ASUSTOR Launches Entry-Level Quad-Core AS32 Series NAS

ASUSTOR announced the launch of two new economical entry-level multimedia NAS devices called the AS3202T and AS3204T. The difference between the two is the number of drives you can mount, either 2 or 4. The new AS32 Series is built around Intel’s latest Celeron 1.6GHz quad-core CPU that provides plenty of processing power for such units and they come with 2GB DDR3 dual-channel memory.

Besides being a great quad-core CPU for NAS usage, the systems also feature Intel’s AES-NI encryption instructions that allow the devices to support hardware encryption. This is something that gives a far better performance when dealing with encrypted drives than a software solution would.

The AS32 series also features a great graphics processing unit that allows you to use the NAS as a multimedia hub. You can connect the systems directly to a TV or monitor for direct playback without the use of other devices. Attach a keyboard and mouse or use an IR remote to stay in control of the system.

The ASUSTOR Portal App makes it easy and allows you to use the NAS to browse the web, change the configuration, use KODI and similar apps while the official ASUSTOR remote control completes the couch experience. Users can centrally store all of their digital multimedia on the NAS (photos, music, movies) and play it all back on demand, enjoying a comprehensive home multimedia experience.

The AS32 series doesn’t feature external drive bays, but still work with a toolless mounting system that allows you to easily install everything just by the use of thumbscrews. The exterior design uses the diamond pattern that we’ve seen before, for example on the AS1002T that we reviewed a little while ago.

“In order to provide better multimedia playback experience to consumers, we are launching the AS3202T and AS3204T tower model NAS devices which feature powerful performance,” said Johnny Chen, Product Manager at ASUSTOR. “When compared to the 31 series devices of the previous generation, the 32 series devices provide even more powerful graphics processing capabilities which allow for sharper imaging and smoother playback for all high definition multimedia.”

External storage can be connected to the three USB 3.0 ports on the AS32 series. One is located on the front for easier access and the other two are on the back next to the Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 port and the HDMI 1.4a port.

The NAS naturally come with ASUSTOR’s ADM operating system that’s both easy to use and setup. There is no need for complex installation and the devices can be setup with just a three steps. This makes it a great NAS for beginners as it’s budget friendly, easy to install, and still powerful.

Besides the default function, the functionality can be expanded with a large variety of add-on applications that can be installed directly from the built-in app central. There are mobile companion apps too for users that want to access their storage on the go and through the comfort of their smart devices.

Currently, ADM version 2.5.4 is the latest official version of the operating system, but the ADM 2.6 beta is available too and thereby we can expect the full version of this to be released soon too. The latest ADM 2.6 beta includes upgrades to ASUSTOR Portal web applications by increasing YouTube 1080p playback performance and support for a rich variety of streaming video sites such as Netflix, MetaCafe, US Stream, Vimeo, Youkou, Tudou and more.

Key Features for the AS3202T and AS3204T

  • Intel Celeron 1.6GHz Quad-Core Processor (Automatic Overclocking to 2.24GHz)
  • RAID 1 Read Speed of up to 112+MB/s and Write Speed of up to 110+ MB/s
  • 2GB Built-in Dual-Channel DDR3L High-Speed Memory
  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet Port
  • Front of Device: 1 x SuperSpeed USB 3.0 (5 GB/s) Port
  • Back of Device: 2 x SuperSpeed USB 3.0 (5 GB/s) Port
  • 1 x HDMI 1.4b Port
  • Infrared Receiver
  • Supports RAID Volume Management Single, JBOD, RAID 0/1 (AS3202T)
  • Supports RAID Volume Management Single, JBOD, RAID 0/1/5/6/10 (AS3204T)
  • Supports Seamless System Migration
  • Supports Largest Capacity Hard Disks on the Market (8TB)
  • Supports Intel AES-NI Hardware Encryption Engine

Synology Releases DS416slim 2.5-Inch 4-Bay NAS

Synology released a new NAS that is a little different that what we’re used to seeing. First off it is very tiny and it is also a bit in reverse, but with good reason. The new Synology Diskstation DS416slim is a NAS for 2.5-inch hard disk drives and drives are plugged through the rear. With its measurements, 18.4 cm x 16.8 cm x 23.0 cm, and its low weight, 700 grams, the DS416slim is a ultra-small NAS that still packs quite a punch.

The Synology DiskStation DS416slim is built around an Armada 385 Dual Core 1.0GHz CPU and comes with 512 MB DDR3 memory. That is enough to allow this tiny unit to perform with up to 170MB/s read and 77MB/s write performance through a link aggregated windows connection. The CPU also features a dedicated hardware encryption engine.

As mentioned above, the DS416slim is capable of link aggregation and that is because it comes with two RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports on the rear panel. Whether you want to configure them for load balancing or failover protection is naturally your choice. The NAS also comes with two USB 3.0 ports for external storage and other devices, one on the front for easy access and one on the rear for more permanent connected devices.

The rear is also where you find the four drive bays that each can hold a 2.5-inch hard disk drive or solid state drive with a height up to 12.5mm. Without any real height limitation, the choice of drives to use is yours. The power consumption is rated at about 17 watts during access and just 11 watts during HDD hibernation, which also makes it a very power efficient NAS. The noise output is rated to 20.3 dBA.

As this is a Synology NAS, it naturally comes with their own impressive DSM operation system. The DSM system also just got a major overhaul and version 6.0 was just released as well. You get tons of streaming and backup options as well as mobile apps and security when you pick a DSM 6.0 powered NAS.

The new Synology DS416slim comes with a recommended retail price of £222.00 including VAT or €248.64 excluding VAT, and it is backed by a 2-year warranty.

Synology Releases Affordable yet Powerful DS416j 4-Bay NAS

Synology has released quite a few new NAS lately and we’ve also reviewed multiple of them, but they got more waiting for customers that want to enter the world of NAS or upgrade their current solution. The newest member of the Synology family is the DS416j, a powerful yet affordable 4-bay NAS.

Synology’s DS416j is equipped with an Armada 388 Dual Core processor with 1.3GHz and it comes with 512 MB DDR3 memory. The Armada 388 should deliver plenty of power for this NAS and it also comes with built-in hardware encryption engine. Thanks to the choice of hardware, the DS416j is capable of serving you files with 112.82 MB/s when reading and 101.2 MB/s when writing. Encryption naturally takes some resources, but the DS416j is still capable of a performance around 50MB/s when reading and 37MB/s when writing. That is an increase of 58% in encrypted file transfers compared to its predecessor model.

The DS416j NAS comes with adjustable LED indicators for status, network, and all four hard disk drives. You can switch between four levels of brightness and also put them on a schedule where you turn them off when they aren’t needed. You get a single Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 connection as well as a USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 port on the rear of the unit. It sadly doesn’t have a front USB port, but we also have to remember that this is a budget device and it most likely won’t be the deal breaker for anyone.

Naturally Synology added their well known and great operating system DSM that will provide you will all the features you want and a lot more on top of that. You get easy cross-platform file sharing and synchronizing, download features, apps for playback and streaming of all sorts of media to DLNA and smart devices, as well as comprehensive backup solutions.

Synology targets home and personal users who seeks to get a massive storage capacity where they can build their own personal cloud or serve as a multimedia server. At the same time it targets those who either don’t have a big budget or just don’t want to spend a lot on their next NAS. Four-bay NAS units tend to be quite expensive, but the DS416j comes with a recommended retail price of just £220, and that already includes the VAT.

Synology DiskStation DS416 4-bay High-Performance NAS Review

Introduction


I’ve taken a look at quite a few 2-bay NAS units lately and while they already allow for an impressive 16TB raw storage, that might not be enough for everyone. Today I’m taking Synology’s DiskStation DS416, a 4-bay feature-rich and high-performance NAS server, for a spin on my test bench. The Synology DiskStation DS416 is built around an Annapurna Labs Alpine AL-212 32-bit dual-core CPU with 1.4GHz, floating point unit, and hardware encryption engine. The CPU is backed by 1GB DDR3 memory that sadly isn’t upgradable.

The DS416 is a full-fledged NAS that comes with everything you’d want from a performance system. It features dual Gigabit Ethernet network that supports all types of failover and link aggregation, allowing you to keep your system connected under heavier load or when one connection should fail. The DS416 also features three USB 3.0 ports where one of them is conveniently placed on the front of the NAS for easy access.

With powerful hardware like that, the DS416 is able to deliver an average reading and writing speeds of 220 MB/s and 140 MB/s respectively while encrypted file transfers come in at an evenly impressive 146 MB/s reading and 65 MB/s writing. Those figures naturally depend on what hard disk drives you use as well as the method of data access and your network setup.

