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Synology RS422+ Rackmount NAS Plex Media Server NAS 4K & 1080p Tests – H.264 & HEVC

3 octobre 2022 à 18:00

How Well Does the Synology RS422+ NAS Perform as a Plex Media Server?

The rise in popularity of rackmount NAS servers being used as Plex Media Servers by home users has been surprisingly swift, largely thanks to more and more NAS brands releasing affordable (yet powerful and efficient) rack solutions. The Synology RS422+ Rackstation solution is once such solution, comparable in price to many desktop solutions, but arriving in a compact rackstation form. Combine that with the availability of mini rack cabinets or deploying servers in attics/garages/basements means that many users look at NAS such as the RS422+ as an ideal scale Plex server solution. But why Plex? The appeal of accessing all the movies, boxsets, music and home movies that you physically/digitally own in the style popularized by Netflix, Disney+ and Prime Video (flashy GUI, summary, all the box art, trailers, cast details, reviews and more) is undeniable. The rise in popularity of streaming platforms like Netflix has also been accompanied by rising monthly subscription costs and rising concerns about never truly owning the media that you want o watch. Even when you buy movies and TV boxsets in digital download forms from Amazon Video etc, you are still at the mercy of 1) needing somewhere to store it if you do choose to download it and 2) potentially losing access to it if the site/platform you purchased from has lost the license to host it (a common complain of the increasingly digital world of PC/Console gaming, as games are pulled from eStores). Hosting your media in a subscription-free form, whilst it still being presented in the universally accessible and premium GUI form of Plex is one of the most compelling reasons for many home/prosumer users deciding to make the jump towards buying their own plex media server. However, NAS drives have grown incredibly diverse in terms of hardware design and therefore one NAS might not play media in plex as well/efficiently as another – and the Synology RS422+ NAS is no exception to this. Today I want to detail my tests of the RS422+ as a Plex Media Server and I hope this will help you decide whether a Synology NAS deserves your Multimedia in 2022/2023.

What is the Hardware of the Synology RS422+ NAS Drive?

The Synology RS422+ NAS drive is quite similar in architecture to most PCs or Laptops (in that it features a CPU+Memory+Storage), but differs in that it’s components are designed to be more efficient (as they will be in operation 24×7) and have a larger degree of focus on storage-related applications (whereas the hardware in a PC/Laptop is designed more for the applications you run with storage service concerns/provisions being far more rudimentary). The RS422+ is made up of a popular mid-range server CPU, DDR4 memory and supports Hard Drive and SSDs in SATA. although most of the specifications of Synology NAS drives are unrelated to Plex, below I have picked up the hardware specifications of the RS422+ that are relevant to Plex:

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen R1600, Dual Core, 2.6-3.1Ghz
  • Embedded Graphics: No
  • Memory (Quantity & Maximum): 2GB (Max)
  • Number of Storage Bays: 4 SATA Bays
  • M.2 NVMe Caching Bays: No
  • Network Connectivity: 2x 1GbE (Optional 10GbE adapter)

Next, let’s quickly touch on how we measure how good/bad the Synology RS422+ NAS is for Plex Media Server.

Understanding the Plex Media Server Tests of the Synology RS422+ NAS

Important Terms to Understand in Plex/NAS/Multimedia that will make the RS422+ NAS Plex Tests Easier to Understand.

  • SD, 160p, 240p, 480p, 720p, 1080p, 4K : This is the resolution that the media is being displayed at. The higher the resolution, the larger number of pixels that are available and depending on the original recording quality of the media in question. High resolutions, such as 1080p and 4K require more work to be done by the NAS hardware in order to playback the file. More often than not, a NAS with weak embedded graphics or no embedded graphics at all will be unable to play 4K very well or indeed at all. It is important to remember that just because a NAS brand like Synology says that their latest NAS can natively play back 1080p or 4K media (natively = played using their own NAS software, software client tools and/or DLNA), that does not mean that the RS422+ will play to the same standard in Plex, as Plex is a 3rd party tool
  • Transcoding, Encoding, Decoding : These are all different techniques/names for when a file needs to be changed in order to be better suited to the connected client device connection, strength or hardware. If you are accessing all your media on the local area network (i.e only accessing your plex media at home), then transcoding will rarely be something you will use (unless your media is largely H.265/HEVC based, see earlier). However, perhaps you are accessing your plex library on the train to work or from a sun bed whilst on holiday. Perhaps you have a smaller data bandwidth/allowed MB/GB, maybe a weaker internet connection, perhaps you are using a smaller phone device and you might not need to watch your 4K 50GB Blu-ray rip of the latest Marvel Movie – in these situations, you might well want to access the media on your Synology RS422+ Plex NAS at a lesser quality than the original version, so transcoding/re-encoding on the fly (as in, at the same time it is being played) is what you would want to do. Remember, transcoding is by far the most heavy-weight thing you will need to do on a NAS. It is also worth remembering that in order for Plex o be able to use the FULL resources of a NAS CPU (such as embedded graphics) that you will need to enable ‘Make My CPU Hurt’ in the Encoder Menu of the Plex NAS Settings menu – this also potentially requires a Plex Pass subscription, depending on the NAS in question

  • H.264, HEVC, H.265 :  These are compression techniques that are designed to allow large-scale media presentations that were made for a cinema to be viewable from your sofa (with H.265 being the more effective/powerful compression level). H.264 can largely be played by ALL devices, but many devices do not have permission or a license to play H.265/HEVC (they are the same thing). This is because, where H.264 is an easy license and comparatively free to use, H.265/HEVC licencing and patents are spread across multiple providers and allowing a device license to use this compression technique can be complex, expensive or simply impossible. Therefore HEVC/H.265 media will sometimes AUTOMATICALLY need to be converted/transcoded into H.264 etc in order to be played – therefore eating up more system resources. The RS422+, much like the rest of thte Synology NAS range do not arrive with HEVC support by default
  • Bitrate : Bitrate is the amount of data encoded for a unit of time, and for streaming is usually referenced in megabits per second (Mbps) for video, and in kilobits per second (kbps) for audio. Higher quality and higher resolution media tends to be of a much higher bitrate

For more information on the most important terms to understand when discussing/researching a NAS as a Plex Media Server can be found in my video below:

Any further questions, you can use the free advice section at the bottom of the page and ask me and Eddie directly.

How was the Synology RS422+ NAS Tested in Plex?

The setup for testing the RS422+ NAS for Plex was as follows:

  • The Synology RS422+ NAS was accessed over a 1GbE network, however in order to test how the NAS would cope with transcoding/encoding, I would force the Plex Player client to transcode the file manually
  • The RS422+ NAS was used in the default CPU+Memory state that the base model arrives in (no upgraded memory or upgraded caching media)
  • Tests were performed one after the other with a short break between each test, so you might see the tail end of the previous test on a CPU graph, but I have pointed at the are of the % utilization that is important as per each test.

Regarding test results, CLEAR PASS means that the file successfully played and there were sufficient resources for the NAS to continue to do other things comfortably, PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU % means that the file played, but it utilized a significant amount of system resources in order to do so in a heavier use situation (i.e other NAS users connected) it might not play and FAIL AND-OR DID NOT PLAY means that the file either did not play or the time taken to play back the files was outpaced by the natural playback of the file – i.e. the file would stop-and-start constantly in order to try and catch up. If you want to watch the FULL video recording of all the Plex tests that I performed on the Synology RS422+ NAS, you can watch the video below. Be warned, it is quite long! Alternatively, you can scroll past and see each of the test results, one-by-one, detailing which ones worked and which ones didn’t:

What % System Resources did the Synology RS422+ NAS Use in Plex when Idle?

Running the Plex Media Server application, even when no multimedia is being played on the RS422+ is still going to require a % of system resources to be occupied, in order to ensure that PLEX can play media from the Synology NAS as soon as it is requested remotely. Additionally, although Plex runs at its best with at least 2 Cores of CPU power and 2GB of Memory, many NAS also reserve areas of CPU/RAM for the system itself. So, therefore, knowing how much system resources are being consumed by the Synology RS422+  NAS when Plex is idle is going to be useful to know how much system power is available when playback actually starts. Here is a screenshot of the RS422+ when Plex is running, but no media is being played/accessed:

Plex Test 1 – Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – Matrix 720p 0.7Mbps h.264 Original Playback

Here is how the Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – Matrix 720p 0.7Mbps h.264 Original Playback File Performed:

RESULT: CLEAR PASS 

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 2 – Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – Matrix 720p 0.7Mbps h.264 transcode to 480p 1.5Mbps

Here is how the Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – Matrix 720p 0.7Mbps h.264 transcode to 480p 1.5Mbps File Performed:

RESULT: CLEAR PASS

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 3 – Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – Matrix 720p 0.7Mbps h.264 transcode to 240p 0.3Mbps

Here is how the Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – Matrix 720p 0.7Mbps h.264 transcode to 240p 0.3Mbps File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU %

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 4 – Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – LSOH 1080p 1.9Mbps h.264 Original Playback

Here is how the Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – LSOH 1080p 1.9Mbps h.264 Original Playback File Performed:

RESULT: CLEAR PASS

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 5 – Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – LSOH 1080p 1.9Mbps h.264 Transcode to 480p 1.5Mbps

Here is how the Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – LSOH 1080p 1.9Mbps h.264 Transcode to 480p 1.5Mbps File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU %

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 6 – Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – LSOH 1080p 1.9Mbps h.264 Transcode to 160p 0.2Mbps

Here is how the Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – LSOH 1080p 1.9Mbps h.264 Transcode to 160p 0.2Mbps File Performed:

RESULT: FAIL AND-OR DID NOT PLAY

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 7 – Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 3Mbps H.264 Original Playback

Here is how the Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 3Mbps H.264 Original Playback File Performed:

RESULT: CLEAR PASS

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 8 – Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 3Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264

Here is how the Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 3Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264 File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU %

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 9 – Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 10Mbps H.264 Original Playback

Here is how the Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 10Mbps H.264 Original Playback File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU %

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 10 – Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 10Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264

Here is how the Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 10Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264 File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU %

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 11 – Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 30Mbps H.264 Original Playback

Here is how the Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 30Mbps H.264 Original Playback File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU %

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 12 – Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 30Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264

Here is how the Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 30Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264 File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU %

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 13 – Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 100Mbps H.264 Original Playback

Here is how the Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 100Mbps H.264 Original Playback File Performed:

RESULT: CLEAR PASS

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 14 – Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 100Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264

Here is how the Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 100Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264 File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU %

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 15 – Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 120Mbps H.264 Original Playback

Here is how the Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 120Mbps H.264 Original Playback File Performed:

RESULT: FAIL AND-OR DID NOT PLAY

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 16 – Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 120Mbps H.264 Convert to 1080p 120Mbps

Here is how the Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 120Mbps H.264 Convert to 1080p 120Mbps File Performed:

RESULT: FAIL AND-OR DID NOT PLAY

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 17 – Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 200Mbps H.264

Here is how the Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 200Mbps H.264 File Performed:

RESULT: CLEAR PASS

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 18 – Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 400Mbps H.265 10bit – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264

Here is how the Synology RS422+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 400Mbps H.265 10bit – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264 File Performed:

RESULT: FAIL AND-OR DID NOT PLAY

Extra Notes: None


 

Is the Synology RS422+ NAS Any Good outside of Plex and Where Can I buy It?

If you are interested in learning more about the Synology RS422+ NAS Drive, I am pleased to confirm that the review here on NASCompares is already live and you can find out more about this device below.

Quick Verdict of the Synology RS422+ NAS – What We Said in the RS422+ Review:

What Synology has produced in the RS422+ Rackstation NAS is an intriguing middle ground between their more cost-effective ARM-based rackmount solutions and their more expensive scalable and upgradable servers. On the face of it, you are getting a tremendously compact but capable 1U 4-Bay rackmount server that, as soon as you factor in the included DSM software and services, is very good value for businesses that want to move their data out of 3rd party cloud and into something they have full control over. Additionally, that CPU (though a fraction divisive when compared previously vs Intel chips in the desktop DS1522+) makes more sense here in this more affordable Rackstation solution. The lack of NVMe M.2 SSD slots, fixed 2GB memory and lack off rails I am less keen on here (and I am still a little on the fence about the way they have pursued 10GbE upgrades in this system) but you are still getting a very well built and small scale NAS solution here and Synology have found a good price point here for this complete solution. Additionally, the fact that Synology has not been so restrictive on HDD use in this system than in more enterprise solutions in 2022 is welcoming too, though they are still taking an odd stance on some drives nonetheless. Ultimately, I can recommend the Synology RS422+ Rackstation NAS to smaller business users, though looking for a compact and very easy-to-deploy NAS solution for surveillance, central business storage, additional backup layers and for DSM as a whole. Though multimedia users might want to give it a miss.

Read the Rest of the Review HERE. Alternatively, you can find out the Pros and Cons below, as a few retailers that sell the Synology RS422+ NAS. Thanks for reading and if you need any further help choosing the right NAS for your Plex Media Server, use the free advice section linked below. Have a great week.

