Article Author :Ian Date : 30th Apr 2010 Comments :0
The QNAP TS-459 Pro is the third NAS unit we’ve taken a look at from this Taiwanese manufacturer, which has so far impressed with home user and small office level devices. This particular 4-bay model is part of the business series and therefore comes with some higher level hardware, in particular the Intel Atom D510 CPU. 1GB Ram coupled with this dual core processor should provide plenty of computing power for this all-in-one server.
Like the QNAP servers we have previously reviewed, this model is more than just a file storage device (a traditional NAS). So many extra features are also included, which mean this server can often work as an all-in-one device for many small businesses. Other than storing files on network shares, you can use the TS-459 Pro as a print server, web server, database server, download/torrent station, media streaming and IP camera surveillance station amongst other things. There are even QKPG plugin applications which allow you to expand the NAS further, providing enthusiasts a way to code their own software or use some of the community maintained software (including some handy tools such as a mail server and Tomcat).
The NAS is based on nettop hardware, so it’s no surprise to see that there is custom Linux software powering the device. This works very well in the background, but it also means there is huge scope for improvement in functionality via firmware updates. There is even a VGA port for advanced NAS diagnostics should you feel the need to delve a little deeper.
There shouldn’t be any compatibility problems across a corporate network, as Windows, Linux and Mac protocols are all supported. Administration is performed through a web browser using a very nifty AJAX interface, providing one of the most impressive management tools of any current NAS. In this review, the NAS is connected to a network consisting of two Windows 7 PCs, one Linux laptop and a Sony Playstation 3 – all of which connect to and use the features without a hitch
As a business level NAS, there are all of the high level features that you would expect to see such as:
IP Filter control
Windows Active Directory Services
RAID support (0, 1, 5, 5+hot spare, 6, single, and JBOD)
AES 256-bit drive encryption
E-Mail / SMS alerts
iSCSI (VMware certified)
Contents and Overview
The TS-459 is solidly packaged and comes complete with a power cable, 2 x Ethernet cables, screws, keys, manual and software CD. This is everything that is needed to get your NAS up and running by plugging it in to your existing router. You can mount 3.5” or 2.5” SATA drives in the bays using the provided screws and then configure them via the web-admin interface.
The front of the unit contains a 16x2 LCD status screen, power button, USB copy button, menu buttons and 4 drive bays. The brushed metal enclosure and plastic font panel are very solid, giving a real quality feel. There are also no rattles to any of the buttons or empty drive bays, which can sometimes plague cheap hardware.
Front of NAS
On the rear of the unit you will find 4 x USB ports, VGA port, 2 x Ethernet ports, 2 x eSATA ports, K-Lock point and a 3-pin power socket. There is also a small fan for the internal PSU, plus a larger diameter fan to cool the internal components (and drives).
Rear of NAS
The 2 gigabit Ethernet ports allow you to connect to two separate networks or even use a failover/load balancing system if you are running in a more critical environment. The two fans are also reasonably quiet, especially under normal operating conditions. During system bootup or very strenuous activity, they do increase in speed and volume, but not any louder than a standard office PC.