The drive bays feature a convenient tool-free drive installation for 3.5-inch drives where as you still need screws to mount 2.5-inch drives. The latter is a rare occurrence anyway and shouldn’t be anything to bother anyone. The drive bays are covered by a removable front plate that gives the NAS a cleaner overall look by hiding away the drives. The drive bays aren’t the only thing that you can swap out in this NAS, the fans are also redundant. The DS416 incorporates a passive cooling design on the actual components and only uses two 92mm fans on the rear to keep everything at an optimal temperature. When the system detects a fan failure, the built-in redundancy mechanism ensures continuous operation until the replacement fan arrives.

The DS416 is naturally powered by DiskStation Manager (DSM), the award-winning operating system from Synology. It has a beautiful and functional user interface and all the features you will need at home or in a small to medium-sized business. It offers all the network protocols you’d want including SMB2, AFP, NFS, WebDAV, and FTP. Server admins don’t need to worry about maintaining two set of user credentials either as the DS416 comes with both Windows AD and LDAP integration. An added convenience factor is the network recycle bin that is featured on AFP, CIFS, File Station, and WebDAV. All files deleted in a shared folder will be automatically moved into the Recycle Bin instead of being destroyed.

The DS416 isn’t just an all in one server when it comes to features, it also has the power to handle it. You can easily turn your DS416 into a mail server with webmail interface, set up a VPN server connect as a VPN client, create a print server for USB printers and much more such as Radius server, Proxy server, and Syslog server features.

Creating your own personal yet comprehensive cloud solutions is no problem either with the DS416 thanks to the Cloud Station package.It is the perfect package to sync files across multiple devices, perform offline edits and later synced them, and keep up to 32 historical versions for easy restoration. You also got all the normal backup features that you’ll want such as 2-way sync between different DiskSations as well as support for commercial cloud services such as Glacier Backup and HiDrive Backup.

The Synology DiskStation DS416 has a comprehensive security package, starting with AES 256-bit encryption but also more advanced setups like 2-step verification. It also comes with AppArmor that can block malicious programs from accessing unauthorized system resources and you can customize the trust level in the package center to only accept apps from certain publishers. The built-in firewall is another useful feature just as the Denial of Service (DoS) protection. Antivirus can also be downloaded and installed for that extra level of security. Overall, everything you need to keep your data safe from malicious code and people.

Synology also offers a row of mobile apps that you can use to easy connection and usage of your NAS from your mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. The apps include DS note, DS audio, DS video, DS photo+, DS cloud, DS file, DS download and DS cam.

Feature Highlights

  • Dual-core CPU with hardware encryption engine
  • Dual LAN with failover and link aggregation support
  • Over 221.05MB/s reading, 139.51MB/s writing
  • Effective backup solution for all desktop and mobile devices
  • Front USB 3.0 for fast easy access
  • Hot-swappable & tool-less hard drive tray design
  • Running on Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM)

Packaging and Accessories

The Synology DS416 comes in a simple brown package with a sticker for model inside. It has all the relevant features presented as well as an image of the unit that is inside.

The rear of the box has a second sticker with some of the hardware highlights.

Inside the box, next to the NAS itself, you’ll find an AC adapter with power cable for the region where you purchased it, two RJ45 LAN cables, screws for use with 2.5-inch drives, and a Welcome and Quick Installation Guide. Everything you need to get it setup and I like that Synology included two LAN cables so users can get port trunking up and running right away.

QNAP Releases TS-x53A IoT-Centric QTS-Linux Combo NAS Series

Network attached storage devices have evolved a lot in the last 10 years from somewhat underpowered systems with the single purpose of serving your files across your network to what they are today. We first saw the introduction of the HDMI port for direct media playback, I think it was Thecus who was first with this, but the other companies were quick to follow and now they all have these entertainment combo units. Qnap’s are easily identifiable by the QvPC feature that allows you to use your NAS as an HTPC replacement too.

It does however not stop here and the world of technology keeps evolving. We recently saw QNAP announced the Hybrid QTS-Android NAS lineup and now they’ve introduced yet another great combination, the new TS-x53A series that are the world’s first QTS-Linux dual system NAS. The new QNAP TS-x53A series will be available in four different models: A 2-bay, 4-bay, 6-bay, and an 8-bay version. The features and functions of the four new QTS-Linux NAS stay pretty much the same besides the amount of drive bays available.

The new TS-x53A series is powered by a 14nm Intel Celeron N3150 quad-core processor with 1.6GHz (2.08GHz Boost) and hardware encryption engine. It also features the 8th generation HD Graphics from Intel that allows the TS-x53A series to provide 4K UHD HDMI output with 3K H.264 hardware-accelerated transcoding and playback. The systems are available with either 4GB or 8GB DDR3L-1600 RAM and upgradeable to a maximum of 8GB. The small 2-bay model only features two Gigabit Ethernet ports while the other models all have four Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 ports, and all of them come with plenty of USB 3.0 ports too.

“The next-generation TS-x53A QTS-Linux Combo NAS series is specially designed as a Linux-based gateway for the IoT era” said Jason Hsu, Product Manager of QNAP, adding “Alongside its high-speed data transmission and advanced snapshot features, it supports versatile HDMI applications and 4K video playback & transcoding. The TS-x53A series greatly extends possibilities for work and multimedia use, providing users with a complete storage solution with higher value to cost.”

Technically you could already run QTS next to Linux with QvPC and the container technologies that QTS provides, but these new servers also provide the Linux Station that can act as a great base for Internet of Things (IoT) applications and development. You can naturally also run all other OSes such as Windows, Android, and MacOS through the container and virtualization station. The TS-x53A series can also provide a secure private cloud environment for file backup and sharing.

The NAS series features all the great things that we know from other QNAP NAS, but there is one more thing that sets this series a little apart. The TS-x53A series supports OceanKTV, QNAP’s NAS-based karaoke systems with two 6.3mm microphone jacks and one 3.5mm line-out audio jack. With all this storage available, you can build yourself an impressive karaoke box while you still enjoy all the other benefits.

QNAP Releases Quad-Core TS-x51+ Series SOHO NAS

QNAP released the new TS-x51+ series of high-performance SMB NAS units consisting of the TS-251+ 2-bay unit and the TS-451+ 4-bay unit. The TS-x51+ series is built around a powerful Intel Celeron 2GHz processor and comes in two versions with either 2GB or 8GB DDR3 memory installed. The TS-x51+ series is an affordable and scalable solution with QvPC and Container based virtualization.

With the TS-x51+ series, you get dual Gigabit Ethernet network connectivity and the NAS supports both volume and folder encryption and the NAS is able to deliver up to 225MB/s throughput and up to 205MB/s transfer speeds with AES 256-bit encryption. You get two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, and an HDMI-out for a monitor and direct usage.

The QvPC feature allows you to use the NAS as an HTPC replacement where you simply attach a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to use it as a cheap PC replacement where you can view the web, browse the local content, and much more. With Container Station support, users are able to run multiple virtualization systems from Windows over Linux to Android. With LXC and Docker lightweight virtualization, you can also download systems from the built-in Docker Hub Registry.

The TS-x51+ series also features the highly anticipate snapshot function, but that requires a minimum of 4GB RAM. The QTS 4.2 Storage Manager can easily create snapshots within seconds for both volumes and LUN.

The QNAP TS-x51+ series also supports real-time and offline transcoding and features all the amazing streaming capabilities from Apple TV over Chromecast to ordinary DLNA and Bluetooth devices.

Both the TS-451+ and TS-251+ support the QNAP UX-800P and UX-500P expansion enclosures for easy expansion of the available storage and get close to 100TB or raw storage out of these NAS.

The new QNAP 2-bay TS-251+ and 4-bay TS-451+ NAS should be available now, but I could not find a price listing yet. Expect them to arrive at your favorite QNAP reseller very shortly.

ASUSTOR Launches 31 Series of Braswell Powered 4K Multimedia NAS

ASUSTOR just launched the new 31 series of NAS designed for the multimedia prosumer and with built-in 4K capabilities. The new series consist of two devices, the 2-bay AS3102T and the 4-bay AS3104T. The new NAS units are built around an Intel Celeron N3050 1.6GHz dual-core processor with a 2.16GHz Boost speed. It comes with 2GB built-in dual-channel DDR3 memory and can provide around 110MB/s transfer speeds in a RAID 1 setup.

The NAS connect through a single Gigabit Ethernet Port, which also explains the transfer speed ratings. They also come with one USB 3.0 port on the front and another two on the rear for extra storage connectivity. There is an Infrared receiver on the front and an HDMI 1.4b port on the rear that supports 4K UHD resolutions that make it ready to hook directly up to your 4K TV or monitor.

“ASUSTOR’s 31 series devices provide smoother multimedia playback via their enterprise-class core hardware and dual-channel memory,” said Johnny Chen, Product Manager at ASUSTOR. “The 31 series lowers the barriers for home users and prosumers who require 4K multimedia playback and secure cloud storage.”