SOFTWARE - 10/10
HARDWARE - 7/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 8/10


8.2
PROS
👍🏻Remarkably compact rackmount server with a 10GbE Option
👍🏻Very quiet for a rackmount server
👍🏻Default ECC Memory will be hugely reassuring
👍🏻DSM 7.1 is still hands-down the best NAS software out there
👍🏻Storage services such as BTRFS/EXT4 Option, Synology Hybrid RAID Support and Fast RAID Rebuild
👍🏻Very high build quality and slick design
CONS
👎🏻Lack of M.2 NVMe slots
👎🏻No Expansion Support
👎🏻Odd brand position on HDDs and SSDs
👎🏻CPU Choice is divisive
👎🏻Default 2GB of memory cannot up upgraded


Where to Buy a Product
VISIT RETAILER ➤ 
VISIT RETAILER ➤

 

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We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7]     Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

WD Red Pro 22TB and QNAP NAS 10GbE Tests – RAID 0 vs RAID 5 vs RAID 6

26 septembre 2022 à 18:00

QNAP TS-464 NAS 10GbE RAID 0/5/6 Testing with the WD Red Pro 22TB HDDs

When you buy a new NAS and drives, one of the most important long-term decisions that you will make is choosing your RAID level. A RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) is the process of combining multiple media drives together into a single area of storage (a Storage Pool). Different RAID configurations provide different benefits and although it is not impossible to switch/change your RAID level years down the line it is not particularly straightforward, is quite limited in the range of RAID change options and often just makes you wish you had picked better the first time around! That is one of the main purposes of today’s article, to understand the performance differences between the big three RAID configurations that people choose for their first NAS system – RAID 0, RAID 5 and RAID 6. In order to achieve this, I have opted to use the 2022 released QNAP TS-464 4-Bay NAS, combined with a 10GbE upgrade and alongside this I have fully populated the device with FOUR of the new massive capacity 22TB WD Red Pro series Hard drives. What we have here is a fully-featured, Prosumer NAS system with an external 1,000MB/s external throughput and a potential 88 Terabytes to play with! This will be a great way to test the performance potential of RAID 0 vs RAID 5 vs RAID 6 for users who are considering a modest scale 4-Bay NAS and want to make sure they pick the right RAID configuration for their needs right – FIRST TIME!

Skip Ahead? Use the links here to skip ahead to the Appropriate Test:

RAID 0, 10GbE Testing, QNAP TS-464 and WD Red Pro 22TB HDDs

RAID 5, 10GbE Testing, QNAP TS-464 and WD Red Pro 22TB HDDs

RAID 6, 10GbE Testing, QNAP TS-464 and WD Red Pro 22TB HDDs

Before we get started, if you are interested in emulating these tests for yourself, or are keen to achieve these results in your own setup and want to know the devices I used in these tests, you can use the links below to find each item on Amazon in your local region. Using these links will result in amazon sending a small % back to us here at NASCompares that goes directly back into our site and services, allowing us to continue making these articles, videos and more – Thanks in advance!

Hardware Used in today’s Tests

Note – If you would rather WATCH these tests in video form, you can watch the WD Red 22TB and QNAP TS-464 NAS Performance Tests here on the NASCompares YouTube Channel. Alternatively, you can watch my review of either the QNAP TS-464 NAS or WD Red Pro 22TB NAS Hard Drive below:

 QNAP TS-464 NAS Review WD Red Pro 22TB Review

QNAP TS-464 NAS & WD Red Pro 22TBs – The Test Setup and Hardware Used

These tests were conducted in a Windows 10 client machine environment over 3 days (factoring RAID rebuild times and cool downs) and all three RAID configurations (RAID 0, 5, 6) were conducted with four WD Red Pro series 22TB hard disks. The benchmark software used for these tests was Atto Disk Benchmark, as it provides a very wide range of test setups – as well as working much more smoothly with iSCSI targets/LUNs in windows and providing clearly information to display to the layman for this article. Additionally, given that just one of the WD 22TB hard drives can achieve more than 250MB/s throughput, I went ahead with a 10GbE, point-to-point connection between my PC and the NAS, using a QNAP 1st party 1 Port 10GbE card and the Sonnet Solo 10GbE Thunderbolt to 10GbE adapter. Here is a breakdown of the specific test setup components:

  • QNAP TS-464 4-Bay NAS with QTS 5

  • WD Red Pro 22TB NAS Hard Drives x4, RAID 0 or RAID 5 Configuration (dependingClick to view slideshow.
  • 20TB iSCSI LUN via the Default iSCSI Manager Target, connected to the Windows PC with the iSCSI initiator as a local appearing drive for Atto Disk Benchmark
Click to view slideshow.
  • Local PC Network Adapter using the Thunderbolt-to-10GbE adapter
Click to view slideshow.
  • Windows 10 Pro PC, Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-8750H CPU @ 2.20GHz 2.20 GHz, 32GB DDR4 2666Mhz Memory, Internal Samsung 970 Pro 1TB SSD

  • MTU / Jumbo Frames set to 9K on both the NAS and the Network Adapter, Direct Connection (LAN-to-LAN), no network switch
Click to view slideshow.

Before we go further though, we need something to measure against. Here is the default performance of a SINGLE WD Red Pro 22TB NAS Hard Drive, using the QNAP QTS Storage Manager Benchmark Tool:

As you can see, even on it’s own, a single WD Red Pro 22TB HDD can largely saturate even a single external 2.5GbE connection. So, at the very least, you are going to get 240-260MB/s with just the one drive. So, let’s get down to business! I performed a wide scope of tests, so let’s go through those results!

QNAP TS-464 NAS, RAID 0 10GbE Performance Tests

The first RAID we are testing in our WD Red Pro 22TB and QNAP TS-464 NAS setup is RAID 0. In a RAID 0 configuration, ALL of the available capacity of the drives you select is available BUT you have no redundancy (i.e no safety net if a drive fails) and in the event of one of your HDDs going bust, you almost certainly lose ALL of your data (this can be very marginally negated if you spend some time deciding on a spanning or stripe style RAID protocol). So, why do people choose RAID 0 if it has such a high cost in the event of drive failure? Well, there are the massive storage benefits of course, but there is the other big bonus that the NAS will be reading and writing ALL the drives at once, hugely increasing the maximum performance that can be achieved. Also, as RAID 0 has no redundancy and no CPU resources are being used to calculate parity (a blueprint of data that is used for data restoration) which further increases performance AND lowers overall system hardware use. Therefore I expect the performance of the WD Red Pro 22TB HDDs to be very good in a RAID 0 configuration over 10GbE.

ATTO DiskBenchmark 64MB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 803MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 837MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 256MB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 803MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 835MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 1GB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 814MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 835MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 4GB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 806MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 730MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 16GB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 803MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 805MB/s


QNAP TS-464 NAS, RAID 5 10GbE Performance Tests

Next, I wanted to test the most popular RAID configuration for 4-Bay NAS drives like the QNAP TS-464 – RAID 5. In this configuration, it pools the four 22TB WD Red Pro hard disks together, but thanks to a system of data being striped across the disks during writing (i.e. data is written across the disks in a 1, 2, 3, etc pattern continuously AND one disk on each stripe having parity data (a blueprint of the data written on the other disks in that particular stripe), it means that in the event of a drive dying, you can rebuild the data that was on the broken drive from the remaining data on the other disks and the availability parity data. This also means that in order to maintain a balance of combined storage and ensure space for parity data, a RAID 5 will result in 1 drive’s worth of data capacity being educated from the overall total. So, in the case of the TS-464 and four 22TB Hard Drives, you would get 66TB of available data (as 22TB of that is used for parity data provisioning). Additionally, although you are still reading AND writing from multiple disks at once, the calculation, creation and maintenance of parity data in a RAID 5 has a negative impact on the total performance, as the system is using more resources (CPU+Memory) in order to keep things running smoothly in your storage pool. Modern NAS systems have done an excellent job of choosing very capable CPUs and RAID 5 configurations in recent years have been substantially better in performance. However, a RAID 5 will still have a lower degree of performance to a comparable RAID 0 hardware setup. Here is how the RAID 5 on the WD Red Pro 22TBs and the QNAP TS-464 NAS performed:

ATTO DiskBenchmark 64MB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 800MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 779MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 256MB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 517MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 781MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 1GB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 535MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 781MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 4GB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 520MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 687MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 16GB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 525MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 724MB/s


QNAP TS-464 NAS, RAID 6 10GbE Performance Tests

Our final test of the QNAP TS-464 NAS was a configuration setup up of a RAID 6 on the four WD Red Pro 22TBs. Now, a RAID 6 is highly comparable to a RAID 5 (discussed above), but instead of 1 drive of failure protection (the redundancy/safety net), you have TWO drives of safety. You need at least four drives in order to setup a RAID 6, but most users who consider RAID 6 are using much, much larger bay configurations and you generally find RAID 6 in homes/businesses where the data on the drives is mission critical, priceless or utterly impossible to recreate (from company accounts to photos of your children growing up!). Now, alongside the expected drop in capacity being 2 drives lower (so in the case of this configuration of 4x 22TB HDDs, you have 44TB available to storage data), the system’s overhead in creating parity/blueprints of the current data in efforts to maintain that two disk redundancy/safety net is twice as much, so performance will decrease further. So, let’s see how the QNAP TS-464 and the WD Red Pro 22TBs faired in performance over 10GbE in a RAID 6 set up:

ATTO DiskBenchmark 64MB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 809MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 780MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 256MB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 399MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 781MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 1GB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 430MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 781MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 4GB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 444MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 625MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 16GB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 422MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 623MB/s


QNAP TS-464 NAS + WD Red 22TB RAID 6 Tests – Verdict & Conclusion

Overall, the performance that the QNAP TS-464 NAS and those 22TB WD Red Pro HDDs provided in each RAID configuration was pretty much what I would have expected. The Celeron CPU inside this NAS is a much more middle-of-the-road processor compared to more ‘file system’ and ‘general throughput-focused’ alternatives in the AMD-embedded Ryzen, Xeon or Atom that are found on other bulkier NAS systems, so it was always unlikely to saturate a full 10GbE connection with just four drives, even in a RAID 0 with an Intel Celeron processor. However, the RAID 5 configuration regularly hit the 600-700MB/s mark in this 4 disk RAID 5 configuration which, considering we are still talking about mechanical HDDs (even at 22TB and 265MB/s per drive) is pretty impressive! The RAID 6 performance clearly took the wind out of the sales of this 4-Bay though and unless you were using a larger 6-8 Bay configuration (such as the TS-664 or higher), this NAS hardware configuration struggled at the double parity level. Overall, the WD Red Pro 22TB hard drives perform exceptionally well and were consistent in their operation and the QNAP TS-464 NAS did exactly what it promised! If you are looking for a huge amount of capacity in a compact package, this potential 88TB 4-Bay desktop NAS combo is pretty incredible!

 

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Which Backup Method is Best? NAS vs Cloud vs Tape vs USB

23 septembre 2022 à 18:00

What is the Best Way to Backup Your Data Every Day?

I know it is not going to be shocking news when I say that Data is really, really important. That should not come as a staggering fact. If you found this article thanks to a rather perceptive google search, then clearly you think data is very important too. It is all too easy to rely on your data living on multiple machines in your office or home. Centralized backup is a very unappealing idea. For a start, it is expensive. You will spend hundreds, if not thousands of pounds on storage, then you find out that you need to have it in ANOTHER location too (as otherwise, it isn’t truly a backup) and then worse still it isn’t even being spent on making more space, but actually to duplicate your old data and not be used. You are spending all this money on what can be described as a remarkably large insurance policy. Worse still if you have all the machines in your home or office backing up to a device in that same location, almost all data safety and storage experts will scream to high heaven that this is still not enough. Sadly this is true, because not only do you put yourself at risk of complete critical loss in the event of fire or flooding, but also in the case of theft you end up having all your eggs in one basket and making the thieves lives much easier. So ultimate you have to stop thinking about this only in terms of how much this storage is going to cost. If you think like that, you will never move past stage one. No, you have to think about how much will this data cost you to LOSE. Your personal media (family, events, memories), your client’s data or perhaps your surveillance data. Take a moment and think how much it would cost your business right now if you lost your data – hundreds? Thousands? Close the business? The ideal backup solution should always be based on the cost of loss, not gain! Although a little trite, it is still a reliable rule of thumb to have a 3-2-1 backup solution operation that looks like this:

  1. Primary Data (Where data is initially created/collected, the PCs, the Macs, the Phones, etc)
  2. On-site Backup solution (where multiple devices are backup’ed up to internally, also more commonly referred to as the bare-metal backup)
  3. Off-site/different location Backup (where the copy of the on-site backup lives that is separate network and/or physical location. This can range from another NAS, to a cloud provider and even a USB drive)

Stages 2 and 3 should be encrypted in case they are stolen/entered, as well as feature login credentials and an admin system in the event of them being occupied/accessed illegally. Today I want to focus on the 2nd and 3rd stages of your backup routine and help you decide the best ways to spend your budget on the most effective safety net and recovery system for your needs.

Backup and Redundancy – DO NOT GET THEM MIXED UP!

Way, WAY too many NAS (network-attached storage) or DAS (direct-attached storage) owners think their data actually have a backup layer in place when they refer to their RAID configuration, their versioning or their snapshots. These are NOT backup methods and are actually designed primarily as a means of recovering your data in the event of an HDD/SSD dying, an accidentally deleted file or rolling a file back to a previous revision. Think of RAID/Snapshots/Versioning as ‘safety nets’, The only work from INSIDE the infrastructure NOT outside of it. If the NAS server or RAID enabled DAS box does, then there is a very high chance that your data cannot be recovered via these methods (not impossible, just touch and certainly not foolproof). Below is a video that breaks down a number of different Backup and Redundancy methods inside a single NAS system:

How Expensive is a 2-Stage Backup and Do I need it?

