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QNAP TS-509 Pro Turbo NAS Review

Nemo    -   May 5, 2009
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Configuration:

Network Settings:

Within the Network Settings section you'll find not only the ability to configure the TCP/IP settings for the server, but also all the network-related functions that are run as services. Some of these services come enabled by default, but many others you'll need to enable and configure before you can use them.

TCP/IP Configuration

During the setup process we were able to choose between allowing the DHCP server to assign the IP address or specifying a static address. We also got a quick look at the network settings using the QNAP Finder application. We need to take a few minutes examining some of the features of the TS-509 iteself and how to configure them properly using this section.

When we first looked at the rear panel of the TS-509 in the Introduction & Close Look section, I pointed out the two Gigabit LAN ports on the rear panel of the unit. These ports can be configured to work in three different ways:
Failover – in failover mode, the two LAN ports are configured as a Primary port and a Redundant port. If the primary port fails, either due to a hardware or a connection issue, the network transfer port automatically switches to the redundant port. Once the issue with the primary port has been corrected, network transfers automatically revert back to that port. Failover is the default configuration for the server.
Load Balancing – load balancing allows the network to spread traffic across the two ports to optimize performance. In order to use load balancing you will need to use a managed switch and enable link aggregation for the two ports used to connect the TS-509.
Standalone – standalone allows you to assign different IP addresses to the two LAN ports. Doing so will allow the server to be accessed by different workgroups in two different subnets on your network.

The setup is similar no matter which option you choose. For each option you can choose to use dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP) and let the DHCP server on your network assign the IP settings. Or you can choose to assign a static IP address and specify the specific address information yourself as I did. You can also specify the transfer speed as either 1000Mbps (Gigabit) full-duplex, 100Mbps (Fast Ethernet) full-duplex or auto-negotiation where the system configures the speed based on the connections. For Standalone mode you'll see an additional tab for the second LAN connection that allows you to configure it separately. The TS-509 can act as a DHCP server for your network if you don't have a router or other device already performing this function.

 

 

Windows Networking

Surveillance Station

The TS-509 can monitor and record live video from up to four network cameras simultaneously. By enabling this option you can access the feature via the main Web UI page.

System Port Management

As I mentioned earlier, accessing the system management page using your browser requires you to specify a URL and a port, e.g. http://192.168.1.32:8080. The default port is 8080 and applies to the following services: System Management, Web File Manager, Multimedia Station, and Download Station. You can change the default port to another one of your choosing. After you hit the Apply button, the system will automatically switch to the home page using the new port number and you'll need to login in again.

View Network Settings

The final section gives you a snapshot view of all your handiwork as a result of configuring the network settings. The display is separated into two tabs – Network and Network File Services. The Network tab shows the LAN setup information, which is a recap of all the setting on the TCP/IP Configuration screen. The second tab, Network File Services summarizes the rest of the setting from the remaining sections.

 

 

 

This section allows you to enable clients running a Microsoft operating system to access files on the TS-509. You can set it up to run as a standalone server if it is not part of a domain, which would be the case in a small business or home environment without a machine running a Microsoft Windows Server operating system. The default workgroup name for the TS-509 is 'NAS' and you can change that name here to match the workgroup on your network. The unit also supports Microsoft Active Directory and you can specify the domain server, name and login information. If you are on a corporate network that has a Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) server, you can specify the IP address of the WINS server and the TS-509 will automatically register itself with the WINS server.

Apple Networking

The TS-509 also supports clients running the Apple Mac operating system. After checking the box to enable the service you can specify the name of the Zone on the AppleTalk network. You can use an asterisk in this field to use the default setting.

NFS Service

The TS-509 also supports clients using the Network File System (NFS) protocol. Enabling this service, which is turned off by default, will enable UNIX/Linux clients to access files on the server. With the NFS service activated you would then mount the folder or share in Linux to gain access to the files.

Web File Manager

You can access and manage files on the NAS server via a web browser. This gives you the ability to work with files directly on the server from anywhere you have Internet access. This also gives you the ability manage files without having to first go through the client OS like Windows Explorer. This service is enabled by default and you can access from the main UI page as well. I'll have more on the Web File Manager functionality later on in the review.

