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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 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

QNAP_TS-879U-RP_Turbo_NAS_Server_osx_lion_01.jpg

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.
Benefits of QNAP Time Machine support:

  • Supports multiple Mac backups
  • Configurable storage quota for backup tasks
  • Easy web-based management interface

External drive encryption

QNAP_TS-879U-RP_Turbo_NAS_Server_External_Encryption_01.jpg

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

QNAP_TS-879U-RP_Turbo_NAS_Server_External_Backup_01.jpg

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:

  • Multiple backup tasks
  • Multiple folder pairs per backup task
  • Multiple backup schedules
  • Detailed status and logs
  • Configurable policy and file filtering
  • E-mail notification upon backup completion or failure

Enhanced security options for MyCloudNAS 1.1

QNAP_TS-879U-RP_Turbo_NAS_Server_My_Cloud_NAS_01.jpg

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:

  • Private services to designated users (Max: 9 users)
  • MyCloudNAS Access Code for secure access control to view private NAS services on MyCloudNAS.com web portal

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.



 

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 IntelŽ XeonŽ 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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