FoxNetwork

Net works

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home

Thecus N4800Eco

E-mail Print PDF
User Rating: / 1
PoorBest 

Thecus N4800Eco

Introduction

Thecus N4800Eco is an upgrade of another Thecus' device, N4800, that has been enhanced in order to make it more energy efficient. The vendor states that in the standby mode (in case when  four disks with the capacity of 1 Tbyte are used) energy consumption is lowered from 50W to 26W.  Among the newly-added features of the model there is disuse of the internal power supply unit.  The absence of  CPU fan in the N4800/N4800Eco model makes the device even more silent. Of course, there is a fan in the N4800Eco case, but it is intended to cool the HDDs, while the motherboard and CPU settle for passive cooling. We don't really think that disuse of an internal UPS is an advantage of this device since in that case users will need to use an external UPS for power backup purposes, which anyway will involve certain power losses. In this review we will not go deep into highlights of the NAS ecological orientation but attend more to testing its performance.

External design

Thecus N4800Eco NAS with four disks is not a rack-mounted device and is intended to be placed on a table. The device case has dimensions of 192x172x250 mm.

The NAS comes together with an external power unit with the following characteristics: 19V/6,32А and peak output of 120W.

On the front panel of the device there are two screens, buttons used for local system control, ON/OFF button, and two USB 3.0 ports. Behind the perforated door there are four HDD bays. Upper and side panels are not remarkable at all.

On the bottom of the NAS there are four round rubber legs, small ventilation grate, and stickers with brief information about the device.

The best part of the rear panel of the case is a ventilation grate with the fan located behind it. At the top of the panel there are a closed slot used for installation of an additional expansion card and power socket. Two plastic attachments are intended to facilitate the cable placement. The device is fitted with two GigabitEthernet network ports, two USB 2.0 ports, one HDMI port, one VGA port, one audio port, and one eSATA port, all of which are located on the device rear panel. Usage of Kensington lock reduces the risk of theft.

Now let's have a look at the insides of the case.

Hardware

Hardware platform of Thecus N4800Eco consists of several textolite cards: we will only review the motherboard components since all other cards merely perform system support functions.

All main components are located on one side.

Intel Atom D2701 acts as the CPU and operates on a frequency of 2.13 GHz. Intel AF82801JIR controller performs functions of the southbridge. ITE IT8782F is charged with performing slow I/O duties. RENESAS/NEC D720202 chip performs functions of the USB 3.0 controller, while USB 2.0 is built in the southbridge. Sound output is carried out by Realtek ALC262 controller, and the video output is performed via HDMI port, Chrontel CH7318C. Two GigabitEthernet Intel WG82574L controllers are responsible for network support.

Operating system of the device is located on a flash card that consists of two Samsung K9F4G08U0B chips with the size of 512 Mbytes each, making the total RAM size of the device 1 Gbyte. The above-mentioned chips are supported by Jmicron JMF605 controller. However, this model doesn't have any boot disk duplication like, for instance, in N8900.

Thecus N4800Eco is fitted with Transcend 2 Gbyte DDR3 RAM which is powered by eight Spectek PRA256M8V79DG8GQF-15E chips (PE913-15E identification number). We have already seen a similar kind of RAM in other model of Thecus, N2800.

Some of the data presented above can be found out without examining the device hardware platform directly. Information on the hardware is located in Hardware Information sub-group, System Information group, of the web-interface and in cpuinfo file, which is located in /proc catalog (a part of the output is deleted).

N4800Eco:~# cat /proc/cpuinfo
processor       : 0
vendor_id       : GenuineIntel
cpu family      : 6
model           : 54
model name      : Intel(R) Atom(TM) CPU D2701   @ 2.13GHz
stepping        : 1
cpu MHz         : 2127.904
cache size      : 512 KB
physical id     : 0
siblings        : 4
core id         : 0
cpu cores       : 2
apicid          : 0
initial apicid  : 0
fpu             : yes
fpu_exception   : yes
cpuid level     : 10
wp              : yes
flags           : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov
pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe syscall nx lm constant_tsc
arch_perfmon pebs bts rep_good nopl nonstop_tsc aperfmperf pni dtes64 monitor
ds_cpl tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm movbe lahf_lm arat dts
bogomips        : 4257.13
clflush size    : 64
cache_alignment : 64
address sizes   : 36 bits physical, 48 bits virtual
power management:

That is where we bring review of the device hardware to a conclusion and pass on to examining capabilities of its software component. The only thing we would like to draw attention of our readers to is how the SATA cables are located. According to what we think it's not the best way to do this since they may brush against the blades of an exhauster fan situated inside of the case. Another thing is an unsoldered PCI-E port that is used for installation of additional expansion cards (only if these cards would be someday supported by Thecus OS).

