Review: QNAP NAS TS-670

The TS-670 is a 6 bay NAS unit, providing SMBs with a scalable NAS solution, backed by the power of an Intel processor, 2GB RAM and 4 LAN interfaces. It uses a Linux kernel with a simple to use interface that brings enterprise power to the ordinary user, you might just be able to replace your IT department with this!

The TS-670 replicates a number of features of larger enterprise file storage systems, with a SSD cache to boost IOPS, VMWare, Hyper-V and Citrix virtualisation support. But it also offers more to SMBs then an offsite data centre solution can offer, combined with knowing who has access to your data.

The TS-670 offers the ability to create your own private cloud. Yes, that’s right, rather than storing your data in a ‘cloud’ in a commercial data centre, where you don’t know who has access, having your own cloud stored in your premises but still accessible from anywhere will inspire confidence in your clients.

I call it a micro-cloud. You have the capability to scale your storage assigned to the cloud and provide your business with more storage than most cloud services will offer.

It truly gives the ability for your staff to be remote workers, they can always access the single source of truth from anywhere, yet you can still set permissions and access controls on your data. The TS-670 has the capability to be either your own data centre, offering the flexibility to provide a number of services, or a an ideal opportunity to add local file servers to an existing enterprise network that are still controllable from a central IT department integrating with established infrastructure and processes.

The ability to have a local cloud storage facility fives your clients confidence that you can securely share files with them but that their data is always stored securely here in New Zealand (and under our legislation!).

The TS-670 is about customisation, it already has a built-in VPN & web server as well as a RADIUS server. It also has its own ‘app store’ giving additional functionality as new services are developed.

The TS-670 is able to achieve up to 450 MB/s read and 423 MB/s write speed (QNAP’s posted figures). In real life it’s able to achieve near this and its expansion abilities shouldn’t be sniffed at. It has a max capacity of 16GB of RAM and you can swap out the GB Ethernet card for a 10GB Ethernet card for IOPS intensive applications.

It’s volume management features include storage pooling with multiple RAID group protection, thin provisioned volumes with space reclaim and block level iSCSI LUN.

It supports most interfaces, including SMB & CIFS, NFS & AFP with LDAP / AD integration.

With one-click backup and Apple Time Machine compatibility, is there a use case it’s not meeting yet.

If you are happy to use the ‘cloud’, the TS-670 can back data up to AWS, Google Drive, Dropbox and other providers.

The types of businesses that could utilise the power and flexibility of the TS-670 are wide ranging, small businesses that share files with customers, or keep customer records would be amazed at its capabilities. Larger businesses that have offices across different locations or want to support local storage could quickly integrate this into their existing IT environment with minimal impact and OPEX.

But the TS-670 doesn’t stop there, it is also a strong performer in the emerging CCTV storage industry. With video often being kept only for a short time before being overwritten, the TS-670 offers the capability to store video as well as immediately offsite copies to external providers, allowing enterprises to store all their video, allowing the retrieval of older video when required. It has a NVR interface and compatibility with over 1200 models of IP cameras as well as AXIS cameras.

With an accompanying mobile application, you can even have secure mobile access to your video (live or stored).

The TS-670 is a powerful beast and well worth the investment. With QNAP providing the bare unit, you can customise to your heart’s desire. The 2.5” and 3.5” hard drive won’t go out of fashion quickly and as capacities increase, you’ll be able to upgrade as more storage is required.

I’d like to see this setup as a tiered storage device, keeping active files on SSDs and slower less accessed files stored on slower disk or moved out to Amazon Glacier type storage (now if only there was an NZ based version….)

Pros:

  • It’s functionality is very impressive
  • It’s customisable to be setup for a variety of use cases
  • A tool for both SMBs and enterprises

Cons:

  • Some of the power that this device has may be lost on basic users
  • May not be techy enough for some power users ;)

Summary:

The TS-670 is a very impressive device, I’ve been looking for a device like this for a while for my own needs, and I’m happy that the TS-670 fulfils those needs. Most power users would be able to set it up quickly and get going. When storage comes at a price (both in cost and privacy), clients would definitely be interested in businesses that have their own micro-clouds rather than using overseas cloud services.

4.5 / 5

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