QNAP Launches TDS-16489U Dual Xeon E5 Double Server

QNAP’s newest server, the TDS-16489U, is an amazing one that sets itself apart from the rest in so many ways. I want one so badly even though I have absolutely no need for this kind of power. This must be how a normal person feels when they see a Bugatti Veyron. But let us get back to the new QNAP dual server.

The TDS-16489U is a powerful dual server that’s both an application server and storage server baked into on chassis for simplicity and effectiveness. It is powered by two Intel Xeon E5 processors with 4, 6, or 8 cores each while supporting up to 1TB DDR4 2133 MHz memory with its 16 DIMM slots. These are already some impressive specs, but this is just where the fun begins.

The dual server has 16 front-accessible drive bays for 3.5-inch storage drives as well four rear-facing 2.5-inch drive bays for SSD cache. Should this not be enough, then you can expand that further by use of NVMe based PCI-Express SSDs too. The system has three SAS 12 Gb/s controllers built-in to couple it all together.

There are just as many connection options as there are storage options in the TDS-16489U. It comes with two normal Gigabit Ethernet ports as well as four SFP+ 10Gbps ports powered by an Intel XL710. Should that not be enough, then you can use the PCI-Express slots to expand with further NICs of your choice. The system supports the use of 40 Gbps cards too. It also comes with a dedicated IPMI connection besides the normal networking. The PCI-Express x16 Gen.3 slots can also be used with AMD R7 or R9 graphics cards for GPU passthrough to virtualization applications. A true one-device solution for applications, storage, and virtualization.

The TDS-16489U combines outstanding virtualization and storage technologies as an all-around dual server. With Virtualization Station and Container Station, computation and data from the guest OS and apps can be directly stored on the TDS-16489U through the internal 12Gb/s SAS interface. Coupled with Double-Take Availability to provide comprehensive high availability and disaster recovery, backup virtual machines can support failover for the primary systems on the TDS-16489U whenever needed to enable data protection and continuous services. QNAP Virtualization Station is a virtualization platform based on KVM (Kernel Virtual Machine) infrastructure. By sharing the Linux kernel, GPU passthrough, virtual switches, VM import/export, snapshot, backup & restoration, SSD cache acceleration and tiered storage.

“Software frameworks for Big Data management and analysis like Apache Hadoop or Apache Spark can be easily operated on the TDS-16489U using virtual machines or containerized apps, and with Qtier Technology for Auto Tiering the TDS-16489U empowers Big Data computing and provides efficient storage in one box to help businesses gain further insights, opportunities and values,” said David Tsao, Product Manager of QNAP.

With all the above, we shouldn’t forget that it still also runs QNAP’s QTS 4.2 operating system that provides everything you know and love from that. Included is the comprehensive virtualization applications that we’ve also seen on our consumer models, but this is where you truly can take advantage of what QNAP created and run multiple Windows, Linux, Unix, and Android-based virtual machines on your NAS. All the backup solutions and failover, from local to other NAS or the cloud. You can do it all. Share files to basically any device anywhere is made as easy as possible.

Should you still not have enough storage in this impressive unit, then you can expand with up to 8 of the QNAP enclosures and reach a seriously impressive 1152 TB raw storage capacity controlled by this single 3U server unit. The CPU power, dual system capabilities, virtualization options and impressive storage option will let you deploy an impressive system with a very tiny size and total cost of ownership compared to traditional setups.

Key Specifications

  • 16-bay, 3U rackmount unit
  • 2 x Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 Family processor (with 4-core, 6-core and 8-core configurations)
  • 64GB~1TB DDR4 2133MHz RDIMM/LRDIMM RAM (16 DIMM)
  • 4 x SFP+ 10GbE ports
  • hot-swappable 16 x 3.5″ SAS (12Gbps/6Gbps)/SATA (6Gbps/3Gbps) HDD or 2.5″ SAS/SATA SSD, and 4 x
  • 2.5″ SAS (12Gbps) SSD or SAS/SATA (6Gbps/3Gbps) SSD;
  • 4 x PCle slots;
  • 4 x USB 3.0 port

The new QNAP TDS-16489U dual-server is now available.

