QNAP TS-419U Turbo NASDec 23rd, 2009 | By Simon
QNAP TS-419U Turbo NAS
: 12/23/09 – 03:38:13 AM
Page 1 : Index
: QNAP Systems, Inc
Many of us don't own a rack but for the diehard it wouldn't be too hard to make. A rack would let you shelve equipment and the QNAP TS-419U Turbo NAS is a 1U rack NAS device.
Anyone who has done any research on QNAP products will know that the first digit in the product series indicates how many drives the NAS device can expand to. For our TS-419U, it holds 4 drives. The largest rack NAS device QNAP makes right now is an 8 drive 2U unit. For corporate companies, a 2U may be required but for everyone else the 1U should be more than enough. As we'll detail in this review, the TS-419U can handle 4 internal hard drives and an extra 6 external devices (4 USB and 2 eSATA).
Page 2 : Package and Contents
The QNAP TS-419U doesn't have a retail package; as a server for the corporate world we're not going to care too much about what is on the box. We've done our research and a basic cardboard box does the trick.
Inside the cardboard box we have the TS-419U unit itself and two boxes of accessories containing installation details, two network cables, a power cord, mounting screws and various rack mounting equipment.
Being a part of the rack family, the TS-419U is pretty plain looking as everything will be hidden inside the shelf. With the exception of the front and back, everything is plain flat aluminum. The sides are notched to mount the guide rails, included in the above photo.
On the front of the chassis we have the power and copy buttons located on the right. A small little sticker on the top indicates the drive sequence for troubleshooting. Also on the front is one USB port on the left side.
On the backside we have our two eSATA ports, three additional USB ports and our two NIC connections. On the bottom side of the chassis by the rear I/O panel is the serial number for the device and our MAC addresses for router configuration. Also on the backside is our power supply fan and AC connection.
Cracking open the chassis we see a very empty inside. The motherboard is about ITX sized and fully utilized; there aren't any extra SATA ports available. We can see a total of four 40mm ADDA fans inside the TS-419U: three to cool the hard drives and one for the power supply. The power supply is a Delta Electronics 250W model. A total of 17A can be supplied to the single 12V rail and the 5V rail has 12A. The combined output on the +5V and +3.3V is 60W and the overall combined wattage on the +5V, +3.3V and +12V is 240W.
Page 3 : Features and Specifications
The QNAP TS-419U is aimed for the corporate world but can also be used at the home office if you've got enough money and the need for a NAS device of such high caliber.
QNAP TS-419U Turbo NAS is the 4-bay, 1U chassis multi-functional network attached storage (NAS) server designed for small and mid-sized business who is looking an affordable and low-powered network storage solution. The TS-419U can be easily installed and maintained in the server room. It is an ideal solution for mass data backup, management and sharing. Moreover, the NAS supports excellent hardware design, outstanding performance, high system reliability and expandability, and numerous powerful software applications. It is undeniably the top-notch model in the 4-bay 1U chassis NAS market.
The TS-419U adopts Marvell 1.2GHz CPU and 512MB DDRII memory. It supports 4 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch hot-swappable SATA hard drives, 2 Gigabit LAN ports for multi-IP settings and port trunking (7 bonding modes). The NAS is equipped with 4 USB ports and 2 eSATA ports for storage expansion or external data backup.
The TS-419U supports RAID 0/ 1/ 5/ 6/ 5+spare, single and JBOD disk configurations. The unique Online RAID Capacity Expansion and Online RAID Level Migration allow the users to expand the storage capacity of the RAID configuration and upgrade the RAID level without turning off the server respectively. The RAID recovery feature secures the server data against accidental removal of the hard drives.
In addition, the TS-419U supports NAS and iSCSI applications to provide a low-cost, highly flexible and efficient IP SAN solution for SMB users. Up to 8 iSCSI targets can be created on the NAS for storage expansion of the PC or other servers and backup destination of the database servers and mail servers, etc. The TS-419U is featured with virtual disk drive (VDD) by built-in iSCSI initiator that other iSCSI devices on the network can be added to expand the storage capacity of the NAS.
