Posted on 07 April 2011
I’ve been looking to add some new network attached storage for my home network. I wanted something that would provide NFS and iSCSI access to use with my virtualization lab as well as simple CIFS/SMB for use as shared storage.
A collegue mentioned QNAP as one option and I began doing some research on them. The units have a very full feature set and a review at Smallnetbuilder.com showed good performance data . I went ahead and purchased the Qnap TS-219p+ along with 2 SAMSUNG EcoGreen F2 HD154UI 1.5TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5″ Internal Hard Drives. These are 5400 RPM drives with a manufacturer reported maximum transfer rate of 300 MB/sec. Tom’s Hardware lists this same drive as having 107 MB/s maximum transfer speed in their testing. The QNAP TS-219p+ is not on the Vmware HCL but I had no issues adding the NFS mount to my ESXi 4.1 host.
QNAP TS-219p+ Specs
CPU: Marvell 6282 1.6GHz
DRAM: 512MB DDRIII RAM
Flash Memory: 16MB
HDD: 2 x 3.5″ and 2.5” SATA II HDD
HDD Tray: 2 x hot-swappable tray
LAN Port: 1 x Gigabit RJ-45 Ethernet port
USB: 3 x USB 2.0 port (Front:1 Back: 2)
Supports USB printer, disk, pen drive, USB hub, and USB UPS, etc.
eSATA: 2 x eSATA port (Back)
Power Consumption (W)
Sleep mode: 7W
In operation: 19W (with 2 x 500GB HDD installed)
- Internal HDD: EXT3, EXT4
- External HDD: EXT3, EXT4, NTFS, FAT32, HFS+
- TCP/IP (IPv4 & IPv6: Dual Stack)
- Jumbo Frames
- DHCP Client, DHCP Server
- Protocols: CIFS/SMB, AFP (3.1), NFS, FTP, HTTP, HTTPS, Telnet, SSH, iSCSI and SNMP.
- Network Service Discovery (UPnP, Bonjour)
- USB Wi-Fi 802.11n Adapter Support (Optional Purchase)
Network File Sharing
- CIFS/SMB (Plus DFS Support)
- Single Disk, JBOD, RAID 0 / 1
I used Iometer to benchmark NFS and iSCSI performance of the QNAP TS-219P+. For a test setup I configured the unit as Raid 0 and used a Windows XP SP3 VM configured with 1 GB RAM and 1 vCPU. My initial results have been redacted due to an issue I discovered with my hyper-visor hardware that caused poor throughput and iops numbers. My colleague Jason does a lot of testing of storage and virtualiztion and offered to re-test my Qnap on his infrastructure. His results were much better and more in line with my expectations.
The Qnap 219p+ has a polished UI and an impressive feature set. Overall IOPS and throughput performance are quite good for a 2 disk soho NAS system (considering I was using 5400 RPM drives). Although the 219p+ is not on the VMware HCL, it integrated into my vmware lab seamlessly. I was able to attach both NFS and iSCSI datastores in ESXi 4.1 without problem. A comparison of performancevs. the Iomega Ix2-200 showed the QNAP besting it in most categories (interestingly the Iomega edged out the QNAP in iSCSI for the 60% Random, 65% Read and Random 8K 70% read tests). The Ix2-200 costs several hundred dollars less than the QNAP + drives so it is worth a look if you want to save a few dollars. The Ix2-200 is also listed on the VMware HCL, whereas the QNAP 219p+ is not.
One thing that I did not expect to see was the disparity between the NFS and iSCSI performance. In some cases, NFS performed at almost 1.5x that of NFS. If you are looking for a flexible, full featured and well built soho NAS, I would highly recommend looking at QNAP.