QNAP TS-1279U-RP is an entry enterprise class Network Area Storage that I recently chose to go with. In this review I will describe the research, procurement, and set-up / installation process that I went through with this device.

The first and for some the most important limitation of this NAS device is that if you are trying to get it to work via its native interface plus LDAP integration and need granular permissions control, this unit is not for you. I purchased this unit hoping that its promised ACL support would handle Window Server NTFS permissions with ease. Although the device does support ACL and LDAP integration, it is limited to setting only Read/Write or None permissions and at that only on first two levels of Folder/Subfolder. If you have an intricate permissions schema you will have to do what I did and create a virtual file server add an iSCSI targeted hard drive to it located on the QNAP NAS and only then you will have same granular permissions as you do within a windows file server

Here are some QNAP NAS Hi-Lites:

  • NAS, iSCSI, IP-SAN storage solution
  • VMware, Citrix and Hyper-V ready
  • High performance, secure, reliable, and simple
  • 10 GbE ready reaching over 1,000 MB/s and 100,000 IOPS
  • Multi-core processor, DDR3, SATA 6Gb/s, and USB 3.0

 

Secure

Data might seem insecure being open in a network, but the QNAP® TS-1279U-RP offers a variety of security options such as encrypted access, IP filtering, policy-based automatic IP blocking, and more. In addition, full control of the NAS is offered down to the user and folder access rights to determine who can access the NAS and what can or cannot be accessed. The TS-1279U-RP is packed with security features to stop all unauthorized data access such as AES-256 volume-based encryption. The AES-256 volume-based encryption prevents sensitive data from unauthorized access and data-breach even if the hard drives or the device is stolen.

Reliable

The TS-1279U-RP is reliable with built-in safety precautions to safeguard all data from any unforeseen problems. With multiple built-in features to guarantee no interruptions to the work flow of a business, the TS-1279U-RP is an efficient asset. The advanced RAID configurations and hot-swap capabilities are included to give RAID performance, protection and reduced rebuilding time. Moreover, the dual OS embedded on the DOM architecture ensures the system will boot up. If one of the two operating systems fails, the healthy operating system will boot up and operate normally while repairing the failed operating system. The dual Gigabit LAN ports can also be configured for failover which allows the NAS server to sustain the failure of one network port and still provide continuous services.

Simple

Setting up local or remote access with the TS-1279U-RP is painless and does not require any IT skills. All setup processes have been simplified so that most of the process is either automatic or can be completed by an installation wizard. The user-friendly web GUI allows administrators to easily manage the NAS so there is no need for an extensive knowledge of complex commands. Simple management tools such as instant SMS/Email alert, the hard drive S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) feature, and system resource monitor are provided to keep administrators up-to-date on their NAS at all times.

High Performance

The TS-1279U-RP features Intel® Core i3 Processor, 2GB DDR3 memory, 10 Gigabit network capability, and 6Gb/s SATA. Even the most demanding requirements in data center or corporate networks can be satisfied by the TS-1279U-RP. With outstanding data transfer rate of over 1,000 MB/s data throughput and 100,000 IOPS 1, intensive business applications and concurrent tasks can be easily fulfilled.

        

NAS + iSCSI/IP-SAN Solution for Server Virtualization

With increasing virtualization of IT resources, the need for high performance storage is more essential than ever. The TS-1279U-RP offers class-leading system architecture matched with 10 GbE networking performance designed to meet the needs of demanding server virtualization, such as VMware®, Citrix®, and Windows® Hyper-V. 10 GbE network speeds greatly increase the agility of data transmission in a virtualized environment intensifying NFS and iSCSI connection performance.

High Network Bandwidth

The TS-1279U-RP offers network expansion options which includes dual-port 1 GbE and dual-port 10 GbE network expansion cards, to aggregate and boost network performance. The TS-1279U-RP includes two Gigabit (GbE) LAN ports which can be expanded to four GbE LAN ports or two 10 GbE LAN ports plus two GbE ports.

Blazing Fast Data Backup via USB 3.0

The TS-1279U-RP features USB 3.0 ports for high speed backup to external hard drives. EXT3, EXT4, NTFS, and HFS+ file systems are supported to ensure compatibility with Windows, Mac® OS X, and Linux operating systems.

Hard Drive Choices

I chose to use Enterprise class drives for my setup due to high speed and high availability requirements, but some seriouis cash can be saved if 3 GB/s is enough transfer rate. For my setup I purchased

  • 4 x 3TB Hitachi Ultrastar (HUA723030ALA640) 6GB/s in RAID5
  • 4 x 1TB Seagate Constellation (ST1000NM0011) 6GB/s in another RAID5

I set up two separate RAIDS with each group of hard drives to keep my main share (4x3000GB) separate from my backup target (4x1000GB). This set up gives me the flexibility to run full vmWare guests directly off the 4x1000GB as well as provision iSCSI targets from the larger 4x3000GB share.

 

Set-up and Configuration

The configuration of the NAS was straight forward after realizing its ACL limitations and thinking about how to overcome them. The server runs on a linux kernel so standard SAMBA limitations apply. It works well if all you need is the ability to set Read / Write / or None permissions on root level and one subfolder level. If you need more granular permissions, you have to use the NAS as a iSCSI share for an existing or a newly provisioned fileserver.

Transfer Speed

The TS-1279U-RP has dual Gigabit network cards. I run them in balanced mode. I have a small office of approximately 70 users plus about 12 remote VPN workers. All our employees deal with large .ps and .ai graphics files. NAS has been professionally “burnt in” by running it at continuous full load for over 48 hours. It went live this morning and I’m monitoring traffic on both of the nics. I see spikes of up to 350Mb/s on large file transfers. No one is complaining of any speed or performance issues. Granted its the first day.

Overall Experience

If I had to do it again, I would definitely purchase another QNAP NAS. The TS-1279U-RP is fast, reliable, easy to use, and is a nice looking addition to my quickly filling up rack.