Thecus N16000 review

Thecus' latest N16000 NAS appliance combines support for 6Gbit/s SAS drives and high performance networking. Dave Mitchell plugs it into his 10-Gigabit Ethernet network and takes it for a high-speed test drive so read this UK exclusive review to see how it fared.

HP's StorageWorks P2000 G3 10GbE iSCSI appliance we recorded raw read and write speeds of 676MB/s and 460MB/s for a RAID-5 array comprising eight 3Gbit/s SATA disks. With a 100GB iSCSI target on the N16000 assigned to our Dell server we saw much faster read and write speeds of 701MB/s and 652MB/s.

Thecus also provides some decent backup software with the N16000 as you get five copies of Acronis' Backup and Recovery 10 for Windows Servers included in the price. We found this easy to use as you create a vault on the appliance and then schedule regular backups of disks or volumes on the server.

Thecus includes Acronis’ Backup and Recovery 10 for Windows Servers with a five server license as standard.

Thecus includes Acronis’ Backup and Recovery 10 for Windows Servers with a five server license as standard.

Thecus includes Acronis' Backup and Recovery 10 for Windows Servers with a five server license as standard.

For disk and volume restoration you can run a job from the Acronis console or browse the vault and restore files and folders using drag and drop. Plenty of disaster recovery tools are also provided with a boot disk creation tool and the Startup Recovery Manager which modifies the server boot-up process with an extra option for a recovery environment for bare metal restores.

For a 16-bay NAS/IP SAN appliance that supports both SATA and 6Git/s SAS drives, the N16000 is very good value. Unlike most enterprise storage products, the appliance doesn't have any RAID controller redundancy and has no chassis expansion capabilities but it's a real speed demon over 10-Gigabit Ethernet.

So what's our verdict?


The new N16000 moves Thecus into the big league for network storage as it provides high storage capacity and plenty of useful features at a reasonable price. RAID controller redundancy and support for external expansion shelves are not available but Thecus is still the only NAS vendor in this market sector that supports 6Gbit/s SAS drives which showed their mettle in our 10-Gigabit Ethernet speed tests. If you need the best possible performance and you're willing to invest in the 10-Gigabit Ethernet equipment to get it, the Thecus N16000 is a fine choice.

Chassis: 3U rack CPU: 3.07GHz Intel Xeon X3480 Memory: 8GB DDR3 Storage: 16 x hot-swap drive bays RAID: LSI SAS 9211-8i SAS/SATA PCI Express card Array support: RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 60, JBOD, global hot-spare Ports: 6 x USB2; 2 x USB3, 2 x eSATA Network: 3 x Gigabit Ethernet (2 x LAN + HA port) Power: 2 x 700W hot-plug Software: Setup Wizard, Acronis Backup and Recovery Server for Windows OEM (5 licenses) Warranty: 5 years RTB (1st year on-site NBD if disks are sourced from Origin Storage) Options: Thecus C10GT PCI Express card, £316 ex VAT

Dave Mitchell

Dave is an IT consultant and freelance journalist specialising in hands-on reviews of computer networking products covering all market sectors from small businesses to enterprises. Founder of Binary Testing Ltd – the UK’s premier independent network testing laboratory - Dave has over 45 years of experience in the IT industry.

Dave has produced many thousands of in-depth business networking product reviews from his lab which have been reproduced globally. Writing for ITPro and its sister title, PC Pro, he covers all areas of business IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, network security, data protection, cloud, infrastructure and services.