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Thecus N5810Pro Zero-Crash

N5810Pro The new N5810Pro Zero-Crash lives up it its name as this 5-bay desktop appliance has integrated power fault tolerance. Still unique to Thecus appliances, the N5810Pro has a battery backup module designed to keep your RAID arrays, outstanding disk writes and firmware upgrades intact in the event of a power fluctuation or failure.

This mini-UPS is a Li-Ion battery pack that’s included in the box and is easily fitted into a dedicated slot at the rear. It’s a neat idea that negates the need to buy a separate UPS so saving you cash and space.

N5810Pro rear viewTheres a lot more to this solidly built and quiet appliance as it uses the increasingly popular 2GHz quad-core Intel Celeron J1900 SoC (system on chip). It also comes with a generous 4GB of DDR3 which can be expanded to 8GB although we recommend getting your supplier to do this before buying as we found this is not an easy task.

Network options are in abundance as the appliance has no less than five Gigabit ports all of which can be aggregated into fault tolerant links. Three USB 3 and two USB 2 ports are provided for external devices and the HDMI port allows the N5810Pro to be connected to an HD TV or monitor and used as a home media center.

Easy installation

We fitted a quartet of 4TB WD Red hard disks in the lockable hot-swap carriers and used the Thecus Setup Wizard to find the appliance on the network and set its IP address.? Moving over to its web interface, we were presented with another wizard where we created a RAID5 array from all our drives.

Take a moment before you dive into array creation as Thecus offers a range of file system formats each with different features. For example, EXT4 supports the largest volume sizes but the recently added support for BTRFS allows you to create manual or scheduled snapshots of selected folders and keep up to 16 versions of each one.

The appliance's web interface provides easy access to a extensive range of storage features.

The appliance’s web interface provides easy access to a extensive range of storage features.

The web interface isnt as pretty or as informative as those offered by Synology and Qnap but it does provide swift access to all key features. From here, we could easily create network shares, decide which users were permitted to access them and apply quotas to limit the amount of space they could consume.

Power tests and performance

To test the mini-UPS, we simply pulled the plug on the appliance whereupon it sounded its warning beeper and posted an entry in the log that AC power had been lost. The battery lasted nearly 5 minutes and when exhausted, the appliance gracefully powered itself down.

The mini-UPS performed flawlessly during testing and will prove invaluable in a blackout.

The mini-UPS performed flawlessly during testing and will prove invaluable in a blackout.

After restoring mains power, we booted the appliance which continued to work without any problems. The web console status page doesnt show the percentage of power left in the battery but does tell you when its being used for primary power and when it has received a full charge.

The N5810Pro delivered good speeds in our real world performance tests with a 50GB file copy returning sustained read and write speeds of 112MB/sec and 109MB/sec. Backup operations will be fast as well, with our 22.4GB test folder and its 10,500 small files copied to a share at a fast average of 88MB/sec.

We put the appliance under extreme pressure by connecting four E5-2600 Xeon servers to separate shares on the RAID5 volume over dedicated Gigabit connections. With Iometer running on each server, we saw high cumulative raw read and write speeds of 452MB/sec and 410MB/sec.

Snapshots and restores

The snapshot restore function worked well as we deleted some files from a protected folder and then selected the latest snapshot and restore option. The appliance did suspend the SMB service while it recovered from the snapshot, but after a minute it was running again and the deleted files were back in their rightful place.

Usefully, the snapshots are also presented as network shares so users with the appropriate credentials can access them. Date stamped folders are provided for each snapshot and we could browse their contents from Windows Explorer and restore files using drag and drop.

Creating iSCSI targets on a BTRFS volume enables the snapshot function but we were unable to get it to work. The web console states the snapshots have been successful but doesnt show any as available.

Data protection

Selecting BTRFS during volume creation enables folder snapshots for quick data recovery.

Selecting BTRFS during volume creation enables folder snapshots for quick data recovery.

Thecus has plenty of backup features with most managed by its handy Data Guard app. We could use it create real-time and scheduled backups to local storage, external USB devices and remote NAS appliances.

Cloud backup support is limited to the Amazon S3 service but Data Guard makes light work of configuration. We entered our Amazon account ID and secret key, added a bucket name and created a schedule to back up selected folders regularly.

Thecus also includes a 5-user copy of Acronis True Image Personal for image based workstation backup. Sadly, this version is over five years old now and youll need to buy an upgrade to get features such as job scheduling, disk cloning and incremental backups.

File syncing with the Dropbox app works well and to use it, we created new local users on the appliance and linked them to Dropbox accounts. The appliance creates a Dropbox folder for each user and any files placed in it were automatically synced to their cloud account.

PROS:
  • Very good value
  • Built in mini-UPS
  • Excellent performance
  • Very quiet
  • Five Gigabit ports

CONS:
  • Software features not as extensive as Synology or Qnap
  • Memory upgrades are tricky

Summary

Thecus still lags some way behind Synology and Qnap for storage features but the N5810Pro scores very well for value as its over $100 cheaper that Synologys 5-bay DS1515+ appliance. It delivered an impressive performance in our lab tests, is easy to install and has the added bonus of an integral mini-UPS included in the price.

8.2 Total Score
Best Value AND Best Performance Awards

Thecus still lags some way behind Synology and Qnap for storage features but the N5810Pro scores very well for value as its over $100 cheaper that Synologys 5-bay DS1515+ appliance. It delivered an impressive performance in our lab tests, is easy to install and has the added bonus of an integral mini-UPS included in the price.

Performance
9
Features
6.5
Build Quality
9
Usability
7.5
Value
9
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