Qnap TVS-1282-i7-64G-450W review

Qnap’s TVS-1282 is its most versatile desktop NAS appliance ever

IT Pro Recommended
Price
£2,284
  • Top performance, Great hardware package, Feature-rich QTS software, Excellent virtualisation and data protection tools
  • Outer two PCI-e slots are space restricted

Businesses looking for a desktop NAS appliance that does it all will like Qnap's TVS-1282. Choice is king as the family comprises seven models each offering different combinations of Skylake CPU, DDR4 memory and power supplies. 

We review the flagship TVS-1282-i7-64G-450W which packs in a 3.4GHz Intel Core i7-6700 CPU, 64GB of DDR4 memory and a 450W PSU. If this is too much, other options include cheaper Core i3 and i5 CPUs, less memory and a 250W PSU. 

The appliance has eight LFF and four SFF hot-swap SATA drive bays with room inside for two M.2 SATA SSDs. There's more as it sports three PCI-Express expansion slots with the inner one accepting full-length, full-width cards such as a GPGPU or a PCIe NMVe SSD (Intel's P3700 models are certified).

Around the back are four Gigabit, four USB 3, multiple audio jacks, built-in speakers and three HDMI ports. The latter can be used to stream HD video or be teamed up with Qnap's Linux and HD Station apps for desktop access via a local monitor, keyboard and mouse.

The new QTS 4.3 software enhances the snapshot and recovery features

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Expansion caution 

Installation is simple with Qnap's Qfinder on the case as it discovered the appliance and helped create a RAID5 storage pool with three 8TB Seagate NAS HDD drives. We chose a thin storage pool which brings NAS share and iSCSI LUN snapshots into play.

We wanted to run performance tests over 10-Gigabit (10GbE) but found an issue with the expansion slots when fitting an Emulex OCE11102-NT 10GbE card. The CPU has a dedicated blower fan and the mounting bracket directly opposite the two outer PCI-e slots restricts card lengths to 147mm. 

The Emulex card is 167mm long so only fits in the inner PCI-e slot where it worked fine. Our Intel X520-SR2 10GbE fibre cards are short enough but no Intel adapters are supported at present.

The Linux Station app can run Ubuntu Desktop and pipe it to one of the appliance's HDMI ports

QTS 4.3 

As Qnap's QTS 4.3 software was in beta we upgraded the appliance to see what's on offer. This is a major refresh which delivers plenty of new features and improvements to many existing apps. 

The TVS-1282 supports the Qtier app which migrates data blocks across up to three storage levels based on usage. Data migration tasks must be scheduled but the new Auto Schedule feature decides when to run these based on I/O activity. 

Qnap's Virtualisation Station always impresses as it allows the TVS-1282 to host VMs running virtually any OS you fancy. The new version has a more informative interface and now supports GPGPU pass-through for selected VMs.

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