Thecus’ N4800 four-bay NAS appliance stands out thanks to its mini- UPS battery backup unit (BBU). Slotting in the back, this small lithium-ion slab keeps RAID arrays, outstanding disk writes and firmware upgrades intact in the event of a blackout.
The BBU charge status is shown in the OLED panel, and to test it we pulled the power on the appliance, at which point it sounded a warning beeper and after 70 seconds powered itself down. We then restored power, rebooted and it worked fine.
“The N4800 delivers good performance, and it offers near-silent running”
Aside from that handy feature, the N4800 sports a 2.13GHz Intel Atom D2700, 2GB of DDR3 RAM, and pairs of USB 3 and USB 2 ports. A VGA port provides direct console access to the Linux OS, and the HDMI port is for a TV connection to view videos, although Thecus has yet to release a firmware update to enable this.
New cloud features include free modules for Dropbox and ElephantDrive, but there’s nothing yet to match Synology’s ezCloud and Cloud Station, or Qnap’s MyCloudNAS. It has a McAfee VirusScan module, and others are available for a mail server, web server and MySQL.
We created a RAID5 array with four 1TB WD GreenPower SATA II drives, and added some thinly provisioned iSCSI targets. Drag-and-drop copies of a large video clip over Gigabit returned read and write speeds of 96MB/sec and 91MB/sec. FTP was faster, with the FileZilla client reporting 108MB/sec and 103MB/sec.
General backup tasks won’t take long: our 22.4GB test folder with 10,500 small files was copied at a rate of 62MB/sec. IP SANs were also nippy, with Iometer reporting a 98MB/sec raw read rate for a 100GB target.
The Thecus N4800 delivers good performance, and it offers near-silent running. At less than £400 for a diskless model, it’s also good value, and its BBU could be a lifesaver.
Click here to read the full review for the Thecus N4800