest additions to Thecus’ line of SMB/Enterprise NAS deliver high-performance, resilience, and a wide range of solutions to handle the rigorous and mission-critical storage needs of businesses.

The two new Thecus NAS are both equipped with the Intel Core-i3 2120 Processor with a clock speed of 3.3GHz and 8GB DDR3 ECC memory. You’ll get two RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet ports and on top of that you’ll find a 10GBASE-T C10GTR Ethernet Network card installed for that extra bandwidth need. Local ports further include six USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports, a HDMI port, and VGA D-Sub port. Both units also come with a status display with four control buttons.

The N7770-10G unit comes with a single 300W power supply, which should be more than enough to drive a machine of this kind. On the other hand, The N8880-10G has a redundant setup with two 400W power supplies. The N8880-10G, being a rack mounted system, also supports hot-swapping of fans next to the hot swapping of drives that all NAS can do.

The new N7770-10G and N8880-10G NAS units from Thecus are designed as a cost-effective and scalable solution. These 10G-enabled NAS are compatible with the latest high capacity SATA drives and NAS stacking is made easy through iSCSI target volumes.

Availability without interruption is a critical factor in many companies, every minute a unit like this is down could cost a lot of money. In order to prevent server downtime, the N7770-10G and N8880U-10G support High Availability (HA). In HA, two Thecus NAS are continuously synced using Heartbeat software while providing any number of its wide range of services including web hosting, file sharing, central storage, and iSCSI virtualization. If one NAS experiences issues, the other NAS will take over operations until the first is operational at which time the master NAS will be automatically resynced and brought back under the umbrella of full HA protection.

There are plenty of other backup solutions as well, such as B-tree file system (btrfs). Disaster recovery solutions include Data Guard for real-time remote or local backup, bundled Acronis True Image for client data backup and system disaster recovery, and backup to cloud services including DropBox, ElephantDrive, and Amazon S3.The 10G NAS are also bundled with Intel Security for uncompromising data security.

WD My Cloud EX4100 4-Bay Expert Series 16TB NAS Review

Introduction


We ain’t all equally skilled when it comes to the configuration of network and storage devices nor is it everyone that has the same interest in that. Sometimes you just want to purchase something, enter your preferred name and password, and then be ready to rock.

WD’s My Cloud series is designed for just these scenarios and it comes equipped with drives and is pre-configured. All you need to do yourself is connect it, turn the power on, and set your password. Today I’m taking a closer look at the WD My Cloud EX4100 from the Expert series and will give it a good spin in the test area.

The MyCloud EX4100 it is a 4-bay NAS unit and in this case it comes pre-loaded with four 4TB WD RED drives. Other disk configurations are available if 16TB shouldn’t be the right match. You can get it from driveless all the way up to 24TB raw capacity.

You will need some power on the insides to handle what the EX4100 promises and it comes with a dual-core Marvell ARMADA 388 processor that clocks at 1.6GHz and 2GB DDR3 memory. This should be plenty, but if it shouldn’t be then the EX4100 also comes with three USB 3.0 ports allowing you to connect extra external storage.

Two gigabit Ethernet ports take care of the network traffic and they fully support both port trunking and link aggregation for failover redundancy and improved traffic capabilities.

A nice bonus for every device is the built-in display at the top of the unit. It allows you to quickly see what’s going on with your unit, its name, network details, and storage setup. It will also keep you updated on the progress when you changing major configurations such as the drive setup.

Just because the unit comes pre-equipped with four drives doesn’t mean that you can’t replace them with smaller, bigger, or just other ones if you want to – or in case you bought a driveless unit. The EX4100 supports hot-swapping and comes with easy-release front bays for quick access. Pop the slider and the drive will eject.

It comes as no surprise that WD used their own RED series of NAS drives in these units. They are built especially for NAS usage, so what better to pick. In this case, the unit is equipped with four of these 4TB drives. The WD RED series uses an IntelliPower RPM systems up to 5400 RPM and come with 64MB Cache.

The EX4100 doesn’t have any dedicated drive trays and is as such tool-less to upgrade. The drives are still firmly secured inside thanks to the large dividers. Not using drive caddies allows for a smaller and more narrow footprint, something anyone can appreciate.

