QNAP TS-459U-RP Turbo NAS Reviewhardnrg - July 22, 2010
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The Disk Management section lets you check the hard drives, configure them as RAID arrays, and set up and manage iSCSI volumes. In the Volume Management sub-section, you have several wizards at your disposal, that allow you to create disk volumes on the installed hard drives. Below this, you can see details of the hard drives installed in the NAS, including a basic SMART diagnostic state. At the bottom of the page, the disk volumes are listed, along with essential information.
I'm going to skip over the RAID Management section at this point, and come back to it later in the review (Testing: Features), as I can show you the RAID operations available by way of several example scenarios.
The Summary tab of the HDD SMART section gives a brief overview of each hard drive's health status. You can find specific technical information in the next tab, such as serial numbers and firmware versions of each hard drive. Detailed SMART statistics can be found in the third tab.
You have the option of running a fast test or a more thorough test for each hard drive. The Rapid Test was indeed rapid, has a progress percentage, and upon completion, it returns the verdict on the same page.
The Complete Test is much more extensive, and approximated a testing duration of over 4 hours for a 1.5 TB hard drive.
In the last tab of the SMART area, you can configure an alarm to be triggered by the temperature of a hard drive. Also, you can automate a schedule of SMART tests, with an interval of between 1 and 6 days.
If you opted to use file encryption on your disk volume(s), you would manage the encryption keys here.
iSCSI is used in clustering and virtualised environments. In order to get started with iSCSI, you first have to enable the iSCSI Target Service.
Once the service is active, switching to the Target Management tab prompts you to run a wizard to set up an iSCSI LUN and/or iSCSI target. The default choice is to create both, and map the newly created LUN to the new iSCSI target.
As you step through the wizard, you can enter name, alias, and authentication credentials. For the LUN you can choose whether to dynamically allocate disk space to the LUN as required (thin-provising), or to pre-allocate a fixed capacity. Thin-provisioning therefore allows you to expand LUN capacity in the future.
The penultimate screen of the wizard lists a summary of all the settings chosen. At the end of the wizard, you receive a confirmation of completion, and are directed back to the Target Management and Advanced ACL tabs.
In the iSCSI Target List, you can see the newly created iSCSI target. Clicking the + symbol just to the left of the target expands a tree of mapped LUNs. You'll see the LUN being processed as it is mapped to the target, and become enabled when processing has completed.
In the last tab of iSCSI, you can set up LUN Masking, which is similar to having different access rights for different user groups. The access rights can be read-only, read-write, and deny access (invisible). If an initiator is not assigned to a LUN masking policy, the access rights are taken from the default policy.
The Virtual Disk section lets you connect the TS-459U-RP to up to 8 other iSCSI targets, and use each target as a disk volume on the NAS. Being able to offer access to remote storage is one of the ways the capacity of the NAS can be expanded to beyond the internal hard drives.