In the enterprise markets, its common practice to have servers arranged into a rack with ease of access and to also increase density in a given set of floor space. The list of features and specifications that we see in the enterprise sector do always trickle back down through the lower levels and its no surprise that in the SMB sector we do see rackmounted solutions available after all small business are well, small and so can be their floor space.
Just over a couple of moths ago, we took a look at QNAP’s TS869 Pro 8-Bay desktop NAS and we were very impressed by its high levels of performance pushing the boundaries of theoretical bandwidth to the next level. The TS869U-RP is next up the rankings over the TS869 Pro and on paper they are very similar systems, both powered by a dual core 2.13GHz Atom CPU, 8 bays, same software and dual gigabit LAN amongst a few lesser features. Critically where the NAS we’re looking at today differs, is apart from the obvious rackmount capability, we also have redundant power supplies, 2GB of DDR3 RAM and far superior cooling.
As far as rackmount systems go, this is one of the first stepping stones into the enterprise level markets, where we find systems powered my more and more powerful Pentium class and Xeon CPUs. Don’t think however that this is going to be lacking speed, with it loosely based on the TS869 Pro desktop NAS, it inherently gains the respect that we found from its desktop counterpart.
On a side note, you may notice that our testing methodology, we have upgraded our network infrastructure and so all NAS systems now connect through on of Netgear’s GS724TPS gigabit managed switches instead of connecting directly to our storage test bench. The reasoning behind this is due to replicating real world setups and by this 99.9% of the time any network server typically connects to the network through a switch and by us now having a high level switch we can give the best real world results that we can.