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News TRENDnet TN-200 NAS Box Review

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Meanmotion, 19 Feb 2014.

  1. Meanmotion

    Meanmotion bleh Moderator

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  2. SchizoFrog

    SchizoFrog New Member

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    If the OS is a little dodgy, would it be possible to wipe it and install FreeNAS instead?
     
  3. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    No: FreeNAS is only available for x86 processors, and the TN-200 (in common with the majority of NAS boxes) runs an ARM chip.
     
  4. SchizoFrog

    SchizoFrog New Member

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    Ah, that makes sense. :)
     
  5. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    For £25 more - after cashback - you can get an HP MicroServer N54L, which includes four 3.5" bays with hot-swap capability (if you install a modified BIOS,) gigabit Ethernet, six external USB 2.0 ports and one internal, an eSATA 3Gb/s port, a 5.25" bay, VGA output, 2GB of RAM (expandable to 16GB) and a dual-core x86-64 AMD Turion II processor. Sure, it's a little bigger - but not that much - but by *god* is it a lot more flexible. I've seen people stick four 3.5" drives in the main bays, four 2.5" drives in an adapter in the 5.25" bay and boot from USB for a total of 24TB of raw storage before you even start thinking about an external eSATA chassis. Oh, and you can stick whatever OS you like on it - I've even seen people running Windows and adding in a low-profile graphics card to the PCIe x16 slot for gaming and high-definition media playback, although why you'd do that I really don't know...

    I love mine. Getting 120MB/s raw throughput over the network, and around 90-odd encrypted via SSH using the AES128-CBC cipher - a higher throughput than any of the NAS boxes in the test group, I note...
     
  6. tonyd223

    tonyd223 king of nothing

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    Have to agree with Gareth - that Microserver is a no-brainer, and it's tiny and quiet. It's so small that the missus probably wouldn't notice it. Problem is the cost of the Operating system - perhaps an article on replacements for Windows Home Server?
     
  7. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Ta-da: open source alternatives to Windows Home Server. It's a little old, but a good place to get started. These days, I'd probably recommend FreeNAS for a pure NAS experience, OpenMediaVault for multimedia storage and streaming, and Ubuntu Server for general-purpose server usage. I'm running the latter on mine.
     
  8. Matticus

    Matticus ...

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    Looks like quite a nice little box. The interior looks very similar to that of the D link DNS 320, which was just a little bit too loud for my liking, certainly couldn't have it in a bedroom or living room while it was whirring away. If noise isn't an issue and you don't use all the features of a Synology then this seems like a great buy.

    That said, if I were in the market for another NAS I would certainly go with a HP Microserver (again) as Gareth recommended. I got stupidly fast speeds with that thing and the new ones are that little bit quicker.
     
  9. SchizoFrog

    SchizoFrog New Member

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    The MicroServer has intrigued me. Is this the item being discussed? As some of the specs don't match up as suggested, RAM being upgradeable to 16GB for example (Specs state 8GB max).

    http://www.ebuyer.com/430446-hp-proliant-g7-n54l-2-2ghz-microserver-ebuyer-704941-421

    If items such as this cost less, perform better and offer more options, all while being roughly the same size, why do people go for dedicated NAS boxes in the first place?

    Gareth, I am also a little confused how 8 drives can be connected (4xHDD and 4xSSD) if there are only 4 ports.

    The main use I want is to RAID drives, possibly in a 2x2 mirrored stripe array (is that the best for speed and parity?), dumb all my videos, music and general documents and then be able to stream the media from any network connected PC or device in the house.
     
    Last edited: 19 Feb 2014
  10. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Yes, but it's cheaper from ServersPlus (use code MSFREENDUK at checkout for free delivery.)
    Officially, it supports 8GB; it works just fine with 16GB, though.
    Simplicity - they want a plug-and-play solution; space - the MicroServer has a larger footprint than a two-bay NAS, so if you're only needing two drives it's a bit of a waste in space terms; ignorance - they don't know it exists; price - the MicroServer is under £100 at the moment 'cos HP is offering a £100 cash-back deal to clear stock of the old generation, but when the offer isn't on you'll likely pay upwards of £200 for the same hardware.
    There are actually six SATA ports: four on the hot-swap backplane, one internal for the 5.25" bay, and one eSATA. Your options include using a SATA multiplexor or - the cheaper and simpler method - sticking a four-port SATA card in one of the two PCI Express slots. Added bonus: you can get a PCIe card offering SATA 6.0Gb/s, instead of the on-board ports which are SATA 3.0Gb/s.
    Don't do a mirrored stripe - you just bring down the likelihood of losing all your data to the same as running a single drive, and the added performance will gain you nothing 'cos the network is limited to an absolute maximum throughput of 125MB/s. Literally, it wouldn't matter if your array could handle 500MB/s - the most you will see out of them over a gigabit network is around 120MB/s.

