Saturday, May 26, 2012

NAS has a head in the clouds

If for many users that are backup solutions, the NAS are theoretically simple network drives must themselves be saved - a fact which will not escape for advanced users and businesses, target Qnap with this model. In addition to local backup via USB or eSATA thus safeguarding the TS-469 Pro can be deported, again a good idea to Qnap. It is in the tab "Backup cloud" of the administration interface that can activate the backup off-site on different services.

Qnap supports two services rather little known and dedicated to the U.S. market, ElephantDrive and Symform. Fortunately, the TS-469 Pro can also be replicated to Amazon S3, a renowned service, providing high redundancy and with many servers around the world. The first backup of a TS-469 Pro with four disks in RAID 5 3 TB or 9 TB, however, will cost close to € 800: This function will probably be reserved for professionals with data particularly valuable and wanting all the safe side. 

Ordinary people will therefore benefit from the backup by USB, but we appreciate that both are possible. In the other direction, the NAS can serve as a personal cloud, a classic of the use of networked drives. Qnap makes this easy thanks to the clever MyCloudNAS, which associates the TS-469 Pro a simple domain name ( and accessed through a browser. Much like the Pogoplug competing system, this function makes it possible not to mess with router settings, since it is the NAS itself occasionally check the external IP address and the Qnap that automatically associates the domain name. This feature may seem opposite to the target of this model of NAS, but it is part of the standard software suite Qnap, and neither SMEs nor demanding users not necessarily have knowledge of network administration, especially least in a world where fixed IP are an endangered species of both disappearance. A address MyCloudNAS created, anyone who knows the link can access all services that have been "published" means the owner of NAS may choose to leave public access to certain services on the TS-469 Pro, as the web server, the server image, or streaming music services. With a password, can access services "private": you can choose not to leave any public service and any password-protected, including the administration of the SIN.

Enabling MyCloudNAS also unlocks a feature that lets you use the TS-469 as a sort of "Dropbox": you can share any file with friends, MyCloudNAS involving a public address. You can set this address to share so that its lifetime is limited in time, or they are accessible via SSL, and access to the file is protected by password. Finally, if the SMTP server of TS-469 is configured, it can send itself by e-mail address sharing. Multimedia: navigation austere classical interfaces ...

Locally, you certainly can use a simple file browser to access the storage TS-469 Pro. The average flows are rather good: the NAS configured with four disks in RAID 5, connected to an operator of a large box and the computer connected via Wi-Fi, it reached speeds of around 90 to 100 MB / s write and 80 MB / s read. Many internal hard drives are now faster - except those provided by Apple on its Mac - but it's pretty good for a NAS.C 'is certainly more than enough for that day, we never feel limited by NAS: CPU and memory latency and provide a more linear flow. Copying a set of files of 10GB just two minutes, and we have not noticed any problems when streaming music (including Apple Lossless) or video (including HD 1080p), even when multiple users are getting into. The NAS cash problem without a Time Machine backup is performed for two people streaming two different films. In short, the TS-469 Pro NAS is a solid and efficient, but it's a surprise in light of its configuration.

Note that the NAS administration interface simplifies user management, both in defining access permissions to the folders in quota management. A very interesting function is in the trash network. No files deleted from a file browser is not physically, as is normally the case: it lies through a network recycle bin, a folder that is accessible only to the administrator of the NAS, which can restore a file deleted by mistake or otherwise any purge. Again, there Qnap offers a thoughtful and useful function.

Beyond access via a file explorer, Qnap offers several navigation interfaces general and specialized. The first is a web file manager, which is nothing but a very dispensable in the file explorer navigator. Qnap then lists several "stations" in the browser interface for easy access to various file types. The multimedia station, for example, is general and can access all media files (daily scans the NAS architecture file to index the contents). Austere, wobbly, and partly designed in Flash, it fails to convince, especially since it is partly duplicated with "stations" more specialized and generally better designed. The station photo is so far from unpleasant: it lets you organize images into albums and has a nice web interface (able to remove metadata location information). Combine that good first impression to the search field and the possibility of making available to your family and friends via MyCloudNAS this station, and you get a whole compelling, a sort of stream of photos and personal where you hand.

The download station (obviously for recovering images of GNU / Linux distributions) is a total classic, as the music station, which does not particularly want. At least the TS-469 Pro offers there a iTunes sharing feature, which uses the inevitable Firefly server.

In conclusion

The TS-469 Pro is at the boundary of NAS systems for individuals and businesses: its material is placed clearly in the high-end four-bay NAS, but its software is shared with more mainstream models. Let's be clear: if you are interested in NAS, do not start with the TS-469 Pro, which will clearly oversize.

If you're a demanding user, the head of a large collection of photos, music or videos that need a model enclosing the shock, or a small business looking for a centralized network solution capable of aggregating other storage media without having to invest in a server, it will be hard to go wrong with this model Qnap. Compact, powerful, well thought out, with many ports, two Ethernet ports and a suite of compelling software features, this is undoubtedly a success.

The only obstacle will be its price, at the height functions. The TS-469 Pro will be available in the coming weeks.

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