The EX4100 supports RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 as well as JBOD and Spanning. While the RAID 0 to 60 modes are self-explanatory, how the terms JBOD and Spanning are used variates a bit, including Single disk. Essentially, JBOD and Spanning is the same thing but with a small difference. JBOD stands for Just a Bunch Of Disks, these can either be presented as single volumes or one large where they are used as extension for each other. Spanning, on the other hand, will create one large volume with all the drive space available and the drives don’t even need to be the same capacity.

JBOD stands for Just a Bunch Of Disks, these can either be presented as single volumes or one large where they are used as extension for each other. Spanning, on the other hand, will create one large volume with all the drive space available and the drives don’t even need to be the same capacity.

In the EX4100’s case, JBOD will result in four individual volumes and spanning will create one large volume without redundancy or performance improvements. As always, which mode i

As always, which mode you chose is down to your own needs. Whether you need a maximum amount of capacity, redundancy, performance improvements or a little of each.

Storage is just one side of the story, you also need to connect that storage somehow. The EX4100 comes with two Gigabit Ethernet ports that support both failover and port trunking.

The addition of a dual power supply system with a backup for emergency situations is awesome and something more NAS should feature. Any product can break for one reason or another and it should have a backup solution in case that happens.

The single and relative large 120mm fan helps to keep everything cool without creating too much noise. It only needs to rotate at low speeds to keep everything cool and operate optimally.

So far I’ve talked a lot about the hardware, but that’s just one side to the story. The software has to match with the right features, otherwise what would be the point.

It doesn’t matter if you want to connect to the WD MyCloud EX4100 from Windows, Linux, or your Mac OS based system, everything should be covered with Samba, Bonjour, and NFS3 support. The EX4100 also support VLAN, UPnP, iSCSI, SSH, and WebDAV and comes with an FTP server.

It is well suited to stream all your stored content to anything from smart devices to TVs and media players. Twonky’s UPnP media server, DLNA, and iTunes server are all present and it supports connection to devices such as WD TV Live, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows 8, connected TVs, Blu-ray players and digital picture frames.

Security is important everywhere and WD has that part covered too with features such as Active Directory support and 256-bit AES full volume encryption.

You can set up backup plans to local and remote locations as well as the same system, use Apple’s Time Machine, or use the cloud-based services Amazon and ElephantDrive. You can also sync drives with the attached USB 3.0 ports.

Security also involves power management and the EX4100 doesn’t just come with redundant PSU support, it can also control both network and USB connected UPS power backup devices.

Within the package you’ll find the NAS device with the drives inserted, a network cable, a power supply and, in this case two connector cables: one UK and one EU. There’s also a startup guide that will get you set up, even if you don’t know the darndest thing about NAS systems.

Remote access can not only be achieved through the web interface, you can also get both a desktop application and several mobile apps for your Android and iOS devices.

Other features such as a download server for both HTTP and P2P services, being IPv6 ready, supporting jumbo frames up to 9000 bytes, and SNMP for easy administrator management in larger environments are also all present.

If you’re concerned about the environment and having a device running all the time, then WD has you covered too. It features disk spin down when not need, which also will increase the drives lifespan, wake-on-LAN, automatic power recovery, and scheduled power on-off times.

The PCB has a simple build where only one side is utilized. The memory is soldered onto the board, so you can’t upgrade that, but that would also be kind of missing the target audience for a pre-setup unit.

We see that the memory used comes from SKhynix and the LAN ports are controlled by two Marvell 88E1512 chips. The USB 3.0 ports are controlled by a Renesas µPD720210 4-port hub controller.

QNAP Launches Cost-Efficient VioStor NVR VS-2200 Pro+ Series

QNAP already has an impressive lineup in their VioStor NVR series and they’ve just expanded with a new unit, the VS-2200 Pro+ series, available i a 2-bay tower form factor with 4, 8, and 10 channels. The new network video recorder is built around an Intel quad-core processor with 2GHz and comes equipped with 4GB RAM.

The new VS2200 Pro+ series brings a lot of features in a compact size, and it’s a highly cost-effective unit for Small and Medium Businesses as well as Home offices. With support for dual Full-HD 1080P Local Display, built-in alarm GPIO for enhancing security management, QSCM Lite as a free app for centrally managing multiple NVRs, and more, the VS2200 has it all.

The HDMI output allows you to quickly set up and manage the NVR by simply plugging in a mouse, keyboard, and HDMI monitor. Once you have set it up, you can easily monitor multiple IP cameras and play back recordings directly from the NAS without the need for an extra PC. It also features dual Gigabit Ethernet and three USB 3.0 ports.

