Qnap TS-470 review

£880
Price when reviewed

The Qnap TS-470 is as expensive as 4-bay NAS appliances come. The high-end price pays for high-end features, however, and Qnap justifies the expense with quad Gigabit ports, support for 10GbE≈upgrades, SSD read caching and immense capacity expansion potential.

Qnap TS-470 review

The TS-470’s 2.6GHz Celeron CPU is partnered by 2GB of non-upgradeable DDR3 RAM, and connectivity stretches to dual eSATA, USB 3 and USB 2, plus an HDMI port for plugging in a TV.

Upgrading to 10GbE networking is simple: all you need to do is swap the dual Gigabit PCI Express card for a supported card. However, our Emulex OCe11102-NM card required a special bracket and the PSU had to be removed prior to installation. The slot also accepts Qnap’s SAS-6G2E-D SAS card, which supports up to two 16-bay expansion rack shelves.

Setup is quite simple. You log in to Qnap’s new web portal and enter the unique cloud key from the label on the top panel. The interface offers to create a RAID array for you, but the creation of NAS shares and IP SANs first requires the drives to be placed in a storage pool.

We created a storage pool with three 3TB WD Red SATA drives, then upgraded to Qnap’s latest version of its QTS operating system, which adds the new Storage Manager utility and SSD caching features. For performance testing, we used a Broadberry rack server with dual 2.6GHz Intel Xeon E5-2670 CPUs, 48GB of DDR3 RAM and Windows Server 2012 R2.

Drag-and-drop copies of a 2.52GB video clip over Gigabit saw fast read and write speeds of 105MB/sec. Our 22.4GB collection of 10,500 small files was backed up at a very respectable 89MB/sec.

Qnap TS-470

For cache testing, we loaded a 120GB OCX Vertex 2 SSD and assigned it to a NAS share and iSCSI target. With Iometer using 4KB random reads, we saw 145 IOPS for the NAS share and 425 IOPS for the iSCSI target. With the cache enabled, these figures leapt to 3,250 IOPS and 10,000 IOPS respectively.

To test maximum throughput, we connected the TS-470 to the Broadberry server over 10GbE. We’d advise against enabling Jumbo frames, since we found this setting to cause connection dropouts.

Iometer reported fast raw sequential read and write rates for IP SANs of 525MB/sec and 475MB/sec. Real-world NAS speeds were as impressive, with the video-clip copy returning 245MB/sec and the small-file collection averaging 144MB/sec.

We also tested the QTS 4.1 beta, which promises a heap of new features. The TS-470 can’t run the Virtualization Station, since this requires at least 4GB of memory. If you need this, you’ll need the 16GB TVS-470 model. However, the TS-470 can act as a Windows domain controller, and manage user accounts and domain authentication for NAS shares.

The Surveillance Station now supports more than 2,000 IP camera models, and provides improved camera controls, playback and alerts. The Signage Station helps create web adverts, promotions and other layouts using the built-in iArtist Lite, while the Notes Station lets you organise and share your thoughts.

The Qnap TS-470 can’t be faulted for business storage features or performance: this is a very fast NAS appliance over Gigabit and 10GbE, and expansion potential is unbeatable. However, we’d only recommend paying the premium for the TS-470 if you intend to harness all of its potential.

Basic specifications

RAID capabilityyes

Connections

Ethernet ports4
USB connection?yes
eSATA interfaceyes

Power consumption

Idle power consumption24W
Peak power consumption38W

Physical

Dimensions180 x 235 x 177mm (WDH)

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