The Thecus N8900
The N8900 is the third product in their new breed of servers that started with the N16000 and N12000. These products received more than just a hardware makeover. The cosmetics of the new product line are quite a bit different from years past. A new front door has been used mainly for appearances. In the top middle of the N8900 rests an OLED status display that allows users to configure their server easily without a PC. You can also check the server's status as well.
Here we see the NAS with the door open and without the drive sleds in place. A small chart is stickered on the top left that shows the drive number order. On the right side you will find the two front mounted USB ports and the control buttons. The display dash is located right in the middle.
One thing that we should point out is that the USB ports are behind the door. This arrangement isn't ideal for many users, but it looks like the door can be easily removed.
Here we see the buttons and LEDs that give some basic status updates like power, error and network activity. The arrow buttons allow for quick and easy access to the menu system that works in conjunction with the display.
The OLED display first appeared on the N4200 product line and is the best we've found on any NAS server. The clarity is much better than the older LED displays found on previous products and we're glad to see Thecus using it on more products in 2012.
The NAS can be secured in a rack by its ears alone or it can be installed with the drive rails in place. The rails allow the NAS to slide in and out easily.
The ears are made of aluminum and are very thick, even for an enterprise server.
A majority of the connectivity is on the back of the NAS. Here you will find all of the goodies!
The N8900 uses redundant power supplies that are rated 80+ at 550 watts. The 12 volt rail is rated at 456 watts (and 38 amps) so your power hungry 15K RPM drives won't have a problem getting power if you choose to use them.
As we mentioned in the specification page, there are three gigabit Ethernet ports that can be trunked together. The N8900 also has audio and video capability. We're not really sure what you would do with that, but I'm sure some creative programmer will find a way to turn this into an advanced media center at some point.
The expansion area is quite robust and offers several options for expansion even though two of the slots are already used for USB 3.0 and eSATA.
The NAS ships covered in a protective plastic layer that should be removed before using. The plastic would trap heat, so take this off before you mount the NAS.