IT Pro Verdict
Qnap’s latest NAS appliance has every storage angle covered and is a great option for businesses looking for a high storage capacity. It offers a good hardware package for the price whilst NAS and IP SAN performance over 10GbE is impeccable.
Qnap was one of the first NAS vendors to move up to Xeon E3 processors and the new TS-EC1679U-RP is also its first 16-bay rack appliance. It shows Qnap is sharpening its focus on larger businesses as it supports 4TB SATA III drives for a top capacity of 64TB.
Until now, the TS-EC1279U-RP 12-bay model was its largest appliance and Qnap has made significant improvements in the hardware department. The TS-EC1679U-RP has ECC DDR3 memory doubled to 4GB and it also supports 4GB DIMMs allowing capacity to be increased to 16GB.
The appliance has all four Gigabit ports embedded on its motherboard which frees up both PCI-e expansion slots allowing it to support two Gigabit or 10GbE cards. All major adapter vendors have been certified and we had no problems using Intel X520-SR2 and Emulex OCE11102-NM dual port 10GbE cards.
Connection options abound with quad embedded Gigabit, six USB, two eSATA ports and two PCI-e slots for dual-port 10-Gigabit cards
Qnap's Finder utility makes light work of installation as it hunts down the appliance on the network and provides direct access to its web interface. For testing, we loaded six 2TB Seagate Constellation SATA II drives and used the quick start wizard to create a single RAID-5 array.
We also took this opportunity to load up the latest QSM (Qnap Storage Manager) 3.7 firmware which adds some useful new features. These aren't as extensive as those introduced in v3.6 but full support for Windows ACLs (access control lists) now allows you to fine tune access privileges to shared folders using basic and advanced permissions.
Home folders can now be automatically created for each user the first time they log in to the appliance and a network Recycle Bin is available for all users to retrieve any accidentally deleted files. However, the improved Surveillance Station Pro application won't be available for this appliance until September.
The appliance accepted our dual-port Intel and Emulex 10GbE cards giving us a total of eight network ports to play with
Dave is an IT consultant and freelance journalist specialising in hands-on reviews of computer networking products covering all market sectors from small businesses to enterprises. Founder of Binary Testing Ltd – the UK’s premier independent network testing laboratory - Dave has over 45 years of experience in the IT industry.
Dave has produced many thousands of in-depth business networking product reviews from his lab which have been reproduced globally. Writing for ITPro and its sister title, PC Pro, he covers all areas of business IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, network security, data protection, cloud, infrastructure and services.