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Thecus N4310: A 4-Disk Linux NAS

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  • Thecus N4310: A 4-Disk Linux NAS

    Phoronix: Thecus N4310: A 4-Disk Linux NAS

    The Thecus N4310 is a small business oriented Linux NAS (Network Attached Storage) device that makes it easy to setup an EXT4-based RAID storage environment with encryption support. The Thecus web-based software makes it easy to take full advantage of the NAS with features such as BitTorrent support, media streaming for iOS/Android, and more.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=22481

  • #2
    Cool! I hope to see more hardware like this reviewed, with maybe a bit more detail.

    Also don't completely dismiss having to hook up a Mac! Many of use have mixed environments and would actually need to know how well a device works in such mixed environments. For example is Apples Time Machine supported concurrently with other services.

    Finally media serving could be a dedicated use for one of these arrays, while that is a article all on its own a review of the hardware used in that context is likely to be of interest to your readership. I'm not sure if you want to get off your beaten path for this sort of review but it is something to consider.

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    • #3
      does it support ecc ram? we need more soho nas supporting ecc ram and below $1000 price mark. It feels like we'll never get there...

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      • #4
        Looking at the screen cap of the login screen I noticed the Applied Micro Model number of the CPU as APM867xx. Looking at Applied Micro's website at their list of processors the only one with a model number containing the 867 digits is the "Keelback" model APM86791. However, the data sheet lists it as a network processor. The only one listed as a processor for Network Storage is their "Catalina" processor which is model # APM86491.

        https://www.apm.com/products/embedded/keelback/

        https://www.apm.com/products/embedded/catalina/

        Looking up on Wikipedia I found that at least the "Keelback" APM86791...( if that is indeed the processor of this NAS ) is based on the PowerPC 460 core, hence the usage of the PowerPC version of Fedora 16. It even includes a 32 bit ARM core for cryptography acceleration.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PowerPC_400#PowerPC_440
        Last edited by Jumbotron; 11-28-2015, 11:05 PM.

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        • #5
          ** Update** It seems after going to Thecus's website and looking at the spec sheet for the N4310 itself, it lists the CPU as being model # APM86491. This indeed is the "Catalina" processor on Applied Micro's website. Looking at a side by side comparison of the specs for the Keelback and Catalina the only real difference is that the Catalina supports USB 3 ( which of course this NAS has ), while the Keelback only supports USB 2.0. The Catalina is also based on the PowerPC 460 core....(actually a 465).

          Thecus seems to be one of the last, if not the last, NAS manufacturers to still use PowerPC CPU's in their NAS. Synology did at one point, using some dual core Freescale PowerPC CPU's but they and the rest seem to be either Intel or ARM now.

          http://www.thecus.com/product.php?PROD_ID=104


          Last edited by Jumbotron; 11-28-2015, 11:17 PM.

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          • #6
            10 Watts in its sleep mode? o_O
            It's as much as what my VDSL2 box consumes in nominal mode.

            What does the sleep mode do? Does the drives stop spinning? Or is it just an "idle mode"?

            I'm a bit sad we can't do better on this side.

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            • #7
              so.. encryption. Which software are they using for encryption? Is it possible to extract and backup the encryption key via the UI? What happens if the hardware fails, is it possible to hook up the drives to a desktop computer, configure a softraid and software encryption to safe your data? Or would you need to buy an identical NAS box?

              Are there any closed source drivers or out-of-tree drivers found on the system? Is the box bootable from anything but its internal storage? In other words, could I install a different operating system on it if I wanted?

              Is there a way to reset the box to factory settings after screwing up a root command?

              What's the noise level? Are the drives properly decoupled from the casing? Is cooling still adequate?

              Does the box monitor SMART information and send alerts if a drive starts acting up?

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              • #8
                IMHO requiring Android or iOS would still be unacceptable. I use a dumbphone, and many here use N9/N900/Jolla/Neo.

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                • #9
                  Single Ethernet port? Even at GbE it's not reasonable for small business in my humble opinion!

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                  • #10
                    i wonder how easy (or not) it is to install a custom linux distribution on such a device. Is the hardware supported by the open source drivers? Do such devices boot from external devices?

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