QNAP's TS-809 Pro Turbo NAS is the company's most powerful and highest capacity network-attached storage (NAS) device yet. Capable of hosting eight internal hard drives simultaneously for a maximum capacity of 16TB, this NAS device can certainly meet the storage and server hosting needs of small to medium businesses.
QNAP opted for a power efficient Intel Atom CPU in the lower capacity TS-639 Pro Turbo NAS, but it has gone all out with the TS-809 Pro Turbo NAS. It has a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 2GB of DDR2 RAM, which provides faster transfer speeds and can handle more intensive server operations.
The improved hardware pays off. In the Intel NAS Performance Toolkit, the QNAP TS-809 Pro Turbo NAS streamed 720p HD footage at an average rate of 75 megabytes per second, and recorded 720p footage at 102.2MBps. Backup and restore operations were also fast at 49.7MBps and 78.3MBps, respectively, while file transfer benchmarks returned a 49.4MBps write speed and 76.4MBps read speed.
In PC World's real-world file transfer benchmarks, the QNAP TS-809 Pro Turbo NAS wrote at 74MBps when transferring 20GB worth of large files to the device. In the same test, it also read at 85MBps and performed a simultaneous read/write function at 43.7MBps. We also ran a file transfer test using 3GB worth of 1MB files; in this test the NAS device wrote at 38MBps, read at 44MBps and read/wrote simultaneously at 16.5MBps. Due to the increased number of files, the second round of tests involves a larger number of operations, so the transfer speeds are understandably slower. However, these speeds are still some of the fastest we have seen for a NAS device.
Despite the higher capacity, the TS-809 Pro Turbo NAS has many of the same connectivity options as lower-end QNAP NAS devices. It has four USB ports on the back and one on the front with one-touch backup functionality. Its two Gigabit Ethernet ports can be used simultaneously in case one fails, or to balance network load. You can also use them to connect to two office networks simultaneously. Serial and VGA ports are also included, but there are no eSATA ports. eSATA ports offer better transfer speeds than USB 2.0 when a compatible external hard drive is attached.
The QNAP TS-809 Pro Turbo NAS device's eight drive bays are all lockable, and are stacked in two rows of four bays each. Each bay can fit a standard 3.5in internal hard drive with a SATA2 connection, and the NAS device allows the bays to be hot-swapped during operation.
Initial configuration of the QNAP TS-809 Pro Turbo NAS is done through the device's LCD screen and two option buttons. You can choose from RAID0, 1, 5, 6, single disk and JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks) configurations and decide or not to secure the drives with 256-bit AES encryption. After initial set up, the onscreen panel provides drive, network and system status information, and allows you to change basic network settings.
Unlike the pretty pictures and Flash-based interface of Linksys by Cisco's Media Hub NMH405, the QNAP TS-809 Pro Turbo NAS has a Spartan Web-based interface that is bound to confuse novice users.
Basic network, share and RAID configuration settings can all be changed, and you can also define iSCSI target drives and set user quotas and individual share permissions. QNAP's QPKG functionality is also available through the interface, allowing you to install third-party Linux packages to expand the TS-809 Pro Turbo NAS's capabilities.
Though this NAS device is clearly aimed at small and medium businesses, it still has a generous serving of multimedia features, including an iTunes server as well as a UPnP server with Twonky support. An integrated "Download Station" allows you to schedule FTP, HTTP and BitTorrent downloads.
Alert notifications include SMS updates as well as e-mail notifications. Using the Web-based Clickatell SMS gateway, the QNAP TS-809 Pro Turbo NAS can alert up to two nominated mobile numbers of errors.
Powerful hardware and a host of basic and advanced features make the QNAP TS-809 Pro Turbo NAS an excellent option for centralised storage. For those with the technical know-how, it is a powerful storage and server solution.