First Virtualized GPU Shown Off by AMD

AMD have just revealed what is claimed to be the world’s first hardware virtualized GPU devices, the AMD FirePro S-Series GPUs which supports Multiuser GPU (MxGPU) technology. These currently take the form of the AMD FirePro S7150 and S7150 x2, with the latter card reportedly able to handle as many as 32 concurrent users with its 16GB of onboard GDDR5 memory. The aim of these and future FirePro S-Series cards is to provide virtualized remote GPU offerings for workstations, cloud gaming, cloud computing and virtual desktop environments.

Virtualization is a very common and useful technology. Able to deliver the power of workstation PCs remotely to even weak machines it is often used to provide optimal user experiences to those requiring high amounts of processing power without every user requiring their own powerful machine. Many of the resources used by the modern computer have been virtualised so far, from CPU to memory and storage devices, but until now, the GPU has remained off the list, until now. Sean Burke, corporate vice president and general manager, Radeon Technologies Group, AMD said: “we created the innovative AMD FirePro S-series GPUs to deliver a precise, secure, high performance and enriched graphics user experience– all provided without per user licensing fees required to use AMD’s virtualized solution.”

Reportedly able to handle virtualized support for common graphics APIs such as OpenGL and DirectX, as well as GPU computing APIs like OpenCL, to numerous simultaneous users, while also protecting the data of each virtual machine from being shared through hardware-enforced memory isolation logic, the FirePro S-Series looks to be set to change the game in virtualized computing. Often, GPU intensive tasks like Computer Aided Design (CAD) and high-resolution image and video editing required each workstation to have its own powerful discrete GPU, virtualizing GPUs would allow greater price-per-dollar for companies routinely needing that level of graphical processing power.

Based on AMD’s Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture to optimize utilization and maximize performance, the AMD FirePro S7150 and S7150 x2 server GPUs feature:

  • AMD Multiuser GPU (MxGPU) technology to enable consistent, predictable and secure performance from virtualized workstations with the world’s first hardware-based virtualized GPU products to enable users with workstation-class experiences matched with full ISV certifications.
  • GDDR5 GPU Memory to help accelerate applications and process computationally complex workflows with ease.
  • Error Correcting Code (ECC) Memory to ensure the accuracy of computations by correcting any single or double bit error as a result of naturally occurring background radiation.
  • OpenCL 2.0 support to help professionals tap into the parallel computing power of modern GPUs and multicore CPUs to accelerate compute-intensive tasks in leading CAD/CAM/CAE and Media & Entertainment applications that support OpenCL allowing developers to take advantage of new GPU features.
  • AMD PowerTune is an intelligent power management system that monitors both GPU activity and power draw. AMD PowerTune optimizes the GPU to deliver low power draw when GPU workloads do not demand full activity and delivers the optimal clock speed to ensure the highest possible performance within the GPU’s power budget for high-intensity workloads.

These GPUs are expected to be available from server technology providers from as soon as the first half of 2016 and for an early taste of the power these cards provide, a Dell server has been exhibiting AMD FirePro S-Series GPU at SolidWorks World 2016 in Dallas. It is interesting to see how the ability to virtualize the GPU will change the game in the graphics marketplace, with the possibility of high-quality cloud gaming perhaps being closer than we think.

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.

QNAP Launches TS-531P with 10GbE Support and Container Station

QNAP released a new and powerful 5-bay NAS with upgradeable memory, quad-core CPU, SSD cache support and 10-Gigabit Ethernet support. The new QNAP TS-531P features an Annapurna Labs Alpine AL-314 quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 processor with 1.4GHz, hardware encryption engine, and floating point unit, and it comes in two versions with either 2GB or 8GB DDR3 memory.

Right out of the box, the QNAP TS-531P features four Gigabit Ethernet ports that naturally support Link Aggregation and Failover, but you can expand it with either a 10GbE SFP+ or 10Gbase low-profile add-in card for even better connectivity. 10GbE is finally starting to make a proper entry into the market as more and more SMB devices start to feature what used to be reserved to the enterprise sector and it is something that I’ve been waiting for in a long time. The TS-531 supports add-in cards with up to two ports, allowing you a total of either 6 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 4 GbE and two 10GbE ports in this NAS.

