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Qnap TS-1264U-RP review: Space to spare

Qnap’s affordable 12-bay business NAS puts big storage in small spaces

A photograph of the Qnap TS-1264U-RP
Price
£1,768 exc VAT (Diskless, 4GB)
  • Short-depth chassis
  • High storage density
  • Good 2.5GbE performance
  • Excellent data protection features
  • Redundant PSUs
  • Maximum 16GB of memory

Short depth NAS appliances are great for small businesses with limited office space and Qnap’s TS-x64U series pushes their storage density to the next level. On review is the TS-1264U-RP, which delivers 12 hot-swap storage bays in a 2U high chassis that’s only 423mm deep - allowing it to be slotted into a small wall cabinet or even placed on a desk.

Qnap keeps the price down by fitting the appliance with the same 2GHz quad-core Intel Celeron N5105/N5095 CPU as featured in some of its entry-level models such as the 3-bay TS-364. The TS-1264U-RP sports a Celeron N5105 which has a slightly lower 10W TDP than the N5095’s 15W, and a marginally faster Intel UHD Graphics 24 embedded chipset, which pipes its 4K video through to the rear HDMI 1.4b port.

Memory starts at a modest 4GB of DDR4 which can be boosted to a maximum of 16GB. This doesn’t seem a lot, but the appliance only supports the standard QTS operating system, which is less demanding than Qnap’s memory-hungry QuTS.

Qnap TS-1264U-RP review: Hardware features

Build quality is up to the standard we expect from Qnap, with the chassis constructed of solid steel and the non-lockable drive carriers equipped with sturdy metal trays. There isn’t much to see inside with the compact motherboard employing a small passive heatsink for the Celeron CPU and a lightweight plastic air shroud to direct air over it from the 12cm diameter fan behind.

Further cooling is provided by a second 12cm fan and we found the appliance to be very quiet during operation, making it a sound choice for small offices. The 4GB of base memory is supplied on a single SO-DIMM module with a second vacant slot above, although you’ll need to replace it with an 8GB module if you want to upgrade to 16GB.

A photograph of the Qnap TS-1264U-RP's internal design

Multi-Gigabit networking is on the menu with dual 2.5GbE ports at the rear, and these are partnered by duets of standard USB 2 and faster USB 3.2 ports with the HDMI port alongside. Further expansion is possible with a spare PCI-E 3 slot, although this is only the x2 variety, so you won’t see the maximum benefits of upgrading to 10GbE speeds.

The slot offers plenty of other options though, as it supports Qnap’s Wi-Fi 6 adapter and a range of cards with dual M.2 SSD slots that can be used for caching. Value gets a further boost, considering the price includes a pair of 300W hot-plug PSUs. 

Qnap TS-1264U-RP review: QTS 5 apps

For testing, we loaded a quartet of 14TB WD Red Pro HDDs, fired the appliance up and followed the web-based quick start wizard to install the latest version of QTS 5. Its upgraded Linux kernel delivers a fresher and more responsive web console and provides a pop-up notice board so you don’t miss important alerts. 

SMBs looking for plenty of data backup features will find QTS is positively overflowing with them. It supports on-demand and scheduled snapshots for NAS shares and iSCSI LUNs on standard EXT4 volumes, while the slick Hybrid Backup Sync (HBS) 3 app helps you create a 3-2-1 backup strategy in as few as four clicks. 

The Hyper Data Protector (HDP) app extends backup and restore capabilities to VMware and Hyper-V virtualized environments. It opens a dedicated web console for all backup and restore management and we had no problems adding our VMware vCenter host, selecting VMs and scheduling backup tasks. The appliance can also host virtual machines, thanks to the Container Station, Ubuntu Linux Station and Virtualization Station apps. However, the maximum 16GB of memory will limit the number of VMs it can present.

A screenshot of the Qnap TS-1264U-RP's management console

Boxafe provides NAS-based backup services for Google WorkSpace plus Microsoft 365 cloud accounts, and Nakivo provides an app to allow the appliance to host its excellent Backup & Replication software. Security gets plenty of attention too; QTS 5 supports TLS 1.3 HTTPS connections, the Security Counselor apps warns of any weaknesses and the new TeamViewer app provides facilities for stricter remote access.

Qnap TS-1264U-RP review: 2.5GbE and 10GbE performance

For 2.5GbE performance testing, we hooked the appliance up to our Zyxel XS1930-12HP 10GbE multi-Gigabit switch and mapped a NAS share to a Dell PowerEdge T640 Xeon Scalable tower server running Windows Server 2019. Speeds were on the money, with Iometer reporting sequential read and write rates of 2.3Gbits/sec and 2.2Gbits/sec, while our real world copies of a 25GB test file also delivering the same speeds.

Backing up a 22.4GB test folder containing 10,500 small files returned 1Gbits/sec, while copying our 25GB file to an encrypted folder averaged 1.9Gbits/sec. Moving testing over to IP SANs, meanwhile, saw Iometer read and write speeds for a 500GB iSCSI target settle at 2.2Gbits/sec and 2Gbits/sec.

Next, we installed an Emulex 10GbE fibre card in the appliance, which was accepted without any issues. For the mapped NAS share, Iometer recorded raw read and write rates of 5.2Gbits/sec and 5.1Gbit/sec with the card installed, while the large file copies improved to 3.5Gbits/sec and 3.3Gbits/sec.

Our backup test sped up to 1.5Gbits/sec and the encryption test received a boost to 2.5Gbits/sec. IP SANs saw similar improvements, as read and write performance for the 500GB target more than doubled to 5.3Gbits/sec and 5.2Gbits/sec.

A screenshot of the Qnap TS-1264U-RP's management console

Qnap TS-1264U-RP review: Verdict

SMBs that want to maximize their rack space will find the TS-1264U-RP can cram a high storage capacity into the smallest of spaces. It can’t match Synology’s 12-bay RS2421RP+ rack NAS for 10GbE performance but it is slightly better value, doesn’t have the same hard disk compatibility restrictions and, crucially, is significantly shorter.

It only supports Qnap’s QTS software but we don’t see this as an issue as this OS delivers a wealth of apps, including a great set of data protection services. Space-poor SMBs that want a high-capacity backup vault will find the TS-1264U-RP hard to beat.

Qnap TS-1264U-RP review specifications

Chassis

2U rack chassis

CPU

2GHz quad-core Intel Celeron N5105

Memory

4GB DDR4 UDIMM (max 16GB)

Storage

12 x SATA LFF/SFF

RAID

RAID0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 60

Expansion

1 x PCI-E Gen3 x2

Network

2 x 2.5GbE multi-Gigabit

Other ports

2 x USB 2, 2 x Type-A USB 3.2, HDMI 1.4b

Power

2 x hot-plug 300W PSUs

Management

Web browser

Warranty

3 year limited

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