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Features

Here is a summary of the N7700PRO's feature set for quick reference:

  • Network file sharing via SMB/CIFS, NFS, AFP
  • Hot-swappable JBOD, RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10 with hot spare for RAID 1, 5, 6 and 10
  • Online RAID expansion and RAID level migration
  • FTP (and -SSL) with upload / download bandwidth control
  • HTTP / HTTPs file and admin access
  • Joins NT Domain / Active Directories for account information
  • Network Backup: Once daily, weekly or monthly networked backup to other Thecus NASes using proprietary nsync protocol or to standard FTP servers. No compression or encryption
  • Client Backup: FarStone DriveClone PRO 5 (Windows only)
  • Scheduled Backup to USB and eSATA drives (via installable module)
  • iSCSI target (5) and initiator
  • ISO mounts
  • User quotas
  • Email alerts
  • Logging
  • USB print serving
  • Apache webserver (via installable module)
  • Media servers: UPnP AV / DLNA, iTunes
  • Web photo album
  • BitTorrent / HTTP / FTP download service w/ scheduling
  • Webcam recording and playback

Although Thecus has included consumer features like media, iTunes and photo servers, the PRO's real value lies in its ability to simultaneously support iSCSI and SMB/NFS/AFP access and create multiple RAID volumes. When you create a volume, you can choose from EXT3, XFS and ZFS formats (you must use ZFS if you want volume snapshots).

Figure 3 provides a taste of the admin GUI in the V3 OS. A handy My favorite feature lets you put a shortcut to any screen on a special page that you can access via the My favorite link at the top of each page. While not yet the equal of what you'll find in Synology and QNAP's GUIs, Thecus is slowly getting to within striking distance.

Admin GUI My favorites page

Figure 3: Admin GUI My favorites page

Thecus is also finally making progress in the area of backup. A free installable module now adds schedulable backup to USB or eSATA attached drives (Figure 4). It ain't fancy, but it'll get the job done. I was able to use the module to run backup tests to USB and eSATA drives.

Attached backup module
Click to enlarge image

Figure 4: Attached backup module

Unfortunately only FAT, vfat and ext3 formatted drives are supported and there is no built-in format capability. So I was only able to test FAT backup, which came in 55.8 MB/s for eSATA and 25.36 MB/s for USB. The USB performance is good, but the eSATA rather low for such a high-end NAS.

Figure 5 shows the other available modules, which I didn't check out.

N7700Pro modules

Figure 5: N7700Pro modules

Thecus has also been working on adding support for general rsync targets instead of only its modified "nsync" flavor. An rsync target enable has been added to the Nsync Target page, which I assume allows the PRO to act as an rsync target (I didn't test this).

Figure 6 shows a Native Rsync server option when setting up an "nsync" network backup task, but don't get your hopes up. Note there is no place where you can specify the rsync target or path within the target. Thecus obviously still has some work to do here.

Misleading rsync backup setting

Figure 6: Misleading rsync backup setting

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