IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Thecus N5500 review

The N5500 delivers a host of new storage related features, good client support and a vastly improved web interface but it’s the dual-DOM feature that catches the eye.

Price
£568

Competition in the desktop NAS appliance market just keeps getting hotter with each vendor trying to outdo the others with an ever increasing features list. Thecus now goes another step beyond the rest as its latest N5500 five-bay appliance introduces the unique dual DOM feature, which targets businesses that want an extra level of fault tolerance.

So what is a dual DOM? In a nutshell, a DOM (Disk on Module) is a chunk of flash memory with an ATA, SATA or USB converter interface, which appears as a small hard disk to the host system. It can run an embedded operating system that's used to boot the system. Thecus has used two 128MB Afaya IDE micro disk modules stacked on top of each other with the lower one plugged directly into the motherboard IDE interface. The idea here is that if one fails the other takes over.

In addition the N5500 supports NAS, DAS and IP SAN operations, supports more RAID types than you can shake a stick at and also introduces Thecus' brand new Ajax based web interface. The latter is a much needed improvement with all features now much more accessible. We've always been distinctly unimpressed with the previous interface as it looks amateurish at best.

The N5500 offers a good general specification with a 1.86GHz Celeron M in the driving seat and partnered by 1GB of DDR2 memory. You get a quintet of USB 2.0 host ports, whilst a single USB 2.0 device port provides the DAS connection. There's an eSATA port for expanding capacity with external drives and a pair of Gigabit ports, which support independent operations plus load balanced and failover teaming.

Installation is a swift process as Thecus' Setup Wizard hunts down the appliance on the network, enabling you to change the admin password and network settings and provides quick access to the main web interface.

A pane to the left provides a tidy tree menu, whilst the main window alongside shows the relevant settings for your selections. You start by creating arrays and can choose from JBODs, mirrors, stripes, RAID-5 or dual-drive redundant RAID-6 and the appliance supports multiple arrays and array migration. We used a triplet of 1TB WD Greenpower SATA drives and a RAID-5 array took nearly five hours to build.

Featured Resources

Four strategies for building a hybrid workplace that works

All indications are that the future of work is hybrid, if it's not here already

Free webinar

The digital marketer’s guide to contextual insights and trends

How to use contextual intelligence to uncover new insights and inform strategies

Free Download

Ransomware and Microsoft 365 for business

What you need to know about reducing ransomware risk

Free Download

Building a modern strategy for analytics and machine learning success

Turning into business value

Free Download

Most Popular

Windows Server admins say latest Patch Tuesday broke authentication policies
Server & storage

Windows Server admins say latest Patch Tuesday broke authentication policies

12 May 2022
16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

13 May 2022
How full-stack observability can accelerate IT innovation
Sponsored

How full-stack observability can accelerate IT innovation

3 May 2022