The compact sized NAS units with the elegant looking diamond pattern pack quite a punch thanks to the Braswell generation CPU that provides enhanced multitasking and supports AES-NI encryption engine for increased access speeds on encrypted data. The systems don’t use drive trays that are hot-swappable, but drives can be swapped toolless thanks to the thumbscrews on the rear and inside.

ASUSTOR’s LooksGood app can be used on the AS31 series to view videos over the Internet as well as to watch and record live digital TV. LooksGood also features ASUSTOR’s Hyper-Transcoding technology which provides at least a tenfold reduction in video conversion times. This series also support real-time transcoding that allows users to enjoy a smoother streaming experience where the playback device otherwise could have limits in capabilities and bandwidth.

Synology Releases 3 New High-value NAS Servers for Homes and Businesses

Synology announced not one, not two, but three new NAS units that should provide plenty of features for a moderate price. Three three new NAS units are the DS216se 2-bay NAS, DS216play 2-bay NAS, and DS416 four-bay NAS.

Let’s start out with the biggest model, the DS416. It is the replacement for the DS414 NAS and the new DS4166 features a 1.4GHz dual-core processor (Annapurna Labs Alpine AL212) with hardware encryption engine and floating point unit. It comes with 1GB RAM and features dual Gigabit Ethernet with failover and link aggregation. You also get three USB 3.0 ports where one of them is on the front of the unit.

With Link Aggregation, the DS416 delivers over 221MB/s while reading from an RAID5 array, and over 139MB/s writing. The hardware encryption engine helps a lot when encryption is needed and the DS416 can still deliver up to 146MB/s reading and 65MB/s writing here. That is an easy 90% gain on encrypted file performance over the predecessor.

The cheapest of the three new Synology NAS is the DiskStation DS216se, a budget-friendly two-bay NAS device with the capability to host, share and protect data. This could be a great NAS for people who want to enter the world of NAS users without blowing their budget.

The DS216se features a Marvell Armada 370 800MHz with floating point unit that helps in a lot of scenarios, but especially when creating thumbnails and similar media related operations. However, the built-in floating-point unit generally enhances the overall capability of the CPU. The DS216se only features 256M DDR3 RAM, so you shouldn’t multitask too much with it. The DS216se delivers an average 102 MB/s reading speed under RAID 1 configuration and over 59 MB/s writing.

Two USB 2.0 ports on the rear allow the connection of portable storage drives for easy backup both ways. There is a single Gigabit Ethernet connection that should be plenty for most people’s home NAS needs. You can also connect it wirelessly with optional USB dongles if you should wish to do so.

With the DSM operating system at hand, you got a lot of useful features such as DLNA streaming, UPnP setup, and much more. A great feature for home users is the scheduled on and off times that help you to save electricity, live greener, and also extend the lifetime of the hardware.

The third and last new Synology NAS is the DiskStation DS216play, the successor to the highly popular entry-level DS214play NAS. The new DS216play features a better processor and comes with a dual-core 1.5GHz featuring hardware transcoding engine and 1GB RAM. The new processor in the DS216play allows for real-time transcoding of 4K Ultra HD source content (H.265) for a perfect multimedia experience on all devices. The CPU is an STM STiH412 dual-core with 1.5GHz that also features both hardware encryption and floating point unit.

The DS216play features one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 port on the rear of the NAS as well as a single Gigabit Ethernet connection.

The name suggests play and that is in regards of media playback and not playing games and the DS216play could be a great solution for this. With its real-time transcoding abilities, support for DVB-T and DVB-S sticks and video recording as well as the general file serving options for pretty much all systems, including Windows, Linux, MacOS, iOS, and Android, there isn’t much that the NAS can’t do in that regards. DLNA support is also part of the deal.

 

All three NAS are backed by a two-year warranty. The DS216se has an MSRP of £98.40, the DS216play £186.00, and the DS416 has an MSRP of £330. Prices including VAT and all three NAS units should be available now.

QNAP Launches AMD-Powered TS-x63U Series Rackmount NAS

QNAP announced a new NAS series and this time it is built around an AMD G-Series quad-core processor, the TS-x63U Turbo NAS. These new NAS units come as 4-bay, 8-bay, and 12-bay version and can be had with single or redundant power supplies. I for one love this and am pleased to see more NAS units being built around an AMD chip, something that can be highly beneficial for many people. The new TS-x63U NAS units feature four normal Gigabit Ethernet connections as well as a single-port SFP+ network adapter that provides 10 GbE connectivity for that extra speed.

The CPU used is a 64-bit AMD Embedded G-Series quad-core 2.0GHz SoC processor and the units come with 4GB DDR3L RAM pre-installed, but you can upgrade that to 16GB if it shouldn’t be enough for your needs. The NAS units also feature AES-NI hardware encryption engine that allows unmatched sequential read performance that exceeds 780MB/s with AES 256-bit full NAS volume encryption. Without encryption, the units can perform with up to 1090MB/s sequential throughput.

The TS-X63U Turbo NAS units run the latest QTS 4.2 operating system and they’re also able to run multiple applications on Windows, Linux, Unix, and Android-based virtual machines. You can operate multiple isolated Linux systems on the NAS as well as download apps from the built-in Docker Hub Registry by using the Container Station which integrates LXC and Docker lightweight virtualisation technologies. They also allow you to simplify virtual storage management for VMware, Microsoft, and Citrix virtualization solutions.

You can also expand the units with QNAP’s 12-bay and 8-bay expansion units and add up to 24 extra drive bays on top of the ones already built-in. The new NAS units should be available as of now, so all that’s left is to pick the one that suits your needs the best.

Redundant power supply:

  • TS-463U-RP:4-bay rackmount model
  • TS-863U-RP:8-bay rackmount model
  • TS-1263U-RP:12-bay rackmount model

Single power supply:

  • TS-463U:4-bay rackmount model
  • TS-863U:8-bay rackmount model
  • TS-1263U:12-bay rackmount model

QNAP Releases High-Performance 4-Bay TVS-x71U Turbo VNAS Series

QNAP expands their rack mounted NAS series even more, this time with the new TVS-471U four-bay NAS. There will be several models of this NAS where some come with single power supply and other with redundant PSUs. The last ones are recognizable by the RP in the naming.

Processor wise there will be two models to choose from, the TVS-471U-PT-4G with an Intel Pentium G3250 3.1GHz dual-core processor and the TVS-471U-i3-4G with an Intel Core i3-4150 3.5GHz dual core processor. Both models come with 4GB DDR3 RAM and can be upgraded to more.

Besides having four storage bays, RAM and a CPU, the new QNAP NAS also feature four Gigabit LAN ports and are 10GbE ready thanks to the PCIe expansion slot. You also get four USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, and an HDMI port. Inside it also features two internal cache ports.

The 4-bay rackmount TVS-471U series is capable of providing over 1,500 MB/s throughput and 128,000 IOPS for CPU-intensive tasks including Virtualization Station, serving large numbers of simultaneous connections, and 4K video playback and transcoding.

The newly added Qsirch helps finding files as fast as possible no matter how much storage you have, and you can have a lot. With the optional QNAP REXP-1600U-RP and REXP-1200U-RP RAID expansion enclosures, you can expand this system up to 1PB.

The QvPC technology eases the VM integration and allows you to use the NAS directly and have access to everything from the system itself. Monitor your surveillance feeds, watch 4K videos, or load files – not a problem.

The TVS-471U series is iSCSI-SAN unified storage and supports VMware, Microsoft and Citrix virtualization solutions to simplify virtual storage management and facilitates cross-platform file sharing for Windows, Mac, and Linux/UNIX platforms. Besides supporting Windows AD, LDAP directory services, and Windows ACL for efficient permission settings, the TVS-471U series also acts as a domain controller for Windows. Flexible backup solutions for Windows and Mac users and disaster recovery solutions including RTRR, Rsync and cloud storage backup are also included.

QNAP Introduces Affordable 4-Bay TS-431U Turbo NAS

QNAP announced a new NAS unit in their lineup and this time it is a rack mounted one. The QNAP TS-431U Turbo NAS is a 1U network storage server for file sharing, backup, synchronization, and more – as they all are.

It is built around a Freescale dual-core 1.2GHz ARM processor and comes with 1GB DDR3 RAM, making it a budget-friendly yet powerful device that can deliver great multi-tasking performance as a business nNAS, enhancing productivity and providing a private cloud for easily and secure data access.

“The TS-431U provides an ideal solution for small businesses and workgroups who want high-performance networked storage with low acquisition costs but without compromising reliability and features,” said Jason Hsu, product manager of QNAP.

The TS-431U can perform up to 148 MB/s read and 119 MB/s write throughput with dual Gigabit LAN ports. The LAN ports support dual IP settings and port trunking modes for fault tolerance or link aggregation. The four USB 3.0 ports allows you to connect extra high-speed storage to the unit.

