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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

Network Terminology

Benchmark Reviews primarily uses metric data measurement for testing storage products, for anyone who is interested in learning the relevant history of this sore spot in the industry, I've added a small explanation below:

The basic unit data measurement is called a bit (one single binary digit). Computers use these bits, which are composed of ones and zeros, to communicate their contents. All files are stored as binary files, and translated into working files by the Operating System. This two number system is called a "binary number system". In comparison, the decimal number system has ten unique digits consisting of zero through nine. Essentially it boils down to differences between binary and metric measurements, because testing is deeply impacted without carefully separating the two. For example, the difference between the transfer time of a one-Gigabyte (1000 Megabytes) file is going to be significantly better than a true binary Gigabyte (referred to as a Gibibyte) that contains 1024 Megabytes. The larger the file used for data transfer, the bigger the difference will be.

Have you ever wondered why your 500 GB hard drive only has about 488 GB once it has been formatted? Most Operating Systems utilize the binary number system to express file data size, however the prefixes for the multiples are based on the metric system. So even though a metric "Kilo" equals 1,000, a binary "Kilo" equals 1,024. Are you confused yet? Don't be surprised, because even the most tech savvy people often mistake the two. Plainly put, the Kilobyte is expressed as 1000 bytes, but it is really comprised of 1,024 bytes.

Most network engineers are not fully aware that the IEC changed the way we calculate and name data chunks when they published the new International Standards back in December 1998. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) removed the old metric prefixes for multiples in binary code with new prefixes for binary multiples made up of only the first two letters of the metric prefixes and adding the first two letters of the word "binary". For example, instead of Megabyte (MB) or Gigabyte (GB), the new terms would be Mebibyte (MiB) or Gibibyte (GiB). While this is the new official IEC International Standard, it has not been widely adopted yet because it is either still unknown by institutions or not commonly used.

NAS Testing Methodology

All the NAS devices we test cannot accommodate all the different disk configurations, so our current test protocol has been based on two of the most popular setups: a basic (single) disk and RAID-5 configurations. Since this two-bay device doesn't support RAID 5, I only tested the single-disk mode this time. Each NAS device was upgraded to the very latest firmware by flashing the DOM with binary files downloaded from the QNAP website. The recommended firmware was the same for all the devices under test: v3.4.3-0520T

Connected directly to the Realtek 8112L Gigabit LAN controller in the test-bench system by a ten-foot CAT6 patch cable, the NAS product receives one test transfer followed by at least three timed transfers. Each test file was sent to the Western Digital Caviar Black 750GB (WD7501AALS) hard drives installed in the NAS for a timed write test, and that same file was sent back to a Western Digital VelociRaptor 150GB 10,000 RPM (WD1500HLFS) hard drive in the test system to perform a read test. Each test was repeated several times, the high and low values were discarded and the remaining results were recorded and charted.

This is the start of NAS testing where we are going to exclusively use Windows 7 as the testing platform for the host system. The performance differences between Win7 and XP are huge, as we documented in our QNAP TS-259 Pro review. The adoption rate for Win 7 has been very high, and Benchmark Reviews has been using Win 7 in all of our other testing for some time now. It's definitely time to make the jump for NAS products.

QNAP_TS-219P_Turbo_NAS_Server_WD_750_in_Tray.jpg

The two transfer tests: read and write, were conducted on each NAS appliance using the 1 GB file and then a 10 GB file. Additionally, a second set of tests were conducted with Jumbo Frame enabled, i.e. the MTU value for the Ethernet controllers was increased from 1500 to 9000. All the NAS products tested to date in the Windows 7 environment have supported the Jumbo Frame configuration. I also include a baseline of sorts, which is the internal file transfer from the Corsair P64 SSD to the Western Digital 150GB VelociRaptor installed on the Intel P55 motherboard SATA connections, where the Intel P55 chipset provides the SATA 3Gb/s interface, and a Marvell 88SE9123 controller provides two ports of SATA 6Gb/s connections.

NAS Comparison Products

Support Equipment

  • (1) Western Digital Caviar Black WD7501AALS 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3Gb/s 3.5"
  • 10-Foot Category-6 Solid Copper Shielded Twisted Pair Patch Cable
  • 1 metric Gigabyte Test File (1 GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes)
  • 10 metric Gigabyte Test File (10 GB = 10,000,000,000 bytes)

Test System

  • Motherboard: ASUS P7P55D-E Pro (1002 BIOS)
  • System Memory: 2x 2GB GSKILL Ripjaws DDR3 1600MHz (7-8-7-24)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-750 (OC @ 4.0 GHz)
  • CPU Cooler: Prolimatech Megahalems (Delta AFB1212SHE PWM Fan)
  • Video: ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB GDDR5 (Catalyst 8.840.3.0)
  • Drive 1: Corsair P64 SSD, 64GB
  • Drive 2: Western Digital VelociRaptor WD1500HLFS 150GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3Gb/s 3.5"
  • Optical Drive: Sony NEC Optiarc AD-7190A-OB 20X DVD Burner
  • Enclosure: CM STORM Sniper Gaming Case
  • PSU: Corsair CMPSU-750TX ATX12V V2.2 750Watt
  • Monitor: SOYO 24"; Widescreen LCD Monitor (DYLM24E6) 1920X1200
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate Version 6.1 (Build 7600)



 

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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