There’s nothing quite like having a system fail and then realizing you hadn't backed up your data. In the back of your mind, you always knew this day might come, but procrastination and poor planning has caught you with your pants down, and you have no one to blame but yourself. “Never again!” you shout, but as your anger eventually subsides, so does your impetus to do something about it.
QNAP Systems has unveiled the TS-451S Turbo NAS (network-attached storage) device, a 4-bay NAS appliance that it says is its response to increasing consumer appetite for SSDs (solid-state drives). Featuring a quad-core Intel Celeron processor clocked at 2.0GHz (Turbo Boost up to 2.41GHz) and 4GB of DDR3L RAM (upgradable to 8GB), the NAS vendor’s latest offering packs four 2.5-inch bays, having been designed with high-speed SSDs in mind.
We say that not to be facetious, or even because we’re some closet Qnap fanboys that refuse to accept any other product in our personal home networking setup. We must admit that we are running a super-old version of a Qnap storage product—and, to be honest, it’s virtually the same in function as Qnap’s recent TS-459 Pro+ release.
QNAP didn't exactly go back to the drawing board and build a completely new device, but it did add 1080p playback to its media box, prompting the release of the NMP-1000P Network Multimedia Player.
"NMP-1000P is truly the missing piece in today's digital homes for enjoying premium-quality picture and sound," said Jason Hsu, Product Manager of QNAP Systems, Inc. "Today's users demand that contents be available on the fly and they don't want to deal with a multitude of different devices and interfaces to make it happen. NMP-1000P is the culmination of QNAP's extensive experience in developing network appliances and software applications which can satisfy the consumers' need to get the content they want from virtually any source, and play it with the best video and audio quality on the living room TV using a single networked device."
The NMP-1000P integrates into your home network via wired or wireless 802.11b/g/n. It can serve as a host to a 3.5-inch SATA drive (not included) up to 2TB, and also includes USB and eSATA connections for local content or connecting directly to your PC.
A 667MHz SMP8643 SoC powers the device, and there's also a built-in Wolfson WM8524 high performance DAC capable of delivering 106 dB SNR. It handles FLAC lossless audio files natively, stores and plays back video from your camcorder, and comes with a bunch of other tricks up its sleeve, which you can read all about here.
QNAP this week expanded its Business Series Turbo NAS lineup with a pair of new 1u rack-mounted- 4-drive models, the TS-459U-RP and TS-459U-SP.
Both new models offer up to 8TB of storage (using 2TB drives) and have been certified as compatible with VMware's vSphere4 (ESX 4.0) virtualization platform, QNAP said.
"QNAP's commitment to delivering SMB, Corporate, and entry-level Enterprise customers exactly what they need, and nothing they do not shine through with the TS-459U-SP and TS-459U-RP models" said Laurent Cheng, Product Manager of QNAP Systems, Inc. "These new Business Series models provide businesses of all sizes a solid foundation for their network storage needs and a host of business-critical applications."
The RP model includes a redundant power supply, so should one of them fail, the other will keep things running with enough power to juice up the entire system. The SP model includes one power supply, but can be upgraded to the RP configuration.
Both models support RAID 0/1/5/5+ hot spare/6, and JOBD, 256-bit AES volume level encryption, 5 USB ports, 2 eSATA portas, DOM architecture with fail-safe dual OS, scheduled power on/off, Wake on LAN, and other goodies.
The QNAP TS-239 Pro reminds us of nothing so much as an easier-to-use version of our home-rolled FreeNAS server (January 2010). Unlike most NAS boxes we’ve reviewed, with their little ARM embedded processors and 512MB of RAM, the TS-239 Pro packs a full gigabyte of RAM and a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor. Furthering the impression that it’s a mini computer is the VGA-out port, which, when combined with a USB keyboard, lets you configure the QNAP’s Linux OS directly. Essentially, the TS-239 Pro is a two-bay Linux home server, with all the features you’d expect from a home or SMB NAS box, from UPnP and iTunes streaming to FTP and web servers—and even some features you wouldn’t necessarily expect, like support for networked cameras.
Like most NAS boxes, the web GUI is the key to configuring and using the TS-239 Pro, and QNAP’s web interface is better than most. The first screen you see when you log in offers wizards for creating groups, users, and shares, and configuring FTP access and backups. A side menu tree offers status, disk and hardware management, and more. System logs and S.M.A.R.T. disk info are easy to find.
The TS-239 ships with several shares enabled by default—helpfully, these all start with Q: Qmultimedia for media, Qweb for websites the NAS is hosting, Qusb for USB devices plugged into its two ports, etc. Both the included iTunes and UPnP media servers scan Qmultimedia out of the box, but you can change this. User and group permissions are one of the QNAP NAS’s strengths; it’s easy to set per-user permissions for files and folders, unlike some similar NAS boxes.
QNAP is a company that hasn’t had a release in some time, but it’s clear they weren’t up to nothing. Their latest release, the TS-639 Pro Turbo NAS has had plenty of time spent on it, evident by just how much has been packed under the hood.
What is the TS-639 Pro Turbo NAS, you ask? Well, in short, it’s network storage that packs six bays, a 1.6GHZ Intel CPU, 1GB of DDR RAM, gigabit Ethernet and support for just about every type of RAID under the sun (0/1/5/6/5+spare). Match all that up with built-in iSCSI target service with Thin Provisioning, and you’ve got one heck of a NAS.
Still, there’s no mention yet on pricing or availability.
Based on the name alone, one would expect Qnap’s TS-209 Pro II NAS box to offer more features than its predecessors—particularly our leader in this storage category, Qnap’s TS-109 Pro. And while the former does allow for increased capacity, it does not provide significant improvements in performance or offer more features than the TS-109 Pro, which has been out for more than a year.
Is bigger always better? Not necessarily. Qnap’s TS-409 Pro is packed with the same features as the company’s TS-109 Pro (http://tinyurl.com/yomys5) but includes twice as much memory and supports four hard drives rather than just one. And it rocks, but only if we compare it to similarly sized foes, such Buffalo’s four-drive TeraStation Live.
But how does it stack up to single-drive NAS boxes? Find out after the jump.
We’ll get the bad news out of the way first. QNAP’s TS-109 Pro NAS device is more an enclosure than a NAS box–the storage part of the equation is BYO. Thankfully, NAS devices’ speeds are primarily determined by the connection and the interface of the device itself–purchase a decent hard drive, you’ll be sticking it into one of the fastest NAS boxes we’ve tested.