All essential business applications are supported, including cross-platform file sharing for Windows, Mac, and Linux, Windows AD, LDAP directory service, backup solutions for Windows and Mac, disaster recovery solutions with RTRR or Rsync and cloud backup to Microsoft Azore, Amazon S3, Google Cloud, Rackspace, IBM SoftLayer and HP Helion Cloud are all supported – to name a few features.

The new QNAP TS-431U should be available shortly and the current price listings start around €529 without drives. In return you’ll get a powerful 4-bay 1U rackmount model based on a Freescale ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core 1.2GHz processor with encryption acceleration engine with 1GB DDR3 RAM, four USB 3.0, one USB 2.0 and two Gigabit LAN ports.

WD My Cloud EX4100 4-Bay Expert Series 16TB NAS Review

Introduction


We ain’t all equally skilled when it comes to the configuration of network and storage devices nor is it everyone that has the same interest in that. Sometimes you just want to purchase something, enter your preferred name and password, and then be ready to rock.

WD’s My Cloud series is designed for just these scenarios and it comes equipped with drives and is pre-configured. All you need to do yourself is connect it, turn the power on, and set your password. Today I’m taking a closer look at the WD My Cloud EX4100 from the Expert series and will give it a good spin in the test area.

The MyCloud EX4100 it is a 4-bay NAS unit and in this case it comes pre-loaded with four 4TB WD RED drives. Other disk configurations are available if 16TB shouldn’t be the right match. You can get it from driveless all the way up to 24TB raw capacity.

You will need some power on the insides to handle what the EX4100 promises and it comes with a dual-core Marvell ARMADA 388 processor that clocks at 1.6GHz and 2GB DDR3 memory. This should be plenty, but if it shouldn’t be then the EX4100 also comes with three USB 3.0 ports allowing you to connect extra external storage.

Two gigabit Ethernet ports take care of the network traffic and they fully support both port trunking and link aggregation for failover redundancy and improved traffic capabilities.

A nice bonus for every device is the built-in display at the top of the unit. It allows you to quickly see what’s going on with your unit, its name, network details, and storage setup. It will also keep you updated on the progress when you changing major configurations such as the drive setup.

Just because the unit comes pre-equipped with four drives doesn’t mean that you can’t replace them with smaller, bigger, or just other ones if you want to – or in case you bought a driveless unit. The EX4100 supports hot-swapping and comes with easy-release front bays for quick access. Pop the slider and the drive will eject.

It comes as no surprise that WD used their own RED series of NAS drives in these units. They are built especially for NAS usage, so what better to pick. In this case, the unit is equipped with four of these 4TB drives. The WD RED series uses an IntelliPower RPM systems up to 5400 RPM and come with 64MB Cache.

The EX4100 doesn’t have any dedicated drive trays and is as such tool-less to upgrade. The drives are still firmly secured inside thanks to the large dividers. Not using drive caddies allows for a smaller and more narrow footprint, something anyone can appreciate.

The EX4100 supports RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 as well as JBOD and Spanning. While the RAID 0 to 60 modes are self-explanatory, how the terms JBOD and Spanning are used variates a bit, including Single disk. Essentially, JBOD and Spanning is the same thing but with a small difference. JBOD stands for Just a Bunch Of Disks, these can either be presented as single volumes or one large where they are used as extension for each other. Spanning, on the other hand, will create one large volume with all the drive space available and the drives don’t even need to be the same capacity.

JBOD stands for Just a Bunch Of Disks, these can either be presented as single volumes or one large where they are used as extension for each other. Spanning, on the other hand, will create one large volume with all the drive space available and the drives don’t even need to be the same capacity.

In the EX4100’s case, JBOD will result in four individual volumes and spanning will create one large volume without redundancy or performance improvements. As always, which mode i

As always, which mode you chose is down to your own needs. Whether you need a maximum amount of capacity, redundancy, performance improvements or a little of each.

Storage is just one side of the story, you also need to connect that storage somehow. The EX4100 comes with two Gigabit Ethernet ports that support both failover and port trunking.

The addition of a dual power supply system with a backup for emergency situations is awesome and something more NAS should feature. Any product can break for one reason or another and it should have a backup solution in case that happens.

The single and relative large 120mm fan helps to keep everything cool without creating too much noise. It only needs to rotate at low speeds to keep everything cool and operate optimally.

So far I’ve talked a lot about the hardware, but that’s just one side to the story. The software has to match with the right features, otherwise what would be the point.

It doesn’t matter if you want to connect to the WD MyCloud EX4100 from Windows, Linux, or your Mac OS based system, everything should be covered with Samba, Bonjour, and NFS3 support. The EX4100 also support VLAN, UPnP, iSCSI, SSH, and WebDAV and comes with an FTP server.

It is well suited to stream all your stored content to anything from smart devices to TVs and media players. Twonky’s UPnP media server, DLNA, and iTunes server are all present and it supports connection to devices such as WD TV Live, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows 8, connected TVs, Blu-ray players and digital picture frames.

Security is important everywhere and WD has that part covered too with features such as Active Directory support and 256-bit AES full volume encryption.

You can set up backup plans to local and remote locations as well as the same system, use Apple’s Time Machine, or use the cloud-based services Amazon and ElephantDrive. You can also sync drives with the attached USB 3.0 ports.

Security also involves power management and the EX4100 doesn’t just come with redundant PSU support, it can also control both network and USB connected UPS power backup devices.

Within the package you’ll find the NAS device with the drives inserted, a network cable, a power supply and, in this case two connector cables: one UK and one EU. There’s also a startup guide that will get you set up, even if you don’t know the darndest thing about NAS systems.

Remote access can not only be achieved through the web interface, you can also get both a desktop application and several mobile apps for your Android and iOS devices.

Other features such as a download server for both HTTP and P2P services, being IPv6 ready, supporting jumbo frames up to 9000 bytes, and SNMP for easy administrator management in larger environments are also all present.

If you’re concerned about the environment and having a device running all the time, then WD has you covered too. It features disk spin down when not need, which also will increase the drives lifespan, wake-on-LAN, automatic power recovery, and scheduled power on-off times.

The PCB has a simple build where only one side is utilized. The memory is soldered onto the board, so you can’t upgrade that, but that would also be kind of missing the target audience for a pre-setup unit.

We see that the memory used comes from SKhynix and the LAN ports are controlled by two Marvell 88E1512 chips. The USB 3.0 ports are controlled by a Renesas µPD720210 4-port hub controller.

QNAP Turbo NAS TS-453 Pro 4-Bay Enthusiast and SMB NAS Review

Introduction


Today I’m taking a look at one of QNAP’s bestsellers, the TurboStation TS-453 Pro NAS. The TS-453 Pro isn’t just an ordinary NAS and it is one that can carry the Pro label with pride. It is a powerful, reliable and scalable NAS for SMBs and power users alike.

Built around the Intel Celeron 2.0GHz quad-core processor with a burst speed of up to 2.41GHz, we know that the TS453 Pro won’t limit it on the CPU side. There is plenty of performance at its disposal to run a lot of simultaneous apps, features and functions without the risk of slow-downs or bottlenecks.

RAM wise QNAP offers two versions, the standard one with 2GB that should be sufficient for most users but also a model that comes factory equipped with 8GB RAM in two 4GB modules and that is the one that I’m having a look at today. Users can also upgrade and switch memory modules themselves and it’s as simple as sliding the top cover off.

QNAP built the TS-453 Pro with an internal power supply, a thing that has ups and down depending on how you look at it. The internal PSU allows for better distribution of the power as well as run optimized with better efficiency, whereas the external power brick seen in other devices helps when something breaks since you can replace it with a universal brick that has the right power output from your local electronics store. Since we’re dealing with a pro model from QNAP, you shouldn’t expect any failures here, but it’s still something to consider when purchasing your network storage.

Since we’re dealing with a pro model from QNAP, you shouldn’t expect any failures here, but it’s still something to consider when purchasing your network storage.

Quad-Gigabit Ethernet allows you to set up both fast and redundant connections, connect the NAS to multiple subnets at the same time, or use some of them for virtual servers. Two USB 2.0 and three USB 3.0 ports allow you to connect external storage just as peripherals like keyboard and mouse when using it at an HTPC.

You can easily expand the storage capacity when your needs grow with the UX-800P and UX-500P external enclosures. They can provide a lot more capacity with additional 8 and 5 drive bays respectively.

Thanks to the HDMI port and the ability to connect mouse and keyboard to the device as well as QNAPs awesome QvPC technology, this unit doesn’t just work as an NAS. It also allows you to to run any system from Android to Windows via the Virtualization system and use it directly as HTPC with built-in apps such as Kodi, XMBC, and Browsers.

A relative new feature on QNAP’s NAS devices is the myQNAPcloud quick setup that allows you to set up your new device in a much more convenient way. It requires the device to be connected, but other than that you just need to either scan the QR-Code or navigate to the mentioned URL in and enter your code manually. Follow a few steps and enter your details and the system is ready to use.

