The NAS market has really heated up this year. Personal, corporate and service based cloud computing have brought a new vigor to the industry. At the same time, reductions in cash flow have left companies asking for more features and expecting them at lower prices. The global war on energy and fossil fuels is driving power requirements down and putting a new emphasis on power efficiency. To meet the large list of demands, NAS manufacturers needed to go back to the drawing board, rethink their strategies, evaluate their designs from a new perspective and then finally execute with a laser like focus on the key areas that have emerged as features required for the next decade.
SATA / SAS 6Gb/s RAID, 8GB system memory, eight HDD bays, second generation Core i3 processor, PCIe all with HDMI and audio multimedia capabilities. You might think I'm talking about your dream PC, but these are just some of the features found on Thecus' new N8900 enterprise NAS server. The N8900 is a new breed of NAS that ushers in next generation features. These features will eventually become standard on most of these product types - three years from now. The N8900 is an advancement in technology, a one small step for man type of thing. The N8900 is revolutionary more than it is an evolution of an old design.
At the heart of the N8900 is a new second generation Core i3 processor that is as power efficient as it is capable of processing data. The i3-2120 processor uses two cores that branch into four threads all running at 3.3GHz at peak speed. Feeding the processor is 8GB of high performance DDR3. The combination gives the N8900 a powerful base for Thecus to build their software layer on top of.
Thecus' new software advances, many multi-core aware, are capable of running with greater efficiency as well. The new Thecus Software Development Kit (SDK) has allowed a dedicated community of programmers greater flexibility to build upon the already large list of free modules offered by Thecus directly. The program has been a huge success and Thecus owners are now able to use their NAS for several tasks instead of having a single NAS for each purpose.
Advances in virtual computing have put other strains on NAS servers. The largest is the amount of bandwidth to and from the NAS. When a NAS is doing the workload of ten systems it needs to be able to communicate ten times faster. Once limited to gigabit speeds, the N8900 surpasses that mark and ushers in full 10GbE performance with an optional add-in card. This can be multiplied with dual port 10GbE cards as well.
Let's take a look at all of the features before I get carried away in the intro.