Earlier this year I bought myself a QNAP TurboNAS TS-859 Pro+ and let me give you the tip - parting with my money on computer products is so hard that it's not even funny, because after doing what I do here for nine years, one of the best perks of the job is I really have the opportunity to build a lot of my own personal rigs at a very minimal cost.
At $1,549.99 US, though, it's equally the best piece of computer equipment I've bought, tieing with my three Dell U2711 monitors. During Computex we saw QNAP show off the TurboNAS TS-1079 Pro and having only had my TS-859 Pro+ for a few months, I thought, "This must be mine!"
With the TS-1079 Pro now in our hot little hands, it was time to see just what it brings to the table. We'll start off by checking out the main specifications of the TS-1079 Pro while we also look at the availability and pricing.
Once we've done that, we'll take a closer look at the software side of things before we dive into the package then check out the NAS itself to find out how everything sits. Then we'll get onto the performance side of things with the help of Intel NASPT software before we finally wrap everything up.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
The new x79 series from QNAP are designed to replace the x59 series and there have been some improvements in the specifications department. One of the biggest improvements comes in the CPU side of things as we move away from the Intel Atom series processor to the new Sandy Bridge based ones. In the case of the new TS-879 Pro and TS-1079 Pro, they both get the Dual Core i3-2120 at 3.3GHz and 2GB of DDR3 RAM.
The pricing side of things is where the NAS path becomes a bit scary. Coming in at $2,599.99, the TS-1079 Pro is an expensive device and the first thing people tend to say is that they can build a much more powerful system that can do more for less, and while it's true, there's just a certain something about a NAS. Its convenience, power draw and ease of use are just some of the benefits. Compared to the TS-859 Pro+ at $1,549.99, the slightly higher spec'd TS-1079 Pro sporting an extra two bays and some other higher spec'd components make this NAS look very expensive as well.
While the TS-1079 Pro is available at the moment, the TS-879 Pro+ which is shown on the QNAP website hasn't really shown up yet. A lot of that is probably due to the TS-859 Pro+ still being around and still being extremely capable. The reason the TS-1079 Pro has hit, though, would be the fact that the x59 series wasn't graced with a 10-Bay NAS.
We'll get into everything in our final thoughts, but for now let's leave it at that and move onto the software side of things.
The software feature list for the TS-1079 Pro is just a joke. It's huge and it's what drew me to the QNAP brand over others initially. The main operating system is based on the QNAP Storage Manager and everything is ultimately controlled through your browser.
The TS-1079 Pro moves into that SMB / Corporate category and for that reason the feature list is massive with a long list of features revolving around Access Rights along with Domain Authentication, Cloud Storage support, Server Virtualization Backup Solutions, Security and a long list of Disk Management support when it comes to RAID.
Outside of all the official support, if you hit up the QNAP forums you'll find an absolute wealth of information and it's been a real godsend for me. Using the QPKG system you're able to just expand the capabilities of your NAS to levels that you wouldn't think were possible. The customization is so high on the QNAP side of things that the limitation normally associated with a NAS just isn't nearly as present here.
When I got my TS-859 Pro+ earlier in the year I got this really nice full color package; it had a large picture of the NAS on the front and was filled with a wealth of information. We've seen a bit of a change lately from the packaging side of things, though, and you can see that QNAP have got a more simplistic look going on here with the TS-1079 Pro.
It's a pretty standard brown box with some generic QNAP and TurboNAS labeling present. We've got some of the features across the bottom, but the main thing your eyes are drawn to is the sticker up the top which gives us a little picture of the unit, the model and a list of some of the features that are on offer.
While the package isn't quite as colorful; it's probably not as important as this isn't the kind of product that sits on shelves where you're drawn to the one that looks pretty. If you're spending in excess of a $1,000 and as high as $2,500 in this case, the chances are you're doing some research and the actual package design isn't the most important aspect; instead QNAP let the product do the talking. The main thing is that you want to just make sure you're getting the right model and in this case you can easily see the model number.
Moving to the inside of the package, there's not heaps going on with a quick installation guide, driver CD and pair of network cables included alongside the standard power cable.