Firmware upgrade and module management

Firmware upgrade procedure is carried out in a conventional way for the majority of Thecus devices. Using Online Registration sub-group, System Information group, a user can register its device and receive a list of new firmware versions.

When the user has chosen the applicable firmware version, s/he will be redirected to the vendor's web-site to download the upgrade file. Actually, one can find the applicable firmware upgrade file on the web-site manually.

We believe that it would be more reasonable to redirect the user not to the English version of the web-site but to the localised one depending on which language has been chosen in the web-interface.

Further on the upgrade process doesn't depend on whether the file was downloaded manually or in a semi-automatic mode: one needs to upload it to the NAS using Firmware Upgrade sub-group, System Management group, agree to the upgrade, and wait for the system reboot.

An administrator can make sure that the firmware upgrade has been executed successfully in General sub-group, System Information group.

If standard functionality of the firmware is not enough, one can take advantage of add-ons which can be managed in Module Installation and Auto Module Installation sub-groups, Application Server group.

Now let's pass on to reviewing the web-interface capabilities of Thecus N4800Eco.

Web-interface

Since we have already reviewed quite a few NASes by Thecus, this time we won't be going deep into all capabilities of the web-interface but only review the most interesting ones from our point of view. One can access N4800Eco using any modern browser; to log in a user has to enter the password, which is admin by default.

Upon the successful authentication an administrator will find him/herself on the home page of the device. The web-interface is available in 14 languages.

By using sub-groups of System Information group located in the left menu an administrator can receive information on the system, services in operation, hardware used and its status, as well as browse through the log information.

Switching on/shutdown/reboot of the device is carried out in sub-groups of System Management group. Over here one also can check the file system, change the administrator password, upgrade the firmware, change the date and time settings, and perform an array of other system-related operations.

Using System Network group an administrator can manage network interfaces and their aggregation and adjust parameters of the built-in DHCP server.

Management of disks and their RAID arrays is carried out using sub-groups in Storage group. Management of iSCSI protocol operation and virtual stacking performed via this protocol is carried out in the same group.

Sub-groups in User and Group Authentication group offer the administrator an opportunity to manage accounts of users and their groups, create disk quotas, and establish a connection to ActiveDirectory.

Operation parameters of various network protocols are gathered in Network Service group.

Backing-up of user data, system files, and settings is carried out in Backup group.

Thecus N4800Eco can perform functions of a print server for printers connected to it via USB-ports. Also, the NAS under review can carry out remote control access of a UPS. The above-mentioned settings are located in External Device group.

That is where we bring review of the web-interface capabilities to a conclusion and pass on to examining the command line capabilities.

Command line

Access authorization to Thecus N4800Eco using command line is carried out in SSH sub-group, Network Service group.

In order to access the NAS command line one needs to enter root login and use the same password as for the connection to the device web-interface.

login as: root

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 's password:
Note:
Please do not delete or modify any files or folders or it may result in system operation abnormal.
N4800Eco:~# busybox
BusyBox v1.16.1 (2012-12-05 16:55:06 CST) multi-call binary.
Copyright (C) 1998-2009 Erik Andersen, Rob Landley, Denys Vlasenko
and others. Licensed under GPLv2.
See source distribution for full notice.
Usage: busybox [function] [arguments]...
or: function [arguments]...
BusyBox is a multi-call binary that combines many common Unix
utilities into a single executable.  Most people will create a
link to busybox for each function they wish to use and BusyBox
will act like whatever it was invoked as.
Currently defined functions:
[, [[, addgroup, adduser, arp, arping, awk, basename, cat, chmod,
chown, chpasswd, chroot, chvt, clear, cp, crond, crontab, cryptpw, cut,
date, dc, dd, deallocvt, delgroup, deluser, df, diff, dirname, dmesg,
dnsdomainname, dumpleases, echo, egrep, eject, env, ether-wake, expr,
false, fgrep, free, freeramdisk, fsck, fuser, getty, grep, gunzip,
gzip, halt, head, hexdump, hostname, hwclock, id, ifconfig, init,
insmod, ip, kill, killall, killall5, length, ln, logger, login, ls,
lsmod, md5sum, mdev, mkdir, mkfifo, mknod, mkpasswd, mktemp, more, mv,
netstat, nslookup, openvt, passwd, pidof, pipe_progress, poweroff,
printenv, printf, ps, pwd, raidautorun, readahead, readlink, realpath,
reboot, renice, reset, rm, rmdir, rmmod, route, sed, seq, sleep, sort,
split, stat, strings, stty, sync, sysctl, tail, tee, test, time, touch,
tr, traceroute, true, tty, udhcpc, udhcpd, uname, uniq, unzip, uptime,
usleep, uuencode, vi, watch, wc, wget, whoami, xargs, yes, zcat
N4800Eco:~# uname -a
Linux N4800Eco 2.6.38 #1 SMP Wed Dec 5 16:54:05 CST 2012 x86_64 GNU/Linux
N4800Eco:~# cat /proc/version
Linux version 2.6.38 (root@FC12-27) (gcc version 4.4.3 20100127 (Red Hat 4.4.3-4) (GCC) ) #1 SMP Wed Dec 5 16:54:05 CST 2012
N4800Eco:~#