    My advice: if you're comfortable with RAID (which is for availability, not backup - sorry, I am obliged to point that out in any given RAID discussion) then run a two-drive mirror. That's what I do: two 2TB drives in a Btrfs mirror. One drive dies, no data lost; silent corruption gets detected in a monthly scrub and corrected using the intact data from the second drive; and I have the added benefit of snapshotting, offline deduplication (currently broken, sadly) and fast LZO compression. This is all in *addition* to regular backups, though: Btrfs is still experimental, and there's a non-zero chance I'll wake up one day to find the filesystem has gone non-linear and deleted everything.
     
    Last edited: 19 Feb 2014
  11. SchizoFrog

    SchizoFrog New Member

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    Thanks for that info Gareth... I edited my comment above to state my idea of requirements although I admit to being new to actually using RAID.
     
  12. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    We're getting increasingly off-topic here (my fault entirely), but I've replied to your edit above. If you've not used RAID and you're not using Btrfs or a similar filesystem with in-built RAID-like functionality, I'd honestly suggest not bothering. Instead, set up a single disk to use as storage and a second disk to use as a backup for the first. Set up a nightly schedule to copy new and changed content from the first disk to the second. Much simpler than RAID, and you can use something like rsync with the --link-dest option to create dated and incremental backups, allowing you to take any file back to any version in its history - something that pure RAID doesn't offer, always giving you the latest version of any given file even if said version is corrupt. (Have I mentioned RAID isn't a backup?)
     
  13. wuyanxu

    wuyanxu still wants Homeworld 3

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    Advantage of ARM based devices are power consumption.

    My Synology Ds213j consumes less than 4w idle, which is what a NAS will be doing 80% of its on-time. less than 30w operating. My Microserver consumes about 10w idle.

    Then there's the fan noise.

    This is a nice little NAS in terms of hardware, shame the OS let it down. There's a reason I paid for Synology. :D
     
  14. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Blimey, how did you get that so low? Mine, measured at the wall, draws 21W idle and 35W under load - and that's after a *lot* of tweaking.
     
  15. SchizoFrog

    SchizoFrog New Member

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    Nevermind. :)
     
  16. wuyanxu

    wuyanxu still wants Homeworld 3

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    Erm.... that was an estimate based on HDD spinning power usage. I didn't want the microserver to sound THAT bad.

    about 35w idle with 5 HDD spinning. I estimated 5w for each HDD.

    But I have measured Synology with HDD off, and it does indeed consume less than 4w, as advertised.
     
  17. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    If you've done no tweaking, I'd expect that your MicroServer (assuming it's the same N54L model) will draw more like 25W at idle - mine did, out-the-box and with three drives spun down.
    Aye - a saving of £23 a year at current electricity prices compared to my 21W MicroServer. Certainly something to take into consideration!
     
  18. SchizoFrog

    SchizoFrog New Member

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    I seem to be back at square one trying to decide between a NAS box or a Micro Server... I guess I'll have to hit the forums to try to learn more and decide, especially as the HP is listed as over 30cm wide (31.5 x 37.47 x 39.98 cm from HP website) which is huge.
     
    Last edited: 19 Feb 2014
  19. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    If it helps put the above into perspective, the Synology DS213j is £60 more expensive (wiping out three years' of energy savings), only two-bay, and slower. The Synology software is lovely, though, I'll give it that.
    Dunno where HP's measuring it from, 'cos mine is just shy of 21cm wide, 26cm tall and 26cm deep. About 4cm wider, 2cm taller (remember there's a half-height 5.25" bay, hot-swap sleds and room for two low-profile PCIe cards in there) and 3cm deeper than Synology's four-bay DS413j. Which, incidentally, is £230(!)

    EDIT: Just to confirm, and with apologies in advance for the terrible quality - the server's in a relatively inaccessible and dark corner of the office - here's a rough measurement:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 19 Feb 2014
  20. Cthippo

    Cthippo Can't mod my way out of a paper bag

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    You run into capacity issues pretty quickly though since the largest consumer drives I've seen on the market are only 4 TB.

    I need to finish my new fileserver soon (current one is getting disconcertingly full) and I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to configure mine. Tossup between 2 x 3TB in RAID1 or 3 x 3TB in RAID 5. Haven't played with the higher RAID levels before and I admit the leap of faith that that parity thing really does work is a bit scary!
     
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