The TS-419U supports abundant powerful applications which can be accessed across Windows, Mac, Linux, and UNIX. Also, numerous management tools, e.g. Windows Active Directory (AD), real-time system monitoring, detailed event logs, Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), instant SMS alert, and schedule power on/ off management are provided for the users to manage the NAS efficiently.
Page 4 : Installation
Physically setting up the TS-419U Turbo NAS device is not very difficult. The drive cages easily pull out and are labeled for quick identification.
These drive cages have been modified for both 3.5′ and 2.5′ hard drives. QNAP realizes that 2.5′ SSDs offer uncompromised performance and wanted to ensure that their buyers with loads of cash can mount some badass 256GB SSDs.
For those without an unlimited budget, standard mechanical drives will have to do. For me, I'll be using my 3.5′ 500GB Seagate 7200.11 Barracudas.
Both types of hard drives come with mounting screws; the SSDs will require three per drive and the 3.5′ drive requires four. Both drives are bottom mounted and only take a few seconds to secure.
Once the hard drives are secured to the cage, the cages can be slid back into the device mating the data and power ports of the TS-419U to the individual hard drives. A key lock can be used to prevent the drives from being pulled out by an unauthorized person.
Unless you have external hard drives to install or a printer to connect, all that remains is plugging in the power and network cable.
Page 5 : Drive Initialization and Settings
The software provided by QNAP lets you quickly set up the NAS device for sharing files on the network. As you develop the need for more sophisticated applications like a database server or a video surveillance network, QNAP will more than likely have something already available to you. However, let's start at the beginning and install QNAP Finder from the CD.
After logging in, you are presented with the home page:
Unfortunately the home page doesn't mean a whole lot until the hard drives are configured. The Quick Configuration will complete this task in about 9 steps. Once you run through the Quick Configuration once, you can use the individual navigation options to change settings like date & time, user access, RAID Configuration, etc.
Here are all the individual configuration options available to you:
- General Settings
- Power Management
- Network Recycle Bin
- Backup System Settings
- System Logs
- Firmware Update
- System Reset
- Microsoft Networking
- Apple Networking
- NFS Service
- FTP Service
- SNMP Settings
- Web Server
- Network Service Discovery
- Web File Manager
- Multimedia Station
- Download Station
- Surveillance Station
- iTunes Service
- UPnP Media Server
- MySQL Server
- QPKG Plugin
The list is extremely lengthy but that just tells you the level of detail QNAP goes into for their products; they don't want to leave you without a solution to your problems. Enough about the features and what the TS-419U can do – it's time to see how it does!
Page 6 : IOZone Testing
For testing, we will be using IOzone which runs a set of read and write benchmarks within a set parameter, then outputs a file with the results. The QNAP TS-419U Turbo NAS will be outfitted with four 500GB Seagate ST3500320AS drives and attached to a D-Link DGS 1008D Gigabit Ethernet Switch connected to my D-Link WRT DIR-655 Gigabit Ethernet router, jumbo frames disabled.
Here's a blurb about IOzone:
IOzone is a file system benchmark tool. The benchmark generates and measures a variety of file operations. IOzone has been ported to many machines and runs under many operating systems. IOzone is useful for performing a broad file system analysis of a vendor's computer platform. While computers are typically purchased with an application in mind it is also likely that over time the application mix will change. Many vendors have enhanced their operating systems to perform well for some frequently used applications. Although this accelerates the I/O for those few applications it is also likely that the system may not perform well for other applications that were not targeted by the operating system. An example of this type of enhancement is: Database. Many operating systems vendors have tested and tuned the file system so it works well with databases. While the database users are happy, the other users may not be as happy as the entire system may be giving all of the system resources to the database users at the expense of all other users. As time rolls on the system administrator may decide that a few more office automation tasks could be shifted to this machine. The load may now shift from a random reader application (database) to a sequential reader. The users may discover that the machine is very slow when running this new application and become dissatisfied with the decision to purchase this platform. By using IOzone to get a broad file system performance coverage the buyer is much more likely to see any hot or cold spots and pick a platform and operating system that is more well balanced.
IOzone is a command line operated testing utility; we will be using the following command.
