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QTS 4.0 is the highlight of QNAP's new NAS devices

QNAP has announced two new product lines in its family of Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices for home and small business users. The TS-x20 an TS-x21 series NAS units are all powered by Marvell ARM processors and feature QNAP's new QTS 4.0 OS. Both the TS-x20 and TS-x21 are available in 1-, 2-, and 4-bay configurations (i.e., TS-120, TS-220, and TS-420).
 
The TS-x20 series comes with a 1.6GHz processor paired with 512MB of DDR3 memory. The TS-x21 series ups the ante with a 2.0GHz processor and 1GB of DDR3 memory. All units feature a brushed metal chassis, two USB 3.0 ports and at least one GbE LAN port -- the TS-420 and TS-421 both come with two GbE LAN ports.


QNAP TS-421
 
As for QTS, version 4.0 offers up what QNAP calls an "intelligent desktop" which allows users to multitask in a multi-window environment. QTS 4.0 allows easy access to documents, pictures, videos, and music. Download Station even allows you to manage your Torrents if you're into that sort of thing. Naturally, all of the new NAS devices support AirPlay and DLNA.


QTS 4.0
 
QTS also brings Qsync, which provides easy file syncing between a desktop, laptop, and smartphone. QNAP likens the feature to DropBox, but with as much as storage as you're willing to add to your NAS unit.
 
QNAP has not yet announced pricing and availability for the TS-x20 and TS-x21 series, but we'll let you know as soon as we find out.

Updated 4/30/2013 @ 9:30pm EST
We've just been notified of pricing for the TS-x20 and TS-x21 lineup. The TS-120, TS-220, and TS-420 are priced at $179, $229, and $429 respectively. The TS-121, TS-221, and TS-421 are priced at $229, $329, and $499 respectively.

Sources: QNAP [1], [2]



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Nice... But...
By retrospooty on 4/30/2013 3:10:38 PM , Rating: 1
What is the price? And what is the deal with companies putting out product announcements without one? I dont see one in the article above, or in the links to the companies website.

The first thing I think when I see a product with no price is that your company is full of shit. Its a standard business practice for thousands of years now. Here is the product, and here is it's price.




RE: Nice... But...
By Eug on 4/30/2013 3:23:42 PM , Rating: 2
When I was looking last week, a lot of the local shops already had TS-421 pricing listed.

It comes in at lower street pricing than the QNAP TS-469L and lower than my cheaper Synology DS413 as well. However, it will also be significant slower than both of them.


RE: Nice... But...
By Reclaimer77 on 4/30/2013 6:37:35 PM , Rating: 3
I find these NAS boxes entirely too limiting for the price. Especially how many many of them have hard-set storage limits that inhibit future expansion.

Also frustrating is the features. QNAP has most of the ones you want, but some other company has some others you want, and it goes on and on.

The only true no compromise NAS solution is DIY, which can be build stupid-cheap and still blow away these NAS boxes.

Whatever the price is, retro, it's probably too much for what you get lol.


RE: Nice... But...
By Eug on 5/1/2013 7:26:22 AM , Rating: 4
The problem DIY is many fold.
1. Not necessarily user friendly admin. ie. OS.
2. Support is nil.
3. Cost savings calculations in favour of DYI assumes your time is worthless.
4. Physical size is usually much bigger.
5. Power utilization is usually much higher. A rough rule of thumb is that every extra watt used costs an extra $1 per year in Canada and the US. That means if build a NAS that idles at say 100 Watts, you may be spending an extra $70 or so per year in electricity costs alone.


RE: Nice... But...
By bsd228 on 5/1/2013 6:35:26 PM , Rating: 1
Eug - most of these objections don't ring true these days. I have a hard time seeing the value for 400$ and up units that can do nothing but serve up files and run a limited list of applets.

From Sandy Bridge on, you can roll together intel based systems that idle at 20W and less. My mainstay, mentioned elsewhere, the HP Microserver uses a lightweight AMD cpu that is still miles ahead of the arm types - it has a size profile nearly identical to these 4 drive NAS units - burns 44W with 4x2TB + 1SSD for caching, 8gig RAM for VMs plus more caching, and a USB stick for the OS. The unit is gettable on sale for under $300. Upgrading the memory from 2g to 6 or 8 and adding a second (intel) nic puts it at 400 plus the drives.

Then you reach the decision point - what OS. There are many supported OSs, not nil as you suggest. Many are commercial, turnkey offshoots from opensolaris like Nextera. Freenas is free, would be less supported. I use full blown solaris myself - you can get vastly superior support if you're willing to pay for it. But moreover, you get far more options. When you say "user friendly admin," I read it as "feature light."

My NAS units run multiple instances of solaris, rhel, and ubunutu, yet still deliver at gigabit capacity. But with all the features of zfs. And if I want a new server function, it's easy to compile or install - anything that runs on X86 is possible. When the 10W Haswell processors come along, then it will probably be time to ditch AMD's 36L/40L/54L processors for a big boy.


