For years we have been using a 4 bay QNAP NAS unit in our home office which has been quietly whirring away doing its duty.
Today we are having a quick look at a more up-to-date version of this stalwart work horse of today’s home and small-business need for network attached storage: the QNAP TS-419P II.
As per usual this will not be a technical overview, detailing all the bits and bytes of what is, essentially, a black box for most of its users. Rather, we will be concentrating on the features of the QNAP TS-419P II. I am convinced that more businesses would entertain the thought of purchasing a NAS once they know what it can do for them.
Most of the core features of this product can be found on the external packaging which is always a good idea if you were to buy a product in a retail store. That’s not always the case as many folks choose to do their research online first and often order online as well.
So here is a quick summary of the key features of the QNAP TS-419P II.
QNAP TS-419P II Overview
QNAP’s TS-419P II is a high performance NAS server that supports up to four 3.5” or 2.5” SATA hard drives for up to 12TB internal storage capacity. The TS-419P II is capable of extremely fast performance with its Marvell 2.0Ghz CPU and 512MB of system memory. The TS-419P II is able to reach speeds up to 109MB/s+ transfer on a SAMBA read with RAID 5 enabled and up to 75MB/sec on a SAMBA write, making it the fastest 4-drive NAS server currently available for the SOHO and consumer market segments.
The fact that this is not quite the top of the line NAS server from the QNAP stable (more on this later) is a good thing because some of the features from the really high end NAS units from this company have filtered down to this particular model, such as iSCSI target support, dual gigabit -LAN ports with seven bonding modes of failover, network load balancing and multi-IP settings, 2 e-SATA ports, 4 USB ports, and hot-swappable drives. RAID 0/1/10/5/6/5+hot spare JBOD are supported as well as online RAID capacity expansion and online RAID level migration. What this all means is that, even though you may not use all of these features, there is great potential for growth in this value for money machine.
The TS-419P II can seamlessly share files with Windows, Macintosh, Linux, or UNIX based computers and networks which is one of the key advantages of having a NAS server in a company where not every computer has the same operating system.
All the great hardware features would be fairly meaningless if the TS-419P II did not have easy-to-use but powerful embedded NAS management software. Version 3.5 of this software allows the TS-419P II Turbo NAS server to be used in a number of important business applications including:
• Video Surveillance – Connect IP video cameras to a network and the TS-419P II can record video surveillance continuously, recording only when motion is detected or using custom settings. Many IP cameras that are available in the market are supported and indeed we made use of that with the previous model as well.
• Photo & Video sharing – Easily share large amounts of photos or video over the Internet using a Web browser. This application may appeal more to a home network but many businesses that depend on processing digital images will find this a great benefit.
• Website hosting – Dynamic Website hosting lets you publish a personal Website or Blog using embedded PHP, MySQL, or Joomla. I am pleased that Joomla has been supported for many years as we have standardised on this extremely capable platform and have developed dozens of websites using Joomla.
• iTunes Server – TS-419P II can be configured to stream iTunes content over the network to iTunes clients. Personally, I’m not a fan of iTunes but millions of people are, so support for this is essential.
Then there are the run-of-the-mill applications, such as:
• File Sharing – Seamlessly share and manage files and folders to PCs via FTP and Samba, or with Macs using Samba, FTP, and AFP.
• File Station –No messy FTP setup by sharing and managing files and folders over the Internet with a web browser to PC’s.
• Stand-alone Download server – Continuous BT, HTTP, FTP downloads over the Internet, without a PC.
• Complete Backup Solution – NetBak Replicator, a complete desktop backup of all networked PCs & Macs to TS-419P II is an easy-to-use backup solution,. Furthermore the TS-419P II can be backed up to a local external HDD or network backup of the TS-419P II to another Turbo NAS on the network, ideally at a second location. Many third party backup software applications from Symantec, EMC, Acronis, CA, and others are fully compatible too. USB printer sharing is also a handy possibility for offices.
• USB copy mode – Connect a USB flash drive, hard drive, or other USB storage to any USB port of the TS-419P II and perform instant, scheduled or auto backup.
• One Touch USB Auto Copy – The one touch button can be configured to trigger instant data backup from the external USB device to the NAS or vice versa (applies to the USB device connected to the front USB port of the NAS only).
And finally some QNAP applications to round it off:
• QGet P2P download management software – Provided with QNAP’s Turbo NAS series. QGet can be installed on Windows/Mac computers to simultaneously manage BitTorrent, FTP, and HTTP downloads for multiple Turbo NAS servers.
• MyCloudNAS Service- Set up personal or private cloud storage with TS-419P II, and access the files remotely with the Internet.
• QMobile App. – This allows you to mobilise your digital contents, access, and share your video, music and photos anywhere, anytime, by streaming it from the server.
V3.5 NAS Management Software New Features
* Windows Live Messenger Notifications
The Turbo NAS now sends out instant notifications via Windows Live Messenger when critical events occur. The TS-419P II can also email or send SMS messages to the administrator alerting if there is a hard drive failing or failed, and other errors and warning messages.
Integrated antivirus solution for the Turbo NAS ensures business continuity by offering detection against the latest viruses, malware, worms, and Trojans.
* MyCloudNAS Service 1.1
MyCloudNAS is a feature that simplifies the steps of publishing the Turbo NAS contents over the Internet, creating a personal cloud. The new MyCloudNAS 1.1 provides enhanced security options (QCloud Access Code) to only allow authorized persons to access the Turbo NAS.
* Real-time Remote Replication (RTRR)
RTRR is a feature used for real-time or scheduled data replication between the local NAS and a remote NAS, an FTP server, or an external drive. With real-time replication, the NAS will monitor file changes and synchronize the data to the remote backup server.
* External USB/eSATA drive encryption
The Turbo NAS now supports encrypting USB/eSATA hard drives to protect the data against unauthorized access in case the drive is lost or stolen.
There is an awful lot to like in the QNAP TS-419P II. I have not even mentioned the S.M.A.R.T. & Advanced HDD Health Scanning for monitoring the hard drive status. With hard drives failing on a regular basis (which has been a regular occurrence in our office!) this utility which supports disk checking and bad blocks scanning, is absolutely critical to ensure that your data resides on a healthy bunch of drives.
For greater security a Comprehensive Log System of connections to the TS-419P II via samba, FTP, AFP, HTTP, HTTPS, Telnet, and SSH, and networking services accessed by online users are all recorded.
We did not do a lot of testing with this particular machine but put it straight to work. A couple of months experience with the QNAP TS-419P II verified indeed that this is one of the fastest NAS servers for this market segment, easily obtaining well over 100MB/s in a RAID 5 configuration.
For the price of around AUD 600 you will find a great deal of value but you have to keep in mind that 4 enterprise level hard drives these days will cost you a mini fortune. Whilst the floods in Southeast Asia did affect some 40% of the world’s production in hard drives, availability of these drives is slowly getting back to normal levels which will also bring back the pricing to affordable levels.
Keep checking back for a more detailed write up of the absolute top of the line 8 bay Rack Mounted TS-EC879U-RP from QNAP which we will be publishing shortly.