I have been following the different threads in this forum for some time; specifically the mini-ITX related threads. However, I have come to the conclusion that one of the following NAS products will meet the majority of my home-network needs:
- Thecus N4100+ or N5200PRO
- Infrant ReadyNAS NV+
What I am looking for in a server is for the following:
- SlimServer (the obvious first)
- rsync ability (backup of home computers, mixture of Mac & Win)
- (no print-server required)
I would love to know your thoughts on the above NASs. Has anyone been able to compare them (apart from the obvious # of disks)? Any thoughts one which is _easier_ to install SlimServer on & maintain? Is either company more reputable? I have read that Thecus only supports a limited sub-set of HDDs--is this still the case?
View Poll Results: Which NAS to go with?
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Infrant ReadyNAS NV+
Results 1 to 10 of 22
Thread: Infrant vs. Thecus
2007-07-14, 11:35 #1
- Join Date
- Apr 2006
Infrant vs. Thecus
2007-07-14, 14:08 #2
Let me begin by saying that it is best to confirm hard drive compatibility with whatever NAS you opt for - check compatibility right down to the firmware revision on the drives.
I own 2 ReadyNAS NVs and a Thecus N5200PRO and have invested quite a bit of time dealing with this topic as I was looking for a NAS that is powerful enough to run slimserver and maintain a speedy user interface. Suffice it to say, getting it wrong is a costly exercise!
In summary, with the benefit of hindsight I would never purchase another ReadyNAS. I must have spent the better part of 60+ hours or so screwing around with these damned things trying to set them up reliably and configure them to perform at even a fraction of the throughput Infrant claim. For at least a month both units transferred data so slowly they were for all intents and purposes unusable and turned into expensive door stoppers. In that time I purchased an Intel gigabit NIC, a gigabit switch, tested network cables, tweaked jumbo frame and MTU settings, replaced hard drives (4 x 300GB Samsung SATAII drives were apparently incompatible [but worked in every other mass storage device I tried them in, in fact they worked in the ReadyNAS' too, but Infrant blamed the drives for the performance issues]) and generally went through an expensive, time consuming and very frustrating exercise. At the end of all of that, the thing that partially resolved the performance issues was a firmware update on the ReadyNAS' to a beta firmware. Go figure.
Apart from all of the above, the ReadyNAS is simply not powerful enough to run slimserver properly (I've seen others add RAM in the hope that this changes things, but it fundamentally just doesn't have the grunt). In my view it will most definitely have major issues supporting slimserver v7 also.
After doing a lot of searching for a decent replacement that could run Slimserver (and being gun-shy having purchased two expensive NAS' already), I came across the Thecus N5200PRO. I knew that a slimserver module had been created for its predecessor, the 5200, so took a chance and figured that I would go with it. I was prepared to chance it because the 5200 had received rave reviews, slimserver was known to work on the 5200, the 5200PRO is significantly faster than the ReadyNAS and in the event I couldn't get slimserver running on it I could always run slimserver off a PC, which is what I was doing with the ReadyNAS anyhow.
I installed 5 x 750GB server drives into the Thecus, fired it up and installed the slimserver module without any real hassles, in fact if I'd spent 20 minutes researching the process online it would have taken me literally 5 minutes of childsplay via a web interface to get slimserver installed and scanning the NAS. Instead it took me around 40 minutes all up because I had to access the NAS's operating system to remove some slimserver files , install the Perl module [what I forgot to do the first time around], and then reinstall slimserver. Copying data to/from the 5200PRO has been a very quick and painless process and it's been running slimserver non-stop, feeding a transporter and 2 sb3s for a few days now without a hitch.
To me it is a real no-brainer and we're comparing apples with oranges in terms of function, speed and reliability. Some of the posts on the Infrant forum caused me to have knots in my stomach when the only good copy of my data resided on the ReadyNAS.
Finally, I suspect your poll may not give you the results you want because I don't think there are many 5200 / 5200PRO owners out there yet. I only know of two users: Pellicle has a 5200 and I have the 5200PRO. Both of us are very happy.
Best you look at the spec sheets and form a view from there.
Last edited by egd; 2007-07-14 at 14:18.
2007-07-14, 14:50 #3
- Join Date
- Oct 2005
Since Infrant has been bought by Netgear which makes competing products to the Squeezebox - I would think that Infrant/Netgear will consider stopping support of Slimserver at some point. Unlike the Thecus - the slimserver port can only by done by Infrant engineers so if you go with Infrant you are in their hands.