Let's see what processes are running at the moment using ps command. We have placed its outputs and contents of /proc, /bin, /sbin, /usr/bin and /usr/sbin catalogues into a separate file. By using top utility one can obtain information on the current activity of the launched processes.

N4800Eco:~# top
top - 18:39:43 up  5:37,  1 user,  load average: 0.18, 0.10, 0.13
Tasks: 125 total,   1 running, 124 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
Cpu(s):  0.5%us,  0.8%sy,  0.0%ni, 98.7%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st
Mem:   2012468k total,   638180k used,  1374288k free,    29308k buffers
Swap:  2096112k total,        0k used,  2096112k free,   355148k cached
PID USER      PR  NI  VIRT  RES  SHR S %CPU %MEM    TIME+  COMMAND
1 root      20   0  4340  596  520 S  0.0  0.0   0:04.07 init
2 root      20   0     0    0    0 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.00 kthreadd
3 root      20   0     0    0    0 S  0.0  0.0   0:01.84 ksoftirqd/0
4 root      20   0     0    0    0 S  0.0  0.0   0:11.97 kworker/0:0
6 root      RT   0     0    0    0 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.00 migration/0
7 root      RT   0     0    0    0 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.00 migration/1
8 root      20   0     0    0    0 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.22 kworker/1:0
9 root      20   0     0    0    0 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.35 ksoftirqd/1
10 root      20   0     0    0    0 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.29 kworker/0:1
11 root      RT   0     0    0    0 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.00 migration/2
12 root      20   0     0    0    0 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.08 kworker/2:0
13 root      20   0     0    0    0 S  0.0  0.0   0:01.68 ksoftirqd/2
14 root      RT   0     0    0    0 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.00 migration/3
16 root      20   0     0    0    0 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.34 ksoftirqd/3
17 root       0 -20     0    0    0 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.00 cpuset
18 root       0 -20     0    0    0 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.00 khelper
19 root      20   0     0    0    0 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.03 kworker/u:1
N4800Eco:~#

Now let's turn to /proc catalogue to find out system active time, its average load, information on the CPU installed, and the amount of RAM. Average system load information can also be received using /usr/bin/uptime utility.

N4800Eco:~# cd /proc/
N4800Eco:/proc# cat uptime
20473.47 80823.31
N4800Eco:/proc# cat loadavg
0.12 0.11 0.13 1/127 20802
N4800Eco:/proc# /usr/bin/uptime
18:44:13 up  5:41, load average: 0.08, 0.10, 0.13
N4800Eco:/proc# cat meminfo
MemTotal:        2012468 kB
MemFree:         1375308 kB
Buffers:           29312 kB
Cached:           355148 kB
SwapCached:            0 kB
Active:           106712 kB
Inactive:         338476 kB
Active(anon):      85044 kB
Inactive(anon):    60356 kB
Active(file):      21668 kB
Inactive(file):   278120 kB
Unevictable:        3184 kB
Mlocked:            3184 kB
SwapTotal:       2096112 kB
SwapFree:        2096112 kB
Dirty:                 0 kB
Writeback:             0 kB
AnonPages:         63944 kB
Mapped:            12700 kB
Shmem:             82684 kB
Slab:              34548 kB
SReclaimable:      20816 kB
SUnreclaim:        13732 kB
KernelStack:        1000 kB
PageTables:         6308 kB
NFS_Unstable:          0 kB
Bounce:                0 kB
WritebackTmp:          0 kB
CommitLimit:     3102344 kB
Committed_AS:     210620 kB
VmallocTotal:   34359738367 kB
VmallocUsed:      265504 kB
VmallocChunk:   34359468048 kB
DirectMap4k:        7104 kB
DirectMap2M:     2080768 kB
N4800Eco:/proc# cat cpuinfo
processor       : 0
vendor_id       : GenuineIntel
cpu family      : 6
model           : 54
model name      : Intel(R) Atom(TM) CPU D2701   @ 2.13GHz
stepping        : 1
cpu MHz         : 2127.904
cache size      : 512 KB
physical id     : 0
siblings        : 4
core id         : 0
cpu cores       : 2
apicid          : 0
initial apicid  : 0
fpu             : yes
fpu_exception   : yes
cpuid level     : 10
wp              : yes
flags           : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36
clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe syscall nx lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon
pebs bts rep_good nopl nonstop_tsc aperfmperf pni dtes64 monitor ds_cpl tm2 ssse3 cx16
xtpr pdcm movbe lahf_lm arat dts
bogomips        : 4257.13
clflush size    : 64
cache_alignment : 64
address sizes   : 36 bits physical, 48 bits virtual
power management:

We have deleted information about 1, 2, and 3 CPUs because it repeats the data for CPU 0.