 

 

 

FTP Service

The TS-509 can act as an FTP server. Enabling this service gives you the ability to define several parameters such as the port number to use, whether to use standard or secure FTP, define the data port range, whether to allow anonymous login and the maximum number of users and connections to allow. You can also specify upload/download bandwidth limitations.

Multimedia Station

In order to share multimedia files across the network you'll need to enable the Multimedia Station. After this service is enabled, you can access the files using the Multimedia Station option from the main Web page. Multimedia files are stored in the Qmultimedia share on the NAS device.

iTunes Service

By enabling the iTunes service on the server you can share music files stored in the Qmultimedia share with computers running iTunes on the network. Once enabled, iTunes will detect the server and it will show up in the iTunes shared folder under the server name – TS-509 in our case. There is also an option to create 'smart' playlists based on rules you specify using relationship operators like 'contains', 'does not contain', 'is' and 'is not'.

 

 

 

Download Station

You can use the TS-509 to download files using FTP, BitTorrent or HTTP protocols. Enabling this service will make the Download Station available from the main Web page. We'll take a deeper dive into the Download Station a bit later in the review.

Web Server

Another one of the services provided by the TS-509 is the ability to act as a web server. By enabling this service, you can upload your web pages to the Qweb folder. The TS-509 also has built-in support for MySQL and PHP.

DDNS Service

If you're setting up the TS-509 in a business environment, you're more likely to have a static IP address provided by your Internet service provider (ISP). Without a static IP address you're left to the mercy of a dynamic IP address which can be changed at any time by your ISP. This can make accessing the TS-509 from the Internet rather be tricky. Using a dynamic domain name service (DDNS) can help solve this problem by assigning a fixed name and tracking the actual IP address to match it with the name. The TS-509 supports several of these providers and provides a fixed list of the most popular ones. Once you have registered with the service provider of your choice, you can enter your host name and login credentials and the TS-509 will notify the DDNS provider anytime your IP address changes. This way you can always access the server using the DDNS host name. This is essential if you want to access the ts-509 over the Internet and for hosting your own web site.

MySQL Server

The TS-509 provides built-in support for the MySQL database in support any Web site you may be running. If you check the TCP/IP Networking box you can also use the MySQL database for any other server on the network. Once installed you also get access to phpMyAdmin under the Qweb folder to manage your database.

 

 

 

Surveillance Station

The TS-509 can monitor and record live video from up to four network cameras simultaneously. By enabling this option you can access the feature via the main Web UI page.

System Port Management

As I mentioned earlier, accessing the system management page using your browser requires you to specify a URL and a port, e.g. http://192.168.1.32:8080. The default port is 8080 and applies to the following services: System Management, Web File Manager, Multimedia Station, and Download Station. You can change the default port to another one of your choosing. After you hit the Apply button, the system will automatically switch to the home page using the new port number and you'll need to log in again.

View Network Settings

The final section gives you a snapshot view of all your handiwork as a result of configuring the network settings. The display is separated into two tabs – Network and Network File Services. The Network tab shows the LAN setup information, which is a recap of all the setting on the TCP/IP Configuration screen. The second tab, Network File Services summarizes the rest of the setting from the remaining sections.

 

 

 

That finishes up the configuration of the network and various services on the TS-509. The next step is to take a look at the device configuration where you can specify the type of volume to create and choose which drives to include.

 




  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Installation
  3. Configuration: Initial Setup
  4. Configuration: Web UI & System Settings
  5. Configuration: Network Settings
  6. Configuration: Device Configuration
  7. Configuration: User Management
  8. Configuration: Network Share Management
  9. Configuration: System Tools
  10. Configuration: System Logs
  11. Web User Interface
  12. Specifications & Features
  13. Testing: Setup
  14. Testing: SiSoft Sandra
  15. Testing: Intel NAS Performance Toolkit
  16. Testing: Operation
  17. Testing: Features
  18. Conclusion:
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