Thecus' N8800PRO Eight-Bay Storage Server
Thecus claims that its N8800PRO is an enterprise-grade NAS device. It's driven by a 1.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU and 4 GB of DDR2 memory. The motherboard is the same one found in Thecus' N7700, in case you're familiar with that appliance. Two gigabit Ethernet ports are exposed through a factory-installed PCI Express-based add-in board, and an optional 10 Gb card can be plugged into an available PCIe x8 slot. The rack-mountable N8800PRO is 2U high and features two power supplies for redundancy. Its firmware is stored on two DOM (disk on module) devices, also for redundancy. Our test unit from a German integrator included DOMs with the Open-E software, which replaced Thecus' default modules.
You can install as many as eight 3.5” 66 Gb/s SATA drives into the N8800PRO. The drives are attached to caddies with screws, and the caddies can be hot-swapped. RAID levels 0, 1, 5, 6, and 10 are all supported. Moreover, operation as an iSCSI target is supported right out of the box.
Dig a little deeper into the hardware and you see that four pairs of two disks correspond to a quartet of SiL3132 PCIe x1 to two-port SATA 3Gb/s controllers. This means you don't get hardware-accelerated RAID support. Rather, the Core 2 Duo shoulders the processing load of software-based RAID.
Technically, you're able to daisy-chain as many as eight JBOD enclosures using the N8800PRO's single eSATA port. Although that'd give you a theoretical 72-disk ceiling (and, factoring in the 3 TB models already on Thecus' compatibility list, a 216 GB capacity limit), the performance limitations of that many disks communicating through a single 3 Gb/s port should be pretty clear...and potentially debilitating.
The appliance's eight drive bays are arranged as such: three on the left, two in the middle, and three on the right. Instead of giving you a ninth bay, that space is occupied by an LCD read-out that conveys the server's IP address and subnet mask, plus system status.
In addition to its integrated gigabit Ethernet jacks, the N8800 features an RS-232 port for communication with a UPS and two USB 2.0 ports for attaching external hard disks and other peripherals, such as printers.
For the hardware price, I'd go for a Dell R510. it's about the same price. Then I'd run CentOS 5 or 6 on it. CentOS can do most of what this thing can do with no cost. Or the business could opt for Win 2k8 r2 for $600 more or MS SBS for $800 more and get an easier to manage system that any yahoo proclaiming to be an admin could fix.
IOP performance is garbage on SATA drives, and I've seen FreeNAS do a better job than what was portrayed in this article.
As far as the performance, I'd say it was right in line with low end devices using iSCSI.
Any iSCSI devices you can pretty much count the 1GB ethernet link as the bottle neck, which puts it around 100 - 125 max. 2x Multi pathing may bring that up to around 190, but good luck achieving usable transfer rates of 250+ as peter claims.
For the money i'd choose dgingeri's dell in a heart beat.
Al changes , done to the storage , were done in some xml files of the application
Needles to say that whenever you did anything in command line , the web apllication would not recognize the result
That said, keep up the good work in your core space Tom's!