Along with all that, we've also got a bucket load of screws for our hard drives along with a little bracket that is used in the event that you expand the networking capabilities with another dual-port Gigabit adapter or possibly a Intel Dual 10 Gigabit network adapter if you need some serious networking performance. The chances are that those cards will probably come with a full height bracket as they'd expect you to install it in a typical tower.
The good news is you don't have to worry about them offering any kind of half height back plate as we've already got one on offer here from QNAP which is slightly different to your normal half height back plate as it doesn't have the typical 90c bend at the top.
The QNAP TurboNAS TS-1079 Pro
Moving onto the bulk of the package, the TurboNAS TS-1079 Pro is a big device coming in at 22cm x 33cm x 32cm at 9.84kg. Considering ours came already installed with 10 hard drives in it, my back got quite the shock when I lifted the box with another 7kg of weight in it.
While it is quite large, the chances are extremely high that it's going to be smaller than any custom built system and quite possibly lighter as the chances are a larger steel chassis would be used. You get a good idea of what exactly is going on here, though.
As we start to move in closer, we can see in the top corner we've got some instructions on how to unlock the disk trays while we've also got the HDD Sequence order. As we've mentioned already, this is a 10-Bay NAS we're dealing with.
Staying at the front, we move down to the bottom and we've got our power button and a "Copy" port via USB. If you've looked at any motherboard reviews in recent months, though, you may know already what the blue USB port represents. If you don't, it means that we're dealing with a USB 3.0 port instead of the standard USB 2.0 that we see on most other NAS devices.
The other key areas on the front sit above all our main drive bays with the first being on the left. We've got a number of LED lights here that resemble the Status of the NAS along with connectivity in regards to LAN, USB, eSATA and 10G.
On the other side we've got that screen that's present on a lot of the higher end QNAP units along with a couple of buttons that let us adjust a few basic options. You will probably find yourself not really having a need to use the buttons as you hope to be able to do everything via the browser, but if you need to manually set the IP or something like that, the screen and buttons are extremely handy.
The QNAP TurboNAS TS-1079 Pro Continued
Moving back again, we get a good look at what's going on with our 10-Bays that are present here. You can see from left to right we've got Bay 1 to 8, while bay 9 and 10 sit across the bottom.
One of the more interesting things I noticed with the bays, though, was the lack of locks. I'm not sure why, but I do like the locks on my TS-859 Pro+ even though if someone ultimately wanted to access the drives and didn't have they key, they could. It does prevent someone easily being able to pull out a drive, though.
I think the main reason for the lack of locks is due to the bays being slimmer. We're of course dealing with a 10-Bay NAS here which is a lot of bays and the removal of 10 locks helps not only keep weight down, but also means the caddies can be smaller helping keep the whole device a little smaller. As for the hard drive installation, it's an absolute breeze as you'd expect and not much more really needs to be said.
Moving away from the front and to the back of the device, we can see everything that's going on with our main power connector located at the top and two very large 120mm fans present to help keep those possible 10 hard drives cool along with the components as well. On the left hand side we can see all our connectivity options, but let's move in a little closer to see exactly what's going on.
Starting from the right, we've got a little reset button in the corner followed up with our second USB 3.0 port and four USB 2.0 ports next to it. Above the USB 2.0 ports you can see we've got two Gigabit Ethernet. Next to that you can see we've got two eSATA ports and a VGA port along with a HDMI port which is both reserved for maintenance. Finally, to round it all off we've got a K-Lock area and you can see where our expansion card would be installed.
Test System Setup
A little out of my normal area, the products to compare the TS-1079 Pro are really nonexistent here. Fortunately we'll be running the TS-1079 Pro and our 10 Seagate 1TB drives in a number of RAID modes including JBOD, 0, 5, 6 and 10 to see what kind of performance we're able to get out of the setup.
As always, we'll be using the Intel NASPT software to see the kind of performance we're able to get over our Gigabit network. There's not much more that needs to be said; you can get a bit of a run down on NASPT below or you can get straight into the benchmarks on the next page.
