QNAP ES1640dc v2 – First Looks

The ES1640dc v2 is part of QNAPs new line-up that targets large-scale enterprise businesses with a need to secure and save their mission critical data. When it comes to saving, and securing data the ES1640dc v2 leaves no stone unturned. This unit features dual controllers, high availability, ZFS support and much more. This isn’t your average NAS unit and seems to be the best of what QNAP offers.

Hardware

NVRAM-resizeLet’s begin by looking at the internal hardware of this unit. For starters, remember this is a dual controller unit. Therefore, each controller has an Intel Xeon E5-2420 v2 processor, 32Gb of main memory, 2GB of DOM (Direct On-board Memory), 160TB of maximum raw capacity, M.2 2280 SSD, and one PCIe Gen 3 x8 slot and another PCIe Gen 2 x4 slot.

On the back of the unit each controller also offers two USB 3.0/2.0 ports, four 10Gb SFP+ ports, two 10GbE ports, and one 1GbE port. Also, this unit in total comes with 16 drive bays capable of holding both 2.52” and 3.5” drives.

The Intel Xeon E5-2420 v2 is a great processor but it’s a bit outdated, especially for a new line-up. With QNAP making the decision to create a new line-up, seeing newer technology would be great as well. The big downside for me is 64GB is the maximum amount of RAM for this unit, only 32GB per controller. Seeing a bit more upgradeability for RAM would be better. However, regardless 32GB should be more than enough to handle most tasks that are thrown at it.

Features

Some of the key features of this unit are high availability (HA), simple and easy to use QES operating system, Openstack support, Snapshot, online video streaming, ZFS filesystem support, iSCSI, data self-healing, intense virtualization application support and more.

If you are a large-scale enterprise business with mission-critical data then high availability is a must have for a NAS unit. What this means essentially is if one controller fails, then the other one will take over so there is negligible little to no down time. This feature is extremely important for business continuity. It can’t be stressed enough as to how important it is to have this feature in any enterprise NAS.

The importance of this is fully realized when you can replace the controller in case they fail by merely snapping opening the modular cabinet and removing it for replacement. This saves from losing the complete system, a great feature for saving valuable costs for professional on-site support. Click, clunk, and you’re done and dusted in no time.

Design

Dual_active-active-resizeThe design of the ES1640dc v2 is impressive for a rackmount server. The casing is clinical with minimalist design attributes, built solidly with exuding quality.

At first glance you’ll notice that the entire front face of the unit has a black matte finish, with green LED indicators, to see the status of each of the hard drives installed in the unit.

Overall, the design aspect is impressing as it fits exactly what it’s meant to be for. At a glance, it’s clear why the modular design was adopted and what it’s meant to achieve.

Conclusion

The ES1640 v2 is not only a new line-up for QNAP, but also a showing that the company is ever improving on their need to create reliable servers. While the processor is great, it’s still outdated and could use a refresh. For a new unit line-up, I like to see newer technology. The Xeon is still more than capable of handling whatever tasks you throw at it, but processor technology has moved on. I think the real downside for me is the unit is only upgradeable to 64GB. I’m not certain why QNAP made the decision to limit the RAM on this unit, but should be seeing it upgradeable to at least 128GB soon. Even though 64GB is likely enough to handle most tasks thrown at it, there are still some situations where this may not be sufficient in rare cases.

Despite the reservations on hardware the unit amply makes up for in software, loaded with features that are critical and easy to deploy, but also it stood up to any task we had thrown at it.

The QNAP ES1640dc v2 remains a great choice for large-scale enterprise businesses, that require a highly scalable NAS designed for virtualization, data intensive applications and service continuity with reliability at the heart of its mission critical data store.

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