QNAP TS-1685 is a 16-bay desktop and certainly a unique specimen that is unmatched by any other. Despite its “size” the features are remarkable. The vast box supports 16 hot-swap drives presented as a combination of 12 3.5” and 4 2.5” bays, with the latter designed for high-speed SSD caching. Ascetically, the unit is well designed and the compactness for being a 16-bay is surprisingly not obtrusive in any way. Big it may be but curves are all in the right place.
You could be forgiven to ask why so large? Well, one just needs to look under the hood and purr with delight when you see six SATA M.2 SSD slots supporting all sizes up to the latest 22110 110mm modules, to provide the greatest flexibility in tiered storage configuration and enables cache acceleration. The TS-1685 features M.2 cooling modules for keeping the M.2 SSDs cool and stable.
Its quad Gigabit ports are idea for service binding, port trunking and MPIO configurations and partnered by dual embedded 10GBase-T and you have three USB 3 ports with the front one linked up to QNAP’s one-touch copy button. The list goes on and on as the three available PCI-Express slots support 10GbE and 40GbE upgrades, NVMe SSDs or high-performance GPGPU cards.
Along with the dual blower fans, the chassis has three more fans at the back and all are incredibly efficient. The SPLnFFT iOS app on our iPad measured zephyr-like sound levels of only 36.7dB at one metre, making it the perfect silent partner.
We loaded six 12TB Seagate EXOS Enterprise drives (ST12000NM0007). For our test host, we called up a Dell PowerEdge R640 rack server equipped with dual 2.1GHz Xeon Gold 6130 CPUs, 192GB of DDR4 memory and Windows Server 2012 R2 at the helm.
NAS performance over 10-Gigabit (10GbE) is impressive. A share mapped to a Dell PowerEdge R640 Windows server returned top Iometer raw read and write rates of 10.2Gbits/sec and 9.78Gbits/sec. We upped the pressure with a second server with dedicated share and saw cumulative Iometer speeds of 19.5Gbits/sec and 17.3Gbits/sec – even better than Qnap performance claims.
Real-world speeds are also tops, with copies of a 100GB test file returning read and write rates of 7.3Gbits/sec and 4.4Gbits/sec.
Backup features are superb as the QTS Hybrid Backup Sync app manages all your local, remote, Rsync, and iSCSI LUN backups, and offers wizards for every job type. These include Qnap’s RTRR (real-time remote replication) which is ideal for running off-site backups to remote Qnap appliances.
For NAS and iSCSI LUN snapshots, we created schedules from the Storage Manager app to run them as often as every 5 minutes. Data restoration is just as easy and we could also browse NAS snapshot contents to restore individual files or folders.
The TS-1685 is capable of being a lot more than just a repository for data, it’s also a cloud in a box; the Qsync Central Station app provides remote real-time, two-way syncing with Windows and Mac clients. The Cloud Backup Sync app extends file syncing to 11 cloud providers. This includes OneDrive for Business. While the Connect to Cloud Drive app provided quick access to all our cloud storage accounts via the new File Station app.
There’s much more, as QNAP’s Virtualization Station hosts multiple VMs running OSes of your choice and links up with the Virtual Switch app for easy network access. Qfile lets users remotely access files from their mobiles while the new Q filing app keeps them neatly in order.
The TS-1685 is an ideal companion for businesses, and the price is not bad at all for what is on offer, would need to be a strong case to ignore this beast of a desktop NAS.
Special Mention – Utilized in this review are the Seagate ST12000NM0007 Exos X12 enterprise hard drives. They offer the highest rack space efficiency — up to 10PB of data in a single 42U rack. Enhanced caching makes it perfect for Big Data applications, providing the fastest hard drive data transfers in the datasphere. Hyperscale SATA models are tuned for large data transfers, providing low latency. You can easily customize your bulk storage requirements with innovative technology advancements (PowerBalance™, PowerChoice™ and RAID Rebuild®).
TS-1685-D1521-16G/TS-1685-D1521-32G/TS-1685-D1521-32G-550W: models are designed with Intel® Xeon® Processor D-1521, 4-core 2.4 GHz – memory installed 16GB non-ECC RAM (8GB UDIMM x 2) and both 32GB models have the non-ECC RAM (16GB UDIMM x 2) respectively
TS-1685-D1531-32G/TS-1685-D1531-64G/TS-1685-D1531-64GR/TS-1685-D1531-128GR/TS-1685-D1531-64GR-550W/TS-1685-D1531-128GR-550W: Models are designed with Intel® Xeon® Processor D-1531, 6-core 2.2 GHz processors as for the DDR4 memory installed modules are in the following configuration:
TS-1685-D1531-32G: 32GB non-ECC RAM (16GB UDIMM x 2)
TS-1685-D1531-64G: 64GB non-ECC RAM (16GB UDIMM x 4)
TS-1685-D1531-64GR: 64GB ECC RAM (16GB RDIMM x 4)
TS-1685-D1531-128GR: 128GB ECC RAM (32GB RDIMM x 4)
TS-1685-D1531-64GR-550W: 64GB ECC RAM (16GB RDIMM x 4)
TS-1685-D1531-128GR-550W: 128GB ECC RAM (32GB RDIMM x 4)
TS-1685-D1531-32G 16-Bay Desktop NAS Diskless