elricm, Which version of the N5200 firmware had the problem? What was the problem with drives greater than 250GiB? What was the firmware beta version that fixed the problem?
I have a N5200 with 5 Seagate 400GiB drives and I haven't experienced any data concerns at all with my unit's original firmware v1.00.00.2a nor with the only firmware update I've seen v1.00.01.3.
A thought on why the Thecus N5200 is better. The N5200 offers more RAID options (who trusts X-RAID), 5 internal drives plus one eSATA, more i/o port options, and it is much faster. Further out, I hope that the N5200's use of standard PC hardware will mature their firmware faster, and offer more opportunities for the open source community.
Just sold a ReadyNas X6 (no hot swap, otherwise the same as the NV model) to a business client to replace a failed Windows 2000 Server- nice success story- for $1200 total ($900 parts and $300 labor) and 5 hrs or work, we had all services and files up again.
I have an N5200 RouStor sitting on my desk. Bought this for my use.
Overall, ReadyNas comes much closer to being "Grandma ready". the ReadyNas devices have been out for some months, and the interface is definitely more polished. The N5200 seems to be oriented more at geeks, and with just weeks of in-service time, definitely needs more refinement. It does have faster processing, more gige ports, more usb ports, more raid levels and more potential.
First Impressions: ReadyNas has 4-6 status leds and that's it. The display panel on the N5200 is better by a long shot.
5 slots on the N5200 is big factor for me. Maybe not for most people.
Specifics: ReadyNas has more polished interface, simpler to setup 1) email notification is simple on NV, just put in the email you want to have notifications sent to. They even have a "test email" button so you can quickly check whether the email is working through your firewall 2) supported Samba Auth modes (share, user, etc) directly. 3) Docs are much better- the setup guides really help you as the setup on ReadyNas is painful. Without the docs, the N5200 would win for ease of setup. Unfortunately, the N5200 docs are less than helpful, especially in providing explanations as to why you'd want to choose option "x", or in providing example implementations. 4) More options on web inteface for speeds tweaks (bad news is that grandma won't have a clue as to what "disable journaling" implies, and can turn it off with a click)
N5200 is faster, with more info available 1) web interface flies- it only delays if the box is changing status in a mjor way. 2) front lcd is very helpful 3) fast boot 60 secs versus 5 minutes on the ReadyNAS (bad news is that you may be rebooting the N5200 often enough to notice this ) 4) N5200 supports Active Directory out of the box. (haven't tested this)
Haven't done much performance testing yet, and won't be able to run more comparisons on the ReadyNas, as it's in service.
Saw write speeds as I was loading the N5200 up to 15MB/s for large (>1GB) files. Running 4kb jumbo frames on local gige network. Running on 100base network, only hit about 5MB/s on the ReadyNas for collections of medium (>1MB) files.
On the N5200, I have migrated from 2 disk raid 1 to 3 disk raid 5, but I had to reboot once during the process to clear a hung "starting migration" notice. "starting migration" probably shouldn't take 5 hours After the reboot, I was able retry the migration and it worked. I did a cursory check of some random data, and it was still good. Migration worked, but one persistent, successful attempt does not imply stability or robustness. Doesn't rule it out though, either.
N5200 gripes: 1) fix email notification (run a local email server, so I don't have to find one) 2) logs are lost on reboot- that's a no-no for troubleshooting. Use a little of that 64MB flash to save log messages. 3) Provide better docs. More examples, more explanations. People will be storing signifcant data on this- help them make good choices 4) Give me the option to disable the front LCD. Flashing status is ok for a while, but I'm not going to want to see this in a week 5) Provide the linux sources. 'nuff said.
ReadyNas gripes: 1) 6 leds for status? gimmie a break 2) the java interface in a web browser does not help speed. The interface is appropriately timed for Grandma, but no one else. I'm not kidding you, the interface is slow as molasses. 3) needs a faster processor, file transfers seemed slower than necessary 4) would it have killed Infrant to add a fifth slot? Some people need 3 TB's
If I had to buy 1 unit for a client with business? Today I'd buy another ReadyNas. If I were buying it for myself, I'd stick with the N5200, and bug Thecus for some updates.
If it makes a difference for your interpretation of this review- During the day, I work at NCSA running linux supercomputing clusters. At night, I run my own computer consulting firm, supporting Windows and Linux users in the local area.
I think dlapine (post above) calls it about right.
At this time, I'd recommend the Infrant ReadyNAS NV (over the X6 and X600) product to novice users and mediate users. I have been particularly impressed by their busy online community, Infrant representatives' clear presence amidst this community (e.g., Yoh-Dah and others -- go take a look at the forum), and frequent firmware updates. The ReadyNAS NV units also appear to have a better web presence, which makes information easier to come by. (Mfr Link: http://www.infrant.com)
Another noteworthy company in terms of support appears to be Synology. Their strength appears to be rapid and long-term updates to firmware for their products. The two 4x bay units of relevance are the CS-406e (marketed for home users) and the CS-406 (marketed for small businesses, and slightly more powerful). (Mfr Link: http://www.synology.com)
The Thecus N5200 does not appear to provide the most user friendly customer experience. Therfore, at this time, I'd recommend it to power users (especially those experienced with networking principles) only. (Mfr Link: http://www.thecus.com)
Some of the company/product affiliated NAS community sites I have found are as follows:
I have N5200 long time. Looking for this airticle ,I have some opinion about the N5200. Maybe not good ,but hope somebody give me your opinion.
In my point of the NAS product . The base hardward designed is very important. Because,If I get the product ,I can't do anything change in my hardware. Even you want the speed faster ,it can't . Example , P4 CPU and P3 CPU ,who have good performance in throughtput or any application running? Everyone will choice P4 CPU. So ,the hardware is very important. Even the software is not very stable. If this product have good hardware designed. Basicly ,the provider just use less power ,the buggy will be close quickly. After close the buggy ,system will become more potential in the future.
On the other hand ,If the hardware is not powerful . Even the provider have any good technical. System always have limit, and system will start consider what function need to forgo.
In my point ,N5200 is a good hardware platform than any other NAS product. Software it seems not stable ,but firmware release is quickly. And many buggy have already be fixed ,seems more and more stable now. Most system like this life cycle.
So ,N5200 is not a good product,but it is a better than others. Importantly, It have mighty potential . ;D