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QNAP TVS-h1288X QuTS hero Review

Qnap’s TVS-h1288X QuTS hero edition is a NAS appliance that looks ready to take on just about anything. This mighty enterprise-class desktop model presents eight hot-swap LFF drive bays, teams them up with four SFF SSD bays, adds two internal M.2 NVMe SSD slots and partners them all with quad 2.5GbE multi-Gigabit and dual 10GBase-T ports.

TVS-h1288x front and rear views

There’s more as this appliance is geared up for media editing and collaboration duties. It’s one of a family of two new appliances that are the first from Qnap to sport Xeon W workstation CPUs which Intel has aimed at content creators.

The appliance is driven by a 3.3GHz six-core Xeon W-1250 CPU which has an integrated Intel UHD Graphics P630 GPU. This pipes 30Hz 4K video through to the appliance’s HDMI 1.4b port although it’s a shame this isn’t the higher bandwidth HDMI 2.0 variety.

The TVS-h1288X joins Qnap’s rapidly expanding QuTS hero family and runs its 128-bit ZFS-based OS. A key focus is data integrity as the OS offers almost unlimited NAS and IP SAN snapshots, data deduplication, compression and transparent self-healing of data corruption.

TVS-h1288X Build quality and upgrades

The TVS-h1288X is well built with a solid steel chassis and equally sturdy lid. The front drive bays use plastic tool-free carriers and for testing, we fitted two enterprise-class 1.92TB Micron 5200 Max SATA SSDs for the QuTS system drive pool and four 16TB Seagate IronWolf Pro HDDs in the main bays for general data storage duties.

The appliance comes with two 8GB sticks of DDR4 memory which can be upgraded to 128GB. The four DIMM slots are accessed by removing the large dual-fan CPU blower assembly and underneath you’ll also find the two M.2 NVMe slots which, unlike Synology, can be a standard storage pool as well as a cache.

The 10GbE card sits in the inner PCI-E x8 slot and on the outer edge are two free x4 slots which can be used to add Qnap’s optional QXP-T32P dual-port Thunderbolt 3 adapters. You have plenty of other upgrade options but bear in mind that the upper blower fan casing restricts their length to around 156mm.

TVS-h1288X T3-card

You can install two QXP-T32P Thunderbolt™ 3 expansion cards to the PCIe Gen 3 x4 slots of the TVS-h1288X and transform it into a Thunderbolt™ 3 NAS with quad-port Thunderbolt™ 3 connectivity.

The USB port count looks good as there’s a Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 2 10Gbps port at the front while at the back are two more Type-A and two Type-C ports. Sound gets a look in with 3.5mm audio-in and audio-out sockets plus a pair of tinny-sounding internal speakers.

TVS-h1288X 2.5GbE, 10GbE and 25GbE performance

TVS-h1288X to 25GbE network speeds

We upgraded the TVS-h1288X to 25GbE network speeds and saw some excellent performance results

For performance testing, we used a Dell PowerEdge T640 Xeon Scalable tower server running Windows Server 2019. We first tested 2.5GbE speeds and connected the appliance and server to our Netgear ProSafe MS510TX multi-Gigabit switch.

With a NAS share mapped to the server, Iometer recorded sequential read and write rates both of 2.3Gbits/sec while real world tests with drag and drop copies of a 25GB file also averaged 2.3Gbits/sec in both directions. Moving up to 10GbE speeds returned NAS sequential read and write rates of 9.3Gbits/sec and 9.2Gbits/sec while our 25GB file copy averaged read and write rates of 8.3Gbits/sec and 4.9Gbits/sec.

IP SAN 10GbE performance was in the same ballpark with a 1TB iSCSI target returning read and write rates of 9.3Gbits/sec and 9.1Gbits/sec. With a dual 10GbE MPIO link to the target, we recorded good read and write rates of 18.5Gbits/sec and 15.4Gbits/sec.

