Naturally, the QNAP TS-EC1279U-RP lacks features you might want in larger virtualization environments. For instance, it cannot leverage the storage function offloading available with VMware's vStorage APIs for Array Integration, which allow the array to perform VM copies and other tasks that the hypervisor would otherwise handle. These functions can produce marked performance increases in large virtualized environments, but they aren't nearly as critical or even necessary in smaller networks. For the smaller infrastructures, the fact that a clone process takes less than two minutes is more than sufficient, and the overall performance of the TS-EC1279U-RP will be more than capable of sustaining a virtualized environment.
Backup and other necessities
Otherwise, the TS-EC1279U-RP bundles most any storage management capability that a small or midsize business might need. Among these are built-in backup solutions that provide real-time replication to another QNAP unit using QNAP's Real-Time Remote Replication (RTRR) protocol. Configuring two QNAP units to replicate to each other is a simple process; more important, it allows for iSCSI LUNs to be replicated. RTRR supports encryption and compression, and replication can be run ad hoc or on a scheduled basis.
Alternatively, you can back up the QNAP TS-EC1279U-RP via USB hard drives plugged directly into the chassis or even straight to the cloud using services like Amazon's S3. Of course, rsync is also supported.
Backing up corporate resources to the QNAP NAS can be managed through the built-in support for third-party backup software, including ARCserve Backup, EMC Retrospect, and Symantec Backup Exec. The TS-EC1279U-RP can also serve as a backup target for corporate PCs via Apple's Time Machine and QNAP's own QBack software for Windows.
RADIUS and syslog server support are also worth mentioning, due to the fact that they're rather rare on NAS arrays. You can use the TS-EC1279U-RP as a RADIUS server to provide 802.1x authentication for a whole network, and as a syslog server to collect log files from network devices and other servers. The QNAP has the ability to send alerts and notifications via email, SMS, and IM. There's even a full LAMP stack complete with PHPMyAdmin Web-based database management tools.
All in all, there's little missing from QNAP's TS-EC1279U-RP when viewed as a storage solution for the small to medium-size business. It provides enough horsepower for most applications in that range, doesn't skimp on capacity or redundancy, and bundles a boatload of additional features that make managing its many terabytes of storage a bit simpler and more streamlined. And it does all this at a price that's hard to argue with.
This story, "QNAP NAS server makes the business grade," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read Paul Venezia's The Deep End blog at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.
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