Pros: Quality workmanship and appearance. If the software has what you need, it is quite flashy and easy to use. Wiki, Forum and How-To guides available. You can build QPKGs to add-in features not in the base software. Unit comes with both the Emulex and Intel mounting brackets. Screws and cables provided. Relatively small size and low power usage. Two large quiet fans pull a good volume of air for cooling. USB 3.0 ports and SATA 6Gbit hot-swap drive bays. Excellent shipping container. Unit does have a standard VGA and HDMI video console output.
Cons: Under the covers the software leaves quite a bit to be desired--no ZFS and the RAID configuration appears rather cluegy. The hardware appears to be a genuine UEFI based PC, but it is only about 90% so. It's certainly not a standard ATX board. Many software packages refuse to install on it without quite a bit of work. Tall 3.5" drives completely fill the drive trays and probably receive little if any cooling air. If you do not use exactly the correct Intel or Emulex 10GbE NICs, the QNAP software will not recognize them. The onboard custom 512M Flash is a bit small for any after market OS. Only two memory slots so memory upgrades are limited. CPU uses a passive heatsink and seems to run right about 60C which seems too hot to count on it being stable. Also, don't lose the drive screws. This unit is pretty expensive when you consider you could purchase a 9 bay case, standard motherboard, chip, memory and PSU for much less right here from NewEgg, so consider your options.
Other Thoughts: QNAP forum--don't be surprised if you get flamed for cross posting. The elite on there are far more concerned with etiquette than helping you solve your problem. If you decide to open your unit up, be sure to pull the custom drive board out before removing the mainboard or you will damage something most assuredly. I up'd the DDR3 1333 memory to 4G, removed the custom USB FLash drive, added an Intel 10GbE card and installed (from a different machine) FreeNAS on a normal USB Flash drive. I now have a pretty decent little IP-SAN storage device though I could use more memory and a ZFS SSD cache drive to soup things up a little more. And yes, I said good-bye to any warranty I may have had. First things first, it has to work. My other option was to send it back untouched which wasn't realistically an option due to time constraints. Hopefully this review sheds some light on what you may want to do PRIOR to purchase instead of after you receive it like I did.
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Box of awesome
Pros: Easy to set up and full of functionality. This SAN/NAS has been very reliable. This box is extremely high performance, especially when you put a 10 gigabit adapter in it. The box is VMware certified and plays well with ESX5.
Cons: I wish it was about 10% cheaper. Also, DO NOT try and use it for the surveillance station option. That functionality is worthless.
Other Thoughts: I complain about the price because its relevant to me, however if you fill the box full of enterprise drives and a 10 gigabit interface, it will keep up with SAN systems costing millions of dollars.
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