The cost of a 2-stage backup (i.e having 2 backups of your data) operation can be measured by the amount of data you/your company produces on a daily basis. Additionally, depending on your commitment to holding onto your data (so, for business, you might have a 6 year or 12-month retention policy) there are ways to make economies in between the stages. However, whether you are a home user of a business user, there are few instances where a double-layered backup is not ideal. Let’s look at this from a business and home user point of view:

Why Business and Enterprise users need an Extensive Data Backup Plan

Example. Your company has 10 employees. Each has their own workstation and they contact clients on a daily basis to drum up new sales, fulfil existing quotes and maintain a customer relationship manager (CRM). You have both #1 AND #2 stage backups (so local PCs and A NAS in-house maybe) covered. Plus you have business insurance in case of a fire or flood. One morning you arrive to find your office has been flooded/burnt/burgled/struck by lightning and everything is fried. At first, you think, lucky we have insurance. They will pay up for whole new office equipment, PCs and your server. However, what about all that customer data? Not only can the insurance company not replace it but they will not pay its consequential value (with VERY few insurance policies covering data recovery services). So now you have to start from square 1. Plus now you also have a bundle of rather angry customers from the previous days and weeks whose requirements go unfulfilled. This coupled with starting your business network from scratch, employees salaries continuing as normal and several IT guys (or 1 guy working for days) setting everything up from scratch again (this WILL be the case from fire, flood or theft) could easily KILL a company. Now, in that context, isn’t a few thousand put towards an off-site #3 Backup so bad? Thought not.

Why Home and Private users need an Extensive Data Backup Plan Too

Ok, so a home user has a smaller ecosystem to maintain and now the mission-critical data and the life or death nature of your information is less so. Or is it? Example #2. What about all those important house documents you’ve scanned? Those TV shows and movies you bought on a one time download? What about your wedding picture or those of your children growing up? Those videos of your friends and relatives that are no longer with us? Not to be bleak, but it is often the case that although much of a person’s data is not of huge financial value, it is still utterly and completely irreplaceable in the literal sense.

Likewise, if your many devices (phones, computers, hard drives) get corrupted, hacked with malware/ransomware or simply broken, don’t you want the peace of mind of knowing that there is always a backup of EVERYTHING? If you are copying the data of all your devices to a large hard drive enclosure in your home, this is NOT a perfect backup. It just protects you from the loss of one or more of your mobile/individual devices. Additionally, the minute you start deleting files on your phone/laptop to ‘make some space because it is already backed up on the NAS‘, your NAS is not a backup, it is the single repository for that data!  So, as you can see, the need for a reliable true backup is paramount regardless of whether you are a home user or business user. However accepting that you need a backup is not enough, you need to know what to consider when choosing the right backup. Home users and their data volume/frequency can always consider USB backups of course, which can be good but only upto the time that the last backup took place AND on the assumption that the USB drive is stored offsite periodically.

What are the factors I need to take into account when considering my Backup Solution?

Choosing the best full backup for your data can be a little difficult. With so many variables ranging from cost to size to speed and more, it can be easy to go around in circles and still end up choosing nothing. In almost all cases, the deciding factor is cost. However, this is closely followed by speed. Having a backup is all well and good, but if it takes too long to finish, it can often be slower than the speed at which you create data and create a bottleneck. Likewise, if you choose an unsuitable connection of choice between your primary backup storage and/or off-site 2nd backup storage, then they may communicate inefficiently. Below are the main overheads to consider when choosing your backup.

Distance & Speed – How far is the 2nd backup going to be from the primary backup and/or primary data source? Unless you are considering fibre cabling between different physical sites, you are going to be limited by your upload/download speed and if your network is busy with multiple users, then you will need to provision priority of service to these backup connections, or else risk it affecting day to day operation (particularly VoIP connections – a growing necessity in 2022 with shifting patterns in the way we are working during/ost pandemic). The local connections between your client devices in-house and the primary backup may well only be using an internet network/LAN to communicate, but that can still become oversaturated. So be sure to provision switches where appropriate too (we will touch on 10GbE later)

Power (Watts etc) – The power of the hardware inside the primary (bare-metal) data storage device, secondary backup target and (depending on your setup) even the power of your client hardware in house is also an important factor to take into consideration when scaling and provisioning an appropriate backup strategy. Critical power failure (i.e a power cut) in one or more of these locations can not only result in some data not being backed up, but more importantly can compromise the backups themselves, with some systems suffering critical hardware failure and SSD/HDD damage in the process. It is HIGHLY recommended for users who are considering a private server for their data have it connected to the mains power via a USB device, in order to allow the system to still operate in the event of power failure AND shut itself down safely.

Physical Media – The server of choice for your primary backup is only half of the battle. The media that you are storing the data too can make a huge impact too. Many have their own maximum speed or capacity, so even with a super-fast enclosure and/or connection, you will be bottlenecked by the drives themselves. All media types e.g. HDD, SSD or Tape have their own maximum performance and some are lower than the connection maximum and some are faster and therefore end up creating a limited speed inadvertently. This can be negated in a number of ways. These range from the use of RAID (redundant array of independent disks) that combines media into single storage pools that benefit from redundancy (i.e a safety net if one drive dies) and/or increases in performance. Additionally, you can look at SSD caching, a service that is particularly popular in private NAS servers released after around 2018 and continues to be included in most systems. SSD caching allows the system to have one of more SSDs installed and then utilize the increased performance they offer to benefit write actions (i.e you write data onto the SSDs first and then the NAS moves it over to the slower HDDs afterwards) and/or read actions (where the most frequently accessed files are cloned onto the SSDs and it speeds up their access to client devices) though this is less useful for backups, it is still a useful option.

The Media connection internally – As mentioned, the SATA port on most commercial HDD/SSD has a maximum of 6 gigabits (Gbs) in SATA III – SAS at 12 Gigabits. All of these are internal and are maximum bandwidths available to each media drive installed in each bay. However, realistically, most typical Hard Drives max out at 272MB/s at the very top end (and even then, this is using enterprise-grade HDDs) and most conventional 2.5″ SSDs (with the exception of U.2 and U.3) max out at about 550MB/s). So you are going to need several of these drives inside your primary backup system in a decent RAID configuration to facilitate performance AND redundancy (like a RAID 5 or RAID 5). For your external/2nd backup target, a lot of enterprise users take advance of cold storage such as tape drive media. Designed to be used for data that needs to be held for insurance/archive for years and years, the current highest generation of tape architecture is is LTO-9 = 400MB/s in uncompressed/RAW form and 1000MB/s in compressed, with storage capacities per tape hitting 45 Terabytes! However, a full backup would take (at best, so with everything at full!) over 12 hours to transfer. Additionally, tape backup is fantastically expensive and therefore largely enterprise only as an option.

The external connection – Lastly and possibly the most overlooked part, is the communication between your primary client devices to send data, the primary backup data and the secondary backup. Not just the speed, but the resilience and future-proofing. You need to consider what connection you are going to use today, tomorrow and years from now. The last thing you want is to saddle yourself with a connection now and later when you upgrade your primary hardware on individual clients or locations, end up with a device you cannot access or use with an unchangeable bottleneck. Then your data just becomes a chore to access at best and potentially days or weeks or time to restore. Popular connections and their speed between host and client devices are:

Network Backups (backups that share a LAN or vLANs in a greater network)

  • 1GBe LAN/Ethernet = 1Gbit/s, or 100-109MB/s
  • 2.5GbE LAN/Ethernet = 2.5Gbit/s, or 250-270MB/s
  • 5GbE LAN/Ethernet = 5Gbit/s, or 500-545MB/s
  • 10GbE LAN/Ethernet = 10Gbit/s, or 1000-1024MB/s

USB and local Backups directly connected and stored offsite

  • USB 3.0 (3.2 Gen 1) = 5 Gbit/s
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2= 10 Gbit/s
  • USB 3.2×2 = 20 Gbit/s
  • Thunderbolt 3 & Thunderbolt 4 = 40 Gbit/s

Fast Local Backups or Direct Connections over large distances

  • Fibrechannel / FC – 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and 128 gigabit per second rates depending to start
  • Tape Based backups, such as LTO 7,8,9 – 300/360/400MB/s uncompressed and 750/900/1000MB/s compressed
  • Cloud storage – dependant on connection. Additionally, factors such as upload and download speeds, fair usage policies and more affect the performance. If you are fortunate to have a 1 Gigabit internet connection, that means around 100MB/s for download speeds and a fraction of that for upload speeds

So, as you can see, there are many choices out there for a means of sending backup between the 1st, 2nd and 3rd parts of your backup environment.

What is the Difference in Speed and Cost between different Backup Solutions?

And so to the meat of the subject. Different solutions cost money and in the interests of SPEED, below i have detailed numerous solutions that will provide a backup solution of upto 10TB of storage. All Costs and speeds are based on a solution that is an acceptable distance away for maximum efficiency. Perfect speed results were provided with http://www.calctool.org/ , however, it is worth noting that these are ‘perfect situation’ based and it would be tough to see this maximum threshold. you will comfortably see around 10-20% below this, but that is fine. Finally, it is always worth remembering that the speeds mentioned below are based on an initial 10 Terabyte backup. After that, there is the likely possibility that future backups will be much more granular (this can also be referred to as differential backups, where only the changed files are backed up each time afterwards). But some users may wish to take advantage of time managed backups, where a full backup per day is kept, for X number of days (when eventually the newest backup will overwrite the oldest on rotation).

ALSO IMPORTANT – In all examples where a 4TB SSD (which average around £350-400 over SATA) is mentioned, you can use a 4TB HDDs at around £75-100 (brand depending) to save a considerable sum – but you will effective quadruple or more the time the initial backups will take. Likewise, future incremental backups will be significantly reduced also.  In examples where the SSD would have been substantially bottlenecked by a connection, I have used HDD as you will not need to spend the extra.

The Best Value 1/2.5GbE based Backup Solution for 10TB of data

For a solid LAN based backup (with optional internet access as needed for off-site work) I would recommend the Synology DS220+ 2 Bay Pentium NAS at around £250. Alongside this, you will need a smart Switch (to take advantage of LAG and 2GbE, 2x 10TB HDD at £230 each as you will not see any speed difference on a network connection with SSD (RAID 1). This will cost around just under £800. Alternatively, there have been other improvements in the base level ethernet connectivity in 2-4 Bay NAS solutions in the last few years, with 2.5GbE or even 5GbE available on the likes of the QNAP TS-x53D, TS-x73A or Asustor Lockerstor 2/4 series. These solutions arrive at only a fraction more and although they can possibly add another £100-200 to the price tag, this can be offset by time saved in the backup operations AND by purchasing a 4-Bay NAS over a 2-Bay and leveraging the price vs the redundancy vs the capacity (eg instead of 2x 10TB in RAID 1, purchasing 4x 3TB and getting better performance and an extra 2TB in RAID 5).

What do CalcTool.org have to say about 1GBe

CalcTool.org

Over 1 Gigabit per second, in a perfect scenario – just over 20 hours. Realistically closer to 25 or 30 hours. SO the first few backups should be conducted over the weekend but all future ‘difference only’ backups should be fin at 12-hour intervals without harming the bandwidth too much, Likewise, you can scale this down as you utilize link aggregation (also known as port trunking, when ports are combined) and/or 2.5GbE/5GbE to reduce this figure down to 8 hours or just 4 hours respectively.

The Best Value 10GBe Network-Based Solution for 10TB of Data

In order to create the perfect cost-effective yet powerful 10GBe Network-based backup solution (so 10x faster than normal LAN) I would recommend the QNAP TS-431X3 with 10GBe  (at around £450) with SFP+ Connection and  SFP+ Cables with transceivers attached (Cable price dependant on length and transceivers). Additionally, you will need a 10GBe switch (at least £150 realistically), and for MAXIMUM speed 4x 4TB Seagate Ironwolf 125 SSD (at £450 per drive) in a RAID 5 which slows things a pinch but gives you the safety of 1 drive worth of redundancy. Of course, you can downgrade to Seagate Ironwolf 4TB Hard drives (at £85 per drive) and save over £1500, but you will see a noticeable dip in performance of around 200-400MB/s (NAS dependant). So the choice is yours. Lastly, you will need a 10GBe interface on the machine(s) you are backing up from in order to maintain the 10GBe throughput (or alternatively just have the NAS on a 10GbE connection and the clients all on 1GbE with bandwidth being shared as appropriate). In total this will cost around £2400+ for the SSD based solution and just £900-1000 for the HDD solution. None of this is set in stone, of course, you can scale things in a number of ways, using bigger NAS solutions (i.e. more bays) or using multiple 10GbE connections in LAG/Trunked connections.

What do CalcTool.org have to say about 10GBe

CalcTool.org

The performance will largely be dictated by the distance of the backups, choice of HDD or SSD and types of files. However, over 10 Gigabit per second, in a perfect scenario – just over 2 hours. However this is a little optimistic and in practice, it will realistically weigh in closer to 3+ hours, as the complexity of the files (thousand so smaller emails and documents or fewer BIG media files, everyone is different). This of course is for the first few backups of a FULL 10 Terabytes of data. Later with incremental and ‘difference only’ backups, you will see times slashed heavily for the better.

