QNAP TS-470 NAS Server Review
By Bruce Normann
Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by QNAP Systems, Inc.
I love it when I can predict the future. In the last year, I’ve shared with you some of the consistent signs that 10GbE Ethernet would continue its push down into lower cost products. Plain old Gigabit Ethernet has been holding back the performance of mid-range NAS devices for a while now. This is the third QNAP NAS Server that Benchmark Reviews has tested with 10GbE capability, and each successive model has occupied a spot further down the product line. The latest product on our test bench is the TS-470 Turbo NAS, a small unassuming tower with just four drive bays, and it looks much more consumer-oriented than the 8-bay rack mount units that we looked at before. This latest Turbo NAS series also gets a brand new set of consumer features – Audio and Video I/O, and an IR receiver on the front panel for a remote control. Enhanced features that benefit all user classes include a beefier CPU from the Celeron family, multiple USB 3.0 ports, and a PCIe expansion slot that provides more network connectivity options than we’ve seen before at this price point. In addition, there’s even a new version of QTS software that includes even more functionality.
The QNAP TS-470 Turbo NAS is part of a new model line that brings a higher level of performance to the small tower-based format. The TS-x70U rack mount series which launched earlier this year served up the basic technology package that’s been slimmed down here, in order to fit into the smaller form factor. The new TS-x70 towers are being promoted as business-class NAS servers, based on their high performance and networking package, but QNAP includes an HDMI port and IR receiver for good measure. Also included in the base package is a 2-port GbE NIC, installed in the PCIe expansion slot. Most business users will be able to increase the network throughput of this NAS with Port Trunking, thereby making effective use of all four GbE ports on the rear panel. Those who need more bandwidth can just replace the 2-port NIC with a 10GbE model.
With four 3.5″ drive bays available, there is a potential for 16TB of storage, plus the ability to link up an expansion chassis through the eSATA ports. If both capacity and redundancy are needed, RAID 5 is a minimum. If you want to go to RAID 6 or RAID 10, you need a minimum of four disks, with two spindles completely occupied by providing multiple levels of redundancy for your data. A four-bay device is really the bare minimum for a high availability NAS appliance, and that’s why the smallest unit in this series is the TS-470, which is the exact unit we have here for review. This new series also supports SSD caching, but I’ll discuss that in a future article. As with all things SSD, it gets complicated…..
Benchmark Reviews has tested a wide array of QNAP NAS products, ranging from the QNAP TS-119 NAS single-disk offering made for home users, to the Goliath QNAP TS-879U-RP 8-Bay NAS for the storage needs of large businesses. Most recently we tested the 8-bay TS-870U-RP which paved the way for this new TS-x70 tower-based series. Let’s see how this latest Turbo NAS compares to those 8-bay corporate animals, and to a variety of siblings and competitors.