Qnap’s partnership with AMD has produced some very desirable NAS appliances and the TS-1677X takes this to the next level. Augmenting Qnap’s enterprise NAS portfolio, this mighty 16-bay cube is powered by AMD’s Ryzen CPU and is available in four different specifications.On review, we have the TS-1677X-1700-16G model which sports an 8-core 3GHz AMD Ryzen 7 1700 CPU partnered by 16GB of DDR4 memory. Other options include this system with 64GB of DDR4 while those with tighter budgets can opt for models with 6-core Ryzen 5 1600 or 4-core Ryzen 3 1200 CPUs.
Storage choices look good as the TS-1677X presents twelve LFF and four SFF hot-swap drive bays. The latter can be used with SSDs to provide a high performance caching facility or to run Qnap’s QTier feature which manages two storage tiers, monitors storage pool activity and migrates data blocks across them based on usage.
TS-1677X Hardware features
Port choices abound as the TS-1677X has quad Gigabit, dual 10GBaseT, six USB 3 and 10Gbps USB 3.1 Type-A and Type-C ports. As one of Qnap’s ‘X’ designated appliances, the 10GBaseT ports support NBase-T technology for multi-Gigabit speeds of 5GbE, 2.5GbE, 1GbE and 100Mbits/sec allowing SMEs to increase network performance by utilizing their existing Cat5e/Cat6 wiring.
Upgrade options are extensive as the appliance has three PCI-Express slots but, unlike QNAP’s Xeon-powered TS-1685, it doesn’t have any internal M.2 SATA SSD slots. We were pleased to see Qnap has modified the CPU blower fan assembly and increased available space for the outer two PCI-Express slots from 152mm on the earlier models to 156mm. This still isn’t enough for our 167mm long Emulex 10GbE adapters but there is now sufficient room to fit Qnap’s QM2 10GBase-T/dual M.2 SSD adapter card.
The inner expansion slot has space to support a wide range of cards including 10GbE and 40GbE adapters. More importantly, you can install a GPU card and run Qnap’s QuAI app to develop your own artificial intelligence and machine learning projects using Caffe, MXNet, TensorFlow, CNTK and Nvidia CUDA. Qnap has clearly thought about this application as the TS-1677X is endowed with a 550W power supply to handle a heavy-duty GPU card.
Top 10GbE performance
For performance testing, we loaded up four 10TB Seagate IronWolf hard disks and created a big RAID5 array. Our test host was a Dell PowerEdge T640 tower server equipped with two Xeon Gold 5120 CPUs, 64GB of DDR4 plus dual embedded 10GBaseT ports and running Windows Server 2016.
With a share mapped over 10GbE to the server, we saw excellent NAS performance using Iometer which reported raw sequential read and write rates of 9.3Gbits/sec and 9Gbits/sec. Real world speeds are equally good with copies of a 25GB test file returning read and write rates of 5.3Gbits/sec and 4.7Gbits/sec.
Our backup test was handled well with our 22.4GB folder and its 10,500 small files secured to a share at 2.2Gbits/sec. The Ryzen’s encryption performance is excellent with our 25GB test file copied to a share on an encrypted volume at an average of 2.8Gbits/sec.
The TS-1677X is a great choice for deploying high-performance IP SANs with a 500GB target returning Iometer read and write rates both of 9.2Gbits/sec. We increased the pressure with a dual 10GbE MPIO link to the target and watched read and write speeds ramp up to 18.4Gbits/sec and 16.9Gbits/sec.
Great app choices
The TS-1677X makes a great backup repository and QNAP’s new Storage & Snapshots app provides solid data protection with manual and scheduled snapshot services for NAS shares and iSCSI LUNs. The Hybrid Backup Sync app provides a central console for managing all local, remote, Rsync, cloud and iSCSI LUN backups and offers fast data recovery services.
Its big memory capacity and powerful Ryzen CPU makes the TS-1677X a perfect fit for virtualization duties. The Linux Station app allows the appliance to run Ubuntu alongside QTS while the Virtualization Station lets it host VMs running just about any OS you want.
The Container Station runs a vast array of LXC and Docker apps in lightweight containers and works in tandem with the QuAI app. Along with an app for installing Nvidia GPU drivers on the appliance, Qnap provides a selection of Caffe, CNTK, MXNet and TensorFlow containers for QuAI use that can be quickly downloaded.
The new QRM+ app adds an extra dimension to the appliance as it provides a central console for managing and monitoring Windows and Linux network devices. We used it to run a discovery on the lab network where it spotted all our Windows systems and offered a quick link to download the QRMAgent to them.
With the agent loaded, we could view CPU, memory plus network utilisation in the QRM+ console as real-time or historical graphs, see OS version information and run direct RDP remote control sessions. An alerting service can be used to create rules with hardware utilisation or power status thresholds and have email notifications sent out if they are breached.
It’ll also monitor IPMI controllers and provide KVM remote control services although support is currently limited mainly to IEI and Supermicro platforms. We did manage to add the iLO4 controller from a ProLiant DL380 Gen9 server and use QRM+ to remotely power it up and down but our servers with iLO5 chips couldn’t be added due to the tighter access security HPE has implemented in this version.
The TS-1677X is a supremely versatile NAS appliance with a big storage capacity that’s well-suited to business backup demands. The powerful AMD Ryzen CPU delivers impeccable 10GbE performance, the appliance has good expansion potential and Qnap’s feature-rich QTS software just keeps on getting better.
The TS-1677X is a supremely versatile NAS appliance with a big storage capacity that’s well-suited to business backup demands. The powerful AMD Ryzen CPU delivers impeccable 10GbE performance, the appliance has good expansion potential and QNAP’s feature-rich QTS software just keeps on getting better.
- Good value
- Huge storage capacity
- Fast AMD Ryzen CPU
- Dual 10GbE NBase-T ports
- Impressive 10GbE performance
- Feature-packed QTS software
- Possible space restrictions on outer expansion slots
- No internal M.2 SATA SSD slots