2007-07-15, 03:55 #4
- Join Date
- Apr 2006
Thank you for your reply. Do you have any experience with the Thecus N4100+ (not available in Canada yet)? In general, is the RAM upgradeable in the Thecus products?
I've also been trying to find where Thecus is hiding the "modules" for the software add-ons. They don't seem to be listed on their site...
2007-07-15, 06:54 #5
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
The modules are open developments by users. Thecus does not overtly support but provides the framework so they can be installed thru the menu system. A much better idea that Infrant's where the factory is in control.
I think at the moment Thecus has the lead for use with recent versions of SS. The CPU horsepower if you use the web interface is a requirement with current versions. Using the low powered Pentium M gives Thecus and advantage in the consumer NAS area. On the n5200 line the RAM is upgradable to 512meg. The 4100 can also be upgraded. I am not sure of other models.
I jumped to Thecus early based on the issues others had with models powered by less capable CPU's. The 5200 original edition can run at 800mHz and is more than capable with very quick response even with album art viewing. The PRO model runs at 1.5gHz and should have plenty of headroom. The 5200 also outperform the current Infrant on network transfer speeds and are capable of actually benefiting from gigabyte LANs.Thecus n5200 2Tb Raid 5 running SC 7.4.1
2 SB3, 1 TP, 1 SoftSqueeze, Nokia n770, Omnia with SlimControl, 20,000 tracks, Flac encoding
2007-07-15, 11:26 #6
- Join Date
- Jul 2007
so, it is my first post. Hello Forum. I think Thecus as long as it is Pentium based ist the way to go. It is responsive, stable and running SS. I have a chroot environment running a debian a should in theory be able to even upgrade the slimserver installation. But due to the really excellent work of pellicle and omega over there on proboard106.com I have a 6.5.1 slimserver feeding my squeezebox v3. So that is all well. Big thanks!
Scanning through Flac works it doesn't for MP3 but I don't mind anyway.
Infrant is much slower due to cpu power!
One big draw back however... There is ABSOLUTELY NO support by Tecus here in Germany. No response to E-Mail, Phone or contact form.
Anyway I am happy with the n5200 non-pro.
2007-07-16, 18:23 #7
- Join Date
- Apr 2006
Thecus vs. Qnap
Thank you for all of the information. I can see that processor speed plays a critical role; something which most NAS's today have been trying to ignore.
I have seen a number of threads on these forums about the Qnap NASs. Taking a look at their site, I see that there is both a TS-401T (800Mhz Via C3) and a TS-401O (Via Eden 7000, 733 Mhz?) that have similar specs to the Thecus N5200Pro. I believe SlimServer can be installed on both of these as well.
Any thoughts here: Qnap vs. Thecus?
2007-07-16, 19:16 #8
Ditto on the "my ReadyNAS is now a doorstop" thing. They've been promising users ssh access for a couple of years now and we still don't have it. It's supposed to arrive with the "4" version of their os, but I gave up holding my breath long, long ago.
2007-07-16, 19:43 #9
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
Same here - Infrant door stop.
Has anyone actually lost a drive in one of these things? What an experience.
Do you have a spare drive sitting around ready to plug in so that the RAID array isn't running in a degraded and vulnerable state while you RMA your hard disk? Unless you run with a hot spare, if you lose a second drive while you find (or wait for) a replacement hard drive, you'll lose everything.
I lost a drive not long ago and don't have a spare, so I shut the system down. Luckily, at this point I was only using the thing for backup storage. When I powered it back up, it immediately marked a second drive as bad, even though the SMART information for the drive shows zero errors. I cycled power once again and then it now shows this second bad drive as a 'spare'. And... it began rebuilding the array onto the drive that I know is bad. Of course that operation fails after some number of hours when it reaches some bad drive sectors. Why it's resyncing onto a drive that it should know is bad I have no idea.
I'll replace the bad drive and reformat the whole array, then either sell the thing or try to use it for backups once again.
These things are fine so long as you don't actually have a drive failure, which is a little ironic, since most folks are counting on the devices to save their butts in just that scenario. In reality they're complete junk.
2007-07-20, 23:52 #10
- Join Date
- Jul 2006
I own a Ready NAS.
Upgraded the Ram to 1 GB, bought a giga switch.
I get very good file transfer performance (16-20 MB).
Whatever you do it will never be able to run a smooth Ss because that Infrant CPU has no FPU unit and Perl is heavy on Fpu load.