QNAP TS-451 Bay Trail NAS Performance Reviewby Ganesh T S on July 28, 2014 9:00 AM EST
Introduction and Testbed Setup
The launch of the QNAP TS-x51 series was covered in detail last month. Its introduction has revitalized the premium NAS market for SOHO and power users by providing a powerful enough alternative to the Atom D270x-based NAS units. The 22nm Celeron J1800 in the TS-x51 is a SoC (obviates the necessity for a platform controller hub) and brings a revamped Atom microarchitecture (Silvermont) to the NAS market. QNAP is, to our knowledge, the first off-the-shelf NAS vendor to bring a Bay Trail-based NAS unit to the market. The Celeron J1800 is also one of the few Bay Trail parts to come with the Intel Quick Sync transcoder engine as well as VT-x capabilities. QNAP takes advantage of both in their firmware to provide hardware transcoding capabilities (both offline and real-time) as well as support for virtual machines (i.e, their OS, QTS, can act as a host OS).
The virtualization and multimedia capabilities of the firmware deserve detailed analysis and will not be part of this review. Instead, we will solely concentrate on performance numbers under various scenarios. We have already looked into the market that QNAP is trying to target with this lineup in our launch piece. So, without further digression, let us take a look at the specifications of our TS-451 review unit.
|QNAP TS-451-4G Review Unit Specifications|
|Processor||Intel Celeron J1800 (2C/2T @ 2.41 GHz)|
|RAM||4 GB DDR3L RAM|
|Drive Bays||4x 3.5"/2.5" SATA 6 Gbps HDD / SSD (Hot-Swappable)|
|Network Links||2x 1 GbE|
|External I/O Peripherals||2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0|
|VGA / Display Out||HDMI 1.4a|
|Full Specifications Link||QNAP TS-451 Specifications|
Note that the $759 price point reflects the additional 3 GB of RAM over the baseline 1 GB model (which will retail for $700).
The TS-451 runs Linux (kernel version 3.12.6). Other aspects of the platform can be gleaned by accessing the unit over SSH.
Testbed Setup and Testing Methodology
The QNAP TS-451 can take up to four drives. Users can opt for either JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6 or RAID 10 configurations. We benchmarked the unit in RAID 5 with four Western Digital WD4000FYYZ RE drives as the test disks. Our testbed configuration is outlined below.
|AnandTech NAS Testbed Configuration|
|Motherboard||Asus Z9PE-D8 WS Dual LGA2011 SSI-EEB|
|CPU||2 x Intel Xeon E5-2630L|
|Coolers||2 x Dynatron R17|
|Memory||G.Skill RipjawsZ F3-12800CL10Q2-64GBZL (8x8GB) CAS 10-10-10-30|
|OS Drive||OCZ Technology Vertex 4 128GB|
|Secondary Drive||OCZ Technology Vertex 4 128GB|
|Tertiary Drive||OCZ Z-Drive R4 CM88 (1.6TB PCIe SSD)|
|Other Drives||12 x OCZ Technology Vertex 4 64GB (Offline in the Host OS)|
|Network Cards||6 x Intel ESA I-340 Quad-GbE Port Network Adapter|
|Chassis||SilverStoneTek Raven RV03|
|PSU||SilverStoneTek Strider Plus Gold Evolution 850W|
|OS||Windows Server 2008 R2|
|Network Switch||Netgear ProSafe GSM7352S-200|
We thank the following companies for helping us out with our NAS testbed:
- Thanks to Intel for the Xeon E5-2630L CPUs and the ESA I-340 quad port network adapters
- Thanks to Asus for the Z9PE-D8 WS dual LGA 2011 workstation motherboard
- Thanks to Dynatron for the R17 coolers
- Thanks to G.Skill for the RipjawsZ 64GB DDR3 DRAM kit
- Thanks to OCZ Technology for the two 128GB Vertex 4 SSDs, twelve 64GB Vertex 4 SSDs and the OCZ Z-Drive R4 CM88
- Thanks to SilverStone for the Raven RV03 chassis and the 850W Strider Gold Evolution PSU
- Thanks to Netgear for the ProSafe GSM7352S-200 L3 48-port Gigabit Switch with 10 GbE capabilities.
