QNAP TS-332X 3-Bay NAS with Annapurna Labs AL-324 Q.C 1.7GHz Arm Cortex, 2-16GB Memory, 10GbE SFP+, 3 x HDD + 3 x m.2 SSD Bays.
In a desktop form factor with a somewhat attractive compact white case QNAP launches another NAS to its already burgeoning NAS portfolio, the TS-332X – 3-bay with 10GbE port inclusive. Until recently we had been accustomed to 2-4-6-8-10 etc. bays and not odd numbers, so what exactly has been the motivation behind this 3-bay NAS launch and why is the figure three so important.
- Drive combination allows for hot and cold storage – without the necessity of leaving drive bays blank
- 2 SSD technology aids to support the three bays, and keeps the cost of manufacturing down
- The compact size means users with portability storage needs can use the TS-332X on the go
- The combination of three bays and three M.2 SSD slots internally provide the flexibility to use cold and hot data storage tiering. (see below)
The TS-332X has six bays and not three, as it has an additional three M.2 SSD bays that can be used for live storage by utilizing RAID 5 or use them as Cache for buffering against the hard disks to enhance performance.
Remaining with the bays there are a few options on how these can be used, aside from having the M.2. slots if we just focus in the drive bays it is possible to one drive bay for SSD caching and the other two for mounting hard disks for RAID 1 deployment, with this you can get better performance and solid data protection. Of course, the other solution should be familiar to all of us, one of using three hard disk drives to perform RAID 5 providing large storage with great data protection.
The M.2.slots provides the option of increasing not only capacity but performance by implementing M.2 2280 SSD’s, this is a great option for a small system of this caliber.
Cold Storage – The use of three hot-swappable bays for hard disk drives allows for big data storage, ranging from 1TB upwards to 12TB drives, having said that we would not wish to use more than 10TB drives in these NAS appliances unless they TS-332X is fixated in one location, for portability no large than 4TB drives needs to be used.
Hot Storage – Now this scenario is where things get very interesting the combination of Cold storage with Hot storage occurs when the use of SSD’s are introduced in the form of M.2, this can be up to 2TB allowing for three slots that can take the form of 6TB using Tiering to enable cold and hot storage facilitation.
TS-332X has a bevy of connections that includes three USB 3 with two at the rear and one at the front to allow for fast access, with network connections two Gigabit RJ45 allows for teaming if required and the ubiquitous single 10 Gigabit SFP+ connection opens up a whole new way to increase network performance, with a direct PC connection to allow for faster transfer, or hook up to the 10GbE switch on the network and this compact TS-332X will chug along nicely.
Application and User Case
The actual size of the TS-332X is 142 x 150 x 260.1 mm (5.59 x 5.9 x 10.24 inches), with a weighing in at 2.69Kg (5.93 lbs.) for diskless it’s not half that bad really!
The design aspect of the TS-332X is based around the TS-932X and TS-832X, the larger NAS appliances, which are aimed at Small Businesses and Professional home users. Other than that, you need to move on up, as they are no show in performance against the Intel and larger AMD processors.
For home media users the ARM processor currently does not work with PLEX, this we are advised is a short-term problem that is being addressed, to be on the cautious side if you want support for Plex in a NAS look at the many alternatives offered within QNAP’s portfolio, any Intel and AMD based NAS appliances should comfortably support PLEX.
Ideally suited for small businesses as well as home users that don’t need to deploy Plex, a great starter NAS that will help to get you on the ladder of doing backups and protecting data.