Thecus N5200BR NAS Server

Software, Setup and Options

Basic setup of the Thecus N5200BR NAS Server is relatively simple, however, the software interface is unintuitive.  The menu structure is quite bland and, as we dig deeper, the interface is often unclear and confusing.  When we look at the QNAP interface from an earlier article, the menu was far more intuitive and we didn't need to reference the manual very often.  With respect to the Thecus N5200BR NAS Server's web interface, we routinely had to consult the manual as there was often minimal details offered online or the menu was simply not clear as to its expected behavior.

Initial configuration involves running the Thecus Setup Wizard.  The wizard detects the system on the network and then walks users through the basic configuration of the NAS.  Once identified, the wizard requests answers to certain details, such as network configuration options, what services to enable by default, hard drive setup and password management.  Once complete, the remainder of the system management/configuration is handled through the web-interface.

The web-interface is broken down into several sections; Status, Storage, Network, Accounts, System and Language.  The Status menu provides basic information on the system.  The System sub-menu offers details on CPU Load, Fan Status, Up Time and status of the various system services.  The Info sub-menu provides the option to alter the System Description while the Printers sub-menu provides USB printer make, model and status as well as the option to clear the queue and restart the printer service.  The server only supports a few printer models at this time, however, this will improve with future firmware updates.  We had no issues using our older HP 1100 Laserjet with a parallel to USB adapter, yet a new HP P1006 Laserjet would not respond to print requests.

The UPS sub-menu provides settings that work in conjunction with a broad range of supported UPS systems to trigger a graceful system shutdown in the event of a power failure.  The Power Mgmt sub-menu offers the ability to schedule server shutdown and restart on a 7 day calendar.  This is useful for conserving energy usage when it's known that the system will not be used.  The About sub-menu provides details on the system Make, Product No. Firmware version and Up Time.

The next section is Storage, which offers a host of configuration options related to storage and data management.  Under the Disks sub-menu the system reports on what drives are installed, their Capacity, Model, Firmware version and Status as well as offering control over Disk Power Management.  The drives can be set to shutdown from 30 to 300 minutes in 30 minute increments.  We would like to see more precise settings, ranging in 5 minute increments much like the QNAP devices we mentioned earlier.  This would give greater control in the reduction of energy usage overall when combined with the scheduled shutdown/startup component.

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