RE: Nice... But...
By Eug on 5/1/2013 9:00:24 PM , Rating: 2
I guess you don't see the irony in your post.

quote:
Many are commercial, turnkey offshoots from opensolaris like Nextera. Freenas is free, would be less supported. I use full blown solaris myself - you can get vastly superior support if you're willing to pay for it. But moreover, you get far more options. When you say "user friendly admin," I read it as "feature light."

My NAS units run multiple instances of solaris, rhel, and ubunutu, yet still deliver at gigabit capacity. But with all the features of zfs. And if I want a new server function, it's easy to compile or install - anything that runs on X86 is possible.


That's like a surgeon saying an appendectomy is easy, so you should just do it yourself.


RE: Nice... But...
By Reclaimer77 on 5/1/2013 9:44:42 PM , Rating: 1
Why are you being such a dick about this? DIY is a VERY viable option. Get over it!


RE: Nice... But...
By Eug on 5/2/2013 8:59:11 PM , Rating: 2
Hmm...

The point was that his argument isn't helping his position. His post reads like a total geek out, exactly the type of thing those buying pre-built NASes like the QNAPs and Synologys are often completely uninterested in. Seriously, compiling your own NAS OS add-ons are a plus for end users at home? That's just a bizarre argument.


RE: Nice... But...
By bsd228 on 5/2/2013 9:04:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The point was that his argument isn't helping his position. His post reads like a total geek out, exactly the type of thing those buying pre-built NASes like the QNAPs and Synologys are often completely uninterested in. Seriously, compiling your own NAS OS add-ons are a plus for end users at home? That's just a bizarre argument.


I am a NAS surgeon, yes. But since you didn't understand, Nextera and FreeNAS are the lightweight filer OS you seem to prefer. The difference is you have a choice, and you have better hardware (and thus performance) along with the other advantages of zfs.

You seemed to gloss over all the other parts of my reply (power, cost, size, support) as well.


RE: Nice... But...
By retrospooty on 5/1/2013 8:59:12 AM , Rating: 1
I know, and I am not even considering it for myself, believe me... Its just a question I get alot from people that want some home level network storage and I am looking for something cheap and easy to recommend that I wont personally need to keep supporting as punishment of helping out with a recommendation. I was just pointing out there is no price listed.


RE: Nice... But...
By Dribble on 5/1/2013 10:16:53 AM , Rating: 2
I have an old Q119 and been very happy with it. It does exactly what it's meant to without crashing, or breaking down or making any noise or using much power.

Most home builds tend to take some other old PC you have lying around and use it as a nas as the reason most people aren't buying a proper box is to save money. The problem there is most old pc's have huge power usage in comparison to a little nas so the money saving is false - it'll cost you more in the end.

Then you have to do all the setup and configuration - while possible it's a lot more work then the plug and play you get with a qnaps box. Personally I just couldn't be bothered - I'll take plug and play any day even if I loose the odd feature I'll probably never care about.


RE: Nice... But...
By Pandamonium on 5/1/2013 3:48:46 PM , Rating: 2
You pay a premium for the "set it and forget it" convenience. For many (if not most) people, that premium is well worth it. I own a Synology and have been quite pleased with the support and "plugin-style" applications. I am unaware of any Synology or QNAP that limits storage. Features are continually being added by Synology and QNAP devs. So your arguments for storage limits and features are pretty baseless.

To be fair, there are limitations. The dealbreaker for me was ZFS. Neither company has universal support for ZFS (or BTRFS) support. I think one of the recently released higher end QNAPs does support BTRFS, but since BTRFS is not production ready, not many people are trusting their data to it yet.

Were I willing to pay for offsite backup, a storage appliance would easily be my first choice. However, I'm not willing to pay for offsite backup. So my recourse is to secure my onsite NAS storage as well as I can. To that end, I am rolling psuedo-DIY: HP Microserver with NAS4Free. When all is said and done, I'll have saved about $300 (roughly equivalent specs). For now, $300 is worth the time and energy necessary to experiment with NAS4Free. If I were at another life stage, that time might be worth far more than $300.


What about this new OS for the other QNAP models?
By Eug on 4/30/2013 3:18:46 PM , Rating: 2
It's about time they got an OS to compete with Synology's. Not everyone is a sysadmin.

However, it's still not good enough to have it just on a few models. I was interested in the Atom-based QNAP TS-469L until I found out QTS 4.0 is not available for it at this time. In fact, QTS 4.0 is currently only available on (a few of) their ARM-based units. None of their Intel-based NAS's are currently supported.

The QTS 4.0-endowed TS-421 doesn't fit the bill though because it's a significantly slower unit, with a single-core 2.0 GHz ARM CPU. That likely means a significant performance bottleneck even for home use.