The Cost of Thunderbolt 1, 2 or 3 Backup Solutions for 10TB of data

Fast becoming a connection of choice for photo and video editors in both the Mac and Windows community, Thunderbolt is the no-fuss connection that promises speed, without the technical nonsense. Much like before you can choose to go with SSD drives for supreme speed (at a hefty price tag) or HDD if you want to make economies. Below are the options best suited for a Thunderbolt 1 (although still legacy, still is in use), Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3 Backups:

  • TB 1 DAS, 4-Bay, Cable, 4x 4TB SSD, RAID 5 enabled = £3000+ —- 2Hours + Backup time with SSD population / 3.5+ Hour for HDD Population
  • TB 2 DAS, 4-Bay, Cable, 4x 4TB SSD, RAID 5 enabled = £3500+ —-  1 Hour + Backup time with SSD population / 2-3+ Hour for HDD Population
  • TB 3 DAS, 4-Bay, Cable, 4x 4TB SSD, RAID 5 enabled = £4500+ —- 30-45min + Backup time with SSD population / 1.5 Hour for HDD Population

What do CalcTool.org have to say about Thunderbolt 1, 2 and 3

CalcTool.orgThunderbolt does not lose speed over distance, however, most conventional cables you can buy max out around 5 metres and the ones included with the above enclosures arrive at 1-1.8m. In a real-world scenario you can realistically double this length of time listed above in the initial backups. However, it will MASSIVELY improve with subsequent backups. With the exception of a few, most Thunderbolt backups arrive with only Thunderbolt ports, so in order to maintain the speed levels of this backup, you need to either ensure that it is connected to your centralised depositary via Thunderbolt, or if it’s backing up multiple devices, that they are using a good networking device, as Thunderbolt Direct attached storage only allows a single connected device at any one time.

The Price, Speed & Suitability LTO-7, LTO-8 and LTO-9 Tape Backup 10TB Solutions

In the case of LTO / tapes, this kind of storage for 10TB can be incredibly inefficient for an extra layer of storage. You can purchase much smaller 1 and 2 tape frames/storage devices, but for what you are paying and the overall accessibility for all machines involved, it isn’t great. If you were regularly backing up 5x or 10x this amount of storage, it would be a different story. Internal operations can be upto 1000MB/s with compressed data and 400MB for raw uncompressed data. SO unless you are synchronizing between two LTO tape loading machines, you will almost certainly use uncompressed. However these are internal operations and as we are discussing backing up from existing systems to a storage device, we have to focus on the external connection. Most likely 10GBe network or 12GB/s SAS will be the means of backing up to your tape device. But Cost is hard to pin – easily £2000-3000 and upwards, over at least two tapes (capacity differed at each LTO generation) etc. Most likely around over  1-3 hours transfer time, but hugely impractical at this scale and most likely much higher in practice. Definite a good option for those at the enterprise tier, but anything less will be squandering their budgets significant with a weak ROI.

The Best Value USB 3.2 Gen 2 Backup Solution for 10TB of data

The latest available version of USB, also known as USB 3.1 Gen 2, is easily the cheapest way to store a 10TB backup at a very respectable 10 Gb/s (comparable to Thunderbolt 1) speed. You will need to ensure that the connected device(s) that you are backing up too/from use the newer USB 3.1 Gen 2 port to ensure you do not get bottlenecked at 5 Gb/s, but this Highpoint 6124V RAID 5 enabled USB 2 Gen 2 DAS enclosure arrives at £350+ and if populated with either 4x 4TB SSD or 4x HDD (same price difference as before), RAID 5 enabled = £2100+ for an SSD Based solution and just £700+ for a HDD based version

What do CalcTool.org have to say about USB 3.1 Gen 2?

CalcTool.orgWith the best drives available you will have this 10TB localized backup over USB 3.1 Gen 2 finished in just over 2 hours. However taking system overheads into consideration, as well as the RAID 5 into account (something you could counter with a RAID 10 and 4x 6TB HDD perhaps) you are looking at between 2.5 and 3.5 hours completion. Additionally, a number of NAS Drive vendors have started implementing USB 3.2 Gen 2 in their systems, which means that a 10Gb/s USB DAS solution can be used as a means of creating a secondary backup by connecting it with your primary backup and running one of the many free backup/sync tools that NAS systems include with your purchase. Just remember that in order for this to be a truly safe 2nd tier backup, it cannot constantly reside in the same location as the primary backup.

Is Cloud Suitable as a 10TB Backup solution?

You may wonder why I have not suggested the cloud as a regular backup yet. It is certainly appealing. No parts are needed, just a healthy internet connection. You already have all the hardware you will need to establish this kind of synchronised backup – this should be by far the cheapest and easiest backup, right? Well yes and no. It IS cheap – in the short-term. Even if you take into account that your Business internet connection costs, from as little as £10 to £50 a month, reaching much higher once you consider fiber channelling, it is still pretty attractive. However you have to consider the time this backup will take and how it will affect the bandwidth throughout your business – otherwise, you will need to be conducted them overnight due to limit consumption. Some brands, such as Synology with their C2 platform, have rolled in an additional cloud service alongside their bare-metal solution. This is intended to be used as an alternative means of accessing an existing storage area that is synchronized with your NAS/local solution remotely (as well as benefiting from significantly easier remote access to data). NAS+Cloud can serve as a great 2-3/double backup option, as well as ensuring that your backups are in very different physical locations. Lastly, with intelligent caching and background synchronization between the NAS-THE CLOUD-CLIENT HARDWARE happening, a lot of the actual backing up can be hugely incremental and lessen the impact on the end-user, whether they are local to the NAS or remotely communicating with the C2 cloud (or 3rd party clouds such as Google Drive and Dropbox that are synced with the NAS). But what about the cloud on its own, not used in tandem with a NAS/Private server?

The first thing to factor in is the data being sent TO the cloud. Remember we are talking about Uploads, not downloads (downloads and a backup should only be considered during recovery, not day to day operations). Most internet services advertise incredible download speeds, but backups are almost exclusively upload based and upload speeds are normally a 10th or less than advertised download speeds. lastly, we can talk about costs. As although the initial costs are much less, let’s go for £50 a month for a dedicated high upload speed connection privately (closer to £500 for a business line) for your off-site backup. That is £600 a year. In 5 years, that is £3,000 (a cost that is the same or higher than most of the solutions discussed previously). The real kicker is that after those 5 years, you either have to continue paying to maintain this backup OR buy a suitable local storage drive to download it too – something you could have had ALREADY by going for the other solutions and thereby saving you thousands of pounds more.

I took the trouble of using the awesome tool at http://www.thecloudcalculator.com/ and if you have a 30Mbps upload speed (fairly respectable and the entry point outside of central city hubs). backing up 10TB initially would take  33 Days, 22 Hours, and 27 Minutes, 11 Seconds

That is horrendously long and you cannot just assume this is a one-off and negotiable with incremental backups and difference-only changes. You need a reliable and adaptive backup solution – not one that will do the job as long as you work within its limits. If you want to entertain the idea of a cloud-based backup of 10TB on a regular basis, we have to look into fiber and at least 2Gbps (so 2000 Megabits) to get to 12 hours for an overnight full backup (non-incremental). This is going to cost a small fortune and unless you intend to take advantage of this speed during the day-time, is a huge outlay for something that is not hugely accessible or reliable.

So, those are your options. Remember you are not limited to just ONE option and each of these solutions can be used in combinations, depending on your budget, physical environment, internet speeds or volume of client devices. In summary:

NAS BACKUPS USB DAS BACKUPS THUNDERBOLT BACKUPS TAPE BACKUPS CLOUD BACKUPS
Price (more ★ = Higher Price) ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★
Value (more ★ = more for your money) ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★
Scalability (more ★ = can grow more) ★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★
Complexity (more ★ = more complex) ★★★★★ ★★★★
Speed (more ★ = faster) ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★
User/Usage Type Home & Business Home and Local Home and Local Enterprise Remote
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We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7]     Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

QNAP QTS 5.0.1 est disponible en version finale !

19 septembre 2022 à 07:00
Par : EVOTk
QNAP QTS 5.0.1Presque quatre mois après la sortie de la première Beta de QTS 5.0.1, voici enfin la version finale. Cette version se concentre principalement sur la sécurisation du système pour NAS. Sa numérotation pourrait faire croire qu’il s’agit d’une version mineure. Cependant, comme vous allez le constater un peu plus loin, cette version est très importante. Pensez à faire la mise à jour de votre boîtier !!! QNAP QTS 5.0.1 QTS 5.0.1 apporte son lot d’améliorations, plusieurs corrections, mais aussi quelques […]

New QNAP TVS-h474, TVS-h674 and TVS-h874 POWERHOUSE NAS Revealed

9 septembre 2022 à 18:00

The QNAP TVS-h474, TVS-h674 and TVS-h874 NAS – THINGS JUST GOT SERIOUS!

If you have been holding out for the perfect desktop NAS in 2022/2023 and avoiding the temptations of older systems on sale or recent releases that didn’t quite tick the right boxes for you –  then you might have done EXACTLY the right thing now that the QNAP TS-hx74 series has been revealed!  I have been following NAS for quite a few years and although I personally find the subject very interesting, I appreciate that many others see NAS drives are functional ‘setup-and-forget’ devices that you might need to research every 5-7 years when you need to upgrade (much like when you buy a new TV and have to suddenly understand what’s new/futureproof). However, occasionally, a solution comes along that genuinely changes things dramatically and much like it’s predecessor QNAP TVS-x72XT series back in 2018, the new QNAP TVS-h474, TVS-h674 and TVS-h874 desktop NAS systems are genuinely insane in the amount of future-proofing they bring to the table! Alongside being the first commercial NAS systems to introduce the use of Intel 12th Core processors (i9, i7, i5, i3 and Pentium), these are the amount the first range of PCIe 4×4 M.2 NVMe SSD and PCIe Gen 4 x16 upgradable NAS drives in the world right now. Add ZFS Support, GPU Card upgradability, up to 128GB of DDR4 ECC memory and 2.5/10GbE and you are looking at an insanely capable range of systems coming from QNAP here. Let’s discuss EVERYTHING we know about the TVS-hX74 NAS series and what makes them so OP in 2022/2023.

The QNAP TVS-hx74 NAS Series Hardware

As previously mentioned, the QNAP TVS-h474, TVS-h674 and TVS-h874 are the follow-ups to the popular TVS-472XT, TVS-672XT and TVS-872XT released in the closing stages of 2018. In the 4 years since their initial release, that thunderbolt 3 product series ended up being diversified into a standalone 10GbE version and a 5GbE version – all of which using 2/4/6 Core, 8th Gen Intel Core processors and PCIe 3 architecture. The newer 4, 6 and 8-Bay x74 series have pretty much ramped up every element of their predecessor’s architecture (even the USB ports) and although the CPU is the main reason for this tremendous upscaling of the result of the hardware architecture, you do still get some fantastic hardware under the bonnet generally. That said, it’s worth highlighting that the scaling of the hardware between each capacity tier (and even sub-versions at each tier) means that depending on which system in the series you choose, some hardware options might not be available. The TVS-h874-64GB 8-Bay version is the full Intel i9 16 Core version with full PCIe4 support and 10GbE, whereas the most affordable tier is the TVS-h474-8G 4-Bay with PCIe 3/4 architecture, a Dual Core Pentium Gold and 2.5GbE. Let’s quickly compare the hardware architecture of the three NAS systems and their sub-versions:

Feature TVS-h474 TVS-h674 TVS-h874
Front
# of SATA Bays 4x SATA 6x SATA 8x SATA
M.2 NVMe Bays 2x M.2 (Gen 3×2) 2x M.2 (Gen 4×4) 2x M.2 (Gen 4×4)
CPU Intel Pentium Gold G7400 Intel i5 12th Gen i5-12400

Intel i3 12th Gen i7-12100

Intel i9 12th Gen i9-12900

Intel i7 12th Gen i7-12700

Intel i5 12th Gen i7-12400

Cores 2-Core / 4 Thread i5 6 Core / 12 Thread

i3 4 Core / 8 Thread

i9 16 Core / 24 Thread

i7 12 Core / 20 Thread

i5 6 Core / 12 Thread

CPU Speed 3.7 Ghz i5 Max 4.4Ghz

i3 Max 4.3Ghz

i9 Max 5.1Ghz

i7 Max 4.9Ghz

i5 Max 4.4Ghz

Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 710 Intel UHD Graphics 770

Intel UHD Graphics 730

Intel UHD Graphics 770
Memory 8GB Default 16/32GB 32/64GB
Memory Max 128GB SODIMM DDR4 (2 Slot) 128GB SODIMM DDR4 (2 Slot) 128GB SODIMM DDR4 (2 Slot)
PCIe Slots 2x PCIe (Gen 4×16, Gen 3×2) i5 / i3 = 2x PCIe (Gen 4×16, Gen 4×4) I9 / i7 / i5 = 2x PCIe (Gen 4×16, Gen 4×4)
Rear
Network 2x 2.5GbE 2x 2.5GbE 2x 2.5GbE

2x 10GbE (Intel i9 Only)

HDMI 1x HDMI 1.4b (1080p x 60FPS, 4K 30FPS) 1x HDMI 1.4b (1080p x 60FPS, 4K 30FPS) 1x HDMI 1.4b (1080p x 60FPS, 4K 30FPS)
USB 3x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb, A+C) 3x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb, A+C) 3x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb, A+C)
Fans 1x System, 1x Core, 1x PSU 2x System, 1x Core, 1x PSU 2x System, 1x Core, 1x PSU
Expansions 2x 4/6/8//12/16 Bay 2x 4/6/8//12/16 Bay 2x 4/6/8//12/16 Bay
Size 188.2 × 199.3 × 279.6 mm 188.2 × 264.3 × 279.6 mm 188.2 × 329.3 × 279.6 mm
PSU 250W 250W 350W
Warranty 2 years (ext to 5yr) 2 years (ext to 5yr) 2 years (ext to 5yr)
Check Online Availability CHECK CHECK CHECK

So, let’s dig a little deeper into those CPUs.  With QNAP slowly revealing more and more PCIe 4 upgrade and expansion cards (such as the 2x10GbE+2xPCIe4 NVMe Combo card QM2-2P410G2T and the Dual Port 100GbE QXG-100G2SF-CX6), the necessity for their business class and desktop enterprise solutions to utilize these cards is going to be tremendously important. However, PCIe 4 bandwidth is what makes these cards possible, as a single PCIe4 lane provides approx 2,000MB/s compared with the 1000MB/s of PCIe3 – even when you add x4 or x16 lane multipliers that form the architecture of PCI slots, that still means a difference of 16GB vs 32GB of potential bandwidth. The barrier for many though is that PCIe4, although established in many motherboards and accessories, is not quite as widely supported in server-class CPUs till around 2021 onwards. This (alongside a hugely powerful onboard embedded graphics component) is what continues to push QNAP to utilize the Intel Core family of CPUs in this product tier over the years. With CPUBenchmark scoring for these CPUs ranging from 6,600+ to 36,000+, you have some series Xeon/EPYC challenging processors here and when you consider these are DESKTOP solutions, not rackmount, that is especially impressive!

