Thecus is the first company with appliances based on a new class of WSS software, which was designed for small businesses looking for cheap, cloud connected network attached storage. Windows Storage Server (WSS) 2012 R2 Essentials fits between the limited Workgroup and more completely characterized Windows Storage Servers Standard software from Microsoft.
Performance is a good thing, storage spaces brings SSD caching to software RAID, though it only works in RAID 10. RAID 0, RAID 5 and RAID 6 were enhanced with DRAM buffers, but when you peel away the fancy name and write data out of cache, the functionality is still evocative of Windows software RAID.
In spite of how easy NAS companies try to make Linux configuration, Windows remains more accessible. No matter when you were born, there is a good chance that Microsoft’s baby was the OS you learned first.
The W5000 is nearly identical to Thecus’ N5550 NAS in both hardware specs and design. Of course, the W5000 moves away from the Thecus OS based on Linux and moves to Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essentials on a dedicated hard disk.
The drive’s partitioned into two sections one 32GB chunk for the OS and the other in which to build a non-superfluous storage volume. Superfluous storage comes from the five hot swappable drive bays on the system’s front.
Microsoft’s WSS license allows for up to 4GB, and it would be easy enough for you to add another 2GB DDR3-1600 module to augment Thecus’ factory configuration. The W5000+ does, in fact, ship with 4GB of system memory, and shares all of the same characteristics.
We think the additional 2GB is necessary, given that the W5000 runs with up to 80% of its capacity utilized before adding additional software characteristics. Storage Spaces let you build pools of storage, arrays and even SSD cache accelerators.
RAID 0, 5, 6, 10 and JBOD are all options, though given the number of drive bays on the W5000, it is recommended that RAID 5 as a single volume. Thecus’ W5000 presents acceptable successive read functionality at larger block sizes.
Nevertheless, the system trails its competition by including Seagate’s NAS Pro and Western Digital’s My Cloud DL4100, both of which also employ low power Atom processors.
The only difference is that the Linux version N5550 ships with a DOM boot device, and the Windows version W5000 ships with a hard drive that is 10 times faster.