There’s also a sticker on the top that will help you identify what drive bay is which so you easier know what bay the operating system is referring too. This and the quick-setup are both things that you primarily need when first connecting it, so you can remove the stickers once done – or leave them for later convenience.

Security is always an important factor to consider, after all the device will store all your precious data. QNAP added locks to all four drive bays to prevent sticky fingers from running away with the drives thanks to them being so easily swappable and you find an option for a Kensington Lock on the rear of the unit.

The TS-453 Pro provides numerous security options, such as encrypted access, IP blocking, and more. It has also been validated with military-level FIPS 140-2 AES 256-bit encryption so people won’t be able to access your actual data even though they should get hands on your drives. Antivirus is also part of the deal so you don’t get nasty small buggers nesting in your data.

Intrusion and theft are just one part of security, but QNAP has it all covered. You find plenty of options for local and remote backup of your files, both privately and to the public cloud. You can also synchronize and backup your files across all sorts of platforms, from smartphones to workstations and servers.

The display on the front allows you to easily get an overview of the device’s status, temperatures, fan speeds and important information such as network settings and configurations.

The units weight is about 4 kilo and that will make it stand great and secure on the 4 large feet that are fitted with rubber to absorb additional vibrations from either side.

A pro-model also requires great drive trays, and QNAP doesn’t disappoint here either. The four drive trays are made from solid steel with a plastic front. They are individually lockable for added security and to prevent you from accidentally ejecting them. the latches have no spring inside as sometimes seen on drive trays, but whether that’s a good or bad thing is really down to everyone’s personal taste.

Included in the package is everything you need to get started. The proper power cable for your geographical location, two LAN cables, two keys for the drive bays, and 16 screws to mount either 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch drives. There’s also a small ‘getting started’ guide to help you get going with everything and if it should be your first NAS.

The QvPC technology previously mentioned allows you to use your NAS as much more than just a central storage location, you can run virtual systems such as Windows, Linux, Unix, and Android, directly access all aspects of your NAS’ configuration, use it as a HTPC to watch movies, stream music, and surf the internet.

The Hybrid Station makes it all possible and you’ll get familiar interfaces from Firefox and Chrome, over XMBC to YouTube and Spotify. You can also monitor your security cameras in live feeds and connect your IoT devices.

This unit is so much more than NAS, it’s something that has to be experienced first hand to fully grasp the amount of possibilities you have.

Next to all these advanced functions, QNAP’s TS-453 Pro also covers all the basic functions such as FTP, Web, Radius, VPN, and Print servers, but also real-time and offline HD file transcoding and you can control the HybridDesk Station with the optional remote control. Streaming to media players and devices is also supported and so much more. It’s hard to cover every single aspect of such a unit.

It’s hard to cover every single aspect of such a unit, you can keep exploring new apps and find new uses for it for months.

QNAP’s Compact TS-453 Mini NAS Now Available

It’s only been about a month since QNAP introduced us to their new top loading 4-bay mini NAS. Now it has been officially released, has arrived at stores, and can be yours.

The system is built around a quad-core processor and offers a lot of storage options at a tiny footprint. The vertical design allows it to take less space and fit into smaller areas, making it perfect for non-spacious office environments, dorm rooms, and similar.

It is available in two models, one with 2GB and one with 8GB memory pre-installed. Upgrading memory is a piece of cake on this unit as it’s conveniently accessible from the bottom. No need to take the entire unit apart anymore.

Despite the smaller size and the mini name, the TS-453mini offers all the things you want and expect from a QNAP devices. You get dual LAN, USB 3.0 connectivity, and direct HDMI out.

QNAPs QPvC technology allows you to use the NAS as virtualization station and install other operating systems such as Linux, windows, or android directly on the NAS. Connect a monitor, mouse, and keyboard and pack away that old HTPC. Direct media playback and other HTPC functions are equally supported just as remote controls are.

You still get 24TB raw capacity with the four drive bays at your disposal and the 6TB hard disks that more or less has become the norm these days.

The Intel Celeron 2GHz processor is able to deliver up to 220MB/s transfer throughput and can be expanded all the way up to 96TB by the use of the UX-800P expansion enclosure and 8TB hard drives – because they are equally supported.

Business users don’t miss out either as it supports VMware, Microsoft and Citrix virtualization solutions, cross-platform sharing, Windows AD, LDAP and ACL, Rsync, RTRR, and cloud backups.

TS-453mini Key specifications

  • vertical design, 4-bay
  • Intel Celeron 2.0GHz quad-core processor (burst up to 2.41GHz)
  • 8GB/2GB DDR3L RAM (max. 8GB)
  • 3.5”/2.5” SATA HDD/SSD support, hot-swappable
  • 3 x USB 3.0 and 2 x USB 2.0 ports
  • 2 x Gigabit LAN ports
  • 1 x HDMI v1.4a output
  • IR sensor

The 2GB RAM model currently costs £481.00 on Amazon UK while the 8GB RAM model will set you back £601.89. We are currently in the process of reviewing just this unit and I can already reveal that it’s an awesome unit.

QNAP’s New TS-453mini NAS Is Packed With Great Features

QNAP has presented their newest SOHO NAS and it is a little different from the network attached storage units we usually see. The new TS-453mini is a vertical top-loading unit that can take up to four hard drives. Usually mini means that you’ll only be able to use 2.5-inch drives in the unit, but the TS-453mini can take four normal sized 3.5-inch drives. With current 6TB hard drives that would equal to 24TB of raw storage with a footprint that is just 151mm wide and 200mm deep.

The elegantly designed for SOHO device features a stylish piano black finish, a whisper quiet heat exhaust, easy tool-less hard drive installation, simple accessible RAM upgradability, and is packed full of cutting-edge features and apps for file storage, backup, sharing and entertainment needs. A lot more than you’d expect from such a tiny unit.

The new QNAP unit also features all the connection abilities you want from an NAS. You get dual Gigabit Ethernet for failover and link aggregation, two USB 2.0 and three USB 3.0 ports as well as an HDMI out for direct usage.

QNAP’s TS-453mini is built around an Intel quad-core Celeron 2.GHz CPU with a burst speed up to 2.41GHz. The unit has two RAM slots and will be available in two version right of the shelves, one with 2GB memory pre-installed and one with 8GB memory. The unit also features an IR sensor for an optional remote and can be expanded up to 96TB storage capacity using QNAP’s UX-800P USB 3.0 expansion unit.

You don’t need to opt for the model with 8GB RAM right away if you don’t know if you’ll be needing it. The NAS has one of the easiest memory upgrade systems possible with a small hatch on the bottom with direct access to the modules. Upgrading the memory of you NAS has never been so easy. The drive trays feature equal easy mounting as it all snaps together without the need for screws and tools.

The HDMI out allows you to use the NAS as a direct media hub, but it does more than that. QNAP added their QvPC technology to the unit, which allows you to use it as a full-fledged PC thanks the use of virtual machines.

The new QNAP TS-453mini will be available soon and we’ll also have a review of the unit ready for you as soon as it’s available. The German e-tailer Redcoon already has the unit listed and in stock, but that must be a wrongful listing as it isn’t released yet. It does however give us the price of €457.12 incl. VAT.

QNAP Turbo Station TS-431 4-Bay SOHO NAS Review

Introduction


I loved what the QNAPs TS-x31 series sports right from the first time that I heard of it. It just sounded like the perfect SOHO device for people who want a lot of features, easy setup, simple maintenance and a reasonable price.

Today I’m taking a closer look at the QNAP TurboNAS TS-431 4-bay Personal Cloud Storage for Home and SOHO users. It features an ARM Cortex A9 1.2GHz dual-core processor that delivers performance enough for multitasking, creating your personal cloud for digital notes, and multimedia streaming via DLNA & AirPlay.

With the TS-431 you can build a private cloud-based notebook and share it with friends and colleagues with Notes Station and Qnotes mobile App. It allows you to easily organize and manage files and backup tasks in one centralized location and synchronize files between computers, laptops, tablets, phones and other devices. You can archive, manage, watch and share your media collections with the dedicated Photo Station, Video Station and Music Station apps as well as enjoy all these moments on the big screen via DLNA and AirPlay streaming.

That is all pretty much default for QNAP devices, just as the 24/7 surveillance center you can create for your home or small office. The CPU in the TS-431 also allows you to transcode videos offline and enjoy smooth video streaming even when your network connection or playback possibilities are restricted.

The Freescale ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core CPU runs at 1.2GHz and gives the NAS a great performance ratio. It can provide transfer speeds up to 110MB/s reading and 80MB/s at writing. Maybe you need to increase your data safety to prevent unauthorized access to the files, well QNAP has that covered too with full NAS volume encryption with speeds of over 30MB/s with AES-256 bit.

