Thecus N3200PRO NAS Server ReviewNemo - June 14, 2009
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The System section contains various options for the overall management and configuration of the N3200PRO. Included in this section are e-mail notifications, system logs, setting the time and more.
There are two types of notification you can receive when there is a problem with the server. The first you can enable is an audible notification where the unit will beep when a problem arises. There isn't an option to cancel the alarm later from the front panel. The second form of notification is via e-mail. You will need to enter the SMTP server address and the proper authentication type as well as any required login information. You can opt to send a test e-mail to make sure everything is set up properly. For an e-mail account requiring regular login, an authentication type of 'login' worked for me. I also tested it using Gmail as the SMTP server as used the 'gmail' authentication type. Both options worked well and test e-mails came through with no problem. Just make sure to hit the Apply button to save your changes.
The N3200PRO maintains a set of system logs that track various events broken down into three categories - Information, Warnings and Errors. You can clear the logs using the Truncate All Log File button. One thing I noticed is that the log files seems to only be persistent until the next system reboot. You can also sort by ascending/descending order and save the logs using the Download feature.
The Time subsection allows you to set the time parameters on the N3200PRO including the actual time and time zone. You set the time zone by picking a city in the proper time zone instead of selecting the actual time zone. This section allows you to set the date and time manually and you can choose to specify a Network Time Protocol (NTP) server either by entering a URL manually or choosing one of the ones from the preconfigured drop down list.
The Configuration Management page is used to save the configuration settings to a backup file. Choosing the Download option will create a file with a default name of conf.bin. You can then upload this file later to restore the settings.
The N3200PRO includes a Module Management feature that allows you to install additional software modules to update and enhance the functionality of the server. The Thecus support site has a section where you can download modules and presumably you can use this section to install third-party modules as well. After downloading and unzipping the module, you can browse to the file and choose to install it. Once installed, the Enable button will make the new software available. You can also Uninstall the module as well as find out more information by clicking on the link in the Name or Description columns.
This option resets everything back to the original factory default settings. While it will not erase the data on the drive, you should make sure your data is safely backed up before using this option.
The Thecus N3200PRO came with firmware version 1.00.02 installed and I chose to upgrade it to the latest version before reviewing the features and running the performance tests. The latest version on the Thecus support site was 1.00.03 with an additional security patch to bring it up to 1.00.03a.
Once you've downloaded the latest firmware version, you'll need to unzip it to a location of your choice. Once that's been done, you can click the Browse button on the Firmware Upgrade page to locate the .bin file containing the upgrade and click the Apply button. One caveat to point out is that any time you are upgrading firmware whether it be on a NAS or flashing the BIOS on your motherboard, please make sure you don't do anything that could affect the upgrade process and that includes losing power. Connecting the unit to a UPS is always a good idea. The N3200PRO will give you a confirmation message and then begin the upgrade which should only take a few minutes. Once the process is complete you will need to reboot the server. Upgrading the server with the 1.00.03a security patch is identical to applying the firmware upgrade.
You should always change the password for the administrator account from the default that ships with the unit. If you did not do this during the initial setup or if you need to change it later you can do it from this page by simply keying in the new password and then retyping it to confirm.
You can set up the N3200PRO to turn on and off based on a schedule you specify. Checking the Enable Timer checkbox enables the schedule section where you can set a power on/off action for each day of the week and each day can have two events. The times are based on a 24 hour clock so 11:00 PM is 23:00. The minute portion of the schedule is limited to 5-minute increments.
Reboot & Shutdown
The section name says it all here. This option allows you to reboot or shutdown the server. Pressing either button will bring up a confirmation dialog to make sure you want to perform the action.
There is no page associated with this option. Selecting Logout from the drop down menu allows you to log out of the management interface and you will get a chance to confirm the action.
The Language option off the menu bar allows you to specify the language used by the system. Besides English the unit supports Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, Korean as well as French, German, Italian, Spanish and Russian.
That's the end of the configuration options. Next we'll take a look at the Web UI for the users and some of the services we enabled during the setup process.