QNAP TS-409U Turbo NAS
Upon Further Inspection
Unlike the D-Link DNS-323, QNAP's TS-409U Turbo NAS supports SSH connections. I was able to log in with my administrator account, which the unit treated as a root account. From this, I was able to do things such as edit files, look at my CPU info, and more.
Curious about the read speeds I was getting while transferring files from the unit, I decided to investigate the hard drives. Using hdparm as my aid, I tested each of the drives in buffered reads, resulting in speeds from 72 to 75MB/sec. These speeds aren't a problem, so the issue must lie elsewhere.
While looking through the unit's dmesg output in Linux, I discovered that the unit was running software RAID, rather than utilizing a hardware controller. Between the software RAID and CPU utilization of both Samba and NFS, there's no wonder that the speeds of the unit are a little slower than what I expected. While using hdparm to test the array's read speed, I got a mere 42.7MB/sec. With a more powerful CPU or hardware RAID controller, the speed should surpass 200MB/sec, or come reasonably close.
Further exploration of the unit didn't yield anything much more interesting. The Linux filesystem is copied to RAM on startup, so not all changes made from the shell will be kept. This is includes the installation of new software.
Final Thoughts & Conclusion
The QNAP TS-409U Turbo NAS has easily lived up to its title of being an All-in-One NAS. Not only does the unit provide more services that what many small businesses would ever need, it also both runs and supports Linux. The TS-409U is capable of sharing files through a web browser, through the SMB and NFS protocols.
Configuration of the unit was incredibly easy, especially done from QNAP's finder application. The web administration interface also provided a rather simple way to maintain and configure the unit, but I feel the interface could have been designed better. Regardless of design, the web interface is very useful.
Aside from being able to share files, the TS-409U is also able to act as DHCP server, iTunes server, and UPnP server. Thusly, not only can it help maintain a small network, but it can also share multimedia files throughout that network.
The addition of web and MySQL servers heightens the usefulness of the unit, as it would be able to support an intranet site, internet site, or just a simple blog for in-house purposes.
The unit's transfer speeds far exceed that of 10/100 networking, so the unit is best used on a gigabit network, although not absolutely necessary. The unit's NFS shares turned out to be reasonably faster than Samba, but that was expected due to the processor's speed and architecture.
Overall, QNAP's TS-409U Turbo NAS is a fantastic product, featuring more "stuff" than I'd ever see a need for in a work environment. It's capable of meeting almost any need in a small business, aside from working as an Active Directory server or Domain controller. I can't think of many complaints for the unit, as it was designed to have the best performance for the best price, with the best ratio thereof.
Found online for between $700-$800 depending on the retailer, the TS-409U Turbo NAS will make a great addition to any network looking for reliability, security, and ease-of-use when storing data.
- Gigabit Ethernet
- Runs iTunes, uPnP, and print servers
- Supports RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, or a mixture thereof/li>
- Easy-to-use web interface and Windows utility
- SSH and NFS are supported
- More functionality than I'd ever need
- Web interface could use a better design
- CPU could be faster
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