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Nevertheless, general performance over Gigabit Ethernet is good with Iometer reporting 53MB/sec raw read throughput with a share mapped to a Supermicro 3.2GHz Pentium D workstation. Copying a 691MB video file to the appliance delivered good real world write speeds of 25MB/sec while reading it from the array returned 26MB/sec.
Client support has been improved as the N5200 can handle Windows, Linux, Unix and Macintosh users and it also provides FTP services. Share security options start with the local user and group database but the appliance can use NT domain and AD authentication while ACLs (access control lists) using local username and password combinations and group memberships can be applied to each folder.
Once your array has initialised you get three default folders with one for copying attached USB devices. Just press and hold the down arrow button on the front panel and the device contents will be automatically copied to the default folder and shared ready for network access. The USB target folder ties in with one of the USB ports as the appliance can be connected directly to a PC. When a volume is created you decide how much space is to be made available and this will appear as a local drive on the PC.
The Nsync folder is used for appliance to appliance backup which can be scheduled to run at regular intervals. You can also use this feature to back up selected folders on the appliance to an FTP server and we tested this successfully by securing a test folder over to an Iomega NAS 200D. There are plenty of other backup options as snapshots can be run manually or scheduled and Thecus bundles its own client backup software which although limited in features does allow users to secure selected folders to the appliance and schedule full and incremental backups.
There may be plenty of choice at this level of the NAS appliance market but the N5200 RouStor is going to be very hard to beat for features although the RAID-6 function will cost in terms of available capacity.