Value

QNAP TVS-1271U-RP Review

QNAP TVS-1271U-RP

QNAP’s latest TVS-1271U-RP is an unusual NAS appliance as you can choose from four different hardware specifications to suit your anticipated workload. This 12-bay rack family offers a tasty menu for your delectation as for starters, you have the low cost entry model with a dual-core Pentium G3250 and 4GB of RAM.

Next on the table are a 3.5GHz Core i3-4150 with 8GB followed by a 3GHz Core i5-4590S and 16GB. Businesses that hunger for performance will like the model on review which has a 3.2GHz Core i7-4790S and a generous 32GB of memory.

As all four models use the same motherboard, there are many common features. Along with quad USB 3 and USB 2 ports, you have four Gigabit ports which can be aggregated into fault tolerant or load balanced links.

TVSS-1271U-RP Rear View

The dual PCI-Express 3.0 slots can be used to double the number of Gigabit ports or you can add up to two dual-port 10GbE cards. The ‘RP’ in the model name indicates that dual hot-plug power supplies are also included in the price.

Installation and expansion

The TVS-1271U-RP is well built and removing the lid provides easy access to the expansion slots for upgrades. Cooling is handled by three cold-swap fans behind the drive bays but they emit sufficient noise to make this appliance unsuitable for a small office environment.

It will require QNAP’s optional dual-port SAS card, but expansion is truly massive. You can daisy-chain up to eight REXP-1600U-RP 16-bay hard disk enclosures for a total raw capacity of over 1PB using Hitachi’s newly certified 8TB helium drives.

TVS-1271U-RP Cloud Based Installation

QNAP’s cloud based installation gets the appliance up and running in minutes

Installation has been streamlined as QNAP now makes its cloud installation routine available for its business appliances. From the web portal, we simply entered the cloud key from the label on the lid and registered the appliance with our myQNAP account where it received a unique name for remote web access.

For our review, we loaded four 4TB WD Red drives and left the cloud portal to create a RAID5 array. Other options include dual-drive redundant RAID6 arrays and QNAP, as promised, has reinstated support for file level iSCSI targets so the LUN backup and snapshot features are back in action.

Cache features

Along with support for 3.5in/2.5in hard disks, the TVS-1271U-RP can use up to four SSDs in bays 1-4 as read caches. The motherboard also has dual internal mSATA sockets so you can use these for read caching to avoid losing any front drive bays.

QNAP TVS-1271U-RP 12 Bay NAS

The QTS Storage Manager app is used to create arrays, volumes, NAS shares, iSCSI targets and read caches

We had no problems fitting a pair of 256GB mSATA modules as the slots are easily accessible. The modules snap firmly into place and once the appliance was powered back up, they appeared in the QTS Storage Manager app ready for configuration.

We could assign the read cache to selected NAS shares and iSCSI targets and graphs are provided for monitoring purposes. We could see how cache hits were progressing and keep a close eye on how much mSATA capacity was being consumed.

QNAP doesn’t currently support write caching so you’ll need to consider a Synology business NAS appliance if you want this feature. See our review of Synology’s DS2015xs appliance as our performance tests revealed how it can boost maximum IOPS.

Good overall performance

For 10GbE performance testing, we fitted an Emulex OCE11102-NT dual-port 10Gbase-T card in the appliance which was accepted without any problems. With a direct connection to an HP ProLiant DL380 Gen9 server running Window Server 2012 R2, we saw a mapped share return fast Iometer raw read and write rates of 1,110MB/sec and 1,104MB/sec.

Reducing the Iometer transfer request size to 4KB saw the same share return 100,000 and 80,000 IOPS for read and write operations. With a second Xeon E5-2600 v3 server mapped to a share over a dedicated 10GbE link, we recorded high cumulative read and write IOPS of 190,000 and 160,000 – better than QNAP’s claims.

Real world performance was reasonable with copies of our 50GB Iometer test file between the HP server and appliance returning 416MB/sec and 295MB/sec. General backups speeds weren’t so good as securing our 22.4GB test folder and its 10,500 small files averaged 205MB/sec – Synology’s RS3614xs+ managed 241MB/sec.

The CPU’s integral AES-NI engine delivers military grade AES-256 encryption and a fair performance to boot. Copying our 50GB test file to a share on an encrypted volume over 10GbE returned a respectable 154MB/sec.

QTS 4.1 features

QNAP Qsync App

The Qsync app provides a handy cloud syncing service between your PC and the appliance

The sheer range of features in QNAP’s latest QTS software widens the appeal of the TVS-1271U-RP even further. The Backup Station supports QNAP’s RRTR synchronization, replication to other Rsync compatible NAS appliances and facilities for Amazon’s S3 and ElephantDrive cloud storage services.

There are separate apps for Microsoft Azure and Amazon Glacier while the OpenStack Swift app adds support for HP Cloud, IBM SoftLayer and RackSpace. File syncing extends to Dropbox, Google Drive and more, Qsync provides real-time PC backup and the Netbak Replicator utility handles scheduled incremental backups for Windows workstations and servers.

The star of the show has to be QNAP’s unique Virtualization Station app which runs multiple VMs on the appliance loaded with OSes of your choice. Although of limited value on a rack mount appliance, you can tie in QNAP’s QvPC technology with the rear HDMI port and use the appliance as a PC, browse the web and view multimedia content.

PROS:

  • Big choice of CPUs and memory
  • Massive expansion potential
  • Well featured QTS software
  • High IOPS

CONS:

  • Noisy cooling fans
  • Expansion requires extra SAS card
  • Read cache only

Summary

Offering the TVS-1271U-RP with four hardware options is a smart move by QNAP as you can choose the model that best suits your needs. The top Core i7 model isn’t as fast as Synology’s RS3614xs+ but it is better value and combines plenty of business-class features with an unbelievable expansion potential.

8.7 Total Score
Four Hardware Options to Choose From

Offering the TVS-1271U-RP with four hardware options is a smart move by QNAP as you can choose the model that best suits your needs. The top Core i7 model isn’t as fast as Synology’s RS3614xs+ but it is better value and combines plenty of business-class features with an unbelievable expansion potential.

Performance
8
Features
9
Build Quality
8
Usability
9
Value
9.5
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