Comparing the full range of five early 2022 released 12th Gen Intel Core processors available, it becomes abundantly clear that the 8-Bay system and it’s options for the i5, i7 and i9 are the most powerful option, scaled according to it’s larger capacity for storage and throughput (with a higher equipped 350W PSU compared with the 250W in the 4/6-bay tiers). Interestingly, with the exception of the Intel Pentium Gold processor, the rest of the processor family has a hugely impressive 4-5Ghz turbo/burst performance level available per core and the 6-16 Core architecture (and upto 24 threads) means that everything from high-performance database creation, heavy Virtual Machine deployment, video editing and large scale surveillance is going to be an absolute doddle!

Next up, we need to discuss the SSD support on the TVS-hX74, as this is another excellent advantage to the support of PCIe 4. In the last 2 years or so, we have seen huge commercial availability of PCIe 4 x4 m.2 NVMe SSDs in the market and with it, drive media that can hit over 7,000MB/s (7GB/s) throughput! All of the TVS-hx74 NAS systems have 2X m.2 NVMe SSD slots internally (though the TVS-h474 is PCIe Gen 3, the 6 and 8-Bays are PCIe 4×4), which means that you have the option to either use the M.2 bays for SSD caching, RAW storage pools of RAID enabled PCIe4 SSD media or a combination of the two with QTier (currently not supported in the ZFS system QuTS, but is available in EXT4 QTS) which combines them into 1 mixed media storage pool that intelligently movs files between the HDDs and SSDs to where they are most appropriate for access (i.e more frequently accessed media is moved to the SSDs so it further speeds up access for the end user).

PCIe 4 Support really is the main thing that sets this NAS family apart from the QNAP NAS solutions released in recent years. Alongside the increased PCI lanes made available the system/chipset so you can add more ports, memory and hardware in general, it also affords higher bandwidth to them that you would normally expect. Most 2021/2022 generation desktop NAS are PCIe Gen 3, and the bulk of 2020 and earlier NAS are PCIe 2. Typically, only Business class and rackmount solutions would prove exceptions to the rule. Below is how each PCIe tier compares in availability, transfer speeds and sclaed multiplication:

The rest of the system architecture is quite comparable to the rest of desktop NAS systems. The QNAP TVS-h474, TVS-h674 and TVS-h874 arrive with 2x PCIe upgrade slots (one at x4 and the other a CPU direct x16), a 4 fan architecture (1x for PSU, 2x for storage and 1x for the CPU+Memory+SSD+Network controller), HDMI and 3x USB. The HDMI is a little disappointing, arriving at HDMI 1.4b architecture, so that means 1080p at 60FPS but 4K at 30FPS (though internet/network streamed media is unaffected and this CPU can handle 8K). The USB Ports are USB 3.2 Gen 2, so that means the connection of 10Gb/s storage and peripherals, as well as KVM support with the HDMI port and allowing 2x expansion devices from QNAP that arrive in x2/x4/6/8//12/16 Bay scaled configurations – all of which support the latest generation of 22TB WD/Seagate hard drives.

The QNAP TVS-hx74 NAS Series Software

Although already touched on above, it is worth reiterating that the QNAP TVS-hX74 arrive with a choice of the QNAP QTS EXT4 File system software/GUI AND the option to choose the ZFS based QuTS Hero software/GUI at no additional cost. The software found with the ANY of the TVS-h474, TVS-h674 and TVS-h874 can be broken down into 2 sections. namely those of the advantages that QNAP QTS already bring to a business user, and then the widespread system and storage advantages that QTS hero and ZFS bring as well. For those unfamiliar with the QNAP operating system, it arrives with hundreds of free applications, can be accessed from a web browser or desktop client, arrives with many, many apps for mobile on IOS and Android and is definitely in the top two operating systems you can get for network-attached storage devices. Often compared with their biggest rival Synology NAS and DSM, QNAP QTS GUI is designed in a way that will definitely appeal more to Android and Windows users, giving you everything you will need from a network-attached storage device in 2022/2023 and arrives with constant updates for added features and security. To learn more about the EXT4 QTS 5 platform, you can watch my full review below:

QNAP File Management Highlights

  • File Station – File Browsing and Management Tool
  • QSirch -Intelligent and Fast System-wide search tool
  • QFiling – Smart and customizable long term storage and archive tool
  • SSD Caching Monitor and Advisor – Allowing you to scale your SSD cache as needed, or get recommendations on how much you need
  • QTier – The QNP intelligent, multi-layer tiering system that works to optimize your SSD and caching configuration
  • Microsoft Active Directory– Support and cross-platform control of Active Directory processes
  • Access-Anywhere with myQNAPcloud – Safe and secure remote access over the internet to your storage systems, apps or just file storage
  • Qsync for multiple hardware environment backups and Sync – Client applications that can be installed on multiple 3rdparty devices and create a completely customizable and scaled backup network between your devices
  • QuDeDupe / Deduplication tools – Allowing you to conduct backups between multiple devices and directories, but allows same-data in numerous locations to be only held once (but recorded in all locations) to allow smaller backups and lesser bandwidth consumption. Once again, remember that you will need to upgrade to 16GB of memory in order to take advantage of these more advanced ZFS utilities in practice.

Then you have KEY applications that are used on the QNAP NAS system that moves into tailored data access and use, such as:

  • Hybrid Backup Sync 3 – Allows you to Backup and Sync with Amazon Glacier, Amazon S3, Azure Storage, Google Cloud Storage, HKT Object Storage, OpenStack Swift, WebDAV, Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Drive, Amazon S3, BackBlaze B2, Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, HiDrive, hubiC, OneDrive, OneDrive For Business, ShareFile and Yandex Disk. As well as backup to another NAS over real-time remote replication (RTRR) and USB connected media. All scheduled and all accessible via a single app user interface.
  • vJBOD and Hybrid Mount – Gives you the ability to mount cloud storage as a visible drive within the NAS (and the apps access it as if it was local) or mount a % of space from your NAS onto another as a virtual chunk of space to use
  • Multimedia Console – one portal access point to manage media access, searching, indexing and transcoding on your NAS device.
  • Photo, Video and Music Station – Multiple file type tailored applications to access data in the best possible way that is suited to their output – along with smart searching, playlists and sharing
  • Virtualization Station – Used to create virtual computers that can be accessed anywhere over the network/internet with the correct credentials. Supporting Windows, Linux, Android and more. You can import an existing VM image to the NAS, or you can even download Linux and Windows VMs directly to the NAS for trials for free
  • Container Station – much like the VM app, Container station lets you mount and access smaller virtual tools and GUIs, then access them over the network or internet.
  • Linux Station – Handy application to deploy multiple Linux based Ubuntu VMs from the NAS, all easily and within a few clicks
  • QVR Pro and Surveillance Station – Surveillance applications that allow you to connect multiple IP cameras and IP speaks to your network and manage them with the applications. Arriving with 4 camera licenses for Surveillance Station and 8 licenses for QVR Pro (the better one IMO), QNAP is constantly updating this enterprise-level surveillance application – adding newer security hardware and software tools for 2020 (see QVR Face and QVR Door)
  • QuMagie – Facial and Thing recognition application to help you retrieve, tag and catalogue photos by its use of AI to actually ‘view’ all your years of photos and let you search by the contents of them, not the file names.
  • Download Station – A download management tool that can handle HTTP, BT, FTP and NZB files in bulk to be downloaded to your NAS drive and keep safe. As well as keeping an eye on your RSS feeds and keeping your podcast downloads automatically updated with every episode
  • Malware Removers and Security Councillor – Along with Anti Virus software trials on the app centre, QNAP also provide numerous anti-intrusion tools and even a whole app interface to monitor in/outgoing transmissions with your NAS. It can make recommendations to beef up your security and keep you safe

Above are a few of my software overviews that cover the general GUI and system of QuTS Hero on the TS-h886, as well as RAID rebuild and storage management overviews of the system to give you some idea of what the TS-x73A range can and cannot do:

Space Saving Efficiency – Inline data deduplication, compression, and compaction reduce file size to conserve storage capacity and optimize performance.

Intelligent Memory Cache – Main memory read cache (L1 ARC), SSD second-level read cache (L2 ARC), and ZFS Intent Log (ZIL) for synchronous transactions with power fail protection are simultaneously supported to boost performance and security

RAID Z – Multiple RAID levels allow flexible capacity utilization. RAID Triple Parity and Triple Mirror deliver higher levels of data protection.

App Center – Apps for backup/sync, virtual machines/containers, content management, productivity, and more features can be used to expand the application potential of these NAS

All in all, the fact that the TVS-h474, TVS-h674 and TVS-h874 arrive with the option of the ZFS or EXT4 versions of the QNAP Software and GUI is a large part of what makes these NAS appealing.

The QNAP TVS-hx74 Series – How Much Will the TVS-h474, TVS-h674 and TVS-h874 NAS Will Cost?

Details regarding the pricing and availability of ANY of the TVS-h474, TVS-h674 and TVS-h874 NAS are still unconfirmed. On the one hand, the fact that QNAP has revealed information on these solutions likely means that release is not hugely far away, however, we are still very much living in a pot-pandemic world as far as technology is concerned and although the global supply chain and production lines in the east are better than they were, they are by no means ‘back to normal’. Additionally, the hardware shortages as a result of poor semi conductor availability will likely means that even when this series is released, that available quantities will be a small % of demand. Most likely this NAS series will arrive in Q4 of the year and approx £850-3000+ (hardware configuration and local currency/tax dependant).

 

 

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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7]     Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

QNAP NAS Attacked By Deadbolt AGAIN – What Happened?

6 septembre 2022 à 23:00

New Reports of Deadbolt Ransomware Attacks on QNAP NAS via Photo Station

It would appear that the Deadbolt ransomware attack that has been a persistent pain for QNAP (and other NAS brands) in 2022 continues to remain current, with new reports emerging of further attacks of NAS systems in September 2022. The vulnerability that has been reported to be being exploited is in the QNAP Photo Station application and although a day one patch for the application for all current use QTS software systems has been issued, it has still resulted in users being hit in this new wave of attacked by the deadbolt ransomware group. Although the scale of this latest attack does not match that of previous attacks by the group, it is worth highlighting that the encryption of how this ransomware deploys and presentation to the user upon execution have changed a little, so even if you are not affected, it might still be worth getting clued up on this. In this article, I will cover everything that is known so far about this Photo Station vulnerability that was exploited, why deadbolt is still a thing, how it attacks, what you can do to avoid it and what can you do if you have been hit.

How Does Deadbolt Attack QNAP NAS?

Deadbolt Ransomware’s methodology in attacking your system has not changed much at all since its first attacks. We will touch on in a bit about why deadbolt is still around and the nature of software updates vs vulnerabilities, but for now we can discuss this specific instance. A vulnerability was found in Photo Station for QNAP NAS QTS/QuTS this week and this vulnerability created a small hole in the access control of the NAS that could be used to exploit as an attack vector for ransomware to be executed. It would still require your NAS to be setup in a weak remote access state (i.e. you allowed internet access to your system without sufficient layers of encryption, protection and/or authentication, such as a VPN, Firewall or disabling UPnP – will touch on these later) in order to reach ‘photo station’, but if it could, it could then execute the command to the QNAP NAS to encrypt it’s contents, create a ransom text not and modify the login screen to show the deadbolt warning. This one:

QNAP highlighted this vulnerability on their security advisor page, here under ID QSA-22-24 and state that they detected a new DeadBolt ransomware campaign on the morning of September 3rd, 2022 (GMT+8). The campaign appears to target QNAP NAS devices running Photo Station with internet exposure. This is not via the myQNAPCloud services, but rather users allowing remote access with open router ports, but no VPN or restrictive access rules in place. QNAP issued the following statement:

QNAP Product Security Incident Response Team (QNAP PSIRT) had made the assessment and released the patched Photo Station app for the current version within 12 hours. QNAP urges all QNAP NAS users to update Photo Station to the latest available version. QuMagie is a simple and powerful alternative to Photo Station. We recommend using QuMagie to efficiently manage photo storage in your QNAP NAS. We strongly urge that their QNAP NAS should not be directly connected to the Internet. This is to enhance the security of your QNAP NAS. We recommend users to make use of the myQNAPcloud Link feature provided by QNAP, or enable the VPN service. This can effectively harden the NAS and decrease the chance of being attacked.

