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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  • bobbozzo - Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - link

    So can you add more drives to the RAID using eSATA? How many?

    Thanks!
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - link

    It supports port multipliers in the sense that you can configure share folders on it. However, I don't think RAID expansion is supported: http://forum.qnap.com/viewtopic.php?p=158110 : Note that I am unable to test this out right now because the review unit is being put under stress for one of the bugs reported elsewhere in this comments section. Reply
  • beginner99 - Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - link

    IMHO only makes sense for business use. Only advantage to a DIY build is the small case with hot-swap. Have not seen such a case anywhere for a DIY build.
    But besides the case size you can get better hardware for half the price with DIY.

    I'm quite astonished by the 72 watt. Do hdd's need that much power?
    Reply
  • jmelgaard - Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - link

    I Disagree that the only advantage is the small case, a DIY solution might not even be possible for some consumers as they simply won't know "how to" build your own, these boxes has a high level of convenience to them and putting together components to hit the same low power consumption could be a picky task.

    But ofc. it's your opinion so I can't but say mine is different.

    The drives is rated at 7.4 Watts typical under read/write according to specs the Processor is according to Intel rated around 13 Watts.. that sums to 57,4 Watts... Add the rest of the components and I think it sounds fairly realistic...
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - link

    Most of the remainder is probably PSU inefficiency. Assuming 80% efficiency you get 71W of power in for the components you listed. Reply
  • asakharov - Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - link

    Not long ago I had a chance to test I/O performance of QNAP TS-459 Pro II (the same generation as at article) and older TS-439 Pro II. Looks like not my, not TS-659 Pro II could really use Ethernet load balancing - no I/O performance change according to NASPT. All available Ethernet teaming type was tested. All disks are in RAID0
    The best I/O performance I received with one Ethernet connected to NAS.
    The simplest is the fastest?
    Reply
  • meesterlars - Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - link

    I would urge you, Anand, to consider making readers of your site aware of an undisclosed but critical bug affecting QNAPs with newer firmware versions; it seems a certain combination of free space and number of files stored on the NAS can cause anything from appalling performance to data corruption and eventually data loss.

    The following link documents the failure of a 10TB storage node.

    http://forum.qnap.com/viewtopic.php?f=189&t=46...

    According to their forums, QNAP are investigating...

    It seems we too might be showing symptoms of this bug at one of our customer's installations where we had two freezes last week alone, requiring customer interaction (i.e., "pull power, please"). Not ideal.
    Reply
  • rancid-lemon - Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - link

    Ouch, I've just read through this thread and seems to be a show stopper.

    I was looking at buying a QNAP device but this may have to go on hold.

    There does seem to be some qnap support on the subject but that haven't revealed any details of a fix, time frame to solution or anything. Plus they seem to be no closer to a solution (or indeed know generally what is going on with their own system!)

    Thanks for the heads up!
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - link

    Thanks for posting this. I am trying to recreate the issue in the unit we have, and if I am successful in doing it, I will post an addendum to the review. Reply
  • rancid-lemon - Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - link

    Just so you are aware, having read the entire thread it seems to affect larger hard drives, 2TB+. I notice that your review system was using 1TB drives.
    The issue may still occur with 1TB drives though since according to that thread there seems to be an amount of uncertainty involved as to the cause.
    Reply

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