With the built-in GPIO (6in/2out) terminal blocks, the VS-2200 Pro+ series supports alarm-system linkage between alarm equipment such as emergency push buttons and IR sensors. Once the GPIO interface receives signals, the VS-2200 Pro+ will switch to high frame rate video recording, send an event notification via email or SMS to the control center, and trigger the alarm system at the same time to help administrators respond to events in a timely manner to achieve better security.

With the free QSCM Lite app, you can centrally monitor, playback, and manage up to 256 IP cameras from up to 16 VioStor NVRs are different locations.

You don’t have to splurge for the large model with a lot of monitor channels right away as you can purchase additional license as you got along and your needs grow. The expandable license management provides a flexible and cost-effective way of scaling various surveillance needs.

The VS-2200 Pro+ series is now shipping and will become available at your local reseller shortly. GPIO support will be available from the next newer firmware update.

Thecus W4000 4-Bay WSS 2012 R2 NAS Review

Introduction


Most NAS devices we look at are based on some Linux or BSD distribution, but once in a while something different comes along. I’m excited to take a look at the new Thecus W4000 four-bay NAS server today, powered with Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essentials (WSS).

Thecus are the first to bring WSS 2012 R2 to NAS users as you might remember from our press coverage back in October. The use of a WSS system offers a host of benefits to SMB users, including data protection, integrated cloud services and secure remote access.

The integration of an NAS into Microsoft’s cloud-based applications and services, including Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Azure, has never been as easy before as with these new devices. The WSS NAS offerings look like they will provide users with an affordable and flexible solution with enough performance for SOHO and SMB environments.

The Thecus W4000 is based on a dual-core Intel Atom running at 2.13Ghz and it has 2GB of DDR3 RAM. The memory sadly isn’t as easy to upgrade as in some of Thecus other devices, but it is possible due to the use of standard sized SO-DIMMs.

There is plenty of connectivity options on the W4000 with two USB 3.0 ports on the front and two USB 2.0 ports, one eSATA, dual Gigabit Ethernet, a line-out, a D-Sub VGA, and a HDMI port on the back; if that shouldn’t be enough, the W4000 also has a PCIe x1 slot for add-on cards.

The features don’t stop there, as it also comes with an embedded SSD as boot drive and offers data deduplication for performance optimization, built-in automated client backup, Bitlocker drive encryption, and native NTFS support as well as online scan and repair.

Thecus have created a great looking devices with the W4000, no doubt. It looks like a NAS should, simple, yet it features a lot of minor curves and design options that break the monotonous a bit. Adding the USB 3.0 ports on the front is a smart move as it’s likely those that will be used most as ports for temporary connections while more permanent devices are connected via the rear connections.

The tower features horizontal mounted drive bays, which I believe to be better for the hard drives over time. At the top, we see the space for the OLED display and its four control buttons and on the side it has the iconized LEDs for connectivity and activity.

Thecus also added an unmentioned feature to the motherboard, an mSATA slot. It is located at the top of the motherboard and easily accessible without the need to take everything apart. The use of a standard SSD further allows you to upgrade or change drive depending on your personal needs.

Netgear Announced ReadyNAS 3130 1U 4-Bay NAS

Netgear announced the new ReadyNAS 3130 Series Network Attached Storage with a 1U form factor for easy rack deployment in businesses of any size. With four bays, this NAS has a capacity up to 24 TB and the processor supports up to 200 simultaneous users making it especially suitable for virtualized environments.

The new four-bay ReadyNAS 3130 has dual Gigabit Ethernet for connection and two USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, and two eSATA for expansion and backup. The CPU is an Intel Atom C2338 Dual Core 1.7GHz with 2GHz turbo mode and the system comes with 2GB ECC UDIMM. With its new CPU, ReadyNAS 3130 is virtualization-ready with iSCSI support, thin provisioning capability, and interoperability with VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V.

ReadyNAS 3130 is available as diskless unit (RN3130) or populated with four 2TB drives (RN31342E). The new diskless edition is available worldwide at an MSRP of $1,499. ReadyNAS business-class products are backed by the NETGEAR 5-Year Limited Hardware Warranty, 5-Year Next Business Day Shipping for part replacement, and 24×7 Lifetime Technical Support.

 Thanks to Netgear for providing us with this information