This is an SMB NAS that comes with all the essentials in this area, which also means that the HDMI port for direct usage as HTPC that we see on personal oriented NAS devices isn’t there. There are however three USB 3.0 ports for expansion where one of them is located on the front for easy access together with the one-touch copy button. These ports can also be used to expand the storage abilities with up to two QNAP expansion enclosures, either the UX-800P 8-bay or UX-500P 5-bay units. With two 8-bay expansion units, you can have up to 168GB raw storage capacity using 8TB drives.

The TS-531P supports Container Station that allows users to operate multiple virtual Linux systems thanks to the LXC and Docker lightweight virtualization technologies. You can easily download more through the built-in Docker Hub Registry or create your own. It supports import and export and permission settings along with a flexible user interface, and informative dashboard. Container Station will also support the Online Document app that is currently in development. It will allow users to directly view, edit and store files of various types (office documents, images, and text files) on their TS-531P without the hassle of back-and-forth file transfers.

The QNAP TS-531P will naturally also support all the other great features that we have come to know from QNAP, from the comprehensive backup options that include cloud offerings over the powerful Qsirch search feature to the surveillance station and everything in between. It is available now starting from €513.41 and €648.81 respectively for the 2GB and 8GB models.

Microsoft Previews New Windows 10 Feature

In an understated announcement, Microsoft revealed and released an early preview build of Windows 10, featuring functional nested virtualization. Or in simpler terms, Windows running on Windows, running on Windows, like a matryoshka doll of computers. And while this may seem simple and silly at first glance, think about all the components that make your PC work. For even a single virtual machine, your PC has to fool a copy of Windows (or any other operating system) into thinking it has access to those things, not to mention the resources the physical machine has to surrender to the virtual machine. So to allow a virtual machine to properly share all of these things to a virtual machine of its own is no small feat.

What does this mean for Windows 10? For one, it makes Windows 10 more attractive to developers. When fully implemented, the nested virtualization could allow a developer to run and test their application on different versions of Windows or how their application runs in a virtual environment while keeping it entirely isolated from their own machine inside of a main test virtual machine. The feature also works as a proof-of-concept of the feature that could be including in the upcoming Windows Server 2016, where businesses could run multiple sub-servers or use it to test the usage of their virtual machine configurations without having to risk a host system, which would require far more effort to recover. On a less serious note, there are certainly people out there who would just get a kick out of seeing what they could do with the ability to use these features.

Of course, this is currently a very early preview, complete with the limitations and bugs of such a release, the details of these, including how you try it yourself using the preview build can be found on Microsoft’s own Virtualization Blog.

As a regular user of virtual machines, I’m eager to see how this feature is implemented and whether it helps Windows 10’s adoption in the professional world. Does this feature appeal to you, from a tinkering or professional perspective, or does this seem unnecessary while the storm of discussion over Windows 10s current state rages on?

ASRock Rack 2U & 3U Server Solution Supports the Latest NVIDIA GRID 2.0

Nvidia recently released their GRID 2.0 at the VMWorld and ASRock Rack now announced that their 2U and 3U server solutions support just this. Nvidia GRID 2.0 is a big step up as it delivers double the application performance as well as double the user density over the previous version. Not only that, it also offers support for Linux OS and blade servers to provide unprecedented speed and efficiency for virtualized graphics. Users can work from almost anywhere with virtually no delays and thereby increase their productivity. IT departments can equip workers with instant access to powerful applications, improving resource allocation. And data can be stored more securely by residing in a central server rather than individual systems.

The two ASRock Rack solution compatible with the new GRID 2.0 are the 2U2N-F and the 3U8G-C612 and both are configurable with four to eight GPU cards; and four are the recommended minimum. Next to the up-to-eight Tesla M60 GPUs, the server units also feature numerous other PCIe slots for further expansion and acceleration by PCIe SSDs, Remote Direct Memory Access by SFP+ or InfiniBand, NVR or facial recognition systems by capture cards and much more.

