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NAS Reviews

Introduction

At a Glance
Product Thecus YES Box (N2100)
Summary "Bring Your Own Disk" (BYOD) RAID dual-drive NAS with Gigabit Ethernet and media serving
Pros • RAID 0,1 and JBOD support
• Up to two SATA drives
• Gigabit Ethernet with 4K and 8K Jumbo frames supported
• Many Features
Cons • A bit on the pricey side for a box without drives
• No backup features

Introduction

I recently had a disk drive go bad on me. The first signs of trouble were some ominous I/O errors in my system log file; then, while I was trying to do a final backup of data, the drive just stopped responding - it was dead. I had long ago learned the lesson about the importance of backups, so all of my critical files were safe, but I still lost a bit of minor data such as some email history, browser bookmarks, application configuration settings, and so on.

It's a fact of computing-life that disk drives will eventually die. This drive was only a year and a half old and still under warranty, but that's not much comfort when you lose your data. And even when you have your data backed up to another hard drive, there's a danger that the backup drive will go bad as well. What's a person to do?

I've been using some custom rsync-based scripts to mirror copies of my data to two different Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices on my LAN. That way, if one drive dies, I'll still have my data on the other. This works fine, but it's not as transparent or real-time as it could be. There should be a better way, and there is. In this review, I'll take a look at an NAS device that, among other things, will automatically do my mirroring for me: the RAID-equipped, Gigabit-enabled Thecus N2100.

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