QNAP TS-459U-RP Turbo NAS Reviewhardnrg - July 22, 2010
» Discuss this article (8)
Even though the NAS does not require software to operate, it is supplied with a CD-ROM that has electronic versions of the Quick Installation Guide and manuals, and software utilities that simplify and enrich the TS-459U-RP's functionality.
The Quick Installation Guide is pretty much exactly what I've shown on the previous page of this review, and is also the same as the hard copy that is one of the unit's included accessories. The guide reminds you that you'll need a computer, network connection, hard drive(s), and a screwdriver, in order to carry out the installation.
In many scenarios, domestic or commercial/industrial, it's often more convenient to have all the documentation available electronically, thereby eliminating the need for a library of hard copy manuals etc. It's nice to see the package contents listed on the CD this way, so if you lose track of the hard copy documentation at a later date, it doesn't matter.
So, the following instructional steps are the same as the hard copy, but I like how they are decent quality colour photos. You can clearly see what the components and directions are.
Once the hardware stage of the initial setup is complete, QNAP recommends installing the Finder utility. This takes a lot of the guesswork and effort out of determining the IP of the NAS.
Upon launching the Finder utility, it scans the network for QNAP NAS servers on the network. If it finds an unconfigured QNAP NAS, it will ask you if you want to run the Quick Setup Wizard.
Again, this is not necessary, you could set up the NAS manually, but as the Wizard makes light work of the initial setup, it makes sense to go ahead with the easy option.
In this Quick Configuration, it outlines the upcoming steps, and prompts you to enter a network name for the server. The default name is automatically created using the last six hexadecimal digits of the primary MAC address, so you can be assured that it would be unique in a complex network. I went ahead and chose something easier to remember: TS459URP
The next steps are to enter an admin password, and configure the time for the NAS. As well as being able to set the current time, date, and time zone, you can opt whether to synchronise the time to an Internet time server, or to your computer.
The default network configuration is automatic setup via DHCP. I prefer to use static IP addresses on a network, especially for hard-wired devices, and entered the IP addresses for NAS, router, and external DNS server. The NAS has only a few essential services enabled by default, so you can activate any additional services at this point.
With two hard drives installed, the RAID configuration defaults to RAID 1; for 3 or 4 drives it defaults to RAID 5. With two disks, you also have the option to run them as single disks, or as a JBOD array. If you have 3 or 4 drives, you would also have the option of setting up a RAID 6 array.
The options for the internal hard drives' file system are ext3 and ext4. Ext3 is more proven and stable, while ext4 offers more performance and more flexibility. I chose ext4. The file system can also be encrypted; I opted to forgo data encryption for the purposes of performance testing in this review.
The final page presents a summary of the settings chosen, and when you proceed, it warns you that the hard drives will be cleared of any existing data.
Everything so far could be done in a matter of minutes. When you see this window, it's a good time to take a break, or go work on something else for a while, as it does take a while to initialise the hard disks.