Introduction & Pricing, Availability, and Specifications
QSAN has quickly come on as a legit storage provider taking place, in my book, of Thecus, which has gone missing since Ennoconn acquired them in 2016. This is a fantastic place for QSAN to thrive as they offer a similar solution, storage focused for the midrange business.
The XN8016D is their latest 16-bay solution built on a 3U modular platform that offers scalability with enterprise-level hardware and performance through a suite of tools that accelerate platform efficiency. The XN8016D is an Intel-based platform built on the Broadwell Xeon family of CPUs.
Included, you will find each module has a quad-core solution that operates at 2.2GHz. Each modular controller also houses 16GB of DDR4 ECC memory, with expansion available up to 128GB per controller. The 16 drive bays support both 2.5" and 3.5" drives with either SATA or SAS connectivity, both 12Gb/s and 6Gb/s.
Internal raw capacity can reach 288TB with 18TB drives. For this review, we have the XN8016D filled with 16TB Seagate Exos drives.
Pricing and Availability
The QSAN XN8016D carries an MSRP of $11999.99 with a three-year warranty.
Packaging for the XN8016D is a standard brown box, obviously exceptionally large to accommodate the footprint. That said, I decided to omit it as it's much larger than my photo booth. I could slide in the hardware itself, though, and above, you can see the front of the XN8016D. This includes a power and unit ID button to the far right with drive LEDs located on the trays themselves. All trays are lockable as well.
From this angle, you can see the rackmount ears are a part of the chassis itself, so there are no screws to loosen up over time. Along the bottom edge, you can see the rail mounting points.
The next angle shows a similar setup on the right side with an access panel at the top.
The rear I/O is busy and modular. Each power supply is located at the bottom of the left and right side, above those the modular fan array. In the middle, we have two controllers with a slot for a third if needed. Each controller has two 10Gbe ports and two SAS expansion slots with 1Gbe and USB 3.0 for console setup.
The drive trays this time around are steel with small bits of plastic for the front. Not tool-less on this model, but screws are included for both 2.5 and 3.5" drives.
Management GUI and Test System
find.QSAN.com or Xfinder software will get you moving on your NAS setup.
Once in, we go through a few steps, setting admin details, etc.
We finish up the setup by configuring the disks. To start our testing, we used RAID 5.
Landing in the dashboard, you have an overview panel to the right side, with only a few icons in the center.
The control panel gives you access to file-sharing controls, including folders, users, and groups. The system allows you to configure the network and hardware options.
Network setup is proper, giving access to both controller interfaces independently.
Storage setup offers options for pools, volumes, and block storage. You can also enable deduplication to save disk space and SSD cache if installed.
The backup menu offers support via snapshots, remote backup, and Xmirror.
File services include CIFS, Rsync, and iSCSI.
Last, we have the monitor giving us server details and resource usage.
Tyler's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Crosshair VIII Formula X570 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 (buy from Amazon)
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB 2x8GB DDR4 3600 (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair Hydro H60 (buy from Amazon)
- Case: Corsair Carbide 275R (buy from Amazon)
- OS Storage: Corsair MP600 1TB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: Corsair RM850x (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 (buy from Amazon)
Benchmarks - Storage Performance & Final Thoughts
With the 16 Seagate Exos drives installed, we ran through our advanced workload testing in RAID 0, RAID 50, and RAID 60.
Random read performance was highest in RAID 0, reaching 120K IOPS at QD64. RAID 50 and 60 both showed a touch over 40K IOPS QD32 through 256.
Random write separates the arrays, RAID 0 reaching 150K IOPS QD64 while RAID 50 and 60 touches 6K and 8K, respectively.
Sequential read showed burst in performance between each change in QD. Peak performance was 1200 MB/s QD256 in RAID 0 with RAID 50 and 60 reaching a touch under 1000 MB/s.
Sequential write came in just above 800 MB/s QD16 through 256 for RAID 0. 50 and 60 reach 600 MB/s and 500 MB/s.
With Database, we move back to IOPS, reaching a peak of 20K at QD64 with RAID 0. 50 and 60 hit 6K and 12K, respectively.
Fileserver peaked at 22K IOPS in RAID 0.
Email Server showed 6K IOPS for RAID50 while R60 was just above at 10K IOPS.
Web Server peaked at 35K IOPS in RAID 0. 20K for R60 and 10K for R50.
25K IOPS is the top marker for RAID 0. R60 was able to gain 15K IOPS while R50 touches 9K.
Mid-range businesses will enjoy the flexibility that the XN8016D provides with its modular design, and while the base platform is configured with a quad-core Xeon CPU, QSAN does say this platform can be used with 8-core variants as well. 16GB of memory seemed like plenty for our testing, but expansion is available for those with much larger and heavier workloads. 10Gbe worked fantastic on the XN8016, allowing us to get the most out of the Seagate Exos drives installed.
The performance was great, well over 1000 MB/s in sequential workloads, while our random workloads showed impressive performance reaching over 120K IOPS. Advanced workloads showed solid results for Database, reaching upwards of 20K IOPS at QD64. File Server was the peak of the XN8016D, reaching 35K IOPS in RAID 0.
Pricing will put this unit out of reach for enthusiasts and homelabbers, but medium and large businesses should have no issue absorbing the initial cost. Comparable systems would include the Synology RS4017xs+, although it lacks the flexibility and modules the QSAN has.
The Bottom Line
The XN8016D checks out as a beast of platform that offers a modular interface with full support for 10GBe, 12Gb/s SAS and expansion!