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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  • chris1317 - Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - link

    Yeah it is good that there is also RADI6 support. QNAP My TS-509 supports RAID6 but I am unwilling to sacrafice 2/5 drives for raid thats why im holding out and saving up for either the 8 bay or 10 bay model. Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    I don't agree with your conclusions about the non-usefulness of USB3 vs eSata. Granted supporting quick copy on both would be best; but among non-technical users USB drives are significantly more common than eSata and over the next year or two I expect most of them to become USB3 enabled. Backing up to an external HD is a common pattern, so a lot of 1st time NAS users will probably have data to import this way. Reply
  • Kevin G - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    Minor differences between the chart and the article on the first page. "Internally, the dual core Atom D525 runs at 1.73 GHz and has four execution threads..." while the chart indicates a flat 1.8 Ghz. Reply
  • ganeshts - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    The 1.73 GHz is from /proc/cpuinfo ; Any other claim is just marketing specs (which I clearly mention before putting up the specs). Reply
  • schumaku - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    TS-459 Pro II, V3.5.0 Build 0815T

    [~] # cat /proc/cpuinfo
    processor : 0
    vendor_id : GenuineIntel
    cpu family : 6
    model : 28
    model name : Intel(R) Atom(TM) CPU D525 @ 1.80GHz
    stepping : 10
    cpu MHz : 1795.701
    ...
    processor : 1
    ...
    model name : Intel(R) Atom(TM) CPU D525 @ 1.80GHz
    stepping : 10
    cpu MHz : 1795.701
    ...
    processor : 2
    ...
    model name : Intel(R) Atom(TM) CPU D525 @ 1.80GHz
    stepping : 10
    cpu MHz : 1795.701
    ...
    processor : 3
    ...
    model name : Intel(R) Atom(TM) CPU D525 @ 1.80GHz
    stepping : 10
    cpu MHz : 1795.701
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    I rechecked the NAS, and it is indeed 1795 MHz. Sorry, fixed. Reply
  • XZerg - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    I don't find NAS at all worthy and their performance/price are even worse than what you can do with a 10 years old computer and a gigabit card. Maybe not 10 years old but 6-7 years would be great instead. I have had a NAS, DLink DNS-323, which I sold after a year of not much of a great use for $100 ($130+6% tax originally paid). Even though it was a Gigabit NAS the performance on that was just pathetic, think in 3-4MBps for most tasks, including copying movies which would go up to 10 or so MBps. Once I bought my new laptop, I basically converted my old computer (Sempron 3100+ 32bit system) into my NAS and I easily got 40-50MBps over LAN. I upgraded that after to something newer (X2 4600 with 785G chipset) and now it servers as a media center too replacing my DVD player as well.

    Given their performance and their price, why would anyone want to get a NAS over say even a nettop systems which will too easily outpace them? Some of these NAS, take QNAP TS-659 Pro II for example, cost $1000+. Hell for that price I can easily setup a very decent low-end system with 5x2TB drives and some SSDs too and still have money to add more. So why?
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    Quality NAS hardware, as opposed to cheap junk like your $100 Dlink box, are full fledged computers in SFF cases and can be more compact than anything you can build yourself. eg HPs 4 drive WHS boxes are half the size of the smallest 4 bay MiniITX case I could find.

    If the size of the device isn't a concern, you can build your own hardware, and install/configure/admin a linux file server yourself then there's really not any reason for you to buy a NAS. OTOH if you want something that just works out of the box because you value your free time highly, or are a SMB without a dedicated geek (or your geek is already swamped and you can't afford a second) then the cost of a good prebuilt NAS with idiot friendly web config pages, is less than hiring a contractor/etc to build and maintain a homebuilt server for you.
    Reply
  • MTN Ranger - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    Stepping up to a better quality NAS such as a Synology DS210 offers much higher performance. I regularly get over 60MBps on my gigabit LAN. Reply
  • jmelgaard - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    Did you actually read the article?... Did you miss the page where they measured performance, or did you just assume it was impossible to reproduce those numbers under real life situations?

    Have a QNAP 859 Pro my self, chosen for pure convenience as putting together a NAS box that would fill the same set of requirements would be a picky task not to mention the time put in to it in terms of build and installation...

    Copying a ~10GB directory, a VMWare virtual machine in my case, gives me the following (Large files, 1GB-2GB pr file for most of the 10GB):
    - NAS to Workstation: 86MB/s
    - Workstation to NAS: 55MB/s

    Copying ~9GB directory with images (small Files, 2-5MB):
    - NAS to Workstation: 45MB/s
    - Workstation to NAS: 44MB/s

    My workstation has 3 x 240GB Vertex 3 SSD's hooked up to a LSI MegaRaid 9265-8i controller, so there should be absolutely no bottleneck there, I run with Dual 1Gbit link for the NAS in fail-over mode, and only a single 1Gbit link in the Workstation, The NAS has 8 x SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3EG (Green, HD203WI 1AN1) in RAID 5...

    As expected It can't give the same throughput when writing to it as reading, has to calculate parity after all, also dealing with lots of small files has it's penalties compared to large files, also something I did expect.

    But building your own NAS does have advantages for sure, so if one bothers there is gains like the flexibility you can give it and that you have a more "limitless" ability to expand, well to a certain degree but properly far beyond your needs, also 10Gbit links are more available although QNAP has just release a new series that can be upgraded to 10Gbit, but to utilize that we are talking SSD's and uhm... that will become rather expensive and I would have to say that I could not see the case for it...

    But these "In a box" solutions is far from as bad as you seem to think of them...
    Reply

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