ASRock Rack fans might have noticed that the mentioned 2U2N-F is a new rack unit. The 2U rack-mounted server features eight 2.5-inch HDD bays and redundant 1600W Platinum PSU. The server supports Intel Xeon E5-2600/4600 series with a TDP of up to 120W and narrow-type CPU cooler. The eight DIMM slots support up to 2133MHz and you’ll also get an ASpeed AST2400 onboard graphic solution with dedicated Realtek IPMI network connection. The 2U2N-F is definitely worth a closer look if you’re about to set up a new powerful virtualization system or plan to upgrade the old.

QNAP Is Beta Testing QTS 4.2 and It Looks Great

QNAP already has a very impressive operating system for their NAS series called QTS, but they aren’t resting on that and keep on improving and adding things. The newest version, QTS 4.2, is almost ready and it is currently being beta tested. That also means that you can try it if you have a QNAP Turbo NAS.

The new QTS 4.2 adds container virtualization snapshot, multi-zone multimedia control and other exciting new features. It also comes with a revamped user interface and will provide a smarter, smoother, and more spectacular cloud experience with strong security.

“QNAP continues to break the barriers of devices, platforms and geography to bring optimized cloud experiences to business and home users alike,” said Tony Lu, product manager of QNAP, adding “We have taken the lead in incorporating cutting-edge technologies like containers, snapshots and multi-zone multimedia streaming to extend the possibilities of QNAP NAS. With QTS 4.2, users are limited only by their imaginations.”

The revamped user interface will be the first thing you notice, it has a more flat design that reduces loading times and elevates the user experience with translucent login window, frameless media viewer, and new recycle bin. Multimedia is one of the big reasons to get an NAS in the first place, as you need a place to store everything. Your QNAP NAS can now be a multi-zone multimedia system with central control media streaming to different areas from a single device via HDMI, DLNA, Chromecast, Apple TV, Bluetooth and USB devices. The revamped Photo Station provides an excellent browsing experience with gallery and management modes and enhanced sharing mechanisms. Video Station now features online subtitle search while the HD Station now supports multilanguage and multitasking with new apps including Skype, Libre Office and Plex Home Theater.

QTS 4.2 also introduces an industry-leading hybrid virtualization solution with Virtualization Station and Container Station. The upgraded Virtualization Station adopts software-defined networking concepts and brings greater benefits for flexible networking. The new Container Station exclusively integrates LXC and Docker lightweight virtualization technologies, allowing users to operate multiple isolated Linux systems on a QNAP NAS as well as downloading apps from the built-in Docker Hub Registry. The FileStation can now directly browse and transfer files between their NAS and public cloud services as well as mount folders from a remote NAS.

There are a lot more improvements such as optimized storage management and cloud backup, higher data security with 2-step verification, shared folder encryption, instant notification to mobile devices, and VPN server. If you got a compatible QNAP NAS, then the new QTS 4.2beta is surely worth to check out.

QNAP Releases TVS-ECx80+ Edge Cloud Turbo vNAS

At what point do we start to call just call it a server again and not an NAS, that’s a very good question. Qnap sure pushes that line with their latest TVS-ECx80+ series of Edge Cloud Turbo vNAS devices. On devices like this, the term NAS probably more points towards the ease of setup due to the operating system used; one that has been specially tuned to work on this particular hardware.

The new TVS-ECx80+ Turbo vNAS series includes four models so far. The TVS-EC1080+, the TVS-EC1080 and the TVS-EC880 are powered by Intel Xeon E3-1245 v3 processors with 3.4GHZ or above. They offer 10 and 8 bays respectively and the flagship Plus model comes with 32GB DDR3 memory, pre-installed dual 10Gb Ethernet ports and built-in 256GB mSATA modules for a superior performance of up to 2000MB/s throughput and 223K IOPS. The fourth model is the TVS-EC1080-i3 and is based on an Intel Core i3-4150 processor instead of the Xeon.

The new line continues the trend with easy upgradeable memory and in this case also mSATA modules. It runs the latest QTS operating system that features a tablet-style interface with 4K2K UHD video playback and transcoding capabilities, virtualization via QvPC that allows you to run Windows, *nix and Android based VMs directly on the NAS with full keyboard and mouse support as well as 7.1 audio and much more. Server administrators can also manage other Qnap NAS devices through this centralized one, making their job a lot easier.

