The XN8012R is the second QSAN system I've tested in two years. It's interesting seeing the products mature as QSAN carves a niche not serviced by the other NAS providers. The systems are a throwback to some of the early NAS I tested when this category started heating up over a decade ago. QSAN's focus is on storage, storage performance, and adding storage features such as deduplication and compression. QSAN doesn't have a karaoke app, or other add-ons that no system administrator would allow in a serious environment. Eliminating the clutter to focus on the core is a welcome change after seeing NAS go through an era of bloatware like we saw with PCs since the 2000s.
For storage, the XN8012R is QSAN's most advanced NAS to date. The system incorporates the latest technology that system administrators lust for. The resilient ZFS file system is the foundation and allows advanced features like scalable compression and deduplication to maximize storage potential. The advanced cache and tier options provided by up to six SFF drives keeps the performance high by reducing the IO penalties from enabling the advanced features.
The system is just the start of your new infrastructure. With expansion, the XN8012R scales up to 2PB. That's quite a bit more than what the average business needs, but a large enough capacity to know future updates in infrastructure come at a lower CAPX than the rip and replace model from systems with less headroom.
In the article, we talked a bit about the XN8012R taking over the testing role for other storage products. We've already run over thirty tests with products like Seagate's new 16TB models (IronWolf, IronWolf Pro, and Exos), as well as flash-based products like the Micron 5120 Ion 4-bit per cell drives. The most exciting testing has come from comparing different cache drives including Micron's 9300 Series used today and Intel's 3D XPoint-based Optane SSDs. The system gives us the flexibility to explore more options that allow us to answer the questions system administrators need before committing to new technologies. The system is a welcome addition to the test lab that will serve our testing needs for years to come.
The Bottom Line
The QSAN XCubeNAS XN8012R NAS is a flexible solution that provides powerful performance in a scalable package.