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Written by Bruce Normann   
Tuesday, 01 November 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
QNAP TS-419P II NAS Network Storage Server
QNAP v3.4 New Features
Closer Look: QNAP TS-419P II
Insider Details: QNAP TS-419P II
QNAP Turbo NAS Features
QNAP TS-419P II NAS Hardware
QNAP TS-419P II Software
QPKG Center Software Expansion
NAS Testing Methodology
Basic-Disk Test Results
RAID 5 Test Results
NAS System Overhead Measurements
NAS Server Final Thoughts
QNAP TS-419P II Conclusion

1GB RAID 5 Test Results

If you've got more than three HDD spindle to put in play, it makes sense to use one of the more advanced RAID configurations. RAID 5 is one of the most popular setups, primarily due to the balance it exhibits between capacity and redundancy. Not surprisingly, most NAS units that can support more than three HDDs also support RAID 5, so it makes sense to use it for test purposes. Most NAS products that can support RAID 5 go beyond the minimum number of drive bays, to a total of four, so that is the number of drives that I typically use to test with, even though I could get by with only three.

The results for RAID 5 read testing are very similar to single disk testing, which is not a bad thing. Given all the behind-the-scenes processing that goes on to calculate parity bits, these results show that most QNAP Turbo NAS units have the necessary power under the hood to keep the drives performing at their highest potential during read operations. When using RAID 5, the TS-419P II outperformed all of the other NAS systems and itself, in single-disk operation. It also edged past the TS-659 Pro II running in RAID 5. Read performance is clearly very strong with this system, which is a real bonus if you use it as frontline storage. Using it primarily as a backup system, you want top-notch write performance, which we'll test next.

QNAP_TS-419P_II_Turbo_NAS_Server_Bandwidth_Test_1GB_Read_RAID-5.jpg

The 1 GB RAID 5 disk write test shows the typical shortfall, when compared with the single disk results. It's well known that RAID 5 write performance can be a weak point, with all the computation overhead involved and the extra parity bits that need to be calculated and written to each of the drives. The only way to overcome that is with raw computational horsepower, which is what the TS-659 Pro II brings to the table. It's a shame that the simplest task any NAS can perform is basic backup duty, and in order to do that well, you need to buy the most powerful system to effectively reap the benefits of a multi-disk array. The reduced write performance with 1500 MTU is also a factor in RAID 5, so it's looking more and more like Jumbo Frames (9000 MTU) should be the preferred network setting for this unit.

QNAP_TS-419P_II_Turbo_NAS_Server_Bandwidth_Test_1GB_Write_RAID-5.jpg

Next up is 10 GB (1000 metric megabytes / 10,000,000,000 bytes) file transfer testing. Using the 4-disk RAD 5 configuration in each NAS, and a single Gigabit connection, network throughput will be put to the test, and the effect of any system or hardware caches will be minimized.

10GB RAID 5 Test Results

Looking at read tests with a single 10GB file, the TS-419P II hangs a little tighter in the groove, but can't quite keep up with its big brother, the TS-659 Pro II. The TS-659 Pro II improved its performance when transferring large files, which I thought was interesting. It shows how this unit is built to carry the heavier data loads. The TS-419P II gained some performance as well, but not as much as the TS-659 did. There was a small decrease in performance with Jumbo Frames enabled, which is counter to the Write results. It's not significant enough to outweigh the performance deficits seen in the Write testing, though.

QNAP_TS-419P_II_Turbo_NAS_Server_Bandwidth_Test_10GB_Read_RAID-5.jpg

Looking at write tests with a single 10GB file, the TS-419P II still suffers from the typical RAID 5 write penalties due to the computing overhead required to deal with the parity bits. The various caches built into the system help out on the smaller file transfers, but they get filled up and lose their effectiveness when dealing with large files like this. Even the TS-659 Pro II loses some performance when handling super large files. Once again, the 1500 MTU results lag far behind the Jumbo Frames performance, so it's a definite recommendation to set up the network interface with 9000 MTU, if you can. Of course, that will affect all your other Ethernet interfaces, so make sure all your other network devices are not negatively impacted by using Jumbo Frames.

QNAP_TS-419P_II_Turbo_NAS_Server_Bandwidth_Test_10GB_Write_RAID-5.jpg

All in all, my impression of the test results is that the QNAP TS-419P II puts in a solid performance, especially considering the added flexibility it offers in terms of advanced RAID support. I would feel better served by using it for front-line storage instead of a primary backup device, and that is consistent with the evolving computing infrastructure that surrounds us in our everyday lives. A device like this offers ones of the best ways of staying connected with your data, wherever you are. As for backups, I prefer off-site storage anyway.