'-i 0 -i 1'
Write/ Re-Write, Read/ Re-Read tests
Read: Performance measured by reading an existing file
Re-Read: Reading a file which has already been read, tests the utilization of cache
Write: Performance of writing a file to the disk
Re-Write: Re-Writes a file that already exists on the disk
Maximum record size of 64Kb, 4Kb, 8Kb, 16Kb, 32Kb, 64Kb
'-n 32M -g 5G'
Minimum file size of 32MB and maximum file size of 1GB
Location where to write test results
Target of tests
Page 7 : IOZone JBOD Testing
JBOD, at the logical level combines physical disk drives into one larger drive. This comes in handy when dealing with an assortment of drives. Where RAID configuration combines drives at the limit of the smallest disk, JBOD does not. Our Reader results indicate peak performance of 30MB/s but the average is approximately 21MB/s.
Next, the Re-Reader test measures the system's caching ability. While it is typical that Re-Reader results are significantly higher than those reported in the Reader test as the test measures reading performance of a file that was previously read, the effects are less significant with larger file sizes. If we attempted this with files in the few hundred kB mark, we would see a larger jump.
Our write performance is far from stellar compared to the performance seen in other QNAP models. We have an average write speed of 13.7MB/s with a peak of 20.5MB/s. Our Re-Writer fares much better with an average of 38.7MB/s.
Page 8 : IOZone RAID 0 Testing
Anyone itching for a sense of speed has probably created a RAID 0 system. RAID 0 splits data across multiple disks (2 is the minimum). In theory, with each disk attached in RAID 0, the likelihood of data failure increases but so does speed. However, our average Reader and Re-Reader results only moved a bit – the difference is hardly noticeable. We're speaking of less than 1MB/s difference on average.
Page 9 : IOZone RAID 6 Testing
RAID 6 is an extension of RAID 5 but far less common. At the cost of greater redundancy, it can recover from the loss of two disks and as a result there is an even larger drop in performance. However, seeing as we saw little difference in performance between RAID 0 and JBOD, I'm already thinking that the performance drop will be minimal and RAID 6 should become an excellent option for those keen on speed but also data integrity.
Oddly enough, our performance with RAID 6 is actually higher than RAID 0. The average read speed is 28.2 MB/s with a peak of 52MB/s and the average write speed is 18.3MB/s with a peak of 53MB/s. We'll see if this trend will be consistent with the other benchmarks. My guess is that cache effects are skewing the results.
Page 10 : IOZone 64Kb Record Size Comparison
Typically, with modern day software, a record size of 64kb is used with larger files. With the sheer amount of data conveyed throughout the last few tests, it was hard to accurately gauge the QNAP TS-419U Turbo NAS performance, and even harder to do so across different RAID configurations. In the next section, we will be comparing the data compiled through the tests we ran earlier to gauge performance over the various RAID configurations.
RAID 6 has a clear advantage over JBOD and RAID 0 on the read and re-read benchmarks. RAID 0 and JBOD have almost identical performance, only deviating by a few MB/s.
The differences between all three configurations becomes fairly marginal with the write and re-write performances, especially once the record sizes increases past 32Kb.
Page 11 : Intel NAS Performance Test
Intel's Intel's Network Attached Storage Performance Toolkit, or NASPT if you would prefer, will conclude our look at performance.
The Intel NAS Performance Toolkit (NASPT) is a file system exerciser and analysis tool designed to enable direct comparison of network attached storage (NAS) performance. NASPT seeks to discern differences in user level performance when a given client PC uses different remote storage solutions. To that end, NASPT uses a set of real world workload traces gathered from typical digital home applications: HD video playback and record, office productivity applications, video rendering/content creation and more. NASPT reproduces the file system traffic observed in these traces onto whatever storage solution the user provides, records the system response, and reports a rich variety of performance information. While NASPT runs on a Windows XP* client, the target NAS device may run any operating system.
Intel's NASPT offers a number of strengths. First and foremost: consistency. With INASPT's built in traces, performance numbers resulting in various tests are easily emulated across various systems and gives insight into how a NAS system would perform under real world conditions. Unlike with localized storage, we are not interested in separating software environmental factors as by definition and function, NAS storage units are heavily dependent on system software, operating systems, network settings and so on. Of course, if we were to simply test the bare hard drive performance at the system level our resulting numbers would be significantly higher.
