|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 v3.5 New Software Features-Home User
In November I promised you a more in-depth review of version 3.5 in the near future, and here it is. The changes are mostly additions, so the bulk of what we use at Benchmark Reviews to review and test with hasn't changed. Of course, just last week, QNAP announced its latest V3.6 NAS management firmware at CES in Las Vegas. It seems I'll never catch up with their release plan....
When QNAP launched the v3 Graphical User Interface on their Turbo NAS servers, they set a new standard for this market. Two years later, and version 3.5 offers a wide variety of enhancements that keep it at the forefront of modern networking applications. Overall, the feature set is a mix of elements that are broadly targeted at either the home user, a small/medium business, or a full-fledged enterprise situation. NAS products have gained in popularity to the point where network administrators consider them mainstream appliances, small businesses consider them a lifesaver, and they are gaining traction in the home market. It's important to meet the needs of each one of those potential customers if you want to be the market leader, and that is clearly QNAP's intention.
There are an overwhelming amount of features available to manage the QNAP Turbo NAS, as the huge list in the Software Features section demonstrates. In this section of the review, we will focus on a sample of some welcome new features released with version 3.5. Let's take a look first, at the features that will likely appeal to the home user:
OS X Lion compatibility
Turbo NAS firmware 3.5 now includes the most updated Netatalk 2.2, enabling the Turbo NAS to provide Mac® OS X Lion users with seamless services. Mac users can now connect to any Turbo NAS running on firmware 3.5 via the Mac-conventional AFP protocol or SMB protocol that is popular in the Windows community.
Turbo NAS now supports Apple Time Machine backup. Mac users can back up their Mac to a predefined volume on the Turbo NAS, like they way they did to an external drive. In the event of data loss, simply launch the Time Machine application to retrieve files of a specific timestamp.
External drive encryption
External USB/eSATA drive encryption - The Turbo NAS now supports encrypting USB/eSATA hard drives to prevent unauthorized access when they are lost or stolen. Hard drives with the file systems EXT4, EXT3, FAT 32, NTFS, or HFS+ are supported.
Military level security - A military level FIPS 140-2 validated encryption, which is considered to be the highest security certification for compliance, is adopted. The IT administrator can choose to encrypt a disk volume or a specific partition in the external drive at the encryption levels: AES-128, AES-192, AES-256.
Enhanced external drive backup capabilities
The enhanced external drive backup allows the IT administrator to replicate data to designated local disk volume or external storage devices by configuring multiple backup tasks and schedules. When setting up multiple external drives as backup destination, each backup task will be correctly mapped to the corresponding external drive even after the external drives are repeatedly removed and reconnected.
Benefits of QNAP external drive backup:
Enhanced security options for MyCloudNAS 1.1
MyCloudNAS Access Code - After publishing the Turbo NAS to the Internet, a personal cloud is created. While exposing the Turbo NAS to the Internet could raise security concerns, the MyCloudNAS Access Code provides privacy control to make selected services only visible to authorized users. Highlights:
That's a good sample of the new software features that are aimed at the home or SOHO user. There are also a bunch of new features aimed at the business or data center user. Let's take a look at those, next.