The network connectivity on this device is safeguarded with dual Gigabit LAN and support for the latest 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi adapters. It further features three USB 3.0 ports and one eSATA for attaching high-speed external storage. The LAN ports support multiple port-trunking modes, allowing you to set up link aggregation to increase data transmission capabilities, as well as failover and dual IP for continuous system operation. The supported port-trunking modes include: Balance-rr (Round-Robin), Active Backup, Balance XOR, Broadcast, IEEE 802.3ad, Balance-tlb (Adaptive Transmit Load Balancing) and Balance-alb (Adaptive Load Balancing).

QNAPs operating system is better than ever and it keeps improving. The ‘intelligent’ desktop allows you to find the desired functions quickly and it allows you to create shortcuts of your choice for even quicker access. You can monitor the NAS’ vitals, install new function or change in your user setup with just a few clicks. Automated backup function can be set to kick in as soon as recognized devices are connected, creating backups to and from your drives and NAS, this includes rsync, QNAP’s NetBack Replicator and works equally well with Windows and Mac OS X Time Machine systems.

The new myQNAPcloud allows you to setup your NAS even easier and quicker than before. Just connect and power on the NAS and go to the URL from the sticker either manually or by scanning the QR-Code. Enter the key (partially whitened in the above image) and you’ll have your NAS setup in a couple of minutes, ready to use. Thumbs up to QNAP, the system works like a charm. You will of course need a network where the NAS gets it IP automatically and an internet connection. Don’t worry if you don’t, the old-fashioned way to initialize it works just as well as it always has.

The cross-platform file-sharing covers all sides with SMB/CIFS, NFS, and AFP protocols for sharing across Windows, Mac and Linux/UNIX. Data, logs and ISO image of CDs and DVDs can be centrally stored in the TS-431 and protected by an integrated antivirus solution. You can even manage your files via the internet by use of the File Station. It brings conventional desktop styled file operation to web browsers, allowing you to easily upload, download and manage your files no matter where you are, as long as you got a connection via LAN or the internet. It even supports file extraction, smart search as well as sharing specific files with friends and family via unique URLs.

One of the key aspects of this device is the capabilities for your private cloud. I’ve mentioned some functions above, but most of all it gives you a lot more space without a monthly cost. It also eliminates security concerns you might have by using public cloud services. The TS-431 is ready to establish a secure and large-capacity private cloud just for you and the myQNAPcloud service allows remote access without any tricky setups and router configurations.

ICY Dock Announced ICYCube MB561U3S-4SB 4-bay USB 3.0 & eSATA Enclosure

ICY DOCK is well-known for their drive enclosures and they’re always amazing. I’ve owned quite a few of them over the years and they’ve never let me down. Their newest device is an external drive enclosure and it looks to be no different as the MB561U3S-4SB 4-Bay external 2.5″ & 3.5″ HDD enclosure with SuperSpeed USB 3.0 and eSATA interface seems to have it all.

The new MB561U3S-4SB features both a USB 3.0 5Gbps and an eSATA 6Gbps interface, allowing you to choose which connection you prefer. The eSATA port will need to be connected to a controller that supports port multipliers, but there aren’t many that don’t these days. It also looks great with its solid aluminium structure and great looking drive trays. And while we’re speaking of drive trays, the new EZ-Tray design used in this unit is interchangeable with a lot of other ICY DOCK units, both internal and external, and effectively allows you to move the same tray with disk from unit to unit.

Keeping four mechanical hard drives cooled in an enclosure like this requires the help of a fan. ICY DOCK utilized an 80mm fan that’s connected to the fan controller on the rear. It has three settings, low, high, and automatic where it sets the rotation speed depending on the ambient temperature inside the enclosure. Using current 6TB drives and you can have up to 24GB of raw data in this small and great looking unit, not bad.

When ICY DOCK creates a unit like this, they always add something special. In this case it is the external mounted and detachable fan. This allows you to easily remove the turbine looking fan module and clean everything in a proper fashion.

Key Features:

  • Plug and play installation, no drivers required
  • SuperSpeed USB 3.0 with up to 5Gbps transfer speed
  • Backward compatible with USB 2.0 interface
  • eSATA connection with up to 6 Gbps transfer speed (port-multiplier required)
  • New EZ-Tray system supporting both 2.5″ and 3.5″ SATA HDD/SSD of all heights
  • Adjustable cooling fan with 3 speed settings (low, high, and auto)
  • Support largest capacity drives available on the market (6 TB)
  • Removable EZ-Tray design allows you to quickly swap out drives
  • Moderately illuminating white LED for power & drive activities
  • High grade aluminum alloy frame with detailed matte finish
  • Include 4x EZ-Trays which features shock absorbing technology to help protect your drives
  • Detachable 80mm ball bearing rear cooling fan provides easy maintenance
  • Integrated power supply, so big power bricks aren’t necessary
  • Rubber padded soles for enhanced stability
  • 3-year warranty

Thanks to ICY DOCK for providing us with this information.

QNAP Releases Affordable and Scalable TS-451U 4-bay Rackmount SOHO NAS

QNAP announced a new affordable 4-bay 1U rackmount NAS, the TS-451U Turbo NAS. It is built around a dual-core Intel Celeron 2.41GHz processor that delivers better multi-tasking abilities. It is designed for scalability and the storage capacity of the TS-451U can be easily expanded with expansion enclosures to meet the needs of growing data storage.

“In the entry-level rack-mountable NAS segment, we are glad to be the first NAS company to introduce the energy-efficient, 64-bit Celeron®-powered TS-451U, which is designed for budget-conscious SOHO users to store and back up data without sacrificing performance,” said Jason Hsu, product manager of QNAP. “Coupled with feature-rich business applications, QvPC Technology, Virtualization Station and 1080p video transcoding, the TS-451U delivers the best cost-effectiveness for growing business data needs.”

The TS-451U Turbo NAS comes with 1GB energy-efficient DDR3L RAM but is upgradable to 8GB. It is powerful enough to deliver up to 220 MB/s read & write speeds with dual LAN ports and it also support full NAS AES 256-bit volume encryption to ensures the safety of sensitive data. The unit supports SSD cache, all possible RAID options, RTRR, rsync, cloud storage backup and much more. You can also expand the capacity all the way to 128TB RAW capacity with an expansion unit like the UX-1200U-RP enclosure, so the future storage needs should be secured.

The QvPC technology allows you to use the system directly by plugging in a keyboard, mouse and HDMI monitor. You can access stored data, run multiple applications using Windows, Linux, UNIX, or Android-based VMs created in Virtualization Station, surf the web, or even watch videos directly from the NAS. This feature is really awesome.

TS-451U Key specifications

  • Dual-core Intel® Celeron® 2.41GHz processor (burst up to 2.58GHz) with Virtualization Technology (VT-x)
  • 1GB DDR3L RAM (expandable to 8GB)
  • 2 x Gigabit LAN ports
  • 4 x 2.5”/3.5” SATA 6Gbps hot-swappable HDD/SSD
  • 4 x USB 3.0
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x HDMI
  • single 250W power supply
  • supporting one expansion enclosure (UX-1200U-RP or UX-800U-RP)

The new TS-451U is available now and prices start from €628,03.

Thanks to QNAP for providing us with this information

WD Adds Four New NAS Units to Their Line-Up

WD expanded its suite of NAS solutions with four new products that address the increasing demands for content storage, management, protection and streaming among prosumers, creative professionals and small businesses. There is a new 2-bay and 4-bay unit in the My Cloud Expert Series and the same for the My Cloud Business Series of devices.

“As the market leader in the single-bay personal cloud category with our award winning My Cloud platform, as well as in the NAS hard disk drive (HDD) category with our WD Red line, WD understands that customers need more power and more choice in NAS systems,” said Jim Welsh, executive vice president, WD Content Solutions Business and Worldwide Sales. “We are very excited about our new My Cloud Expert Series and My Cloud Business Series NAS products that offer the performance, ease of use, reliability and My Cloud OS that customers want from WD.”

The My Cloud Expert Series will get the EX2100 two-bay and EX4100 four-bay NAS systems designed from the ground up for creative professionals and prosumers who need to reliably save, share, backup, stream and manage large amounts of digital data.

They are powered by the latest version of the dual-core Marvell ARMADA 385 and 388 processors and will offer up to 24TB of high-performance storage. The included WD Red drives can be configured using with the usual RAID options including RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 JBOD and spanning modes. Backups can be centralised with the WD SmartWare Pro software for PC users, and with the Apple Time Machine backup software for Mac users.

DLNA and UPnP multimedia devices such as gaming consoles, smart TVs and WD TV Live media players are all supported using the Twonky media and iTunes server for simple streaming of your movie and music libraries. Other features you’d want in a NAS are also included such as FTP server, backup server, P2P download server as well as system health monitoring and use of third party apps such as aMule, Icecast, Transmission and more.

