InfoWorld review: QNAP Turbo NAS serves storage with the works

With a multitude of software options and strong support for VMware and Hyper-V, the QNAP NAS appliance can play many roles in a growing small business

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Real-world performance
As for the performance numbers (see table below), the QNAP systems definitely hold their own against the competitors I've tested. The results come from the Intel NAS Performance Toolkit, which is a good real-world test of NAS performance. In contrast to tests like IOMeter that bypass the Windows file system and interact directly with the NAS, the Intel NAS Performance Toolkit actually uses the Windows file APIs, reproducing file system traffic for a variety of application types. As a result, it's a better representation of real user activity.

During my testing, I tossed a whole lot of questions at the QNAP support team on tweaking and tuning. Each and every time they came back not only with the answer but also with the reasoning behind it. Even when I managed to configure the NAS out from under myself, they provided me with a quick fix to get me on my way. The product is also well documented, with plenty of helpful configuration guides available at the QNAP website.

As you shop for a NAS, I would suggest you take a look at the QPKG plug-ins available from the QNAP community site, where users have contributed features outside the scope of the original product. Just keep in mind that as you turn on features, you rob the NAS of CPU cycles for its base functions. Mileage will vary, so you should definitely download a copy of the Intel tool to confirm performance in your environment. A NAS appliance with an unusually wide selection of features, the QNAP Turbo NAS is good flexible choice for the small to medium-sized organization.

Intel NAS Performance Toolkit results (MBps)

  QNAP TS-419U QNAP TS-459 Pro QNAP TS-639 Pro
HD Video Playback 34.7 52.9 55.4
2x HD Playback 35.1 54.0 56.0
4x HD Playback 34.8 51.6 56.1
HD Video Record 20.4 46.7 44.6
HD Playback and Record 29.2 52.4 58.6
Content Creation 16.8 15.5 18.2
Office Productivity 28.0 36.4 37.2
File Copy to NAS 19.3 39.3 42.9
File Copy from NAS 34.7 51.0 56.0
Directory Copy to NAS 9.1 14.8 14.9
Directory Copy from NAS 18.3 17.5 17.6
Photo Album 9.2 12.5 13.8
Tests were run from an Intel Core 2 Quad 2.5GHz workstation (4GB of RAM, 1TB 7200 SATA II hard drive, Intel CT Series Desktop GbE NIC) under 32-bit Windows XP Pro SP3. Each result represents the median value of five batch runs in a row to eliminate the effects of simple buffering. Tests were conducted over a single Gigabit Ethernet network interface with no load sharing.

This article, "InfoWorld review: QNAP Turbo NAS serves storage with the works," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in data storage and information management at InfoWorld.com.

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