|QNAP TS-659 Pro II NAS Network Server|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Network|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Wednesday, 08 June 2011|
Page 13 of 13
QNAP TS-659 Pro II Conclusion
Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating for the sample received which may differ from retail versions.
The performance of the QNAP TS-659 Pro II Turbo NAS server was very solid. The beefed up Intel® Atom D525 1.8GHz Dual-Core processor and 1GB DDR3 DRAM made all the difference in performance, especially compared to the Marvell-based TS-219P+. The two newest features that QNAP has implemented here: SATA 6Gb/s and USB 3.0 have wildly different impacts. The newer and faster SATA interface has little practical impact on performance with traditional hard drives. Further testing will be needed to see how well various SSDs perform in this challenging environment and with the Marvell host controllers - stay tuned. The USB 3.0 performance was a much needed shot in the arm for interfacing with portable devices, USB 2.0 was such a bottleneck and eSATA was more expensive and difficult to implement for portable use.
The best read performance for the TS-659 Pro II was 106 MB/s, and the best write speed was 99 MB/s, which are both outstanding. The additional load encountered with RAID 5 operation was handled easily, and the top results in RAID 5 were basically equivalent to the single disk results. Unless you just need to provide basic backup and/or file server capability, I would advise getting one of these Intel-based NAS units, as some of the newer, more advanced software features are only supported by those models. Depending upon how many different services are being implemented on the server side, the added 2 GB of DRAM will come in handy and it's easy to install, if needed. Basic file transfer tasks don't benefit much, but there are many potential services that could be running in the foreground, if you take advantage of the full capability offered by this unit.
The larger, six-bay form factor of the QNAP TS-659 Pro II allows for the use of a display on the front of the unit, which was handy for quick adjustments and for out-of-the-box setup before connecting it to the network. The status LEDs for activity on: HDD1-6, LAN, USB and eSATA were helpful to verify what was going on with the unit. Ditto for the flashing indicators and audible status alarms, they were mostly intuitive and I needed just a brief look at the manual to make sure I understood the signals correctly. The exposed portion of the drive trays are nicely finished and blend well with the remainder of the front panel. Three different shades and textures of black can look busy if arranged poorly, but this NAS looks the business. The side and top panel is a one-piece titanium colored section with a fine grained brush finish. The brighter finish adds a bit of elegance to the visual design, plus it doesn't show fingerprints. IMHO, it fits in perfectly with its intended environment, the small office or a sophisticated home office.
The construction quality of the TS-659 exceeds that of many computer-based appliances. The data center crews are all hardware junkies for the most part, and they like their gear to radiate superiority. QNAP takes the level of excellence that is required to win over that finicky community and applies it across the product line. Enjoy the trickle-down effect where you can, even if it's from the data centers on Wall St. and not the banks on Wall St. Every QNAP product I've ever used had the same attention to build quality, even the lower-priced units.
The QNAP TS-659 Pro II Turbo NAS network storage server is going to have tremendous appeal to a very tech-capable SOHO organization that can take full advantage of all the capabilities and functions it offers. For some businesses, that need all the benefits but aren't tech-savvy enough to exploit the full functionality without some hitches, utilizing a Value-Added-Reseller (VAR) to integrate, configure and test it in your environment is always an option. However, most of the applications are well designed and documented, to the point where most resident geeks can handle setup and administration. There's a lot of functionality that's important in a business environment, but the availability of more broad-based web applications is also impressive, with support for several consumer focused cloud-based services being a simple example. The QMobile app for handheld devices, to stream music, digital pictures, and videos from a QNAP NAS server directly to your mobile device, is another example. Most of these consumer oriented features are easier to configure than the hardcore IT apps, like VMware and iSCSI, plus the documentation provided by QNAP is excellent. The newly released ability to implement RAID 10 across 3 pairs of mirrored drives is a functionality that a small set of users is really going to appreciate for database applications.
The QNAP TS-659 Pro Turbo NAS server may be less suited for the SOHO environment, but its size, performance and features certainly hits the corporate enterprise market head-on. The smaller two drive bay devices included in this test only allow for RAID-0 or RAID-1, and that's not enough for many small businesses, even though it may be all you need for the home office. Before we discuss the pricing in detail, remember that these systems are not discretionary items for most businesses, they are a necessary expense. The inevitable costs for not having a robust data management system in place are usually 10-100 times higher than any of the prices you will see in this paragraph. As of June 2011 the TS-659 Pro II model was listed at NewEgg for $1249.99. If you need the wealth of features the top TS-x59 Turbo NAS series provides, but need less storage space, the TS-459 Pro II is the logical choice at $949.99. Home users will probably feel more comfortable with the Marvell-based QNAP TS-219P+ at $349.99 for basic tasks.
Benchmark Reviews has enjoyed testing all of these QNAP network storage solutions, and with the wide range of products on offer from them, anyone in need of a NAS server can find one to fit their current and future needs. The TS-659 Pro II Turbo NAS server seems ideal for certain segments of the corporate market. A few may need something simpler, and others may need more storage space, but the six-bay TS-659 hits the mark for a large portion of business users.
+ 106 / 99 MBps best read/write performance
- Marvell 88SE9125 6Gb/s controller may not keep up with new SSDs
Final Score: 9.2 out of 10.
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.
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