QNAP, Thecus or ReadyNas?

Discussion in 'Computer Components' started by ruth11, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. ruth11

    ruth11
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Messages:
    164
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Leicester
    Ratings:
    +10
    Am looking for a NAS box, minimum 4 bays.

    Have been looking at the older Thecus N5200 for £370ish, the new Thecus N4100 Pro (can get for £360) and the QNAP TS-409 (maybe Pro) for about £400.

    I've heard the speed\performance figures of the QNAP are not so good, but what does that mean in real terms for household use? It will be an iTunes server, and may be used for streaming movies via the PS3. Will also be used to backup local PCs.

    The reason I ask is that the QNAP makes it 100% clear that you can migrate in larger disks to the RAID set up - ie start with 2x500Gb RAID1, then move to raid 5 when you add an extra disk, then add in larger disks to upgrade, all on the fly. Can the Thecus models do the same?

    Also, found a good deal for the ReadyNas NV+ RND4250 1TB (2x500GB) for £630 - is this NAS box THAT much better than the others and if so, in what ways?

    Many thanks
     
  2. Ian_S

    Ian_S
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    7,163
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    163
    Ratings:
    +2,198
    In a similar position atm, although more for music than video.

    I'm not yet convinced myself of the need for blinding performance at home when used as a media server, as long as you're patient with writes, and for my needs which will primarily be ripping CD's to the NAS, it would have to be awfully slow not to cope.

    Likewise streaming music, the bitrates required are small, about 0.1MB/s per stream for lossless. So, you would hope that even with a relatively slow NAS, performance here should not be an issue.

    SD video at DVD quality jumps up to 1MB/s (including audio) and Blu-ray would require 5MB/s.

    I'm not convinced either yet on the iTunes server ability, as far as I can tell, all it lets you do is play songs through iTunes from another computer as a shared library, but iTunes won't let you sync iPods to any shared library, which IMO is a pain. Most music streamers use uPnP media servers to stream their music, so after initally thinking an iTunes server sounded cool, I'm now not bothered.

    Where performance for you might become more critical is for backups. I think this will depend on how much data you backup and when. I'm not sure any of the home NAS devices will handle large multiple concurrent writes particularly well, and if the backups are scheduled, then it would certainly help to stagger them if possible. If they're ad-hoc it might not matter.

    File copies, which is what backups will effectively be, will probably be where performance for you matters most, as would sharing of files for example if you intended to place your photos on the NAS and be able to edit from any system in the house.

    I think the problem you will hit here in a 4 disk RAID-5 solution would be what happens when a disk pops. Performance could be painfully slow, and I wouldn't really be wanting to write much to the NAS in that state. If you need performance and reliability with 4 disks, although you won't get as much space, I would personally prefer a RAID-10 solution as when a disk goes, the NAS still has a full copy of data on disk to read without having to calculate it from parity in the meantime. It's also less complicated to continue to write to it in that state IMO.

    I haven't seen much info on NAS rebuild times for failed disks, but again if the NAS supports it, I think hot-spares are a great idea as the rebuild starts as soon as the failed disk is removed from the array by the controller. Which means if you are lucky and it happens overnight, you may be fully protected again by morning and the quest to source a suitable disk quickly will be much less stressful. Again this depends on what data is on the NAS, and how easy it is to put back in the event of disaster.

    At the moment I'm almost ready to pull the trigger on the Synology DS-207+, as with no plans for mass Blu-ray rips, a pair of 1TB drives will easily hold my CD collection, quite a few downsized photos, and the odd home video clip, and has the (to me) advantage of being relatively power light, something I'm wary about.

    The Thecus etc are very interesting units, but I've seen reviews that some of them are a bit noisy and power hungry. Would be interested to know what owners think and where they put them.
     
  3. ruth11

    ruth11
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Messages:
    164
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Leicester
    Ratings:
    +10
    Well, I bit the bulllet and went with the Thecus N5200B after all

    I did some reading up yesterday and checked out the performance figures on smallnetbuilder and it still came out on top, except for it's newer brother, the N5200 Pro, which is £200 more expensive.

    I reckon it'll be a few years before we fill 4TB (assuming RAID5) and by then we'll want to buy something else anyway. Hopefully it will happily do what we want it to - I guess I'll find out later today when it arrives from Scan!

    At the mo, I've bought 3x 1TB disks, for a 2TB RAID5 setup, but I think you may be right about the hot spare option so I'll probably invest in another one - I'll have 2 spare slots for a while anyway!

    Looking forward to centralising and to a certain extent, safeguarding our whole house's media.
     

Share This Page

Loading...