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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

QPKG Center Software Expansion

Explore the Unlimited Possibilities of Your NAS with QPKG

The Network Attached Storage (NAS) used to refer to a basic network storage device for simple data sharing but now with the high performance SoC and the advantage in power-saving design, it is redefined as a powerful embedded system that allows the possibilities of offering numerous fascinating applications. Over the past years, QNAP has successfully developed a series of All-in-One NAS servers for power users and business users providing a wide variety of software applications. Besides those QNAP provides, many other software packages are also developed in Linux open source community that power users are able to install them on their NAS to further enrich the functions. However, this is only limited to those advanced users or software developers who are more familiar with Linux systems. In order to let majority of general QNAP NAS users to also utilize their NAS servers with those software packages already developed by the open source community, QPKG platform and development framework is then introduced by QNAP.qnap_ts-809_qpkg.jpg

Inspired from the powerful software package management system in Linux (yum, dpkg, etc.), but unlike those running in the modern PCs today, QPKG is designed and fine-tuned for running on Linux embedded systems like NAS along with many popular software packages ready for install. Besides, in order to publish your software in our official repository all the software packages will be verified by QNAP to prevent from others to embed malicious codes for system intrusion or potential risks of data damage. Therefore QNAP NAS users may enjoy these software packages developed by the community in a safe way through an installation method as easy as firmware update just like you would install/uninstall software in the Windows environment without the need to go through the complicated process.

QNAP has introduced some popular QPKG software packages as the demonstration purpose. Below are the quick introductions on each of them:

MLDonkey (eMule)
MLDonkey (eMule) is a door to the 'donkey' network, a decentralized network used to exchange big files on the Internet and present most features of the basic Windows donkey client. (e.g., eMule)

Slim Server on Turbo Station (with SqueezeCenter 7)
Squeeze Center is the server software from Slim Device that manages common digital audio formats (.mp3, .flac, .ogg, etc.) and streams them to its players. Slim Server On Turbo Station (SSOTS) developed by flipflip is an add-on to the Turbo Station's firmware which provides the environment to run Squeeze Center 7 on it.

Optware Ipkg (Itsy Package Management System)
Ipkg, or the Itsy Package Management System, is a lightweight package management system designed for embedded devices. It is used in the Unslung operating system for the Linksys NSLU2, in OpenWRT, OpenMoko, Gumstix, iPAQ and now on QNAP NAS too.

SABnzbd+
SABnzbd+ is a multi-platform binary newsgroup downloader written in Python language. The program works in the background and simplifies the downloading, verifying and extracting of files from Usenet. SABnzbd+ does not search for files, instead NZB files (similar to .torrent files, but for Usenet) are fed to SABnzbd+ from sites like newzbin.com, binsearch.info and tvnzb.com (Requires prior installation of Python)

Python
Python is a general-purpose, high-level programming language. Its design philosophy emphasizes programmer productivity and code readability.

WordPress
WordPress is a free, open-source personal publishing system that allows you to easily create a complex blog, or web log, on your site. Written in PHP and supported by a MySQL database, WordPress offers intuitive administrative tools and sophisticated design features that make it easy to develop and integrate a personal or professional blog on your site.

Joomla CMS
Joomla! is a free, open source content management system for publishing content on the world wide web and intranets. The system includes features such as page caching to improve performance, RSS feeds, printable versions of pages, news flashes, blogs, polls, website searching, and language internationalization. Benchmark Reviews is built from the Joomla! CMS.

phpMyAdmin
phpMyAdmin is an open source tool written in PHP intended to handle the administration of MySQL over the Internet. Currently it can create and drop databases, create/drop/alter tables, delete/edit/add fields, execute any SQL statement, and manage keys on fields.

xDove Email Server
XDove named after XMail & Dovecot the 2 open source offerings that are combined to provide a complete set of Email server functionalities which is one-click installable on your QNAP NAS. XDove not only provides SMTP, POP3 and IMAP services, it also comes with a variety of features like multiple virtual domains and accounts, AJAX webmail with extended functionalities including personal folders, address book, calendar and real-time chat among users under the same mail domain. Besides the mail services XDove offers scheduled backup and restore of your mailboxes from multiple domains which gives you an extra protection on the top of your RAID data redundancy.

AjaXplorer
AjaXplorer is a file explorer for remotely managing files on a web server or operation as a simple file-sharing system. Its rich layout and actions make it easily accessible to virtually any end-user. The AJAX based interface, providing streamlined and intuitive functionalities, similar to that of a standard file-system explorer on any operating system.

Software Expansion via QPKG Platform
The QPKG software package platform enables the users to maximize the usage of Turbo NAS by installing additional software packages developed from the users and community worldwide. This can be done by simple "download & install" clicking without going through any complicated process.

We've seen the COMPLETE ins and outs of this complex system; now let's dive into the testing phase.



 

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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