QNAP TurboNAS TS-469L 4-Bay NAS Server

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QNAP TurboNAS TS-469L 4-Bay NAS Server

March 26, 2014 by Lawrence Lee

4-bay NAS Server
Street Price

QNAP has been a leader in the NAS (network attached storage) server market for some time, amassing a catalog of systems of various sizes and capabilities from 24-bay enterprise rackmount units to single bay servers aimed at regular consumers. The term NAS server really doesn't make any sense when you think about it, as all servers function as network attached storage. Generally it's used to describe a server with limited capabilities in a small form factor similar to that of a "dumb" NAS box, that is an external drive enclosure with networking capability and possibly some kind of RAID functionality. In any event, the TS-469L is a midrange offering within QNAP's stable of home and SOHO (small office / home office) NAS servers, a 4-bay RAID device running a dual core Atom D2700 processor, 1GB of regular desktop memory, and a customized version of Linux they call QTS 4.0. Fully assembled and pre-installed with their own operating system, all you do is pop in some drives, turn it on, choose what storage configuration you want to use and you're off to the races.

Recently we reviewed the HP ProLiant MicroServer Gen8, which at its core is a small PC with a server board supporting ECC memory, a low power desktop processor, and a drive cage with four hotswappable bays. It's essentially a pre-built server with specialized hardware that gives users a compact, customizable option without going the full DIY route. The Gen8 allows its users to change the CPU, memory, add an expansion card, load the O/S of their choice, and install and configure whatever services and applications that are necessary. The TS-469L is a similar product but has been formed by a completely different philosophy.

The box.

Package contents: NAS server, documentation, support disc, drive tray screws, two ethernet cables, one power cable.

The TS-469L.

The more complicated and faster MicroServer Gen8 starts at around US$450 for the most basic model so one might expect the TS-469L to meet or beat that this price. In reality, it carries a premium, costing about US$590 online due to a couple of factors. The case and probably the motherboard are not OEM parts, but rather specially designed and manufactured in order to keep the dimensions as slim as possible — it's about 40% smaller in volume than the Gen8. The software isn't off-the-shelf either and of course it costs money to pay the developers for ongoing support of the operating system and applications.

This probably doesn't account for the full price discrepancy but also keep in mind that QNAP isn't just selling you a device but also a carefully cultivated UI experience that makes things easier for regular users. It's a valid strategy for this type of device in particular as it doesn't have enough capacity to warrant a dedicated IT department or possibly even a designated system administrator. A testament to its simplicity is the setup process which, depending on the number and capacity of the drives used, can be completed in less than 10 minutes with minimal user interaction after turning it on for the very first time. The key for the TS-469L is software features (too abundant and varied to discuss here) presented in an easily digestible manner complemented with specifically tailored hardware, something that an OEM or DIY system really can't offer. Its capabilities are further fleshed out by QNAP's three-pronged application approach: apps on the server itself, on the desktops/laptops, and on smartphones/tablets.

QNAP TurboNAS TS-469L: Hardware Specifications
(from the product web page)
CPU Intel® Atom™ 2.13 GHz Dual-core Processor
DRAM 1GB RAM (Expandable RAM, up to 3GB)
1. The system memory can be increased to 3GB by installing an additional 1GB/2GB SO-DIMM RAM module.
2 .For the information of RAM module installation and compatible NAS models, please refer to the QNAP RAM Module Installation Guide
Flash Memory 512MB DOM

Hard Disk Drive
4 x 3.5” or 2.5” SATA 3Gb/s hard drive or SSD
1. The system is shipped without HDD.
2. For the HDD compatibility list, please visit http://www.qnap.com/en/index.php?sn=3877&lang=en
Hard Disk Tray 4 x Hot-swappable tray
LAN Port 2 x Gigabit RJ-45 Ethernet port
LED Indicators Status, LAN, USB, eSATA, Power, HDD 1, HDD 2, HDD 3, HDD 4
USB 2 x USB 3.0 port (Back: 2)
5x USB 2.0 port (Front: 1; Back: 4)
Support USB printer, pen drive, USB hub, and USB UPS etc.
eSATA 2 x eSATA port (Back)
Buttons System: Power button, USB One-Touch-Backup Button, Reset button
Alarm Buzzer System warning
Form Factor Tower
Dimensions 177 (H) x 180 (W) x 235 (D) mm
6.97 (H) x 7.09 (W) x 9.25 (D) inch
Weight Net weight (NAS only) : 3.65 kg (8.04 lbs)
Gross weight (with packing and accessories) : 4.79 kg/10.56 lb
Sound Level (dB) HDD sleep: 13.7 dB
In operation: 22.4 dB
(with 4 x 500GB HDDs installed)
Power Consumption (W) Sleep mode: 25W
In Operation:43W
Power-off (in WOL mode): 1W
(with 4 x 500GB HDD installed)
Temperature 0-40°C
Humidity 5~95% RH non-condensing, wet bulb: 27°C
Power Supply Input: 100-240V AC, 50/60Hz, Output: 250W
Secure Design K-lock security slot for theft prevention
VGA Reserved VGA interface for maintenance
Fan 1 x quiet cooling fan (9 cm, 12V DC)

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