Let's get started!
The Intel NAS Performance Toolkit (NASPT) is a file system exerciser and analysis tool designed to enable direct measurement of home network attached storage (NAS) performance. Designed to emulate the behavior of an actual application, NASPT uses a set of real world workload traces gathered from typical digital home applications. Traces of high definition video playback and recording, office productivity applications, video rendering/content creation and more provide a broad range of different application behaviors.
With version 1.71 we are able to test with Windows 7 64-bit, but to keep the results accurate you must limit your system RAM to 2GB or less. With only a single 2GB stick of memory installed you can test with Windows 7 64-bit. Also, a new test was added, Office Productivity, but several tests were removed by default like 3 Source HD Video Playback and Backup / Restore.
Intel NASPT - HD Playback
Looking at HD Playback, we can see that as soon as we move to the RAID setups we get a boost in overall performance and our Gigabit network is maxed out. We can see that RAID 0 is the fastest offering a 10% boost in performance in HD Video Playback.
The JBOD setup is of course the slowest and lags around 40% behind our RAID setups in this test here. Of course, it's one of the best options if you want maximum storage amount and want to lose none for back up purposes.
Intel NASPT - HD Record
In our next test we can see that HD Video Record performance across the board is only a few MB/s between each other. Under HD Playback and Record, though, we can see the RAID setups again separate themselves from the JBOD one. You can overall see performance is very strong, though, with the TS-1079 Pro doing a good job of flooding our Gigabit network.
Intel NASPT - Content
Across the board you can see that no matter what RAID setup we run at, performance is very close to each other with just a MB/s normally separating them. Compared to some of the other NAS units we've looked at here at TweakTown, these are some really impressive numbers.
Intel NASPT - File Copy
Again, like our content test, we see very strong performance across the board in all our RAID setups with very little separating the performance.
The 10-Bay NAS market is nearly nonexistent, especially when you move away from really high end Rack Mount solutions. Priced at $2.599.99 US, though, it doesn't come as too much of a surprise as there's a huge cost associated with them. When you consider that the price doesn't include any hard drives, to get up and running can be very expensive.
The performance on the TS-1079 Pro is great and you can see in many situations it has no issue flooding our Gigabit network port. Of course, when we start to move up to 10 drive RAID setups we expect to see some strong performance and the fastest is of course the RAID 0 build, while the slowest as you would expect is the JBOD one.
The JBOD setup, though, you can see still offers us some fantastic performance and while it doesn't quite max out our Gigabit setup, you can see it does a good job of flooding our switch.
Outside of the performance, though, where the TS-1079 Pro shines is in the ridiculously huge feature set that's offered by it. The hardware side is extremely strong as they've made the move to the Sandy Bridge platform, but software feature list is just huge and if you go through it and start to break it down, you can see that the TS-1079 Pro does a good job of catering to so many markets.
As someone who uses a TS-859 Pro+ myself, the power of the QPKG system opens up so many options and gives it the ability to really replace that typical server that you have for all your downloading needs and general storage options.
On top of that, you've got the File, Print, FTP and Backup Server options. From there we move into a large list of benefits that start to help that more corporate environment, though, with a huge list of RAID options available, Domain Authentication, Access Right Management and Power Management to name just a few.
If you're looking for a little NAS to store some data on, the TS 1079 Pro isn't going to be that NAS because of the price associated with it. While expensive, though, for people who want to have a single NAS that supports 10 Drives, it's an amazing purchase. If you're on office wanting something that is powerful and doesn't require that rack mount equipment, this is also another really great option.
The other kind of group that will buy something like this are those who want to get rid of that "typical" server. That person has to be happy to fork out the associated money that goes with a NAS providing over 6 Bays, but if you're after something that's smaller than that typical server and can do so much while drawing less power, the TS-1079 Pro is just an absolute beast of a machine.
Outside of just the performance, though, as we've mentioned before, the flexibility that the QPKG system brings to the table is amazing. If you're after a 10 Bay NAS and happy to pay the associated costs, this is just a fantastic unit from QNAP that enjoys the benefits offered from the QNAP software.