Just for grin value, we installed a Qnap SmartNIC 25GbE PCI-E adapter in the appliance and connected it via a DAC to another 25GbE card in the server. If you’re tempted by this speed upgrade, you’ll be pleased to know that NAS read and write rates ramped up nicely to 23.1Gbits/sec and 19.7Gbits/sec while our iSCSI target returned 23.1Gbits/sec and 19.2Gbits/sec.

QuTS hero features and apps

HybridDesk Station apps

The HybridDesk Station apps offers direct access to a wide range of apps from a locally attached HD monitor

QuTS hero presents a shallow learning curve as its web interface is virtually identical to the QTS version. Dive under the surface though, and you’ll find more than a few extra features as QuTS extends RAID support with triple mirroring and RAID-TP (triple parity) which protects against three drive failures.

More features appear when you create NAS shares with options for enabling thick or thin provisioning, encryption, compression, deduplication and WORM (write one read many). The Enterprise WORM policy allows a protected folder to be deleted but stops anything in it from being individually modified or removed while the Compliance policy only allows a folder to be deleted by removing its entire parent storage pool.

For IP SANs, you use the standard iSCSI & Fibre Channel app and during LUN creation, you can apply thick or thin provisioning, deduplication and compression. NAS and iSCSI snapshots are easily created from the Storage & Snapshots app and can be run manually or scheduled for as often as every five minutes.

Qnap’s SnapSync service is designed to replicate data to remote QuTS appliances using fast real-time block-level replication. You’ll have to wait a while for this though, as although SnapSync was slated for release this year, it has yet to materialise.

Multimedia apps

QuTS hero provides plenty of multimedia apps

QuTS hero provides plenty of multimedia apps which can be centrally managed from the Multimedia Console

App support is up there with QTS-based appliances as we counted no less than 140 available for the TVS-h1288X. All backup apps are present and include HBS 3, Qsync Central and HybridMount plus Hyper Data Protector which protects VMware and Hyper-V virtualized environments.

There are plenty of entertainment services on offer and the Multimedia Console brings all the various apps under one roof for easier management. After loading the Music and Video Stations plus the QuMagie photo management app, we used the Multimedia Console to choose their source folders, assign access permissions and run media indexing and thumbnail generation.

With an HD TV connected to the appliance’s HDMI port, we installed the HybridDesk Station app, logged on to the local interface, opened the HD Player app and viewed our movie and music collections. The HybridDesk Station presents a desktop on your TV where you can use plug-ins for direct access to Chrome, Firefox, Skype and Facebook.

Conclusion

The TVS-h1288X is a hugely powerful and expandable NAS appliance that has the hardware credentials to handle demanding enterprise-level workloads. Its ZFS-based QuTS hero OS offers valuable data protection features, performance over a range of connection speeds is excellent and Qnap’s optional Thunderbolt 3 adapters make it a top choice for video editors.

QNAP TVS-h1288X-W1250-16G-US 12-Bay Hybrid NAS
Intel Xeon W-1250 3.3 GHz, 16GB DDR4 ECC RAM, 4 x 2.5GbE, 2 x 10GBASE-T 10GbE, 2 x M.2 22110/2280 NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4 SSD slots for SSD cache
$2,499.00
QNAP TVS-h1288X QuTS hero Review
9.1 Total Score
Hugely powerful and expandable NAS

The TVS-h1288X is a hugely powerful and expandable NAS appliance that has the hardware credentials to handle demanding enterprise-level workloads. Its ZFS-based QuTS hero OS offers valuable data protection features, performance over a range of connection speeds is excellent and Qnap’s optional Thunderbolt 3 adapters make it a top choice for video editors.

Performance
9.5
Features
9.5
Build Quality
9
Usability
9
Value
8.5
PROS
  • High storage capacity
  • Dual 10GbE and quad 2.5GbE ports
  • Xeon W CPU
  • Big memory capacity
  • Great performance
  • QuTS hero OS
CONS
  • Card length limits on outer expansion slots
  • HDMI 1.4b port

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