Thus, I purchased a Synology instead, specifically a DS413. It has a dual-core 1.067 GHz PowerPC CPU. It isn't as fast as Atom, but is sufficient for my home/home office needs, and it comes with a decent OS for non-experts like me.




By fteoath64 on 5/1/2013 2:28:49 AM , Rating: 2
The DS413 is a very decent machine for the money. Nearly 85% the speed of the Atom unit at a lower price and all the feature you could want. It shows how a lowly, 1Ghz PPC chip can do such a thing and imagine how it would perform if it scales to 1.8Ghz in frequency!. It is also very power efficient when compared to Atom.
Only downside is that its USB3 port performance was hardly any good.


By Eug on 5/1/2013 7:02:01 AM , Rating: 2
Bad USB 3 performance on the Synology? That's disappointing. I'll have to test that out. Fortunately, there is an eSATA port and that's what I'm using. I wish there were two eSATA ports like the QNAP though.


By sixteenornumber on 5/1/2013 3:02:48 AM , Rating: 2
I'd like to see manufacturers stop using frequency as a measure of performance. I have a server grade motherboard with a Atom D-525 (1.8Ghz x2) CPU. not enough power to stream 720p movies. In the other hand, my under clocked i3 (1.6GHz x2) has no problem going as far as 1080p.


By Eug on 5/1/2013 7:15:06 AM , Rating: 2
Streaming? I assume you mean transcoding, because just about any NAS can stream HD 1080p H.264 video just fine.

Fortunately in 2013, a transcoding server is usually not necessary anymore. Any new laptop or desktop (even with integrated graphics), any decent tablet, and even most higher end smart phones can natively play back 1080p H.264 directly. For this reason, transcoding ability was not a consideration at all for me when I was looking for a NAS.


By smitty123 on 5/1/2013 7:14:33 AM , Rating: 2
i recently tested the qnap ts-212 and the synology ds-212j together at the same time, and i must say that the qnap is much, much easier to configure than the synology, Synology has much to learn about ease of use.

Like when you go in the installed apps menu you can actually see useful information, you see how to reach them through the NAS's ip or url, that is very helpful as it's not always obvious how to use the apps from your computer when you set up the nas and on the synology you're left guessing or digging for help if the app maker's bothered to make a forum.

you may have some luck to find out what port the apps in the upnp menu and they're not all listed.

the synology desktop is overly complicated and technical, even a bit disjointed, functions that logically would be together on the same screen weren't.

if that's what you call better, i say synology needs to rethink ease of use.

Another plus for the Qnap, the Qfinder program can actually be used to do things compared to the Synology resident program (*resource hog*cough*).

You can actually configure/monitor/reset your nas, reboot, shutdown, all without having to start your browser.

There's even a monitoring overlay you can show on your desktop to keep an eye on things.

That said, i did like the fan to be quieter when it goes to fast speed, the Synology was wider than so that might have something to do with it.

But for my money and the same hardware, they both do the same thing, except i saved 80$.




RE: Qnap's menu is easier to use compared to Synology
By Eug on 5/1/2013 10:21:25 AM , Rating: 2
It's interesting you mention that, because the TS-212 uses the 3.x OS, not the QTS 4.0 OS that's available in the TS-221. The new QTS 4.0 (which has some interface commonalities with Synology's OS), is specifically built to appeal to home users. So my guess is you may not like QNAP's new OS either.

I will not claim Synology's OS is perfect or even great, but IMHO it's a lot more user friendly than QNAP's for the uninitiated. However, I could see QNAP's being much better if you already know what you're doing, and you're looking for very specific functionality that you think should be easy to find, but isn't because it's been hidden elsewhere in an OS catering to n00bs like me.

BTW, I consider both the TS-212 and the DS212j slow for home use. The 1.2 GHz Marvell ARM CPU is a big bottleneck.


By Eug on 5/1/2013 10:33:15 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I will not claim Synology's OS is perfect or even great, but IMHO it's a lot more user friendly than QNAP's for the uninitiated.


I mean Synology's OS vs QNAP's 3.x OS. I don't know about QNAP's 4.0 OS though since it's not available yet. You can't even demo it AFAIK unless you're a beta tester. You can only look at images and press releases.

If QTS 4.0 captures Synology's OS slickness and ease of use, and maintains easy access to all functionality as you describe for QNAP's 3.x, and maintains perfect stability, then they've got a real winner on their hands.

Even just based on the press releases, I would have purchased a QNAP TS-469L with QTS 4.0. However, a QNAP TS-469L with OS 3.8 was a no-sale for me. I'm sure 4.0 will eventually come to units like the TS-469L, but the question is when?


Synology
By edge929 on 4/30/2013 4:06:29 PM , Rating: 2
Hard to beat a Synology NAS. They're more expensive than many but they make up for it with their software. I work as a developer and find some things are a pain to do (I eventually figure them out) but Synology still has the easiest-to-use NAS out there.




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