QNAP TS-469L NAS for SMEs: First Take

QNAP's new Atom-powered NAS boxes offer a good range of enclosure sizes and deliver better performance than the previous Marvell-based models.
Written by Kelvyn Taylor, Contributor

Taiwan-based NAS manufacturer QNAP recently announced a new range of Intel dual-core Atom-powered NAS enclosures aimed at the SME market. The TurboNAS x69L range includes models ranging from entry-level 2-bay devices up to 8-bay units, providing from 8TB up to 32TB of storage when used with 4TB SATA drives (SSD drives are also supported). All come as standard with 1GB of DDR3 RAM, which is upgradable to 3GB.

Other common features include twin Gigabit Ethernet ports (with trunking support), two USB 3.0 ports, two e-SATA ports and hot-swappable (but not lockable) quick-release drive bays. Unusually, the range also includes a 5-bay model, the TS-569L.

All share QNAP's modular firmware, which is stored in a failsafe dual-image system on a 512MB Flash DOM (Disk On Module). There are dozens of downloadable add-in Qpkg application packages provided, and although some of these have a consumer focus, there are plenty of business-oriented apps such as the Surveillance Station Pro, which comes with a licence for a single IP camera, but can be expanded up to 12.

The dual-core Atom-powered QNAP TS-x69L range comes in 2, 4, 5, 6 and 8-bay models.

We looked at the 4-bay TS-469L to get a feel for the range, and found that the styling is quite similar to the TS-419P II we reviewed a year ago, albeit without the OLED display. The firmware has the same look and feel as the older model, although there have been several updates in the meantime. The main difference is the use of Atom CPUs instead of Marvell processors.

We tested performance using three 3TB Western Digital Red drives, using Passmark Performance Test 7's Advanced Disk Tests. It returned a decent overall DiskMark of 811, with component scores of 79.4MB/sec for sequential reads, 100.9MB/sec for sequential writes and 43.9MB/sec for random reads and writes. These show much better write performance than its predecessor.

Disk tests from PassMark Software's Performance Test 7 on the QNAP TS-469L.

Running the advanced workloads gave us scores of 51.6MB/sec in the File Server workload, 79.43MB/sec for the Web Server workload, 13MB/sec for the Workstation workload, and 26MB/sec for the Database workload. The File Server performance, which uses 80 percent random reads and 20 percent random writes, is almost three times better than the TS-419P II.

The TS-x69L range starts at around UK£313 (ex. VAT)/US$489 for the TS-269L, rising to around UK£675/US$1,043 for the TS-869L, and all models are available immediately.

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