One can learn the list of file systems and encryption types supported in files named /proc/filesystems and /proc/crypto. We decided to submit the contents of these files separately.

Information on the current firmware version is located in /app/version file.

N4800Eco:/# cat /app/version
2.03.08.cdv

That is where we bring this brief review on the command line interface capabilities to an end and pass on to examining the SNMP access.

SNMP access

Besides the web-interface and the command line the Thecus N4800Eco network storage also provides access for monitoring via SNMP. The corresponding settings are available in the “SNMP” point of the “System Management” group.

To get access via the same-name protocol we used a simple utility Getif version 2.3.1 the Interfaces tab of which displays information about the storage network interfaces.

The Mbrowser tab gives the administrator access to all other entries.

Unfortunately, the vendor doesn’t provide users with any utility to work with network storages via SNMP, consequently, we added the device to our test monitoring system based on Cacti. On the plot below is the network interface load at the moment of N4800Eco configuration.

Here we’re through with the brief review of access to the storage via SNMP and are moving to actually testing the device.

Testing

The first testing procedure we usually carry out is estimating the booting time of the device, which is a time interval starting with the moment when the power is on until the first echo reply is received through ICMP protocol. Thecus N4800Eco NAS boots in 41 seconds. But, as a matter of course, we understand that services will barely be able to load in such a short time.

The next test we performed was a security scanning procedure, which has been carried out via Positive Technologies XSpider 7.7 (Demo build 3100) security scanner utility using the factory settings. On the whole, there were eight open ports discovered, and they are TCP-80 (HTTP), TCP-111 (RPCUnix), UDP-111 (RPCUnixPortMapper), UDP-137 (NetBIOSName), TCP-139 (NetBIOSsamba), TCP-443 (HTTPSSL), TCP-445 (MicrosoftDS), and TCP-631 (HTTP). The most interesting data are presented below.

Then we passed on to testing the access speeds to the user data located in the NAS. We used Samba and iSCSI protocols to access the data. At first we decided to compare the device performance under different file systems with RAID0 array. In order to test it we used Intel NASPT utility, version 1.7.1.

Due to the irregularity of obtained results we excluded the data for Directory Copy To NAS test with iSCSI protocol from this test and onwards.

After that we decided to compare the RAID array performance with EXT4 file system.

Also, Thecus N4800Eco has support of encrypted arrays and information on their performance is located below.

We connected an external 750 Gbyte Transcend StoreJet 25M3 HDD to the port located on the device front panel to test access speeds to the data located on it. The HDD has been formatted in three file systems: NTFS, FAT32, and EXT3.

Thecus N4800Eco NAS supports both IPv4 and IPv6. Naturally, we decided to compare the device performance using both protocols.

Neither have we overlooked the data transfer balancing with two Gigabit Ethernet channels using iSCSI Multipath.

As one can see from the diagram above, N4800Eco's performance shows the best results only with two channels used. Otherwise, the performance margin will be not enough for proper data transfer.

That's where we draw the testing chapter to a conclusion and move on to summing it all up.

Conclusion

Generally, we are quite glad about the Thecus N4800Eco NAS reviewed and we think that it has demonstrated excellent data access speeds. Disuse of the CPU fan noticeably lowers the noise level of the device.

Strength areas of Thecus N4800Eco NAS are presented below.

  • Presence of an HDMI-port
  • Ability to carry out an anti-virus check of the data stored
  • High data access speeds
  • Supports the NAS stacking
  • Presence of a slot for SD/SDHC/MMC cards
  • May be managed in both HTTP and HTTPS
  • Only has one case fan

Unfortunately, we cannot help to mention several drawbacks of this model.

  • The web-interface is not fully translated
  • The web-interface is slightly patchy and runs out of the screen
  • Presence of obvious vulnerabilities in the PHP-code of the web-interface

As of when this article was being written, the recommended price for a Thecus N4800Eco (not including the discs) was 25 000 roubles.

The author and editorial team are grateful to Tayle company, the official distributor of Thecus network equipment in Russia, for kindly furnishing us with the NAS for testing.