Now, let's take a closer look at the internal workings of the NAS, where we can see the individual activity of the CPU, memory, and network interface. It's these support subsystems that have a big influence on the overall system performance, as I can easily demonstrate.

NAS Comparison Products



 

Comments 

 
# RE: QNAP TS-419P II NAS Network Storage ServerRichard Fitzmaurice 2011-12-01 05:17
Excellent article which will require me to read it a second time to gain all the information presented! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article.

The TS-419P II is a well designed software solution with a wealth of functionality. The case is well made and looks great but uses yesterday's processing hardware. Why USB V3.0, Dual CPU and SATA6 are missing is a turn off for me. SATA6 is probably of little value but it's the industry trend with disk drives and may prove useful in the future. Intel hardware is a plus for me.
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# There's so much there.....Bruce 2011-12-02 07:43
Funny, you should mention having to read it twice. There's so much functionality built into these devices that sometimes I feel like I'm writing two reviews. LOL

USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s are all available on the more high-end QNAP servers. I don't know of any Dual CPU units made by anyone, but if you mean dual-CORE, then that's also available on the pricier units. Most of the "Pro" models have the Dual-Core Intel® Atom? (1.80 GHz) in them. The really hardcore models have a Quad Core Intel Xeon E3-1225 at 3.1GHz Processor or a Dual Core Intel® Core? i3-2120 Processor at 3.3 GHz.
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# Best media NASKeith 2011-12-09 20:34
I have been reading a lot of reviews on Home servers/NAS but really haven't seen any reviewers basically make their recommendations based on useage situation. For example I'm looking to build or buy a homer server that can serve up my media and DVR recordings throughout the house and when I'm on the road. Also it'll be used for photo, video and general back ups.

The software on this unit looks great and has a lot of functionality and great access ability.

For the average home user with a decent amount of tech knowledge, working within a win7 environment at home but an iPhone/iPad on the road what would be better; windows home server or a product like this? And in your opinion would building a box myself with better parts( processor, memory) bet the better option?
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# RE: Best media NASRichard Fitzmaurice 2011-12-11 08:56
Bruce,

Yes, I meant dual core, I know better. I would be happy with an Intel 2120, but never an Atom anything.

Disk drives sure jumped in price due to unfortunate weather!


Keith,

If the sofware was offered separately, the answer would be easy. I'm in much the same position as you. I don't like the processing capability until the price is more than I want to spend.
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# Future of Windows Home ServerBruce 2011-12-11 13:13
I'm sure someone will jump in and tell us how much you can do with tWindows Server (...one of the four versions they sell...), but IMHO, there's a whole lot more dvelopment going on in the NAS world than there is for Windows server. There is a good amount of competition in this sector, and it's driving more and more features into the NAS software packages. Windows server has been pretty much moribound in the same time frame. So, today I like the features that QNAP has to offer, and I suspect that in the near future this trend will accelerate.
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# RE: Future of Windows Home ServerRichard Fitzmaurice 2011-12-11 14:18
Bruce,

I totally agree with you. I will probably break down and pay the higher price for improved processing because the software is impressive!
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# RE: RE: Future of Windows Home ServerRichard Fitzmaurice 2011-12-16 06:47
Bruce,

I just now ordered the TS-659 Pro II. Didn't get everything I wanted but got everything I could afford. I will have a toy to play with tomorrow. I should have purchased the TS-659 Pro+ because it's a much better buy, but common sense failed.
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# Hold on to your hats, because...Bruce 2011-12-16 08:01
I just got the QNAP® TS-879U-RP in house, for testing. This thing should COOK! I've got to build a better test platform to mate it with, something with honest-to-God SATA 6G performance.
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# RE: QNAP TS-419P II NAS Network Storage ServerAnna 2012-01-21 10:24
When you compare this one to the TS-419P+, is the TS419 II worth the money? Because I doubt between an TS-419P+ and a TS419 II.
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# Depends....Bruce 2012-01-21 13:12
... on what your primary usage is, and if you are going to use it almost exclusively for one thing, or do many things, either singly or all at once. The 25% increase in CPU speed only matters in some use cases. In others, it's not a factor.

What is your intended use(s)?
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# RE: Depends....Anna 2012-01-21 20:19
- Downloading
- Music/movie streaming
- Backup
- Central storage
- Near future hosting my own website
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# In that case....Bruce 2012-01-21 21:34
Depending on how heavy the backups are (are you doing daily backups for 5 machines, let's say...?), I think the TS-419P+ would do the sum total of those things pretty well. The CPU gets hammered during RAID 5 Write activity; that's why the backup tasks are the key differentiator. You need to act quickly, because I think the only TS-419P+ units you will be able to buy are what's left in inventory.

