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Thecus W5000 WSS NAS Review

Low-cost Windows Storage Servers (WSS) give small businesses access to enterprise-class features at a desktop price.

Technical Specifications

The Thecus W5000 is a five-bay unit designed to bring Windows Storage Server features down to an affordable price.

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The W5000 is nearly identical to Thecus' N5550 NAS in both hardware specifications and design. Of course, the W5000 moves away from the Thecus OS based on Linux and moves to Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essentials on a dedicated hard disk.

The heart of the system is an Intel D2550 Atom processor running at 1.86GHz. Backing the SoC is 2GB of DDR3-1600 memory, just like you'd find on the N5550 Linux-based system. Microsoft's WSS license allows for up to 4GB, and it'd be easy enough for you to add another 2GB DDR3-1600 module to augment Thecus' factory configuration.

At Computex 2015, Thecus released a new W5000-series model that coexists with the W5000 we're testing today. The W5000+ does, in fact, ship with 4GB of system memory, and shares all of the same features. We think the additional 2GB is necessary, given that the W5000 runs with up to 80 percent of its capacity utilized before adding additional software features.

The primary system I/O comes from two gigabit Ethernet ports that can be teamed in the WSS operating system. Easy NIC Teaming is a primary feature in Windows Server 2012 R2, and the technology trickles down to the lower-cost WSS operating systems as well. Expansion comes from four USB 2.0 ports on the back of the NAS, along with a single eSATA port. USB 3.0 is only on the front of the NAS, letting you charge mobile devices and back-up external storage products easily.

The W5000 ships with a 500GB Seagate SSHD that hosts the Windows operating system. The drive is partitioned into two sections: one 32GB chunk for the OS and the other in which to build a non-redundant storage volume. Redundant storage comes from the five hot-swappable drive bays on the system's front. Add drives as you need them, but WSS requires at least three disks for redundant storage. RAID 0, RAID 5, RAID 6 and RAID 10 are all supported, though we'd expect most folks to tap RAID 5 with three to five drives installed.

  • Deuce65
    "Low-cost Windows Storage Servers (WSS) give small businesses access to enterprise-class features at a desktop price."

    Um, is this a hardware review or a press release?
    Reply
  • cpburns
    Did you read the review and verdict?
    Reply
  • Travis Hershberger
    While many people may actually use RAID 5 with this device, this is what we call professional malpractice among IT pros.

    Ref: http://www.smbitjournal.com/2012/11/one-big-raid-10-a-new-standard-in-server-storage
    http://www.smbitjournal.com/2012/11/choosing-raid-for-hard-drives-in-2013
    http://www.smbitjournal.com/2012/11/choosing-a-raid-level-by-drive-count
    http://www.smbitjournal.com/2013/06/dreaded-array-confusion
    http://www.zdnet.com/blog/storage/why-raid-6-stops-working-in-2019/805
    http://www.zdnet.com/blog/storage/why-raid-5-stops-working-in-2009/162
    Reply
  • CRamseyer
    You need to understand a couple of things about all of those articles. The articles are not talking about your home or small business NAS with four or five drives to start with. The ZDNET author has a history of writing articles and article titles to bring people in. Many disagree with Robin's findings. I wouldn't say that is the case with the only article that relates to this review though, Why RAID 5 Stops Working in 2009. In that article he references a 7-drive RAID 5 array. With 6 or more drives we use RAID 6 (RAID 10 in some cases) for the very reason he cites. With five drives and in a home or small business environment RAID 5 is sufficient as long as you are proactive. Keep the system on a battery backup, keep air vents fee of dust and if a drive fails replace it right away.

    Some users may want to take redundancy to the next level and run RAID 6 on a 5 drive array. That is fine and I know people that do. I don't recommend it on a sub-1000 Dollar system that already has performance issues with RAID 5 though.
    Reply
  • Marco Ullasci
    "We rarely hear of failures in the field"
    Here I am.
    "In our own experience, NAS failures come from easy-to-replace fans and power supplies, rather than the main components that make up the heart of the system."
    Changed power supply and changed fan but still no fun.
    I had to dump my DS411Slim after putting some € on it in an attempt to fix.
    The brown thing happens.
    Reply