|QNAP TS-259 Pro Turbo NAS Server|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Network|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Monday, 03 May 2010|
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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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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:
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.
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.