- Thanks to Western Digital for the four WD RE hard drives (WD4000FYYZ) to use in the NAS under test.
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lorribot - Monday, July 28, 2014 - linkHow badly is performance affected when running VMs or CIFS with a fialed drive? How badly is drive rebuild impacted when running a VM? I guess a test load for a 24 hour period replayed against the NAS box whislt a rebuild was under taken to see how far it had got would be a good test also testing response times during a rebuild and with a failed disk running of of parity.
zodiacsoulmate - Monday, July 28, 2014 - linkwhy not build a SFF computer? it seems to me a NAS is very overpriced? can anyone explain a little?
Gigaplex - Monday, July 28, 2014 - linkI wouldn't be surprised if the bulk of their engineering expenses come down to the firmware R&D. They're out to make a profit, not give away their software for free, so comparing a home brew SFF system probably needs to include a commercial OS for a fair comparison in costs. If you're happier with OSS and supporting it yourself, by all means do DIY.
zodiacsoulmate - Monday, July 28, 2014 - linkThank you!
Beany2013 - Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - linkYou're also paying for the convenience. It'd take the better part of a day to build a SFF system with the software capabilities of this (multi-raid, iSCSI, NFS, SMB, FTP, SSH, browser based video playback, metadata tagging, remote file browser, airplay/chromecast support etc) and whether that's worth it is entirely down to yourself. Or whether you need all those features, natch.
If you just want a simple SMB server then an HP Microserver with an OS of choice and simple file sharing might be a better answer.
As someone who deals with servers, networks, break/fix, etc all day, I'd rather just take something out of the box, fire it up, and be transferring my data to it within minutes of it first spinning the fans, these days.
DanNeely - Monday, July 28, 2014 - link1) Size (mITX cases approaching a 2/4 base NAS in compactness are few and far between) - a smaller box is a plus when you're living with non-geeks who don't think every surface covered in computers/computer parts is an attractive aesthetic.
2) Turnkey It Just Works integration - A major plus for people who aren't alpha-geeks, who are but have things that are more fun to do than fiddling with hardware for a box that should be stick in the closet and ignore once setup, or for people who just want to be able to tell their mom/brother in law/etc "call vendor support, not me" when something breaks.
3) Related to the last point if you want more than just a network fileshare, non-bottom of the barrel boxed NASes have a large amount of extra useful software preconfigured so you can use the easy button to install and configure it automatically.
4) For people who can be served by a basic NAS: 2-4 bays and an ARM based SoC - the cost of buying a boxed NAS isn't much higher than a DIY setup using new hardware. $150-250 for a case, PSU, mobo, cpu, ram. vs $300/400 for entry level 2/4 bay NASes from Synology.
The corollary to 4 is that if you need higher end specs: 6+ drives, a full power CPU, more advanced file systems (ZFS or Btrfs), etc; the price of entry ratchets up significantly and building your own looks a lot more attractive if you're capable of doing so.
jabber - Monday, July 28, 2014 - linkHowever as I have found most small businesses and even some larger ones often don't have much more than 8-10 GB of data.
Word docs, PDFs and excel spreadsheets dont actually take up a lot of space. Unless you are creating visual or audio media then massive complicated storage systems are just not worth it.
Most just need simple filesharing and a place to back up the laptops/desktops to without needing a IT guy on hand 24 hours a day to look after it. A NAS does that perfectly
DanNeely - Monday, July 28, 2014 - linkAgreed; and small businesses without a full time IT person are a perfect example of cases where spending a bit extra up front for vendor support is highly attractive investment.
zodiacsoulmate - Monday, July 28, 2014 - linkThanks guys!
BMNify - Monday, July 28, 2014 - linkthat's what the commercial FreeNAS for business is for, they call it trueNAS based on axactly the same FLOSS code with extra options and OC SMB vendor support etc