Additionally, this warning that is displayed to the end user also has an additional note directed towards QNAP themselves that highlights that they are willing to share the nature of the exploited vulnerability for 5BTC. See here:

Now, as nefarious and immoral as you might find the Deadbolt ransomware attackers and what is being done here, we also have to put the spotlight on QNAP. In their defence (I will go into more detail on this later on in the article), they are a software developer that provides a range of tools and services to maintain many backups of your data, hugely configurable security options/variables to their system, a remote access cloud portal that acts at a checkpoint in myQNAPCloud, they provide regular updates to their software/service applications with automated update options and they provide a public security advisory panel and can only remain a single step ahead of vulnerabilities. HOWEVER, when vulnerabilities are found in their platform and services (even if patched out – which relies on users remaining updated), it continues to bring into question the strength, depth and attention to detail of their security teams during development. It is true that QNAP is not the only brand that has been successfully targetted by deadbolt (see Asustor HERE and Terramaster HERE) as well as not being the only brand targetted by malware (see Synology Synolocker HERE) , but QNAP still seems to persistently be the one that gets hit most. Ultimately, ARE QNAP NAS SAFE? We discussed this over on the YouTube channel back on Febuary 2022

PSA – GET YOUR BACKUPS IN ORDER!

Before you even go one paragraph further, I have a simple question for you – do you have a backup in place? If yes, then carry on to the next part. If not, and I cannot stress this enough, GET ONE NOW. The time you are spending reading this you could be susceptible to data loss in about 10 different ways without even factoring in ransomware (Power failure leading to hard drive corruption, Malware from a slightly iffy google search this morning, cloud storage provider going bust, OS failure on your device, etc). In this day and age owning a sufficient data backup is as sensible as buying a raincoat or looking both ways when you cross the street – you don’t do it because you like rain or like looking at cars, you do it because they are peace of mind, they are a safety net, they are for caution in case of the worst. It is a bit tenuous, but owning one or multiple backups always make me think of this quote from Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King:

shawshank redemption book

“There are really only two types of men in the world when it comes to bad trouble,” Andy said, cupping a match between his hands and lighting a cigarette. “Suppose there was a house full of rare paintings and sculptures and fine old antiques, Red? And suppose the guy who owned the house heard that there was a monster of a hurricane headed right at it. One of those two kinds of men just hopes for the best. The hurricane will change course, he says to himself. No right-thinking hurricane would ever dare wipe out all these Rembrandts, my two Degas horses, my Jackson Pollocks and my Paul Klees. Furthermore, God wouldn’t allow it. And if worst comes to worst, they’re insured. That’s one sort of man. The other sort just assumes that hurricane is going to tear right through the middle of his house. If the weather bureau says the hurricane just changed course, this guy assumes it’ll change back in order to put his house on ground zero again. This second type of guy knows there’s no harm in hoping for the best as long as you’re prepared for the worst.” 

Get a Backup in place

Why Is Deadbolt Ransomware STILL HAPPENING?

First and foremost, it is INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT that users understand the risks of allowing remote access to their NAS system (not just QNAP, but ANY NAS Drive) without specific port discipline, a VPN, a Firewall and/or custom admin credential/enabling. In the case of this recent resurgence of the ransomware attack that was executed by the Deadbolt group, it is important to note that it is made possible by two KEY VARIABLES! Weaknesses and Opportunity.

Now, with weakness, this stems from a vulnerability is found in a software/application – not uncommon and ALL software can only be one step ahead of those looking to break it. to give it a little context. In 2022 there have been 671 vulnerabilities found in Microsoft software services, 22 in Synology NAS software services and Apple iOS has had 79. This is not to besmirch their software/platforms, but ultimately the minute a software maker releases a new version/update (often to plug vulnerabilities that were found), the nefarious will then get to work on finding vulnerabilities in which to exploit for financial gain. That is why software updates are so incredibly important! However, a weakness is no good without access and/or an opportunity.

An Opportunity (in the context of ransomware and malware attacks) can largely be defined as an open door (no matter how small) that can be used to inject a command to the NAS as an administrator (eg. encrypt everything). THIS is where one of the biggest misconceptions (and indeed finger-pointing) happens when an incident of ransomware, malware or data loss occurs. A vulnerability in a software platform (especially when the bulk of software in common use today is built on Linux universally) is only any use when it can be executed. So, in the case of a NAS vulnerability, such as the Photo Station vulnerability that has been identified, it can only be exploited if the NAS user has allowed external access to their NAS via the internet. This access may well be behind user login credentials, but lacked the barrier of a VPN, a Firewall setup with amply restrictions, trusted access credentials/identity, limited/zero admin control, 2-step verification, specific port access to a GUI and many other restrictions/limitations/authentications that can be enabled. Not all these hurdles and/or barriers are as effective as others (with some vulnerabilities being built on backend access), but all/most of these should be considered when allowing any form of external access to your NAS outside of your local network. Equally, you NEED to become more acquainted with your router! Get into your router and reactive UPnP settings, as this eliminates the possibility of applications on your NAS inadvertently opening ports remotely without your direct knowledge.

  • Disable the Port Forwarding function of the router: Go to the management interface of your router, check the Virtual Server, NAT, or Port Forwarding settings, and disable the port forwarding setting of NAS management service port (port 8080 and 433 by default).
  • Disable the UPnP function of the QNAP NAS: Go to myQNAPcloud on the QTS menu, click the “Auto Router Configuration,” and unselect “Enable UPnP Port forwarding.”

Do keep in mind though that you might well be using external UPnP services on your router for other things in your home or office environment.

What is UPnP Port Forwarding?

Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) is a way of quickly forwarding the ports in use to other devices on a network automatically with one setting change and no additional configuration needed. UPnP Port Forwarding is widely used by many network devices, allowing them to communicate with each other more efficiently and to automatically create workgroups for data sharing, among other applications.

Is UPnP Port Forwarding safe?

UPnP is not a secure protocol. It uses network UDP multicasts, no encryption and no authentication. Since UPnP is not authenticated, one device could request port mapping for an another one. Hackers can abuse UPnP to attack through malicious files to infect your system and gain control. Despite its convenience, UPnP may expose your device to public networks and malicious attacks. It is recommended that your QNAP NAS stay behind your router and firewall without a public IP address. You should disable manual port forwarding and UPnP auto port forwarding for QNAP NAS in your router configuration

How Many QNAP NAS Users Have Been Affected by Deadbolt?

Getting the numbers on how many users have been impacted by this recent attack by the deadbolt group on QNAP NAS devices is exceedingly hard to identify. On the one hand, as this photo station vulnerability has been identified and effective in QTS 5 it has the potential to be high, however, it still heavily relies on having a system set up in a comparatively weak remote access configuration AND having a specific application with access credentials running. This is further reduced in scope as the Photo Station has been largely overtaken in use by QNAP users by the AI-powered QuMagie application. Still, the Photo Station application still has several ‘professional photographer’ services/structural qualities that keep it in use. The Bleeping Computer website identified 182 submissions to the ID Ransomware site reported for ‘Deadbolt’ (which requires uploading an encrypted file, attacker address and/other identifies for clarification of an attack type) with a spike that started on the 3rd of September (necessitating the patch o nthe 4th Sept). How many of the previously submitted reports in August 2022 were related to this photo station vulnerability (at that point unidentified) and how many were repeats by any one user or related to a QNAP NAS that was not updated since the early phase of the Deadbolt ransomware attacks of Jan 2022 cannot be confirmed. Nevertheless, these are still noticable numbers and can comfortably be classed as victims hitting the 3 digit mark.

Source for the below graphic and article – https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/qnap-patches-zero-day-used-in-new-deadbolt-ransomware-attacks

Alternatively, you can use server/internet service monitors such as censys to search for reported text that is used in the Deadbolt ransomware note. However, this is not the most precise and only further highlights that only QNAP themselves and Deadbolt know the extent of impact of this campaign. Unlike the original Deadbolt attacks of Jan 2022 of QNAP devices, research and strategic advisors at Unit42 noted back in May ’22 that the attack/injection of the ransomware and how it is presented to the user changed (though seemingly still using the same exploit that remained in systems that were not updated, therefore still vulnerable to the exploit in older QTS/QuTS versions and/or continued use in weak internet-facing access scenarios:

Unit 42 is observing a new wave of attacks of the Deadbolt #ransomware targeting QNAP NAS devices involving a new lock screen with updated JavaScript. Cortex Xpanse discovered ~3000 instances of infected devices. Details at https://t.co/uj0TOqACxu pic.twitter.com/RmSzZOAsTq

— Unit 42 (@Unit42_Intel) May 16, 2022

There has been no substantial analysis of the latest version of DeadBolt, but Unit 42 said in it’s May summary that the ransomware program made some significant changes since the March campaign. Specifically, the DeadBolt program now uses revised JavaScript code with a stronger SHA-256 implementation, building on the previous, lower-level ‘SubtleCrypto’ cryptography. Unit 42 researchers said this was likely changed to a stronger standard to accelerate the key verification process and also to ensure the verification works on browsers that do not support the SubtleCrypto API.

What Should You Do To Protect Your QNAP NAS from Deadbolt Ransomware Attacks?

If you are using the QNAP Photo Station application, then you need to suspend using it until you have updated to the latest version. It is worth highlighting again that this vulnerability will ONLY affect you if you have your QNAP NAS directly connected to internet access services (i.e NOT using a VPN or the myQNAPcloud link service). Updates for Photo Station have been issued for QTS 4 and QTS 5 on the brand’s official app portal of your NAS and directly downloadable from their official website:

  • QTS 5.0.1: Photo Station 6.1.2 and later
  • QTS 5.0.0/4.5.x: Photo Station 6.0.22 and later
  • QTS 4.3.6: Photo Station 5.7.18 and later
  • QTS 4.3.3: Photo Station 5.4.15 and later
  • QTS 4.2.6: Photo Station 5.2.14 and later

Outside of QNAP Photo Station, it is incredibly important that users maintain a secure layer/barrier between your NAS and your external internet connection. To protect your NAS from the DeadBolt ransomware, QNAP strongly recommends securing your QNAP NAS devices and routers by following these instructions:

  1. Disable the port forwarding function on the router.
  2. Set up myQNAPcloud on the NAS to enable secure remote access and prevent exposure to the internet.
  3. Update the NAS firmware to the latest version.
  4. Update all applications on the NAS to their latest versions.
  5. Apply strong passwords for all user accounts on the NAS.
  6. Take snapshots and back up regularly to protect your data.

Now, QNAP myQNAPCloud services are not the same as just opening your NAS connection from LAN only to LAN+Remote. myQNAPCloud creates a connection between the NAS and the QNAP access servers via a secure portal (with encryption, SSL certificates and other configurable options that can prevent interception via this tunnel). Then, if you want to create a connection remotely with your NAS, you do so via the QNAP access server – as opposed to the directly NAS connection. This DOES result in a drop in file transmission speeds remotely (as you are moving through an additional transit point), but increases security and authentication substantially. The alternative to this would be to use restrictive/specific open of ports on your router AND recommended use of a VPN – which is definitely a valid and ‘best of all worlds’ solution, but a little more technically advanced than many users are able to configure effectively/securely). If you want to set up a remote myQNAPcloud connection, you need to:

  1. Log on to QTS as an administrator.
  2. Open myQNAPcloud.
  3. Disable UPnP port forwarding.
    1. Go to Auto Router Configuration.
    2. Deselect Enable UPnP Port forwarding.
  4. Enable DDNS.
    1. Go to My DDNS.
    2. Click the toggle button to enable My DDNS.
  5. Do not publish your NAS services.
    1. Go to Published Services.
    2. Deselect all items under Publish.
    3. Click Apply.
  6. Configure myQNAPcloud Link to enable secure remote access to your NAS via a SmartURL.
    1. Go to myQNAPcloud Link.
    2. Click Install to install myQNAPcloud Link on your NAS.
    3. Click the toggle button to enable myQNAPcloud Link.
  7. Restrict which users can remotely access your NAS via the SmartURL.
    1. Go to Access Control.
    2. Next to Device access controls, select Private or Customized.
      Note: Selecting Private allows only the QNAP ID logged in to myQNAPcloud to access the NAS via the SmartURL. Selecting Customized allows you to invite other QNAP ID accounts to access the device via the SmartURL.
    3. If you selected Customized, click Add and specify a QNAP ID to invite the user.
  8. Obtain the SmartURL by going to Overview.

