QNap TS-879 Pro TurboNAS review

Reviews 5 Dec, 2011

QNap's latest desktop NAS box is its first to use a Core i3 processor and along with SATA3 disk support, it's 10-Gigabit Ethernet ready and packed with storage features. Read this review to see why Dave Mitchell thinks this is the desktop appliance to beat.

5
Price: 
£1,396
ex VAT
Verdict: 
The TS-879 Pro delivers a range of storage features that the competition will be hard pressed to match let alone beat. These include free cloud services and some quality IP SAN capabilities, plus it’s impressively fast over both Gigabit and 10-Gigabit Ethernet networks. The only thing missing is the ability to add expansion units, but its maximum capacity of 24TB using the latest SATA3 hard disks should be quite sufficient for most SMBs.

Intel’s Atom appears to have had its day in the business NAS appliance market as many manufacturers are now moving over to Core i3 processors for their SMB products. QNap’s new TS-879 Pro TurboNAS is its first desktop appliance to use this processor and combines it with a remarkable range of new features.

It supports the latest 6Gbit/s SATA3 hard disks, has a pair of fast USB3 ports and is 10-Gigabit Ethernet ready. QNap supplied our review system with an optional Emulex dual-port 10GBase-SR adapter so we could plug it into the Lab’s 10-Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) network and see just how fast it can go.

Along with a pair of quiet running fans, the TS-879 Pro has a wealth of ports and a PCI-E expansion slot for a 10-Gigabit adapter.

The appliance is well built. The eight hot-swap disk bays have small locking buttons to stop the disks being accidentally popped out. The chassis uses two large fans at the rear for cooling and we found the appliance ran very quietly during testing, making it well suited to small offices.

One USB3 port is located at the front and is linked to a Copy button above it. Pressing the button copies the entire contents of an inserted drive to a predefined folder on the appliance.

At the rear you have a plethora of ports with another USB3, four USB2, two Gigabit Ethernet and two eSATA ports. A PCI Express expansion slot is located at the top which can be filled with either dual-port Gigabit or 10-GbE cards from QNap. Fitting the supplied Emulex 10GbE card was easy enough, as we just needed to remove the casing to access the slot.

Installation is swift as QNap’s Finder utility locates the appliance on the network and offers quick access to the newly designed QNap Storage Manager (QSM) 3.5 web interface. This provides a side menu listing all features and selecting one shows all its details in the main window making it very easy to use.

Specifications: 

Chassis: Desktop

CPU: 3.3GHz Intel Core i3-2120

Memory: 2GB DDR3, 512MB DOM

Storage: 8 x hot-swap 3.5in/2.5in SATA 2/3 disks bays

Array support: RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 5 + hotspare

Network: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet

Other ports: 2 x USB3, 4 x USB2, 2 x eSATA

Expansion: PCI Express slot

Management: Web browser

Software: QNap Finder, NetBak Replicator and Qget software