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Qnap TS-879 Pro Turbo NAS review

Verdict

Impressively fast over Gigabit and 10GbE, and drowning in features, including support for popular cloud backup services

Review Date: 28 Nov 2011

Reviewed By: Dave Mitchell

Price when reviewed: Diskless, £1,370 (£1,644 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
6 stars out of 6

Value for Money
5 stars out of 6

Performance
6 stars out of 6

PCPRO Recommended

Qnap has been making eyes at the SMB network storage market for some time now, and the new TS-879 Pro gives it a big edge over the competition. Most significantly, Qnap has made a break from the popular Atom processor: the TS-879 is one of the first to use a much faster Intel Core i3 CPU.

There’s more, too: it supports the latest 6Gbits/sec SATA III interface, has a pair of fast USB 3 ports and is 10GbE ready. Qnap also supplied our review system with an optional Emulex dual-port 10GBase-SR adapter so we could plug it into the Lab’s 10GbE network and see how fast it can go.

The appliance is well built. The eight hot-swap drive bays have locking buttons to stop the drives accidentally popping out. The USB 3 port at the front is linked to a Copy button above, and pressing it fires up a copy that will send the contents of the inserted device to a predefined folder on the appliance.

Qnap TS-879 Pro Turbo NAS

At the rear sits a plethora of ports, with another USB 3, four USB 2, two Gigabit and two eSATA ports. There’s also a PCI Express slot, and Qnap offers dual-port Gigabit or 10GbE cards. Fitting the supplied Emulex 10GbE card was easy; we removed the casing to access the slot.

Installation is swift, with Qnap’s Finder utility locating the appliance on the network and offering quick access to the newly designed Qnap Storage Manager (QSM) 3.5 web interface. This provides a side menu listing all features, and selecting one shows its details in the main window alongside, making it easy to use.

We popped in a quartet of 2TB SATA II hard disks and configured them as a RAID5 array, which took five hours to build. Unlike Thecus appliances, you don’t need to set space aside for IP SAN targets during volume creation.

We dived straight into performance testing over Gigabit using a Broadberry dual X5560 rack server running Windows Server 2008 R2. Iometer reported a fast read speed of 110MB/sec for a mapped Windows share, while drag-and-drop copies of a 2.52GB video clip returned read and write speeds of 104MB/sec. Using the FileZilla client to FTP the video clip returned the same speeds.

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