I suspect that some of my colleagues, who are used to me cursing and blinding at Microsoft and its creations on a regular basis during my work day, would be surprised to discover the fact, but I'm just about to take possession of a Thecus W5000 NAS and since there is little information out there yet for the Thecus W range I thought I'd finally find a use for this blog and record my experiences with the device for any interested parties to read.

My existing NAS - a D-Link DNS323 with a single 2TB drive - was starting to creak a little. As the backups of my two main desktop machines grew over time the capacity to store grandfather, father, son full image copies along with all of my ripped CD collection became tighter and tighter whilst the elapsed time to copy the data concerned increased accordingly (I backup to a separate local hard drive in both machines and then copy the resultant files to the NAS). I was also cognisant of the fact that it was only my boxes that were getting backed up not my wife's laptop, my son's gaming machine or my older daughter's laptop and that my attempts to get them to back up for themselves were falling on deaf ears. Add to that the fact that the DNS323 made it difficult, if not impossible, to protect properly files that the members of the household might wish to stop others from viewing and that my younger daughter has just taken possession of an 18 megapixel SLR camera and it became obvious that a new solution was needed.

Whilst hunting around the web looking at alternatives - two bay or four bay, Synology, QNAP, Thecus or Netgear - I came across Thecus' Windows Storage Server pages and was intrigued by the idea that the Essentials version of the OS used in the device was capable of providing an Active Directory domain (something that I've subsequently discovered is possible with more recent Samba versions for Linux, but with a lot more configuration hassle best as I can tell). Giving everyone a domain account and then protecting the data on the NAS using those ids seemed like it would address one of my biggest problems with the existing NAS (waiting for a timeout and a prompt for credentials has always bugged me). I was also intrigued by the promise of automated backups (something that I suspect that some of the higher end Linux systems could handle too) and after having done some comparisons price wise, it seemed like the Thecus solution was not vastly more expensive (or at least, so I've convinced myself).

So, how will this MS sceptic get along with WSS?? Will it increase my antagonism towards the Redmond giant or not?? Watch this space, I guess. In the meantime I intend to post another article with details of the existing environment before unveiling the new box once it finishes its zigzag journey around Europe (UPS has moved it from Denmark, via two German depots to Brussels, and from there initially to Barking but then to Tamworth - odd given that the latter is twice as far away as the former).


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