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Written by Bruce Normann   
Sunday, 02 May 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
QNAP TS-259 Pro Turbo NAS Server
QNAP Turbo NAS Features
QNAP TS-259 Pro NAS Hardware
QNAP TS-259 Pro Software
QPKG Center Software Expansion
Closer Look: QNAP TS-259 Pro
Insider Details: QNAP TS-259 Pro
QNAP v3 User Interface
NAS Testing Methodology
Basic-Disk Test Results
Windows 7 Disk Test Results
NAS Server Final Thoughts
QNAP TS-259 Pro Conclusion

Insider Details: QNAP TS-259 Pro

The first inner workings of a TS-259 Pro that you're likely to see is the opening of the drive bay, which is rather small, compared to some of the monster drive arrays that are available. The metal guide rails can be seen on the left and right here, and the PCIe extender card that carries the two SATA power and data connectors is right where it should be. It's firmly held in place by two screws on one end and the PCIe connector on the other. The fan has an unobstructed view of the drive bay, so any heat being generated by the drives can easily be pulled out the back of the enclosure.

QNAP_TS-259-Pro_NAS_Drive_Bay_View_Inside.jpg

Once the brushed steel top and side cover is removed, you can see the main server board installed along the left side of the chassis, parallel to the drive bays. The back side of the board faces the exterior, and only a few components are mounted on the back of the PC Board. All of the rear panel connectors are mounted directly to the board, for a reliable and secure connection. There is a full size clear, flexible plastic shield attached to the board, to prevent the metallic side cover from shorting out any circuits in the event of some extreme rough handling. The fan mounts to the rear panel and is a high quality PWM type, as evidenced by the 4-wire connection.

QNAP_TS-259-Pro_NAS_Side_Open_01.jpg

Swinging the board free from the chassis, you can get a better look at how it sits inside, on threaded standoffs at each corner. A large, but thin black heatsink covers the CPU. No other components require extra cooling help to stay within normal operating temperature. You can also get a better idea of how the daughter-board for the SATA drive connections interfaces with the main board. There are only a few wired connections to the main board: a ribbon cable for the front panel controls and indicators, a shielded four conductor cable for the USB 2.0 port, and the four pin fan connection.

QNAP_TS-259-Pro_NAS_PC_Board_Full_Chassis.jpg

1GB of DDR2-800 memory is contained on one standard SODIMM DRAM module, inserted in a typical memory slot with locking tabs on each side. The chips in my sample were from Hynix and carried a CL6 latency spec.

QNAP_TS-259-Pro_NAS_HYNIX_SODIMM_1GB_Memory.jpg

QNAP employs a dual-redundant 512MB Disk-on-Module (DOM) flash drive to store firmware and applications on the TS-259 Pro. In case of a system crash, if the data on the operating DOM gets corrupted, the NAS will reboot with the spare DOM. Once it's recovered and stable, it will replace the data on the corrupted DOM.

QNAP_TS-259-Pro_NAS_DOM_01.jpg

An ITE IT8718F Super I/O chip controls many of the functions of the QNAP TS-259. The chip supports a wide range of functions, including:

  • Serial Flash I/F for BIOS
  • Multi sensor, multi curve fan control
  • Enhanced Hardware Monitor
  • SmartGuardian Controller
  • Two 16C550 UARTs
  • Keyboard Controller
  • 48 General Purpose I/O Pins
  • Watchdog Timer

Intel supplies the two individual Ethernet controllers for the dual Gigabit connections. The 82574 Ethernet Controller offers a large feature set, and is able to take full advantage of whatever network environment the server is placed in. Intel has long been a dominant force in the NIC market for corporate IT, and QNAP wisely chose a highly compatible and high performing component for this critical subsystem. The Intel 82574 provides a fully-integrated Gigabit Ethernet Media Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer (PHY) port, all interfacing with the standard PCIe architecture on the system board.

QNAP_TS-259-Pro_NAS_Intel_PCIe_82574_NIC.jpg

Each IEEE 802.3ab standard (1000Base-T) interface enables Gigabit Ethernet to run over Category 5 copper cable and can be readily used in most 10/100 Ethernet networks without changing cables.

We've seen the ins and outs of the hardware, now let's dive into the v3 User Interface that's supplied by QNAP. I'll give you a hint: there's a lot there, but it's all very modular and you can easily find and configure the functions you need.



 

Comments 

 
# Test with bonding gbit lan ?^-Super_Treje-^ 2010-05-03 23:34
No test with the network in "bonding" ?
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# I did, but....BruceBruce 2010-05-04 07:15
I repeated the tests with IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation Control Protocol, using two Intel Gigabit CT Desktop Adapters in the test bench system. The problem with that test scenario and Teaming or Bonding or whatever you want to call it, is that the network speed stays exactly the same. The bandwidth is increased by widening the data path, not increasing the speed. I.e. it?s analogous to two fully loaded trucks driving the speed limit instead of one truck delivering your data. Yes, you get twice the data, but you get it in the same time frame, which is what our testing measures.

I think the way to test this feature is to have two or more transfers occurring at the same time. With one transfer already under way, another could be started and timed, and the speed of the second transfer should be relatively unaffected by the continued activity of the first one. Your thoughts, suggestions?
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# 802.3ad is NOT your solutionscavenger 2012-11-30 12:01
YES this is it. Load balancing is made only on multiple file transfers.

If you can read french, I posted a lot about it on #lafibre.info/iperf/gs108t-nc360t-n5550-load-balancing-33mbs/new/#new but the result is this one :
Conclusion is 802.3ad is ONLY failover. ABSOLUTELY NOT load balancing.
If you want to do what I dreamed of, choose on each side the Balance-SLB (or Balance-ALB) + round robin transmit load balancing method.
Then you will have a smooth repartition of the packets on each port, but you will notice a strong down bandwidth due to the fact that "Packet order is NOT guaranteed"
Load balancing for a one file transfer on many cables is just a dream... right now...
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