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Reviews - Featured Reviews: Network
Written by Bruce Normann   
Tuesday, 07 February 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
QNAP TS-879U-RP NAS Network Storage Rack Server
QNAP v3.5 New Features-Home
QNAP v3.5 New Features-Business
Closer Look: QNAP TS-879U-RP
Insider Details: QNAP TS-879U-RP
Technology Details: QNAP TS-879U-RP
QNAP Turbo NAS Features
QNAP TS-879U-RP NAS Hardware
QNAP TS-879U-RP 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-879U-RP Conclusion

QNAP TS-879U-RP NAS Server Review

Manufacturer: QNAP Systems, Inc.
Product Name: QNAP TS-879U-RP NAS Server
Model Number: TS-879U-RP
Price As Tested: $2899.99 (Newegg)

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.

QNAP_TS-879U-RP_Turbo_NAS_Server_Front_Glam_600.jpg

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



 

Comments 

 
# I3 with AES-Ni ?Moogle Stiltzkin 2012-02-16 02:29
Since when did Intel I3's have AES-Ni instruction ?

QNAP currently only has 2 rack models with the x79 name that has XEON cpus which do have AES-Ni.

But the other X79 models only have Intel I3 cpus, and last i checked they didn't have AES-Ni instructions on them ..... yet your saying otherwise ? Got any references for that ?

However despite that, Jason from QNAP is claiming their tests on the 879U-RP with AES encryption could achieve 100MB/s in both read & write in Gigabit environment.

His a trustable guy so i'll believe that :X but what i doubt is your claim that i3 cpus have AES-Ni ....
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# Face Palm...Bruce 2012-02-16 06:08
Just looked it up on Intel site, and you're right. There are 141 products with AES-NI. No i3's though.
ark.intel.com/search/advanced?AESTech=true

Well, I've got some re-writing to do....

FWIW, my initial testing with AES-256 supports Jason's claims. The GbE bottleneck is the dominant factor.

Thanks for pointing this out.
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# RE: QNAP TS-879U-RP NAS Network Storage Rack ServerMoogle Stiltzkin 2012-02-16 06:35
yeah, all that matters is the result. doesn't matter if it has AES-Ni or not (although it's good to have since it's suppose to accelerate AES encryption so why not) since all comes down to whether it can perform well even with AES 256 encryption enabled.

Jason says it does 100 mb/s and that in my opinion is very good. I was worried and confused why they opted for the i3's which are basically almost the same as i5's but without the aes-ni. But from the results, seems my worries were unfounded ? As i was expecting results like these which was an article by tomshardware showing how bad performance was on many NAS brands across the board that didn't use encryption acceleration such as AES-Ni.

##tomshardware.com/reviews/nas-encryption-aes-ni,2873.html


Anyway i wonder if you would be kind enough to add to your review, a chart showing AES 256 encryption performance of the i3 QNAP to help back up Jason's claim. I trust Jason, but other people who don't know him will want proof from third party sites like yours to see if what QNAP claims is true or not.

I'm also interested to know whether the other i3 QNAP models such as the 1079 can achieve the same good results for aes 256 encryption, as well as compare the results with Synology Diskstation DS3611xs which sports a Intel® Xeon® Processor E3-1225 cpu.
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# Follow-Up testingBruce Bruce 2012-02-16 07:07
Yes, I plan to do a follow-up article which will focus on performance improvements with the optional 10GbE interface, and to document the AES-256 performance. Take a look at the last chart in the NAS System Overhead Measurements section of this article. That's one of the tests I ran with AES-256 enabled, and the CPU looks like it still has some headroom left, when running of the Gigabit interface. I'll have full results in the follow-up article.
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# RE: QNAP TS-879U-RP NAS Network Storage Rack ServerMoogle Stiltzkin 2012-02-16 06:44
Quote:
FWIW, my initial testing with AES-256 supports Jason's claims. The GbE bottleneck is the dominant factor.


And lets not forget conventional hard drives may also be a bottle neck ?


