|QNAP TS-119 Gigabit NAS Server|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Network|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Wednesday, 17 June 2009|
Page 7 of 11
Closer Look: QNAP TS-119
Network Attached Storage (NAS) servers have earned themselves a very worthy reputation as being powerful all-in-one devices capable of replacing the basic file-serving functions of a desktop computer system. QNAP has been at the forefront of NAS development, and their products continually improve with each new release. In this article, the QNAP TS-119 shows just how much can fit into a small single-drive enclosure.
With such a small footprint, it's no surprise to find the front and back sections of the TS-119 so crowded with status lights and connection ports. At the front of the flat black enclosure is a small collection of LED-backlit status messages colored green, orange, or blue, which report the basic NAS activity. Although the actual 'Status' LED will flash to a specific trouble pattern in the event of problems. the LAN, HDD, ESATA, and USB LEDs give straight-forward activity feedback.
At the rear of the QNAP TS-119 NAS are two HighSpeed USB 2.0 ports, a single eSATA port for direct 3.0GBps transfers, a RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port for unrestricted network access, and the A/C power adapter receptacle. A system 'Reset' button is hidden between the network and power connections. Below the connections is a Kensington K-Lock hole, for securing the NAS.
At the front of the unit, you've got three options to work with: Power, and a single HighSpeed USB 2.0 port above a unique 'USB Copy' button. The USB Copy feature allows the user to easily initiate content transfer between a USB-attached device and the TS-119 NAS. There is a limitation however; since the TS-119 does not offer USB Share, and any attached device must be formatted with the FAT32 file system. The front USB 2.0 port can be utilized for connecting a flash drive, printer, camera, or external hard drive; two more ports are located at the backside of the chassis.
Since you're limited to only one drive in the QNAP TS-119 NAS, this product is really only destined for home users as well as SOHO/Small Business environments. Years ago this might have been a problem, but considering how 2.0 TB SATA hard drives are fairly inexpensive, you'll have a tough time convincing someone they won't have enough storage space.
At the heart of the QNAP TS-119 is a 1.2GHz CPU paired to 512MB of RAM, which may not be as exciting as the larger NAS servers we've tested which use desktop processors and high capacity DDR2 memory modules, but the performance results will prove that it's enough to get the job done. Even though a RAID-1 or -5 array is physically impossible for this single-drive unit, the TS-119 still offers excellent simple-disk performance.
The CPU consists of an integrated (soldiered) Marvell Kirkwood 88F6281 (88F6-B1A2) processor control unit with no passive cooling heatsink. This controller chip includes a 256KB L2 cache, which operates at 400MHz when the unit is clocked to 1.2GHz. Although Marvell designed their Kirkwood controller to include two Gigabit Ethernet ports, QNAP has customized the design to offer only one RJ45 port.
Everything you need to get the TS-119 Turbo NAS loaded and ready for duty-use is included in the box; although you provide either a mechanical hard drive or solid state drive. Although there might be future plans, at this time QNAP does not include Hard Disk Drives with their NAS products. In this TS-119 NAS kit there is enough hardware to mount a single drive into the enclosure, along with a power cord and CAT-5e cable. My only gripe is with the enclosed network patch cable, which wasn't very impressive when you consider that most environments now use CAT-6 as a standard.
Gigabit Ethernet will still perform well over CAT-5e, especially at short patch-cord lengths, but most IT professionals agree that this is yesteryear's standard and has since been replaced by CAT-6. The manufacturers cost is a difference of about two to three pennies per cord at 100-unit prices, so I really can't find a valid reason as to why every network product Benchmark Reviews has seen still comes with the old cables. I have personally seen all new network construction and retrofits utilize CAT-6 infrastructure and patch cords since 2006, so let's hope the manufactures catch on sooner than later.