What's the price difference - about $100, right?
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# RE: In that case....Anna 2012-01-22 12:46
Tnx for the info, and yes the price difference is pretty big.
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# Differences in QNAP's lineupBKK 2012-01-22 10:15
Bruce, thank you for a great and comprehensive review. I've been going back/forth researching NAS for a year and it's time to make a decision. I'm trying to get my head around QNAP's line up between 419P II, 439 Pro II+, 459 Pro II - besides the processor and memory are there significant difference really from a functionality stand point? I'm a small business running out of my home, but I have one partner who is remote and ideally I'd like for him to able to use the NAS as a remote file server and access it in a secure manner. We also travel a lot for business so remote access is needed. Intention is to use the NAS as a primary file server (i.e. not having to store everything on the laptop HDD) and a consolidated backup server for the various laptops (3 laptops and 1 desktop, backups daily or no later than every 3 days); the NAS would then be backed up to S3 or some other cloud backup service. Also looking to use the NAS to store all of our digital photos (RAW and JPG format). Given that, is the 419P II a good solution? Or should I be considering one of the other QNAP products? One potential use in the medium term is to use the NAS as a web app server for product demos (but we wouldn't use it for production deployment of the product however). Budget is around $2000 with the HDDs. Appreciate your sage advice.
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# They sure do make a lot of them....Bruce 2012-01-22 15:27
Those are all good choices. The features that you get as you move up the ladder probably don't matter much to you, except maybe Real Time Remote Replication, since you have somebody whos more or less permantly at a rempte location. This feature is available on all the Intel-based units. The other features you get with the high-end models, are primarily focused on advanced networking schems, such as: VMware Certification, Citrix Certified, Microsoft Hyper-V and Windows 2008 Failover Cluster. It doesn't sound like you need that, yet. The one other thing Intel units have is AES 256-bit Volume-based Encryption, but it's quite slow with the Atom CPU, and it may not be an issue for you, depending on your physical security situation.

Now, the OTHER thing you get as you spend more mony is WRITE speed. Take a look at QNAPs published write speeds:

Write Performance (MB/s) - Dual-Core Atom: 107, Single-Core Atom: 88, Marvell 2.0GHz: 75, Marvell 1.6GHz: 45

This has a direct impact on yur backup speeds, although the laptops may be the limiting factor anyways, if they have the typical 5400 RPM HDDs in them. They use less power, so it's quite common to use them instead of the 7200 RPM models.

The other thing you get for your $$ is USB 3.0. This may not have any impact on your intended usage, but for some, USB 2.0 is a deal-breaker.

Of course, you also know that QNAP released a couple new models at CES, right. I tell you, I can't keep up with them... LOL

Bottom line, like Anna above, I think your expectation for backup performance is the key discriminator here. That's the primary area (of the ones you listed), where spending more will get you more.
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# Thanks!BKK 2012-01-23 16:08
Bruce, thanks for the advice. You make a good point about the real-time remote replication. I should look into that.

Presently I don't need the virtualization features.

Are the new models announced at CES listed in their site? I would assume so, as their site indicates the 459 Pro II as a new model.

And thanks for the link below.
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# Forgot to sayBruce 2012-01-22 15:29
Here is a direct comparison between the units you mentioned:

qnap.com/images/products/comparison/Comparison_4BayNAS.html
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# RE: QNAP TS-419P II NAS Network Storage ServerKeith 2012-01-29 07:52
A great point was made by Richard above regarding the software side of it (new features, etc...). When compared to say windows home server, which doesn't seem to be getting full attention from MS, if you had to make a nas purchase based solely on software or os , what would be the choice?
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# Easy ChoiceBruce 2012-01-29 16:00
There's no doubt that the major NAS players are continuing to drive more and more and better features into the NAS side of things. QNAP just release version 3.6 at CES this month, which is two releases beyond what I tested in this review.
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# 419P ii does have USB 3.0Ahmed 2012-04-09 16:34
I just purchased the Qnap 419p ii today and to my surprise it does have USB 3.0 ports! Two of the slots on the back are USB3.0

I first saw it on the box then when I opened and looked at the back of the unit, two of the ports are labeled USB3.0 The quick start guide also says USB3. This is very odd since their website and all reviews say only USB2.0

I do not know if the new units are shipping with USB 3 or is it Canadian versions. I am in Canada. Anyways I am thrilled. This unit offers so much for the price.
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# That's Cool....Bruce 2012-04-09 18:02
That is a VERY NICE surprise!

Usually when the "Manufacturer reserves the right to update the product specifications" it's to take cost out of the product.
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# Ditto the USB 3Rich 2012-05-05 09:47
I just got one of these in Germany and two of the three USB's on the back have been changed to USB3. The remaining USB 2 on the back is used by the UPS to trigger shutdown. No idea why they haven't updated their website as this resolves one of my major tradeoffs when I was selecting this unit.
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