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Written by Bruce Normann   
Thursday, 30 June 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
QNAP TS-219P+ NAS Network Server
QNAP v3.4 New Features
Closer Look: QNAP TS-219P
Insider Details: QNAP TS-219P
QNAP Turbo NAS Features
QNAP TS-219P NAS Hardware
QNAP TS-219P Software
QPKG Center Software Expansion
NAS Testing Methodology
Basic-Disk Test Results
NAS System Overhead Measurements
NAS Server Final Thoughts
QNAP TS-219P Conclusion

QPKG Center Software Expansion

Explore the Unlimited Possibilities of Your NAS with QPKG

The Network Attached Storage (NAS) used to refer to a basic network storage device for simple data sharing but now with the high performance SoC and the advantage in power-saving design, it is redefined as a powerful embedded system that allows the possibilities of offering numerous fascinating applications. Over the past years, QNAP has successfully developed a series of All-in-One NAS servers for power users and business users providing a wide variety of software applications. Besides those QNAP provides, many other software packages are also developed in Linux open source community that power users are able to install them on their NAS to further enrich the functions. However, this is only limited to those advanced users or software developers who are more familiar with Linux systems. In order to let majority of general QNAP NAS users to also utilize their NAS servers with those software packages already developed by the open source community, QPKG platform and development framework is then introduced by QNAP.qnap_ts-809_qpkg.jpg

Inspired from the powerful software package management system in Linux (yum, dpkg, etc.), but unlike those running in the modern PCs today, QPKG is designed and fine-tuned for running on Linux embedded systems like NAS along with many popular software packages ready for install. Besides, in order to publish your software in our official repository all the software packages will be verified by QNAP to prevent from others to embed malicious codes for system intrusion or potential risks of data damage. Therefore QNAP NAS users may enjoy these software packages developed by the community in a safe way through an installation method as easy as firmware update just like you would install/uninstall software in the Windows environment without the need to go through the complicated process.

QNAP has introduced some popular QPKG software packages as the demonstration purpose. Below are the quick introductions on each of them:

MLDonkey (eMule)
MLDonkey (eMule) is a door to the 'donkey' network, a decentralized network used to exchange big files on the Internet and present most features of the basic Windows donkey client. (e.g., eMule)

Slim Server on Turbo Station (with SqueezeCenter 7)
Squeeze Center is the server software from Slim Device that manages common digital audio formats (.mp3, .flac, .ogg, etc.) and streams them to its players. Slim Server On Turbo Station (SSOTS) developed by flipflip is an add-on to the Turbo Station's firmware which provides the environment to run Squeeze Center 7 on it.

Optware Ipkg (Itsy Package Management System)
Ipkg, or the Itsy Package Management System, is a lightweight package management system designed for embedded devices. It is used in the Unslung operating system for the Linksys NSLU2, in OpenWRT, OpenMoko, Gumstix, iPAQ and now on QNAP NAS too.

SABnzbd+
SABnzbd+ is a multi-platform binary newsgroup downloader written in Python language. The program works in the background and simplifies the downloading, verifying and extracting of files from Usenet. SABnzbd+ does not search for files, instead NZB files (similar to .torrent files, but for Usenet) are fed to SABnzbd+ from sites like newzbin.com, binsearch.info and tvnzb.com (Requires prior installation of Python)

Python
Python is a general-purpose, high-level programming language. Its design philosophy emphasizes programmer productivity and code readability.

WordPress
WordPress is a free, open-source personal publishing system that allows you to easily create a complex blog, or web log, on your site. Written in PHP and supported by a MySQL database, WordPress offers intuitive administrative tools and sophisticated design features that make it easy to develop and integrate a personal or professional blog on your site.

Joomla CMS
Joomla! is a free, open source content management system for publishing content on the world wide web and intranets. The system includes features such as page caching to improve performance, RSS feeds, printable versions of pages, news flashes, blogs, polls, website searching, and language internationalization. Benchmark Reviews is built from the Joomla! CMS.

phpMyAdmin
phpMyAdmin is an open source tool written in PHP intended to handle the administration of MySQL over the Internet. Currently it can create and drop databases, create/drop/alter tables, delete/edit/add fields, execute any SQL statement, and manage keys on fields.

xDove Email Server
XDove named after XMail & Dovecot the 2 open source offerings that are combined to provide a complete set of Email server functionalities which is one-click installable on your QNAP NAS. XDove not only provides SMTP, POP3 and IMAP services, it also comes with a variety of features like multiple virtual domains and accounts, AJAX webmail with extended functionalities including personal folders, address book, calendar and real-time chat among users under the same mail domain. Besides the mail services XDove offers scheduled backup and restore of your mailboxes from multiple domains which gives you an extra protection on the top of your RAID data redundancy.

AjaXplorer
AjaXplorer is a file explorer for remotely managing files on a web server or operation as a simple file-sharing system. Its rich layout and actions make it easily accessible to virtually any end-user. The AJAX based interface, providing streamlined and intuitive functionalities, similar to that of a standard file-system explorer on any operating system.

Software Expansion via QPKG Platform
The QPKG software package platform enables the users to maximize the usage of Turbo NAS by installing additional software packages developed from the users and community worldwide. This can be done by simple "download & install" clicking without going through any complicated process.

We've seen the COMPLETE ins and outs of the hardware and the software; now let's dive into the testing phase.



 

Comments 

 
# Why no consumer drives?Dirk 2011-07-23 23:23
Hello,

to the "Cons" in the conlusion:
Why aren't consumer hard disks often the right choice for drive arrays, also a simple RAID-1 ?

I've heard about it before, but didn't find a real explanation. If you activate HDD sleep after xx idle minutes, the maximum hours of operation should be limited. What else?
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# RE: Why no consumer drives?Bruce 2011-07-24 06:55
QNAP has a detailed compatability list on their site, but you have to read between the lines to find out WHY consumer drives don't always cut it in RAID applications. Two things are primarily responsible: a software setting in the drive itself and the mechanical design of the platter bearings.

The consumer drives have an error recovery scheme that can interfere with the RAID controller, calle "Time-Limited Error Recovery" (TLER). There's ton's of info on the web, including the major drive manufacturer's sites about it.

The second factor is that the drive spindles can wear out quickly from excessive vibration when many, many drives are all chattering away in the same rack. So, some drives (WD Black for instance) are approved by the manufacturer in RAID 0 or RAID1 when there are only two drives in the enclosure. This is great news for all the two-bay NAS owners...
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# RE: RE: Why no consumer drives?Dirk 2011-07-24 08:32
I see, and I remember that I've read complaints about WD's "deep error recovery" with consumer drives. Too bad, because most home users might prefer the energy efficient drives.

By the way: Thanks for the extensive review, Bruce!

Your measured power consumption on the page "insider details" (8 W in sleep mode) was with or without drives installed? In many reviews, the sleep mode consumption with discs amounts to 12-13W, which is on par with the comparable Synology DS-211+.
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# Sleep ModeBruce 2011-07-24 12:14
There was one drive installed at the time I did the power measurement. In sleep mode, the drive is not spinning, that's why the power usage was lower.
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