Key specifications on the TVS-ECx80 series

  • TVS-EC1080+-E3-32G: 10-bay tower model, Quad-core Intel® Xeon® E3-1245 v3 3.4 GHz processor or above, 32GB DDR3 RAM, 2.5”/3.5” SATA 6Gbps HDD/SSD, hard drives hot-swappable, 2 x eSATA, 3 x USB 3.0, 2 x 10 Gigabit LAN and 4 x Gigabit LAN ports, 256GB mSATA cache, 1 x HDMI
  • TVS-EC1080-E3-16G: 10-bay tower model, Quad-core Intel® Xeon® E3-1245 v3 3.4 GHz processor or above, 16GB DDR3 RAM, 2.5”/3.5” SATA 6Gbps HDD/SSD, hard drives hot-swappable, 2 x eSATA, 3 x USB 3.0, 4 x Gigabit LAN ports, 1 x HDMI
  • TVS-EC1080-E3-8G: 10-bay tower model, Quad-core Intel® Xeon® E3-1245 v3 3.4 GHz processor or above, 8GB DDR3 RAM, 2.5”/3.5” SATA 6Gbps HDD/SSD, hard drives hot-swappable, 2 x eSATA, 3 x USB 3.0, 4 x Gigabit LAN ports, 1 x HDMI
  • TVS-EC1080-i3-8G: 10-bay tower model, Dual-core Intel® Core i3-4150 3.5 GHz processor, 8GB DDR3 RAM, 2.5”/3.5” SATA 6Gbps HDD/SSD, hard drives hot-swappable, 2 x eSATA, 3 x USB 3.0, 4 x Gigabit LAN ports, 1 x HDMI
  • TVS-EC880-E3-16G: 8-bay tower model, Quad-core Intel® Xeon® E3-1245 v3 3.4 GHz processor or above, 16GB DDR3 RAM, 2.5”/3.5” SATA 6Gbps HDD/SSD, hard drives hot-swappable, 2 x eSATA, 3 x USB 3.0, 4 x Gigabit LAN ports, 1 x HDMI
  • TVS-EC880-E3-8G: 8-bay tower model, Quad-core Intel® Xeon® E3-1245 v3 3.4 GHz processor or above, 8GB DDR3 RAM, 2.5”/3.5” SATA 6Gbps HDD/SSD, hard drives hot-swappable, 2 x eSATA, 3 x USB 3.0, 4 x Gigabit LAN ports, 1 x HDMI

The new devices should be available now, meaning they should arrive at your favourite NAS retailer very soon.

Thanks to QNAP for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of QNAP

AMD and BlueStacks Team Up To Bring Dual-OS Android In Windows Environments

A partnership between BlueStacks and AMD has been announced at Mobile World Congress which will bring a new BlueStacks dual-OS Android solution optimized for AMD APUs. It is said to delivering Google Android OS experience to select Microsoft Windows-based AMD-based tablets, 2-in-1s, notebooks and desktops in select retail stores.

“The ability to span two OS ecosystems gives end-users access to both Windows and Android apps, but the key is providing for the seamless integration of entertainment and productivity across those ecosystems,” said Steve Belt, corporate vice president, Product Management, at AMD. “Introducing our solution in retail puts AMD and BlueStacks in a unique position to offer in-store customers the option to include access to this great experience at the time of purchase of their new systems.”

The advantages of BlueStacks running on a Windows PC powered by AMD consist of a familiar Android UI, including settings, configuration and customization controls, along with the ability to run Android apps within a window or at full-screen resolution leveraging direct access to AMD graphics processing power. Other advantages consist of support for hundreds of thousands of Android apps direct from various Android app stores, as well as synchronisation between the same apps being run on the user’s stand-alone Android devices, interoperability through direct file sharing that enables Android apps to access files stored within the Windows file system and Support for sensors like built-in cameras, accelerometer, gyroscope and others.

The key factor which presents the bigget advantage of using the retail solution is that it won’t require the user to disengage from one OS before using another. The retail solution also supports easy synchronisation of the two environments through BlueStack’s FoneLink service, which enables AMD Windows-based PCs to become an extension of Android mobile devices and vice versa.

A retail version is expected to be released in the second half of 2014, having it be available at several key retail ENEA partners.

Thank you AMD for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of AMD