The two new My Cloud Business Series include the DL2100 two-bay and DL4100 four-bay NAS systems that are built to provide reliability, security and scalability. These units are powered by Intel’s Atom dual-core processors and come with up to 24TB of storage.

The business series devices come with up to 2GB RAM and can be expanded up to 6GB. Besides the same features and functions as the Expert series they also offer AES 256-bit volume encryption and business-ready capabilities including iSCSI target and initiator, replication and file synchronisation, integrated FTP, WebDAV server, SSH Shell, and Microsoft Active Directory support.

These units can also backup themselves, either to another My Cloud in a different location or to a cloud service such as Amazon S3 and ElephantDrive. USB 3.0 one-touch backup is another great feature to have. The units further shine with features such as dual power supply ports with fail-over, dual Gigabit Ethernet and UPS support.

The units are either available now or soon and the price varies depending on model and equipped hard drives.

  • MSRP for My Cloud EX2100 NAS is £239.00 for the diskless unit, £399.00 for 4 TB, £539.00 for 8 TB and £709.00 for 12 TB.
  • MSRP for My Cloud EX4100 NAS is £359.00 for the diskless unit, £699.00 for 8 TB, £999.00 for 16 TB and £1,399.00 for 24 TB
  • MSRP for My Cloud DL2100 NAS is £329.00 for the diskless unit, £499.00 for 4 TB, £609.00 for 8 TB and £829.00 for 12 TB.
  • MSRP for My Cloud DL4100 NAS is £499.00 for the diskless unit, £799.00 for 8 TB, £1,099.00 for 16 TB and £1,419.00 for 24 TB.

Thanks to WD for providing us with this information.

Thecus W4000 4-Bay WSS 2012 R2 NAS Review

Introduction


Most NAS devices we look at are based on some Linux or BSD distribution, but once in a while something different comes along. I’m excited to take a look at the new Thecus W4000 four-bay NAS server today, powered with Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essentials (WSS).

Thecus are the first to bring WSS 2012 R2 to NAS users as you might remember from our press coverage back in October. The use of a WSS system offers a host of benefits to SMB users, including data protection, integrated cloud services and secure remote access.

The integration of an NAS into Microsoft’s cloud-based applications and services, including Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Azure, has never been as easy before as with these new devices. The WSS NAS offerings look like they will provide users with an affordable and flexible solution with enough performance for SOHO and SMB environments.

The Thecus W4000 is based on a dual-core Intel Atom running at 2.13Ghz and it has 2GB of DDR3 RAM. The memory sadly isn’t as easy to upgrade as in some of Thecus other devices, but it is possible due to the use of standard sized SO-DIMMs.

There is plenty of connectivity options on the W4000 with two USB 3.0 ports on the front and two USB 2.0 ports, one eSATA, dual Gigabit Ethernet, a line-out, a D-Sub VGA, and a HDMI port on the back; if that shouldn’t be enough, the W4000 also has a PCIe x1 slot for add-on cards.

The features don’t stop there, as it also comes with an embedded SSD as boot drive and offers data deduplication for performance optimization, built-in automated client backup, Bitlocker drive encryption, and native NTFS support as well as online scan and repair.

Thecus have created a great looking devices with the W4000, no doubt. It looks like a NAS should, simple, yet it features a lot of minor curves and design options that break the monotonous a bit. Adding the USB 3.0 ports on the front is a smart move as it’s likely those that will be used most as ports for temporary connections while more permanent devices are connected via the rear connections.

The tower features horizontal mounted drive bays, which I believe to be better for the hard drives over time. At the top, we see the space for the OLED display and its four control buttons and on the side it has the iconized LEDs for connectivity and activity.

Thecus also added an unmentioned feature to the motherboard, an mSATA slot. It is located at the top of the motherboard and easily accessible without the need to take everything apart. The use of a standard SSD further allows you to upgrade or change drive depending on your personal needs.

SilverStone TS431S 4-Bay miniSAS DAS Storage Tower Review

Introduction


Connecting multiple storage drives externally doesn’t work equally well on every connection type. If you were to use a USB 3 connection you would get the speed necessary, but your access times would suffer. If you were to connect it via eSATA you would have the access times, but shared bandwidth between the connected drives.

The solution is a direct SAS connection and the SilverStone TS431S that I’m taking a closer look at today is just such.

SilverStone’s TS431S DAS Tower Enclosure uses an external miniSAS interface to connect up to four SAS or SATA drives to your system. One of the great things about an enclosure like this is that its features pretty much depend on the controller you connect it to. This makes it universally usable without limitations; if your controller supports it, so will this tower.

The PC connection via 6Gbps SAS/Mini-SAS interface enables data transfer with maximum compatibility and stability, a thing that makes the TS431S a great choice for storing and backing up large quantities of data. You won’t notice any difference whether your drives are connected internally or through this DAS.

One of the first things I noticed on the TS431S was the choice of an internal power supply, and this is great. SilverStone knows a thing or two about power supplies and they opted to use that knowledge rather than just bundle a less efficient power brick. It works with both 110V and 230V power outlets and uses a normal 3-pin power connector for universal operation everywhere. Otherwise, the TS431S doesn’t have many external features, as they simply aren’t needed.

The installation couldn’t be any easier than it is. All you need to do is open the front door, slide your drive into a bay, and close the door again. Connect power and an SAS cable, press the power button and you’re done. You will need to setup the drives on your raid controllers interface or software, of course, but that’s a given.

The tool-free and trayless design makes removing a drive just as easy as plugging it in. Open the front door, release the hatch, and take your hard drive out. Close the door and you’re done. You don’t even need to power the enclosure down as it also supports both hot-swap and plug and play.

Backed by a two-year warranty, the SilverStone TS431S looks to be a great option to expand servers with limited drive bays the simple way, and without sacrificing functionality.

Netgear Announced ReadyNAS 3130 1U 4-Bay NAS

Netgear announced the new ReadyNAS 3130 Series Network Attached Storage with a 1U form factor for easy rack deployment in businesses of any size. With four bays, this NAS has a capacity up to 24 TB and the processor supports up to 200 simultaneous users making it especially suitable for virtualized environments.

The new four-bay ReadyNAS 3130 has dual Gigabit Ethernet for connection and two USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, and two eSATA for expansion and backup. The CPU is an Intel Atom C2338 Dual Core 1.7GHz with 2GHz turbo mode and the system comes with 2GB ECC UDIMM. With its new CPU, ReadyNAS 3130 is virtualization-ready with iSCSI support, thin provisioning capability, and interoperability with VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V.

ReadyNAS 3130 is available as diskless unit (RN3130) or populated with four 2TB drives (RN31342E). The new diskless edition is available worldwide at an MSRP of $1,499. ReadyNAS business-class products are backed by the NETGEAR 5-Year Limited Hardware Warranty, 5-Year Next Business Day Shipping for part replacement, and 24×7 Lifetime Technical Support.

 Thanks to Netgear for providing us with this information

QNAP Announces New Energy-Efficient TS-x31+ Turbo NAS Series

QNAP announced their newest line of NAS servers, this time in the energy-efficient end of the scale. The new TS-x31+ series Turbo NAS is designed for small and home offices and packs a dual-core 1.4 GHz ARM Cortex-A15 CPU with VFPv4 floating point unit and hardware accelerated encryption,

“For home & small businesses, a powerful, secure yet affordable cloud storage solution is becoming a key investment for improving everyday business workflow,” said Jason Hsu, product manager of QNAP. “With the TS-x31+ series, users can build a cost-efficient private cloud with ensured security and comprehensive business applications.”

The new series has two models, a two and a four-bay unit. Both have the same features besides the difference in the amount of bays. Under the hood, you’ll find 1GB DDR3 RAM, SATA 6Gb/s ports, dual Gigabit LAN, and three USB 3.0 ports (1 front, 2 rear).

The devices have an outstanding transfer and multitasking performance of up to 200MB/s throughput and the enhanced hardware encryption engine provides transfer speeds of over 150 MB/s with AES-256 bit Full NAS Volume Encryption enabled.

The new TS-x31+ series Turbo NAS is scheduled to be available from February 2015 and has DLNA, AirPlay & Chromecast support just as well as all the other features your used to from QNAP systems.

Thanks to QNAP for providing us with this information

QNAP Launched TVS-x71 Series vNAS With 4K UHD Video Playback and Transcoding

If the new QNAP TVS-x61 series with AMD processors weren’t the right match for you, then the new TVS-x71 series Turbo vNAS based on Intel CPUs with 4K Ultra-High-Definition and 10Gb Ethernet support might be.

The new series is available as 4, 6 and 8-bay tower form-factor models and all of them are powered by the latest Intel Haswell CPUs, but which one depends on the model choice. These processors deliver high performance with over 2,300 MB/s throughput and 135,000 IOPS for CPU-consuming tasks such as running Virtualization Station, real-time 4K video playback and transcoding, and serving large numbers of simultaneous connections. All units have four Gigabit Ethernet ports, three USB 3.0 ports, and SATA 3 6Gb/s ports for 2.5 and 3.5-inch drives.