With the trace files, we can simulate specified hard drive activity down to the distribution of random and sequential reads / writes, the spread of data over individual platters, or locality, and a number of access characteristics.
For our tests, we will be looking at five tests: HD Video Playback, Content Creation, Office Productivity, Copy To NAS and Copy From NAS.
Let's examine the results, starting with the HD Video trace. This test consists of reading a single file approximately 4800 MB in size and for the most part consists of sequential reading, meaning that all the pieces of the file are located physically near one another on the platters of the hard drive resulting in little arm movement to retrieve data.
Content creation is exactly what the name suggestions. This test simulates the creation of a video. A total of 99 files are used and the test is primarily write driven (95% write operations) with up to 64kb block sizes and 39.1% sequential operations.
With Office Productivity, we have a wide array of file sizes and generally random access. While in comparison with sequential throughout, random access as shown by the Office Productivity test doesn't look too bad, keeping up Video Playback and File Copy.
The trend from Intel NAS Performance confirms my suspicion that cache is likely skewing the results. With the Intel NAS Performance Test, the order of top performance to worst is RAID 0, JBOD with RAID 6 taking up the rear. The differences are very small but it makes sense for performance to fall in that order, when data is split up amongst several drives it should take less time than when data is replicated on multiple drives.
Page 12 : IOMeter Testing
IOMeter is a new addition to the NAS results. It is an I/O subsystem measurement and characteristic tool for single and clustered systems initially designed by Intel.
IOMeter is both a workload generator (that is, it performs I/O operations in order to stress the system) and a measurement tool (that is, it examines and records the performance of its I/O operations and their impact on the system). It can be configured to emulate the disk or network I/O load of any program or benchmark, or can be used to generate entirely synthetic I/O loads. It can generate and measure loads on single or multiple (networked) systems.
I configured IOMeter to create a 1GB file on the target device, QNAP TS-419U, and it will pull the performance of 5 minutes and report back the average transfer rate for various block size recordings.
Much like the results from the Intel NAS Performance Test, we have a very similar trend. At low record sizes, the results are similar but as we increase the block size, the rates diverge ever so slightly. The trend is identical to that of IOZone, RAID 0 is always on top with JBOD taking second and RAID 6 in the rear.
Page 13 : Crystal Disk Mark and ATTO DiskBenchmark
Crystal Disk Mark and ATTO Disk Benchmark are more conventional benchmarking applications. They do the exact same as IOZone and IOMeter but in a far more simplified manner. The only take a minute or two to complete versus the several hours it takes to finish one run with IOZone.
Page 14 : Power Consumption
The TS-419U consumes 10 watts while in the sleep mode and even with the machine completely shut down, there is a phantom load of 2 watts, which is significantly more than I would prefer. When idling, we draw 34W and use 36W if there is any kind of drive activity. The peak load is 42 watts when performing RAID configuration.
Page 15 : Conclusion
So where do I stand when it comes to evaluating the QNAP TS-419U as an overall unit? The benchmark results are certainly respectable. You can count on performance in the range of 20 to 40MB/s depending on file size and transfer rate. The difference between RAID 0 and RAID 6 is small which means those wanting redundancy will get it without having to sacrifice performance. For those looking to add a few extra terabytes to their rack, the TS-419U allows you to do that without taking up too much space. You could always try and build your own, but it'll likely take more than 1U to cram in 4 extra drives.
For users who want high speed data transfer over their network through RAID 0, they may not be getting the best bang for their buck. Where QNAP continues to deliver a quality product is with the features and built-in applications. It's still hard to beat the default click to activate features like virtual disc, iSCSI, download manager, web server, mySQL database, etc.
- Extensive capability
- Extensive expansion options
- Small performance difference regardless of drive configuration beneficial for those who want redundancy
- Small performance difference regardless of drive configuration may not appeal to those who want fast RAID 0 storage
- Not the fastest overall NAS device on the market
I'd like to thank QNAP for lending the TS-419U for review