The TS-659 Pro II supports PC-less installation. As soon as it is powered on, the LCD display indicates the status of the unit. On an average, the unit took around 3 minutes to complete booting up. Various characteristics such as the Volume Configuration (RAID type) and Networking Configuration could be set up using menus on the LCD display. Depending on the network environment, it might not even be necessary to install and use the QNAP Finder software. We will cover our testbed setup in a later section. In this section, we will look at the various features available in the administration web interface.

The TS-659 Pro II has a web server service which is disabled by default. Hence, visiting the IP of the NAS through any web browser automatically leads to the administration web interface. Otherwise, it can be explicitly entered into by visiting the URL with the 8080 port number tagged on. The gallery below presents screenshots from the initial pages.

The default login and password combination is 'admin'/'admin'. The flow interface also links to other services, customer support and online help wikis. The initial screen shows a list of available wizards which aid the administrator in getting up and running with creation of users, user groups, shared folders etc.

Next, we look at the various options available under System Administration. Under General Settings, one can explicitly set the server name and administration port (default is 8080). Under Network Configuration, one can configure the settings for the GbE ports. The two NICs can be configured in a number of ways to provide adaptive load balancing, fault tolerance or just dynamically aggregating the bandwidth.

One of the more important options under the Hardware subsection is the ability to enable write caching for EXT4 formatted volumes. This needs to be disabled if the NAS is used in virtualized environments. There is also the option to turn off the buzzers for various types of events. In addition, the user has control over the fan speeds. Power management options, system logs and firmware update support (direct from the Internet or from the local disk) wrap up the System Administration section.

The Disk Management section provides options to manage the volumes and inspect the current configuration of the physical disks and logical volumes. RAID management allows operations such as capacity expansion and bitmapping on the already existing logical volumes.

The HDD S.M.A.R.T subsection helps the user in checking up on the S.M.A.R.T status of the disks and also allows for periodic scheduling of S.M.A.R.T tests (a feature not supported by Synology). The iSCSI subsection allows for enabling the iSCSI service and includes a Quick Configuration Wizard to get a iSCSI target and LUN set up. The firmware also includes an iSCSI initiator to configure virtual disks (i.e., iSCSI targets resident in another network appliance).

The Access Rights Management section provides options for Active Directory support, configuration of users and user groups, shared folders and managing user disk quotas.

The Network Services section provides options to configure Samba, Apple Filing Protocol and NFS. FTP, Telnet / SSH and SNMP settings can also be modified. The web server service can also be enabled and configured in this section. uPnP and Bonjour services can also be enabled.

The TS-659 Pro II provides a rich set of application servers as evident in the gallery below.

The Web File Manager provides an AJAX interface to the file system on the NAS. The uPnP media server also enables the unit to act as a DLNA server. Multimedia Station organizes the photos and videos in the NAS in a single easy to use page. A caveat for the users is that the Multimedia Station doesn't use the same login credentials as the one used for the administration. The surveillance station supports upto four IP cameras. The streams can be viewed in real time or recorded for archival purposes.

The firmware web interface also supports a host of other options like configuring backups on the Amazon S3 service and ElephantDrive. The One-Touch Copy button in the can be configured to either copy from the USB drive to the NAS (default behaviour) or copy over a specific directory in the NAS over to the USB drive. The button can also be disabled if necessary.

The TS-659 Pro II can also be configured as a network UPS slave. QNAP also provides the MyCloudNAS service (dynamic DNS) which helps users to access the unit over the Internet. Users can also configure the various services which are visible over the MyCloudNAS service. Of course, the appropriate router ports need to be opened up, and the firmware provides options for auto configuration. The last section allows the users to check up on the information about the system, the currently turned on services and monitor the resource usage.

 

Unboxing Impressions System Teardown and Analysis
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  • Sivar - Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - link

    This is always a good point to bring up. The mantra on StorageReview.com has long been, "RAID is for uptime. Backups are for disaster recovery." Reply
  • Visual - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    How quiet is this thing?
    The only reason I would go for something like this is if it is really quieter than any file server I can build myself. It will need to be literally inaudible running 24/7 in my living room or else it will annoy me to hell some night when I decide to sleep on the sofa.

    And what are the chances for mods adding torrent clients, web/db server and other gizmos to the OS without complete wipe, keeping the current admin interface for the RAID itself?
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    Very quiet during periods of sporadic data access. But, putting it through the NASPT benchmarks would cause it to whirr up and create a ruckus of sorts for some time (Around 2 - 3 minutes) before going back to the quiet period again. This would would repeat every 5 minutes or so. This is what one expects when there are 3 fans in the system in such a small enclosure.

    Final word on noise: If you are sensitive to it, don't buy it.. I think the main target of this system is at enterprise and SMB/SOHO users who don't care about noise / keep the NAS in a server room.
    Reply
  • bobbozzo - Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - link

    At least some of their models seem to support bittorrent:
    http://www.qnap.com/faq_detail.asp?faq_id=547
    Reply
  • chris1317 - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    Thanks for the review. I have been using a QNAP 509 Pro for a few years now and it is a great performer. I have been looking for an upgrade though.
    It would be good if you could get a hold of the newly released models TS-879 or TS-1079. They support 10 GbE which I am really interested in.
    Also its worth pointing out about the limitations of raid5 with regard to the unrecoverable read error during rebuild that can present itself and result in a loss of data http://www.zdnet.com/blog/storage/why-raid-5-stops... which is why I want to go for a larger model. Allthough these models support raid 6 its tough to sacrafice 2 drives out 6 (5 in my case) for parity.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    With the $1k price premium (859 vs 879), several hundred dollars/computer for 10GB cards, and >$10k price for a 10GB router; I'm not sure if 10GB hardware really qualifies for the small office yet. Reply
  • chris1317 - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    lol, its for my house :) I like my gadgets, I do worry about the URE problem though. Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    URE? Reply
  • chris1317 - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    URE (unrecoverable read error) from the article that I linked to in my first post. With drive size increasing there is going to become increasingly likely that when a drive fails and a rebuild is in progress that a seccond drive will experience an unrecoverable read error bricking the raid. The article points out that a 7 drive RAID 5 with 1 TB disks has a 50% chance of a rebuild failure due to ure with a standard 10-14 manufacturer spec for failure. Higher spec drives are available and Raid 6 helps with this as it has a 2 drive redundancy. Reply
  • Spazweasel - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    Very true about reconstruction issues. RAID rebuilding hammers a drive like little else can.

    Fortunately, the reviewed NAS supports RAID6, as well as RAID5 + hot spare and RAID6 + hot spare.
    Reply

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