NAS as reviewed – Diskless TS-1277-1700-64G – $3,507.14.00
Hard Disk Drives as reviewed – 10TB – Seagate Exos X10 Enterprise Helium SATA HDD – $353.16
Now a days venturing into new territories seem to be the norm for QNAP, if the latest 12-bay TS-1277 has anything to go by, with it’s the world’s first desktop appliance to be powered by AMD’s latest Ryzen processor. QNAP offers two CPU choices with the cheaper model using a 6-core 3.2GHz Ryzen 5 1600 model while our review system is endowed with an 8-core 3GHz Ryzen 7 1700 chip.
The TS-1277-1700-64G is a powerful package as it comes with a base 64GB of fast DDR4 memory already installed and this is the maximum allowable. Storage features are excellent as the appliance has eight standard LFF SATA hot-swap drive bays up front, four SFF bays above and a pair of internal M.2 SSD slots.
As for connectivity you’re spoiled for choice in the port department as the TS-1277 has quad Gigabit, six USB 3 and 10Gbps USB 3.1 Type-A and Type-C ports. Upgrade options are extensive as the appliance has three PCI-Express slots which support a wide range of cards including 10GbE, 40GbE, graphics and PCIe NVMe SSD adapters.
Design, noise and expansion
Wrapped in a well-built golden chassis, the TS-1277 can be seen but not heard as its internal cooling system is very well designed. The CPU is looked after by a pair of blower fans with dual 8cms diameter chassis cooling fans at the rear which we measured emitting only 37.5dB from one meter in front of the appliance.
The lid is easily removed for upgrade maneuvers with the four DIMM and two M.2 SSD slots accessed by lifting off the CPU fan module. The M.2 slots support modules up to 110mm in length and QNAP even includes a pair of chunky aluminum heat sinks in the box, which are recommended to be used.
We wanted to test 10GbE performance and opted to fit an Emulex dual-port 10GBase-T adapter but it’s 167mm long, so would only go in the single inner PCI-Express slot. The CPU blower fans limit card lengths for the two outer slots to about 152mm and we also found this isn’t enough space for Qnap’ s QM2 10GBase-T/dual M.2 SSD adapter card either.
No such problems with the main drive bays as we quickly slotted in a quartet of 10TB Seagate EXOS drives using the tool-free carriers. Storage can be expanded massively using Qnap’ s UX-500P and U-800P USB 3 drive bays or by fitting a QNAP SAS card which supports up to four REXP-1000 Pro units.
With our Exos drives configured as a big RAID5 storage pool, we saw excellent performance over 10GbE. After mapping a share to a Dell PowerEdge R640 Xeon Scalable server running Windows Server 2016, we recorded top Iometer sequential read and write rates of 9.9Gbits/sec and 9.3Gbits/sec.
Real world speeds are equally good with copies of a 25GB test file returning read and write rates of 6.2Gbits/sec and 5.3Gbits/sec. Our backup test was handled well with our 22.4GB folder and its 10,500 small files secured to a share at 2.8Gbits/sec.
Encryption performance is up there, too. Our 25GB test file was copied down to an encrypted share at an average of 3.2Gbits/sec with the Ryzen CPU snoozing at less than 10 percent utilization.
IP SAN speeds are even better with a 500GB target returning Iometer read and write rates both of 10.1Gbits/sec. We ramped up the pressure with a dual 10GbE MPIO link and saw read and write speeds increase mightily to 18.9Gbits/sec and 17.8Gbits/sec.
QTS 4.3.4 features
QNAP has officially released its QTS 4.3.4 software and the star player is its new Storage and Snapshots app. This delivers a wealth of storage management tools all amalgamated neatly into a single interface.
QNAP’ s snapshot technology scores over the competition as it supports standard EXT4 file systems and doesn’t require BTRFS. This is an important differentiator as it allows QNAP’ s 32-bit and 64-bit appliances to support snapshots.
We found snapshot management easy as we chose NAS shares and iSCSI LUNs, took them on-demand and scheduled them to run at regular intervals. Data recovery is a cinch as we restored entire NAS shares or individual files and recovered iSCSI LUNs from selected snapshots.
The new File Station 5 makes NAS data recovery a cinch as you can use it browse share snapshots, choose folders or files and restore them with a few clicks. You can also clone NAS shares and iSCSI LUNs and use the Snapshot Replica feature to secure share and LUN snapshots to remote QNAP appliances.
Virtualization and more
Its big memory capacity and powerful CPU makes the TS-1277 a great candidate for virtualization duties. The Linux Station app allows the TS-1277 to run Ubuntu alongside QTS and we had it downloaded and installed in around 10 minutes.
A key feature is this app provides Ubuntu with direct access to all storage and shares on the appliance. We could also enable remote desktop services and VNC to the Ubuntu Desktop directly from a web browser.
The Container Station runs a vast array of LXC and Docker apps in lightweight containers while the slick Virtualization Station allows the appliance to host VMs running virtually any OS you want. For the latter, we had no problem installing a Windows Server 2016 VM and had it up and running inside 15 minutes.
Cloud support doesn’t get any better as Qsync Central offers remote two-way file syncing with Windows, Mac, iOS and Android clients while the Cloud Backup Sync app now supports twelve providers. We also used File Station 5 to create remote mount points and access all our cloud storage accounts directly from its interface.
The TS-1277 has the supremacy to handle just about anything you can throw at it. As far as we can see, there is no competitor in site to come close to this unit.
- Very quiet
- Powerful Ryzen CPU
- Big choice of storage devices
- QTS 4.3.4 delivers on features
- Great NAS and IP SAN performance
- Space restrictions inside for expansion slots