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QNAP’s new 3-bay launch appears somewhat bizarre and is certainly living up to its reputation for being NAS innovators. Their latest addition to the range comes in the form of a 9-bay Hybrid NAS supporting 3.5” and 2.5” drives with dual 10-GbE ports. The combination of 5 x 3.5” and 4 x 2.5” drives bays seems to sound the death knell for its 5-bay TS-531X range QNAP had launched a few years back. This model appears to clearly depict QNAP’s intention to capture the SMB 10GbE market with the inclusion of dual ports along with its proprietary NAS tiering system. The new Alpine AL-324 quad-core 1.7GHz Cortex-A57 processor is bound to give any other NAS a run for its money.
So, should any business needing an entry-level NAS look at this system? Is it beneficial for home users who use media as their focal point and want to take advantage of the 10GbE ports for the future?
In a nutshell, the NAS is not confined for business. Only home users alike can take this NAS and turn it into a central repository of precious memories, streamed movies and downloaded videos which elevate your audio experience sharing both locally and remotely if desired.
The new Annapurna Labs AL-324 Quad-Core Processor, 1.7Ghz per core and 64bit in architecture, makes a great impact and with the DDR4 support in 2GB, 8GB, and maximum 16GB, it provides the leverage of longevity and works as performance accelerators when data evolves and the need to increase performance is required.
The key to the NAS is QNAP’s QTS 4.3.4 operating system. This offers features such as surveillance (now a necessity for home and business alike), snapshots, ensuring system status and protection of data. Allowing rollbacks if the need arises from accidental deletion to malware attacks, tiered storage for SSD caching enabling optimized storage efficiency with support for LXC and Docker containers for rapidly deploying application services across platforms including the cloud, servers, and PCs. The addition of the dual 10GbE ports will be advantageous when it comes to virtualization and massive file sharing. These are just the tip of the iceberg for features.
Most of all we were well chuffed with the price of the unit. TS-932X-2G-US - $599 and the TS-932X-8G-US - $749 diskless makes the NAS and iSCSI-SAN (IP-SAN) unified storage solution a must when working on a tight budget.
Qnap’s latest TS-328 is designed for home and small business users that want essential RAID5 protection at a pocket-friendly price. This sleek white desktop unit is Qnap’s first triple-drive NAS appliance and with a price tag of only $249, looks to have achieved its goal.
It employs a quad-core 1.4GHz Realtek RTD1296 64-bit CPU which is a slightly improved version of the RTD1295 version found in Qnap’s 2-bay TS-228A. Key differences are the RTD1296 has two Gigabit Ethernet interfaces, one more USB 3 port and, crucially, an extra SATA interface.
The TS-328 has 2GB of non-upgradeable DDR4 memory which will be enough to run most common storage-related tasks. The two Gigabit ports lurk at the rear and are partnered by USB 3 and USB 2 ports while the second USB 3 port sits at the front inside the one-touch copy button.
Along with file sharing and data backup functions, the TS-328 is aimed at multimedia services with the Realtek SoC (System on Chip) supporting 4K H.264/H.265 hardware decoding and real-time transcoding. However, it doesn’t have an HDMI port so if you want this plus RAID5 capability, the next Qnap appliance in the price chain is the four-bay TS-453B or slightly cheaper TS-453Be which both have dual HDMI ports.
The QNAP TS-328 lends itself to the entry-level market like snow to an Eskimo. Its tailormade and the price point is stunning – starting at $239 for diskless and $609 with 9TB of storage this is no small feat.