Qnap TS-459 Pro II TurboNAS review
Qnap was one of the first NAS vendors to use Intel’s Atom processor, but its latest TS-459 Pro II goes even further with support for 6Gbits/sec SATA hard disks and USB 3 devices. It also introduces Qnap’s free MyCloudNAS service, which allows you to securely publish appliance resources for remote users.
Apart from the blue USB 3 ports, the appliance is almost identical to the Recommended TS-459 Pro+. The only differences are the updated SATA interfaces and a SO-DIMM socket on the side of the motherboard which allows memory to be boosted to 3GB.
MyCloudNAS is implemented in the latest firmware, and Qnap handles hostname registration and dynamic DNS mapping. Setup from the appliance’s intuitive web interface is wizard driven, during which you step through choosing a unique hostname and the services to be made available.
It requires port-forwarding rules to be created on your router and is supposed to do this automatically with UPnP devices. The wizard told us it had done this for our Linksys WAG160N router, but we were unable to access any services and had to add the relevant rules manually – that wasn’t a huge problem, though, as the web interface lists all the relevant port numbers.
With this sorted, remote users could go to the MyCloudNAS website, enter our hostname and receive a web page showing all available services. We enabled the Multimedia Station, Web File Manager, FTP and Web Server components over HTTP and HTTPS, and, for essential security, required users to log in with an account set up on the appliance.
Cloud backup is definitely a hot item, as Qnap has support not only for Amazon’s S3-hosted services, but also ElephantDrive. We first saw the latter with Netgear’s ReadyNAS NVX, and its Vault service offers a useful set of off-site backup facilities.
For real-world testing we slipped in a quartet of 2TB 3Gbits/sec SATA drives and created a RAID5 array that took seven hours to build. Using a Dell PowerEdge R515 server running Windows Server 2008 R2 64-bit, drag-and-drop copies of a 2.52GB video clip returned excellent read and write speeds of 107MB/sec and 96MB/sec.
FTP speeds were even faster, with FileZilla reporting speeds of 107MB/sec and 103MB/sec with the same test file. These are getting close to the physical limits of a Gigabit connection, so it’s debatable whether 6Gbits/sec SATA drives will be much faster. General backup speeds were good: our 17.4GB collection of 10,500 files copied to the appliance at an average of 64MB/sec.
The USB 3 ports will noticeably improve local backup performance. With a SuperTalent Express Duo Drive stick in the front port, we copied the same video clip between this and a mapped share, and saw read and write speeds of 36MB/sec and 16MB/sec. With a USB 2 stick, speeds tumbled to 20MB/sec and 5MB/sec.
With the TS-459 Pro II, Qnap gets the jump on the competition by being the first to support SATA 6Gbits/sec hard disks and USB 3 storage devices. It offers good value, and the new MyCloudNAS features could prove very useful for providing secure access to file shares and backup services for remote users.