|QNAP TS-879U-RP NAS Network Storage Rack Server|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Network|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Tuesday, 07 February 2012|
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QNAP TS-879U-RP NAS Server Review
Manufacturer: QNAP Systems, Inc.
Full disclosure: The product used in this review was supplied by QNAP Systems
How much is too much? For those who tend to answer "...it's never enough!" there is the QNAP TS-879U-RP Turbo NAS. With eight 3.5" drive bays available, there is a potential for 24TB of storage and transfer rates of more than 10 Gb/s. That's ten times more data than any home PC can pump through its ubiquitous GbE network interface, and twenty times faster than what the latest generation of SSDs can muster. This is for people who have serious data appetites and deep pockets. The cost to fill this unit up with HDDs, in the early days of 2012, is enough to give some people pause; for most business owners, it's a small and necessary cost.
The TS-879U-RP is aimed a little higher than the typical small and medium business (SMB) IT needs, both by virtue of its size and its form factor. If both capacity and redundancy are needed, RAID 5 is a minimum. If you want to go to RAID 6 or RAID 10, you need a minimum of four disks, with two spindles completely occupied by providing multiple levels of redundancy for your data. A four-bay device is really the bare minimum for a high availability NAS appliance, and you're left with only two drive bays worth of storage capacity. That's not enough for many businesses. As far as the form factor goes, in the 80's I may have had a 19" rack at home with stereo gear bolted into the rails, but I have never remotely thought about doing that for any of the computer equipment that has passed through my home in the last 25 years. In contrast, 90% of the networking, storage and server hardware in use by SMBs today is designed to be rack mounted, and that figure's going to be 100% at the enterprise level.
The TS-879U-RP NAS server is the next logical step up from a typical four or six-bay device. While it's not the biggest NAS devices QNAP offers (that's a 12-bay unit), it's got enough storage space and enough CPU horsepower to do the job. It also has the option to use multiple 10GbE network interfaces, and that makes a huge difference in real-world performance. Even a single Seagate Barracuda 3TB Hard Drive ST3000DM001 can push 160MB/s through its SATA 6 Gb/s interface. That's about 25% more data throughput than a standard 1000BASE-T network is capable of handling. That's just a single mechanical hard drive; think about what eight SSDs in RAID 5 can do! QNAP has, and they've demonstrated read and write speeds well over 1500MB/s with this model. Those are insane speeds for most of us, but it's mighty good news for any room full of CADD designers or video editors.
The TS-879U-RP Turbo NAS uses a Dual Core Intel Core i3-2120 CPU, running at 3.3GHz and 2GB of DDR3 system memory to drive this storage server. Dual Gigabit Ethernet network ports are standard and allow failover safety and teaming modes, and there are expansion slots which will accommodate additional Network Interface Cards (NIC). Eight SATA 6Gb/s drive bays offer single disk, JBOD, and RAID 0/1/5/6/10 configurations. The capability for hot spares is also available with RAID 5/6/10 disk configurations. QNAP employs a dual-redundant 512MB Disk-on-Module (DOM) flash drive to store firmware and applications on the TS-879U-RP motherboard. This acts like the system drive, yet it takes up very little space and uses almost no power. Plus, there's a built-in backup in case of data corruption on the primary module - just the sort of thing you need for a high-availability system. Notice, I didn't say high reliability; I'll tackle the differences in my Final Thoughts.
Benchmark Reviews has tested a wide array of QNAP NAS products, ranging from the QNAP TS-119 NAS single-disk offering made for home users, to the Goliath QNAP TS-809 Pro 8-Bay NAS for the storage needs of large businesses. Most recently we tested the 6-bay TS-659 Pro II and the 4-bay TS-419P II Turbo-NAS servers. Let's see how this 8-bay corporate animal compares to its little brothers.
EDITOR'S NOTE: We've retested this product using 10Gb Ethernet, which gave phenomenal results. Read more here: QNAP TS-879U-RP 10GbE NAS Server