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Tom's Hardware's 2011 Gift Guide: Part 2, Last-Minute Extras

Network Storage: Thecus N5200XXX

$679.99
www.thecus.com

The holidays arrive at businesses, too, only it’s called using the year-end budget. Many organizations have policies such that if the IT budget doesn’t get used, it vanishes. One of the highest priorities for any business now is data storage, so if money has to get spent, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better application for it than centralizing information. Obviously, a five-drive NAS like the Thecus N5200XXX isn’t aimed at data centers. It’s meant for SMBs, enterprise branch offices and/or workgroups, and even single power users who might be supplying Web services. Stocked with 3 TB drives, one N5200XXX can store up to 15 TB of data, although buyers may wish to start with a much smaller pool.

Unlike many NAS boxes that use low-end SoCs, the N5200XXX is fueled by a 1.8 GHz Intel Atom D525 accompanied by 1 GB of DDR3 memory for improved RAID processing performance. Thecus supports RAID modes 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, and JBOD, along with drive hot-swapping, online RAID migration and expansion, hot sparing, and auto-rebuilding. In-system volume encryption is handled with AES-256, so data protection is bulletproof against theft.

Thecus throws in a copy of Acronis True Image for data and bare metal image backup. Native rsync support lets users back up to remote locations. You can copy bi-directionally with attached USB devices. The NAS also supports UPnP AV streaming, iTunes Server, and photo Web serving via Piczza! Other standard issue services, such as USB print serving, FTP, and secure FTP support, are present.

More advanced, business-oriented features include power management scheduling and Wake-on-LAN support. This may only account for a few dollars in savings per year, but it remains a notable feature as part of a broader green office policy. RAID volume management can be done while the drive is active and accessible by users, thus saving considerable downtime. Admins will appreciate the inclusion of iSCSI thin provisioning, and those concerned about security should make use of having a USB flash drive act as the key that unlocks the NAS device’s AES-256 encryption.

With dual gigabit ports for failover and balancing, plus an eSATA port to accompany the four integrated USB 2.0 ports, the N5200XXX comes loaded with all of the expansion capability and storage power a small office could ask for.

  • manu 11
    i am loving these articles!
    Reply
  • joytech22
    The ZBox is the most promising item to me.
    Why? Because I can mount it on the back of the TV in the lounge for the family and stream my media files to it from my home server.

    I can then throw in an external BD drive and boom, fully capable home entertainment system, which is even capable of light gaming.

    Of course.. I'd reserve my gaming for my gaming rig! ;) The Zbox would be for more family oriented games in the lounge.
    Reply
  • richboyliang
    omg more of those same hot girls!!!

    as usual, the one with the monitor is the best because she resembles mariah carey.

    blonde one is ok, redhead is too old.
    Reply
  • richboyliang
    the suggestive poses combined with the suspicious "xXx" on the Thecus network storage box....
    Reply
  • Judguh
    You can't tell me there's more.... reasonably priced items for the holidays here. :| ... unless you're getting a share of that dough for these ladies :P
    Reply
  • a4mula
    Why recommend the u2410 when the u2412M can be had for half the price and has the same exact specs along with LED backlighting. The only loss is going from 100% sRGB to 98% sRGB and that's only important to a tiny fraction of users. The other advantage of the u2412M is that it doesn't suffer from pink tint that has plagued the u2410.
    Reply
  • pharoahhalfdead
    This was an article about electronics? I must have missed something. That's what I get for skipping all the words. Haha
    Reply
  • kartu
    Shameless sexism, eh?
    But I enjoy it too...
    Reply
  • JonnyDough
    richboyliangomg more of those same hot girls!!!as usual, the one with the monitor is the best because she resembles mariah carey.blonde one is ok, redhead is too old.
    You must be in your teens. Not all readers here are kids you know...
    Reply
  • JonnyDough
    For future reference, we adults call them "women", not girls. ;)
    Reply