The final thing to do is to have two applications running on your QNAP NAS regularly. Malware Remover and the QNAP Security Counselor. The Malware tool is for scanning your system for existing threats that may have been installed/engineered inside your system. It then isolates, quarantines as appropriate and removes. The Security Councilor tool is designed to periodically check the security of your entire system, find any potential for an opening that a vulnerability could be exploited via, then makes recommendations on how to close it. This latter tool can be configured via a number of pre-set profiles that scale in severity, but can also be set to custom variables too. These (alongside having updates on both the QTS/QuTS OS and apps via the app center set to automatically download and install) should be among the FIRST things you set up on your QNAP NAS.

It is also REALLY important to note that these applications analyze and identify KNOWN vulnerabilities. They are not omnipresent and, much like in the case of the Photo Station vulnerability that has been identified here and a day 1 patch issued, until it IS recognized as a threat/attack-vector, it will not be seen

What Should You Do If Your QNAP NAS was Hit By Deadbolt Ransomware?

Unfortunately, as it stands, there is little resolution in place to reverse Deadbolt ransomware encryption without paying the 0.05 BTC to the attackers. Some users have reported that snapshots have been useful in reversing the impact (heavily dependent on your retention policy and location, as you still need the original file in a comparable form for snapshots to work). However, a full means to reverse deadbolt is not available.  Previous attacks were able to be reverse using data recovery tools such as PhotoRec to restore them to their original version on an external drive, but success in this method with deadbolt has not been exactly positive. If you have no backup in place and your data is truly irreplaceable, then paying might be the only option (at least in the short term). You can follow the instructions that are attached to the Deadbolt warning page on your QNAP NAS GUI. If you have lost access to this GUI in an QNAP update (understandable that you might action this in the vein hope of halting/reversing damage), here is a Deadbolt Decryptor tool (this still requires the encryption key however) – https://www.emsisoft.com/ransomware-decryption/deadbolt

There are several useful references and setup pointers listed in the exceptionally long QNAP forum port HERE and here are their recommendations for you in the event you have been hit:

  • If you have full external intact backups, reset your NAS and restore from backups
  • If you have no backups and don’t intend to pay, try Qrescue (if your NAS has more than 50% free space and was not written to, chances are ‘OK’ to recover most files)
  • If you decide to pay, here is a ‘user’ story’ (Make sure that all auto-updates are disabled during the decryption, so the process is not interrupted)
  • To find your decryption key after paying the ransom check here.
  • If you are missing the ransom note and bitcoin address (removed by a QNAP firmware update or Malware remover) check here

The Sad Truth about Servers, Security and Vulnerabilities

Vulnerability > Update > vulnerability > update > rinse > repeat

No platform, software or service is going to be 100% bulletproof. You can increase your personal layers of security (VPNs, Encryption, layers, restrictive white lists, etc) to hit 99.99% but whatever way you are looking at it, everything we use is software-based and therefore, fallible. Equally, users cannot pretend that it is still the early days of the internet anymore and still be annoyed when a statistical possibility that should have been factored against was not. Do I think QNAP NAS are safe? I’m sorry to say that the answer is never going to be a simple Yes/No. I think they provide what they say they provide and I think that QNAP hardware is still the best in the market right now. But their software needs to be less rushed, the extra time/budget be spent on that software, or utilize a trusted 3rd party. The need to relinquish some of the customization of their platform in efforts to remove some of the configuration out of the hands of less tech-savvy users who end up overly reliant in defaults. Perhaps a much more rigorous setup policy that, on day 1, have an EXPERT door and a NOVICE door, with randomized defaults and extremely regimented update rules on the latter. Equally, the brand (though better than it was) needs to work on its communication with its end-user base, both in the event of critical issues and education on what the user base needs to have to increase security OUTSIDE of their product. I still recommend the brand, I still think users should use their products, but we need to be realistic and honest with ourselves about what we buy and our expectations. If I buy a QNAP NAS, I expect it to store the data I store in it and allow me access to it on my terms, but ‘my terms’ might be a lot more/less strict than the next person and with that comes due diligence in 2022. I hope that the most recent ransomware attack, deadbolt, is the last ‘big’ one we hear about the year/moving forward, but I do not think it will be. More than just QNAP, one look at the vulnerabilities listed on security advisories of all the brands tell us that there is big money to be made by these intruders and the brands can only stay 1 step ahead. As always, me and Eddie here on NASCompares have been running a page that links to the bigger NAS security Advisory pages that gets regularly updated, so if you want to get notifications on these as they get added (pulled from the official pages themselves), then you can visit the page below and put your email in for updates when they happen. Have a great week and backup, backup, BACKUP.

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NAS : QNAP corrige une faille zero-day exploitée par le ransomware DeadBolt

6 septembre 2022 à 07:59

Depuis plusieurs mois, il y a un véritable duel entre QNAP et le ransomware DeadBolt. Les vagues d'attaques sont très fréquentes, et à chaque fois les utilisateurs paient le prix fort : les données de leur NAS sont chiffrées. Le fabricant QNAP vient de corriger une faille de sécurité zero-day exploitée par DeadBolt.

Depuis samedi, le ransomware DeadBolt s'en prend de nouveau aux NAS QNAP, et cette fois-ci, il exploite une faille de sécurité zero-day présente dans l'application Photo Station. Cette application est utilisée pour gérer ses photos personnelles depuis son NAS.

Dans son bulletin de sécurité, QNAP explique que le ransomware exploite cette vulnérabilité pour compromettre les NAS directement connectés à Internet, pour ensuite chiffrer les données. "Nous recommandons vivement que leur NAS QNAP ne soit pas directement connecté à Internet. Nous recommandons aux utilisateurs d'utiliser la fonction myQNAPcloud Link fournie par QNAP, ou d'activer le service VPN."

QNAP a réagi assez rapidement puisque 12 heures après le début des attaques basées sur cette vulnérabilité, le fabricant de NAS a mis en ligne un correctif de sécurité pour Photo Station. Selon la version du système QTS, voici la version de Photo Station à installer :

  • QTS 5.0.1: Photo Station 6.1.2 et +
  • QTS 5.0.0/4.5.x: Photo Station 6.0.22 et +
  • QTS 4.3.6: Photo Station 5.7.18 et +
  • QTS 4.3.3: Photo Station 5.4.15 et +
  • QTS 4.2.6: Photo Station 5.2.14 et +

Par ailleurs, QNAP recommande aux utilisateurs de laisser tomber Photo Station pour basculer sur l'application QuMagie : une application de gestion des photos plus évoluée, et qui s'appuie notamment sur de l'intelligence artificielle.

Le ransomware DeadBolt s'en prend aux NAS QNAP depuis janvier 2022, et ensuite, il y a eu plusieurs vagues d'attaques, notamment en mai 2022 et en juin 2022. Après une accalmie, même s'il reste toujours actif un minimum, il est de retour pour exploiter une faille de sécurité zero-day. Si vous utilisez l'application Photo Station, vous devez effectuer la mise à jour au plus vite.

Source

The post NAS : QNAP corrige une faille zero-day exploitée par le ransomware DeadBolt first appeared on IT-Connect.

QNAP – Une nouvelle attaque DEADBOLT en cours sur les NAS…

3 septembre 2022 à 18:09
Par : Fx
QNAP DEADBOLT 300x225 - QNAP - Une nouvelle attaque DEADBOLT en cours sur les NAS...L’année 2022 est compliquée pour ceux qui disposent d’un NAS. En effet, les attaques se multiplient et aujourd’hui encore… Deadbolt est de retour sur les boîtiers QNAP. Si votre NAS est exposé sur Internet, nous vous recommandons de désactiver son accès et de contrôler qu’il soit bien à jour. [edit]Mises à jour à la fin de l’article Deadbolt et QNAP Après une première attaque en janvier puis une seconde en mai, les NAS QNAP semblent de nouveau la cible de […]

QNAP lance encore 2 nouveaux NAS : TS-464 et TS-664

30 août 2022 à 07:00
Par : Fx
QNAP TS 464 TS 664 300x225 - QNAP lance encore 2 nouveaux NAS : TS-464 et TS-664QNAP annonce deux nouveaux NAS de la gamme TS-x64 : TS-464 et TS-664 (respectivement 4 et 6 baies). Ils sont animés par un processeur Intel N5105, possèdent des emplacements pour SSD NVMe et des 2 ports réseau 2,5 Gb/s. Cerise sur le gâteau, ils ont également un emplacement PCIe Gen 3 x2… Le prix démarre à partir de 589€ HT. QNAP TS-464 et TS-664 Le fabricant taïwanais a enchaîné les nouveautés cet été… et ce n’est pas fini. Aujourd’hui, QNAP […]

How to Test Your Plex Media Server NAS – 4K, 1080p, HDR, HEVC and UHD Files to Download

26 août 2022 à 01:06

Recommended Files to Test Your Plex Media Server NAS

If you are considering buying/building your own Plex Media server (or even want to test the capabilities of your existing Plex server), then you may have discovered that it is actually a lot harder to bench-test your multimedia system than it should be. Notwithstanding the fact that very, VERY few people are running the exact same server setup (even two people buying the same NAS drive might have different HDDs, SSDs, memory, caching, directories, network traffic and more), but then you need to factor in that the depth, frequency and volume of everyone’s media collection will differ wildly. One user might have a simple Nvidia Shield + external USB drive setup and mostly 1080P, another running a Synology DS920+ NAS and a tonne of 4K, meanwhile, user number 3 is a highly audio-focused user that wants to use pristine, flawless raw audio to their smart home speakers from their Plex library – These are just three setups and each is INCREDIBLY different in it’s hardware requirements! So, when you are in the market for a new server for your Plex system, or simply want to check your current setup does the job), it is recommended to run a benchmark by playing some ranged media that will stress test different areas of multimedia playback on your Plex server. I have been running Plex Media Server tests on NAS drives for a  number of years (a FULL PLEX TEST PLAYLIST can be found HERE on the NASCompares YouTube) and although I include fairly standard multimedia testing using familiar movies and TV shows, I have also used a tremendously thorough range of files known as the ‘JellyFish Files‘. This is an incredible range of files that cover everything from a 2MB sized 480p, low bitrate, H.264, all the way upto an insanely high end 1.4 GIGABYTE 400Mbps 4K UHD HEVC HDR file – ALL of which are the same 30 second media file. These files can be added to your Plex Media Server and playing them, whilst monitoring your system’s hardware and resource utilization will help you understand the limitations of your system and what the system can/cannot play natively, as well as what impact files that need on-the-fly conversion (known predominantly as ‘transcoding’ and we will cover that later). The original source website and author location of the JellyFish files has become vague over the years (with the original repository that I originally found them and credit, being a dead website now in 2022), however, I am often asked if I still have access to the Jellyfish archive and if I can share them. The answer to that first question is YES, but the 2nd question takes a little longer to answer. I tried to backlink/direct users to the repository for a long time, as well as locate the original author (feeling that it is not my work to feely distribute) but hit something of a wall and after my bazillion’th requests, I have decided to create a shared drive for ALL these files. Below are the links to the FULL range of JellyFish files for testing your Plex NAS, but before you proceed, there are a few things you need t keep in mind before you proceed:

Understanding the Jellyfish Files and the File Formats, Quality and Density on a Plex NAS Benchmark Test

Before you start testing your Plex Media Sever and its multimedia capabilities, it is worth taking a moment to understand the terminology and variations of media files. You could have two copies of ‘Marvel’s Avengers Endgame’, both in 4K, but due to variations in their bitrate, their compression technique and their file format/codec and one will play much, MUCH better than another on your system. Although there are many kinds of ways you can clarify your multimedia files, the FOUR most important variables/standards to check are Bitrate, Resolution, Codec and Video Compression Standard. Take a moment to learn about what these are and their impact using the glossary below:

  • Bitrate – Bitrate is the number of bits per second. The symbol is bit/s. It generally determines the size and quality of video and audio files: the higher the bitrate, the better the quality, and the larger the file size because of File size = bitrate (kilobits per second) x duration. In most cases, 1 byte per second (1 B/s) corresponds to 8 bit/s. Video bitrate affects video quality in several ways. First, it is the key measure of any video file size. Secondly, high video bitrate results in high video quality and low bitrates result in poor video quality. However, using an extremely high bitrate is just a waste of bandwidth. In general, a higher bitrate will accommodate higher image quality in the video output, only when comparing the same video with the same resolution. Bitrates should be expected to go up whenever the resolution goes up, as more data is being processed. Therefore, high video bitrate may provide excellent quality, but it can also place a major strain on your hardware which can result in stutters.
  • Resolution – Video resolution determines the amount of detail in your video or how realistic and clear the video appears. It’s measured by the number of pixels contained in the standard aspect ratio of 16:9, the most common aspect ratio for television and computer monitors. A higher number of pixels indicates a higher resolution and a lower number of pixels makes for a low-resolution video. For the common resolutions of 720 and 1080, the naming convention is based on the total number of pixels running in a vertical line down the display area. For 2K, 4K or 8K video, the resolution is named for the number of pixels running in a horizontal line across the frame. Previously, the resolution has been divided between standard definition (SD video) and high definition (HD video). Anything below 720 is considered standard definition. However, as screen resolutions on computer monitors and televisions continue to improve, it’s less likely for anything to be shot in SD.
  • The difference between video resolution and frame rate – Digital videos are made up of thousands of still images played in sequence. While resolution refers to the amount of data in the frame, frame rate refers to how quickly those frames are cycled through, or how many stills are packed into each second. As with video resolution, choose your video’s frame rate based on the type of motion you’re trying to capture and the type of video formats you expect to release to your audience.
  • Codec – Codecs are the oxygen of the streaming media market; no codecs, no streaming media. From shooting video to editing to encoding our streaming media files for delivery, codecs are involved every step of the way. Many video producers also touch the DVD-ROM and Blu-ray markets, as well as broadcast, and codecs play a role there as well. Codecs are compression technologies and have two components, an encoder to compress the files, and a decoder to decompress. There are codecs for data (PKZIP), still images (JPEG, GIF, PNG), audio (MP3, AAC) and video (Cinepak, MPEG-2, H.264, VP8). It’s important to distinguish codecs from container formats, though sometimes they share the same name. Briefly, container formats, or wrappers, are file formats that can contain specific types of data, including audio, video, closed captioning text, and associated metadata. Though there are some general-purpose container formats, like QuickTime, most container formats target one aspect of the production and distribution pipeline, like MXF for file-based capture on a camcorder, and FLV and WebM for streaming Flash and WebM content.
  • HEVC, H.264 and H.265 – H.264 (AVC) and H.265 (HEVC) are both standards for video compression used in recording and distributing digital video. Why would you choose one over the other? The main difference between H.264 and H.265 is how each processes information and the resulting video file size and bandwidth consumption used with each standard. H.264 processes frames of video using macroblocks, while H.265 processes information using coding tree units (CTUs). CTUs process information more efficiently, which results in a smaller file size and less bandwidth used for your streaming video. H.264 (also called AVC, or Advanced Video Coding) is an industry-standard for video compression that allows for the recording, compression, and distribution of digital video content. H.265 is newer and more advanced than H.264 in several ways. H.265 (also called HEVC, or High-Efficiency Video Coding) allows for further reduced file size, and therefore reduced required bandwidth, of your live video streams.

