Officially the QNAP TS-509 Pro is a 12-in-1 solution, but since the system is based on Linux the enthusiast users may add additional features. To be honest, I don't see anything that QNAP has left out, but don't under estimate the power user groups that frequently program new software modules that add additional features.
Business users will enjoy easy software setup and user management. Batch changes can be made on the individual or group level, granting or removing access to folders on the NAS.
The TS-509 Pro can also double as a web server. I found this feature every exciting as it allowed me to load a copy of a website I have been tinkering around with for years, make changes and try new features before implementing them in a live, public environment. All of the usual software components are also included like phpMyAdmin and SQL. Things can really get interesting once you enable the built in Joomla! support and start making an in house intranet for your files, pictures and other bits stored on the NAS.
Availability and Cost
QNAP currently has their products available at every major e-tail vendor that I looked at, so getting a unit should not be a problem. As a product targeted for business and corporate use, the price may set you back a little more than a consumer NAS appliance. Newegg currently lists the TS-509 Pro for 899.99 without drives. Once you fill the unit up with five 1TB drives, currently available for right around 100 USD, the total cost of ownership comes close to 1400 Dollars. It is possible to start out with a single drive or a pair of drives for redundancy and add more as needed. We test with several variations of drives and levels of RAID so you will be able to see how adding more drives affects performance.
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