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QNAP 4-Bay Desktop Network Attached Storage TS-419P
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- Setting up one customer-supplied network attach storage unit
- Installing storage software on computer
- Connecting storage unit to network
- Testing and verifying proper connection
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- Dual Gigabit LAN Deployment
- Advanced RAID Management with Hot-swap Design
- Built-in iSCSI Target Service
- Cross-platform Data Sharing and Storage Centre
- Complete Backup Solution
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QNAP TS-419P Turbo NAS is the 4-bay, 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch SATA HDD network-attached storage server with iSCSI applications dedicated to SMB, SOHO and home users. As a storage centre for mass data backup, management and sharing, the TS-419P Turbo NAS supports excellent hardware design, outstanding performance, high system reliability, and numerous powerful software applications. The low-powered TS-419P Turbo NAS adopts Marvell 1.2 GHz CPU and 512MB DDRII RAM and is able to maintain superior performance in an intensive data access environment. The NAS supports four hot-swappable SATA hard drives, two Gigabit LAN ports for multi-IP settings, failover, and load-balancing, four USB ports and two eSATA ports for external storage backup, and is also equipped with an LCD panel for convenient system status checking. The TS-419P Turbo NAS supports cross-platform services across Windows, Mac, Linux, and UNIX. Enhanced industry-leading features are also provided, e.g. EXT3 and EXT4 file systems, built-in iSCSI target service (max 8 iSCSI targets), virtual disk drive (VDD) by built-in iSCSI initiator for storage expansion, RAID 0/ 1/ 5/ 6/ 5+spare, single and JBOD disk configurations, online RAID capacity expansion, online RAID level migration, RAID recovery, policy-based IP blocking, instant SMS alert notification, schedule power on/ off, and 4 IP cameras (optional purchase) for network surveillance.
Top Customer Reviews
Time of ownership: ~8 months.
Documentation is good - there's a quick start guide that gets you going reasonably quickly. It's geared towards PC users, but I was able to suss out the steps for OS-X. There are a lot of steps though, be sure to follow the QSG carefully.
The hardware itself is decent, I had some issues with fitment (sliding drive trays in and out), but once I got the hang of it, things went fine. It's reasonably quiet, though since it's a NAS, it's in my basement.
The software is excellent for a NAS neophyte, easy to use, full featured. You have the option of desktop client or web-based administration. Having a bit of system administration experience helps with the more advanced management (folder permissions, etc). But the basic elements are easy enough for a low/mid-level computer user to set up (and if you're buying this, you're probably not a complete n00b anyway). There are some nice advanced features such as SNMP support and the ability to gain shell access and install your own software (there's a decent plugin community).
So far, it's been flawless in performance (aside from the caveat below), excellent throughput and I've had no issues with it in my mixed Mac/PC/iPhone/network-enabled DVD environment. The few limitations I've run into are mainly on the client site (the media player client in my LG Blu-Ray player isn't quite ready for prime time).
QNAP Support has been excellent - they've gotten back to me in short order with my issues and their support forums are active and helpful.
They do release firmware updates from time to time with new features and new disk support.
Now for the issue - The QNAP appliance is not compatible with all SATA drives. They have a hardware compatibility list on their website, and it's not entirely accurate. I found out the hard way that Western Digital "Green" drives are not compatible, even though they're listed. With the WD drives, I experienced frequent lockups and had troubles even initializing the drives in the first place. Some research on the QNAP forums would have highlighted this before I'd made the purchase. I replaced the WD drives with the forum-recommended Hitachi drives and had no troubles at all from then on.
Since this was pretty much an RTFM issue, I'm not going to ding the product - So far, it's been outstanding. I can easily see myself buying another one when this one fills up.
So now my new plan is 8TB of storage on this baby with (4) 2TB external drives to back it all up - RAID 1 the hard way. It would have been nice to have two of these with 16TB total backing each other up but that was out of my budget. It's quite fast and easy to setup. Admin is straightforward and all web-based. One of the features I really like is scheduled shutdown and power up. Not so much to save electricity which is low-end compared to a desktop system, but to save wear and tear on the gear. There are a pile of great features but I will not replicate them here. If you are geeky enough to buy one of these for home, then you can find your way to the QNAP website <grin>.
You can't carve out logical storage and break up a physical 2TB drive into two 1TB logical drives.
After auto power up, the external USB drive plugged into the NAS (which does not turn off) does not rejoin the NAS device list. You have to power cycle the USB drive while the NAS is running. The eSATA drives do not have this issue.
QNAP's web administration software is very handy and pretty much all configuration can be done via this interface with the option of manual command line tweaking if you are into that sort of thing. QNAP supplies a QPKG utility to install new applications, one of which is IPKG which can open the door to a lot of other optware packages. This is an ARM processor model, so any third party code would have to be cross-compiled, but I'm happy with what came stock.
This model is CPU bound for performance. Using 3 Seagate 2TB 5900 rpm green drives in raid-5 took about 17 hours to initialize. I suggest using efficient drives over performance models due to the limitations of the NAS not even coming close to saturating these lower performance drives. My main use is SMB/AFP shares where I consistently get about 45MB/s read and 25-30MB/s writes over gigabit which is quite acceptable. During heavy writes, the CPU is pegged so it shows the limitations of this model (I can't imagine using the slower CPU in the lower models).
To keep the review short, I'm pleased with its reliability and features so far. QNAP is continually developing the firmware and I have had no problems with errors or downtime to date.