The fastest read and write maximum throughput for a hard drive is Seagate's New Barracuda 3TB (ST3000DM001)

##anandtech.com/show/5042/seagates-new-barracuda-3tb-st3000dm001-review


Read Throughput Maximum: h2benchw 3.16
193.55
##tomshardware.com/charts/hdd-charts-2012/Read-Throughput-Maximum-h2benchw-3.16,2900.html


Write Throughput Maximum: h2benchw 3.16'
191.47
##tomshardware.com/charts/hdd-charts-2012/Write-Throughput-Maximum-h2benchw-3.16,2903.html
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# 8xBruce Bruce 2012-02-16 07:12
I'll be running RAID 5 with eight drives, though.

I don't expect to reach the same speeds that QNAP did with (8) Intel SSDs, but I'm betting it will still be way above what the unit does with the Gigabit interface.
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# RE: QNAP TS-879U-RP NAS Network Storage Rack ServerMoogle Stiltzkin 2012-02-16 07:11
regarding your last con, well some desktop drives can be used fine for raid.
For me, i've used 6 x SAMSUNG HD203WI for a long time and they work fine on my QNAP ts-659 pro II.


QNAP and other branded NAS, tend to ignore tler, so it's not critical for these nases when using raid seeing as it's not being used.

Quote:
The responses I received from Synology, QNAP, NETGEAR and Buffalo all indicated that their NAS RAID controllers don't depend on or even listen to TLER, CCTL, ERC or any other similar error recovery signal from their drives. Instead, their software RAID controllers have their own criteria for drive timeouts, retries and when a drive is finally marked bad.

##smallnetbuilder.com/nas/nas-features/31202-should-you-use-tler-drives-in-your-raid-nas


however samsung has sold off their hard drive business to Seagate who bought their hd unit out.

So the only other manufacturer that offered some good desktop raid drives was Hitachi i believe which was the Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 3TB which is a desktop drive that works fine in raid for say a QNAP.

##storagereview.com/hitachi_deskstar_7k3000_3tb_review_hds723030ala640


The desktop drives you should be wary about for using raid are western digital and seagate, which intentionally make it problematic in a raid setup, by dropping out very often to make you buy their x2 expensive raid edition drives.
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# Some work fine.....Bruce Bruce 2012-02-16 07:44
The Spinpoint F3 was a favorite for NAS use, no doubt. Other readers have also reported good luck with their Hitachi Deskstars. You'll see similar reports on the QNAP support forums. I'm somewhat concerned that most reports are from users with smaller NAS units, where the combined vibration of 8-12 drives is not present. It's bearing failure, as much as controller quirks that cause HDD failures.

Samsung drives are still being built to the old designs/specs for now, right? Get them while you can, I think....
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# The 20 should be closser to 2. bits vs Bytes.tygrus 2012-02-22 03:05
"twenty times faster than what the latest generation of SSDs can muster"
Sorry but 10GbE =
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# Comment system ate my commenttygrus 2012-02-22 03:41
There was some mathematical symbols in my previous comment. The comment has been truncated.
...
10GbE =lt 1250MBps. 500MBps = 4800Mbps.
Reasonable sound level for a device to be in a server room.
Too loud for home use.
Would like to see aditional testing with multiple clients or larger queue depth. Need to beg someone for some 10GbE hardware.
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# 10GbE is comingBruce 2012-02-22 06:00
Next week I'll have two Intel 10GbE NICs. I'll just have the one PC, but would RoboCopy, with it's multithreaded operation get closer to the multiple client scenario?
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# Updated Results in New ArticleBruce 2012-03-21 08:00
Just wanted to let all of you know that I completed the additional testing, with 10GbE NICs and a RAM Disk on the PC.

Wow! What a difference.

Check out the results in my follow-up article here: benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=882&Itemid=70
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# RE: QNAP TS-879U-RP NAS Network Storage Rack ServerMoogle Stiltzkin 2012-03-21 08:09
Nice :} just read it.
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