There are several other terms that are more appropriate to Plex that it might be worth getting school’d up on, but these are optional and you can learn about them below in my video on Plex NAS servers for Dummies:

Where to Download the Files to Test Your Plex Media Server NAS

As mentioned, the Jellyfish files comprise a wide range of files that, although all the same 30 secs of jellyfish playing around in the sea, comprise around 56 files of varying degrees of quality and size. You can use the links below to head over to google drive for each specific file (each link opens in a new tab). Then you can use the download option at the top right corner to  download the file to your local machine:

For those looking to bulk-download, I am afraid that due to reasons of bandwidth hogging (when I shared these files with people in the past) and the sheer weight of these files, I have opted to keep these on a Google Drive shared drive. You should be able to add these files and bulk download them from inside your own Google Drive account, or you can message me directly for the full download link by contacting me directly using the contact section at the bottom of the page. Otherwise, here is the full range of Jellyfish files to download and test your Plex Media server NAS server or DIY/ByO system:

Filename
(Click to Download)
Bitrate
(Overall)
Resolution Codec File
Size
jellyfish-3-mbps-hd-h264.mkv Mbps 1920×1080 H.264 11 MB
jellyfish-3-mbps-hd-hevc.mkv Mbps 1920×1080 HEVC 11 MB
jellyfish-3-mbps-hd-hevc-10bit.mkv Mbps 1920×1080 HEVC 11 MB
jellyfish-5-mbps-hd-h264.mkv Mbps 1920×1080 H.264 18 MB
jellyfish-5-mbps-hd-hevc.mkv Mbps 1920×1080 HEVC 18 MB
jellyfish-10-mbps-hd-h264.mkv 10 Mbps 1920×1080 H.264 36 MB
jellyfish-10-mbps-hd-hevc.mkv 10 Mbps 1920×1080 HEVC 36 MB
jellyfish-10-mbps-hd-hevc-10bit.mkv 10 Mbps 1920×1080 HEVC 36 MB
jellyfish-15-mbps-hd-h264.mkv 15 Mbps 1920×1080 H.264 53 MB
jellyfish-15-mbps-hd-hevc.mkv 15 Mbps 1920×1080 HEVC 53 MB
jellyfish-20-mbps-hd-h264.mkv 20 Mbps 1920×1080 H.264 71 MB
jellyfish-20-mbps-hd-hevc.mkv 20 Mbps 1920×1080 HEVC 75 MB
jellyfish-20-mbps-hd-hevc-10bit.mkv 20 Mbps 1920×1080 HEVC 75 MB
jellyfish-25-mbps-hd-h264.mkv 25 Mbps 1920×1080 H.264 89 MB
jellyfish-25-mbps-hd-hevc.mkv 25 Mbps 1920×1080 HEVC 93 MB
jellyfish-30-mbps-hd-h264.mkv 30 Mbps 1920×1080 H.264 106 MB
jellyfish-30-mbps-hd-hevc.mkv 30 Mbps 1920×1080 HEVC 110 MB
jellyfish-35-mbps-hd-h264.mkv 35 Mbps 1920×1080 H.264 126 MB
jellyfish-35-mbps-hd-hevc.mkv 35 Mbps 1920×1080 HEVC 129 MB
jellyfish-40-mbps-hd-h264.mkv 40 Mbps 1920×1080 H.264 142 MB
jellyfish-40-mbps-hd-hevc.mkv 40 Mbps 1920×1080 HEVC 146 MB
jellyfish-40-mbps-hd-hevc-10bit.mkv 40 Mbps 1920×1080 HEVC 146 MB
jellyfish-45-mbps-hd-h264.mkv 45 Mbps 1920×1080 H.264 160 MB
jellyfish-45-mbps-hd-hevc.mkv 45 Mbps 1920×1080 HEVC 166 MB
jellyfish-50-mbps-hd-h264.mkv 50 Mbps 1920×1080 H.264 180 MB
jellyfish-50-mbps-hd-hevc.mkv 50 Mbps 1920×1080 HEVC 182 MB
jellyfish-55-mbps-hd-h264.mkv 55 Mbps 1920×1080 H.264 208 MB
jellyfish-55-mbps-hd-hevc.mkv 55 Mbps 1920×1080 HEVC 199 MB
jellyfish-60-mbps-hd-h264.mkv 60 Mbps 1920×1080 H.264 213 MB
jellyfish-60-mbps-hd-hevc.mkv 60 Mbps 1920×1080 HEVC 220 MB
jellyfish-60-mbps-hd-hevc-10bit.mkv 60 Mbps 1920×1080 HEVC 218 MB
jellyfish-70-mbps-hd-h264.mkv 70 Mbps 1920×1080 H.264 251 MB
jellyfish-70-mbps-hd-hevc.mkv 70 Mbps 1920×1080 HEVC 256 MB
jellyfish-80-mbps-hd-h264.mkv 80 Mbps 1920×1080 H.264 286 MB
jellyfish-80-mbps-hd-hevc.mkv 80 Mbps 1920×1080 HEVC 290 MB
jellyfish-90-mbps-hd-h264.mkv 90 Mbps 1920×1080 H.264 322 MB
jellyfish-90-mbps-hd-hevc.mkv 90 Mbps 1920×1080 HEVC 329 MB
jellyfish-90-mbps-hd-hevc-10bit.mkv 90 Mbps 1920×1080 HEVC 330 MB
jellyfish-100-mbps-hd-h264.mkv 100 Mbps 1920×1080 H.264 358 MB
jellyfish-100-mbps-hd-hevc.mkv 100 Mbps 1920×1080 HEVC 365 MB
jellyfish-110-mbps-hd-h264.mkv 110 Mbps 1920×1080 H.264 394 MB
jellyfish-110-mbps-hd-hevc.mkv 110 Mbps 1920×1080 HEVC 401 MB
jellyfish-120-mbps-4k-uhd-h264.mkv 120 Mbps 3840×2160 H.264 431 MB
jellyfish-120-mbps-4k-uhd-hevc-10bit.mkv 120 Mbps 3840×2160 HEVC 438 MB
jellyfish-140-mbps-4k-uhd-h264.mkv 140 Mbps 3840×2160 H.264 502 MB
jellyfish-140-mbps-4k-uhd-hevc-10bit.mkv  140 Mbps 3840×2160 HEVC 525 MB
jellyfish-160-mbps-4k-uhd-h264.mkv 160 Mbps 3840×2160 H.264 573 MB
jellyfish-160-mbps-4k-uhd-hevc-10bit.mkv 160 Mbps 3840×2160 HEVC 586 MB
jellyfish-180-mbps-4k-uhd-h264.mkv 180 Mbps 3840×2160 H.264 647 MB
jellyfish-180-mbps-4k-uhd-hevc-10bit.mkv 180 Mbps 3840×2160 HEVC 658 MB
jellyfish-200-mbps-4k-uhd-h264.mkv 200 Mbps 3840×2160 H.264 718 MB
jellyfish-200-mbps-4k-uhd-hevc-10bit.mkv 200 Mbps 3840×2160 HEVC 731 MB
jellyfish-250-mbps-4k-uhd-h264.mkv 250 Mbps 3840×2160 H.264 897 MB
jellyfish-250-mbps-4k-uhd-hevc-10bit.mkv 250 Mbps 3840×2160 HEVC 914 MB
jellyfish-300-mbps-4k-uhd-hevc-10bit.mkv 300 Mbps 3840×2160 HEVC 1.0 GB
jellyfish-400-mbps-4k-uhd-hevc-10bit.mkv 400 Mbps 3840×2160 HEVC 1.4 GB

There you have it, those are the Jellyfish files for testing your Plex server. If you are still on the fence about the best plex media server NAS drive you should consider buying, you can use my article below that highlights the drives I would personally recommend and why:

(Click Below to view this article)

 

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QNAP TS-410E : Intel J6412, RAM 8 Go et Dual 2.5GbE

22 août 2022 à 11:00
Par : Fx
QNAP TS 410E 300x225 - QNAP TS-410E : Intel J6412, RAM 8 Go et Dual 2.5GbEQNAP annonce le TS-410E. Il s’agit d’un NAS 4 baies qui ressemble par son format au TS-i410X. En effet, il partage le même design… bien loin de ce que nous avons l’habitude de voir. Cependant, il s’agit bien de produit totalement différent. Découvrons ce nouveau boîtier… QNAP TS-410E Le NAS QNAP TS-410E dispose de 4 emplacements pour les disques. Cependant, ces derniers ne pourront accueillir que des disques durs 2,5 pouces et des SSD. D’ailleurs, ce nouveau modèle est destiné […]

QNAP TS-410E : un NAS compact, avec 4 baies et sans ventilateur

18 août 2022 à 13:46

QNAP présente son nouveau NAS, le TS-410E, un modèle qui se veut à la fois puissant et discret : il s'agit d'un modèle fanless, au format compact, avec tout de même 4 baies au format 2,5 pouces. Présentation de ce modèle.

Le nouveau NAS QNAP TS-410E vient d'être dévoilé par QNAP, peu de temps après le modèle TS-i410X qui est dans le même esprit : 4 baies de disques en 2,5 pouces, double interface RJ45 10 GBe, pour un prix de 1 200 euros. Néanmoins, ce modèle TS-410E est plus abordable.

QNAP TS-410E - NAS

Le TS-410E est un NAS compact comme le prouve ses dimensions : 254 x 180 x 60 mm, avec un poids à vide de 2,64 kg. Pourtant, malgré son format, il est capable d'accueillir 4 disques ! Contrairement à de nombreux NAS qui acceptent les disques aux formats 3,5 et 2,5 pouces, celui-ci accepte uniquement les disques au format 2,5 pouces. Forcément, cela fait penser à un NAS dans lequel on va venir insérer des disques SSD (ici, en SATA 6 Gb/s), même s'il existe aussi des disques durs mécaniques dans ce format.

Étant donné que QNAP met en avant le silence de ce NAS et sa rapidité, cela passera forcément par des disques SSD car les disques durs sont plus ou moins bruyants. Les disques SSD ne font pas de bruit et ce modèle n'a pas de ventilateur, ce qui promet d'être silencieux ! 

En ce qui concerne les caractéristiques techniques de ce NAS :

  • Processeur : Intel Celeron J6412 (4 cœurs / 4 threads) @ 2,6 GHz
  • RAM : 8 Go, non extensible
  • Stockage interne : mémoire flash de 4 Go (protection du système)
  • Réseau : 2 x RJ45 2,5 GbE
  • Connectiques : 1 x HDMI 1.4b, 4 x ports USB 3.2 Gen 2

Reste à connaître le prix de ce NAS, ainsi que sa date de disponibilité. Ces informations devraient être disponibles prochainement.

Qu'en pensez-vous ?

The post QNAP TS-410E : un NAS compact, avec 4 baies et sans ventilateur first appeared on IT-Connect.

QNAP TS-x53E : Intel J6412, 8 Go de RAM, 2 slots NVMe, réseau Multi-Gig…

9 août 2022 à 07:00
Par : Fx
QNAP TS 253E TS 453E 300x225 - QNAP TS-x53E : Intel J6412, 8 Go de RAM, 2 slots NVMe, réseau Multi-Gig...QNAP annonce l’arrivée de 2 nouveaux boîtiers de la série TS-x53E : TS-253E et TS-453E. Ces NAS 2 et 4 baies sont animés par un processeur Intel J6412 et 8 Go de RAM. Il possède 2 emplacements NVMe pour le cache et bien sûr du réseau 2,5 Gb/s. Mais cette nouvelle gamme a une particularité supplémentaire. En effet, QNAP annonce que ces boîtiers disposent du soutien à long terme. Explications… QNAP TS-253E et TS-453E Les nouveaux NAS TS-253E et TS-453E […]
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