“The high-quality hardware provides the power for users to operate multiple virtual machines using QNAP Virtualization Station, transcode high resolution videos in real-time or offline, and to enhance their business productivity with integrated SMB features,” said David Tsao, product manager of QNAP.

4K video playback via the integrated HDMI has minimal impact on the NAS performance and the TVS-x71 series delivers real-time 4K (H.264) and 1080p video transcoding that converts videos to universal formats for playback on PCs, mobile devices, and Smart TVs.

QNAP’s exclusive QvPC Technology includes VM integration, multimedia transcoding, HDMI output, cloud integration and NAS connection technologies by simply connecting a keyboard, mouse and to the NAS. Users can directly access stored data, run multiple applications on Windows/Linux/UNIX/Android-based VMs, surf the web with Chrome or Firefox, and enjoy 4K videos with 7.1 surround sound through XBMC, and much more.

The new TVS-x71 series Turbo vNAS should be available now or very shortly at retailers around the world.

Thanks to QNAP for providing us with this information

QNAP Partners with AMD for TVS-x63 Golden Cloud Turbo vNAS Series

This one almost slipped through my net with all the news going around after CES in Vegas, but it is a big one. QNAP has partnered with AMD to create the TVS-x63 Golden Cloud Turbo vNAS series, including the TVS-863+ with built-in 10Gb Ethernet. The rest of the series is ready for 10Gb Ethernet, but come born without.

Using a 64-bit AMD Embedded G-Series quad-core 2.4GHz processor with support for up to 16GB RAM, these NAS devices promise great performance. Speed isn’t everything, and the TVS-x63 also come with a highly efficient hardware encryption, SSD cache acceleration, and advanced AMD Radeon graphics for the ‘other side of these NAS devices’.

“QNAP is renowned for providing comprehensive cutting-edge NAS solutions with high-quality features for users, and we feel very honored to cooperate with QNAP to release the new TVS-x63+ series NAS, powered by AMD embedded solutions,” said Scott Aylor, corporate vice president and general manager, AMD Embedded Solutions. “The AMD Embedded G-Series SoC provides high performance while being energy efficient and meets the requirements of a NAS designed to deliver 24/7 continuous and reliable services.”

The new series comes as 4, 6 and 8 bay solutions with varying amount of memory between 4GB and 8GB, but all support up to 16GB total RAM. The drives connect through SATA 3 ports and network is covered by dual Gigabit ports. As previously mentioned they are all 10GbE capable, but only the TVS-863+ has it built in.

“The TVS-x63+ series is solidly built with a state-of-the-art design and topped off with a stylish gold finish for added distinction. The Turbo vNAS with AMD quad-core processor performs outstandingly in file transfer efficiency, business and multimedia applications, and more, while brining 10GbE capabilities for budget-conscious organizations and professionals,” said Y.T. Lee, vice president of QNAP.

The other side of these NAS devices is the QvPC Technology. Users can use the TVS-x63+ series as a PC by plugging in a keyboard, mouse, and HDMI monitor to directly access data stored on the NAS, run multiple applications on Windows, Linux, UNIX, and Android-based VMs, surf the web with multilingual keyboard input, watch 1080p videos with up to 7.1 channel audio with XBMC, and much more.

The previous paragraph contained a lie, well at least not the full truth. The TVS-x63+ series also supports 4K Ultra HD output for use with the QvPC Technology, thanks to the AMD Radeon Graphics. You can connect the NAS to a 4K UHD monitor too and enjoy those extra pixels.

The TVS-x63+ series includes more anticipated features for a better audio-visual experience, including hardware-accelerated transcoding, offline transcoding and dual HDMI outputs that allows users to connect to two monitors or TVs for simultaneous playback.

Key specifications

  • TVS-863+: 8-bay tower model, 8GB RAM, one pre-installed 1-port 10GbE PCI-E NIC
  • TVS-863: 8-bay tower model, 4GB RAM, PCI-E expansion slot
  • TVS-663: 6-bay tower model, 4GB RAM, PCI-E expansion slot
  • TVS-463: 4-bay tower model, 4GB RAM, PCI-E expansion slot
  • AMD Embedded G-Series quad-core 2.4 GHz processor, DDR3L-1600 SO-DIMM RAM (expandable to 16GB); 2.5”/3.5” SATA 6Gbps HDD/SSD, hard drives hot-swappable; 5 x USB 3.0; 2 x Gigabit LAN ports; 2 x HDMI (mirrored display); LCD panel.

The best of all is, the new QNAP TVS-x63+ series Golden Turbo vNAS will be available later this month at most retailers. If all this shouldn’t be enough, you can expand with the two QNAP expansion enclosures UX-800P and UX-500P to increase the total storage capacity to 192TB.

Thanks to QNAP for providing us with this information

Thecus N4310 4-Bay NAS Review

Introduction


We don’t all have equally deep pockets and not everyone can get the top-of-the-line high-end NAS devices that are out there. Most budget oriented NAS devices only offer 2 drive bays, and that might not be enough. Thecus comes to the rescue with their 4-bay N4310 NAS. The N4310 doesn’t lack on features or performance, so don’t be fooled by the term budget; that term only refers to the price in relation to other 4-bay systems on the market.

The Thecus N4310 has a normal NAS layout with 4 hot swap bays, LEDs and power button on the front and it also has a convenient USB copy key to perform pre-setup copy actions to and from plugged in USB drives. As useful as this feature is, it is a shame that there isn’t a front USB port to use it with. You will have to fumble behind the device to plug in your USB device before you can push the button on the front.

Each hard drive has its own LED light for activity and connection, and there is one for USB and Network activity as well. The power LED also indicates devices status besides just shining to show that it’s running.

When turning the device around and looking at the rear, we find two USB 3.0 and one RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet connections. It is nice to see USB3 added to a budget device as this allows the owners to backup those files in much faster way.

A unique feature in this market segment is the dual power supply support. You can connect two power bricks to this unit to create a fail-protection for continued uptime despite a possible PSU failure.

The internals of the Thecus N4310 is quite impressive all things considered. It is built around an AMCC 1GHz SoC with 1GB DDR3 memory, has hardware support for AES 128-bit encryption, and CPU offload engine.

The storage controller allows for RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, and JBOD, but the EXT4 filesystem is limited to 16TB. The network adapter supports Wake on LAN (WOL) and the USB ports can be used to connect printers too.

The software part is pretty good and a pleasant surprise. ThecusOS 6 has a more traditional approach in the web GUI than some other manufacturers, but it is really easy to use. It offers a load of functions besides serving as a file locker, such as Transmission download server, PlexMedia center, DDNS setup, Optical disk burning, as well as mobile apps to access your library on the go.

Thecus thought of almost everything and a little bit more.

The start-up is simplified with the Intelligent NAS utility that “boasts a 5-minute complete installation” of your device. With a power consumption of just 30W in operation, this could be an all around winner. So let’s take it for a spin.

RAIDON Announced Stardom ST4-TB Thunderbolt Dock

Thunderbolt technology is mostly a feature found on Apple devices, but not exclusively. It’s still one of the most versatile and fastest connections available for connecting peripheral devices and Stardom (RAIDON) is ready with their newest enclosure for this interface, the ST4-TB.

The two Thunderbolt 2 ports on ST4-TB features dual 20-Gbps channels not only allow for very fast file transfers but also has the feature to daisy-chain as many as six Thunderbolt devices to a single port. And since Thunderbolt is based on Display Port technology, Mini Display Port devices like Apple LED Cinema Display can plug right into it as well.

The ST4-TB is also portable and comes with a grip handle to take it with you on the go and it supports both RAID 0 and independent drive mode. In RAID 0 mode, the enclosed four drives will be striped and combined into one large volume for storage to enhance the data transfer speed performance. Under the Independent mode, the enclosed drives are seen as four separate volumes instead of one single volume.

The new ST4-TB can perform with up to 724MB/s while reading, which is quite impressive, and supports up to 8TB drives. The test results seen above were performed with an Apple Mac Pro 3.7GHz Quad-core Intel Xeon E5 with 12GB RAM running Mac 0S X 10.10, four HGST 8TB SATA III 7200 rpm drives and two Adata 64G SATA III SSDs.

Specifications:

  • Interfaces: Two Thunderbolt 2 ports (up to 20Gbps)
  • Compatible Drives: 4x 3.5-inch/2.5-inch SATA III HDD/SSD up to 8TB
  • Storage Mode: JBOD, RAID 0
  • Cooling: 90mm low noise fan
  • Size: Height 166mm, width 124mm, depth 248mm, weight 3.4kg

Sadly there wasn’t any word on pricing or availablity yet.

Thanks to Stardom via TechPowerUp for providing us with this information