QNAP Computex 2015 Updates: QTS 4.2, Containers And Thunderbolt

Front and center in the QNAP booth was the new TVS-871T. This new system brings Thunderbolt 2.0 DAS connectivity while retaining NAS and iSCSI SAN like the company's other products. Bringing Thunderbolt 2.0 to the system allows professionals to connect a PC or MAC directly to the TVS-871T. The NAS has two Thunderbolt 2 ports to connect more TVS-871T units to increase capacity and spread the workload. 

The QNAP TVS-871T won our Best of Computex 2015 award for the NAS category. The unit is based on the TVS-871 model already shipping in the channel from QNAP. The base TVS-871 features two PCIe expansion slots. The updated Thunderbolt model uses one PCIe port for a Thunderbolt add-in card with two 10 GbE ports and the other for a dual 10 GbE card. The extra connectivity allows professional users to maximize the full potential of the Core i7 processor. Audio/video professionals will benefit from the extra Thunderbolt 2 DAS feature without purchasing expensive 10 GbE switches and add-in cards. 

QNAP also expanded the company's growing number of AMD-based systems. The new TS-563 is a 5-bay NAS with a quad-core AMD SoC that features Radeon graphics and AES-NI hardware encryption. The system uses a low noise fan, holds a large amount of data, and delivers exceptional graphics quality. This model also allows users to run 10 GbE to the network.

Owners of QNAP products are in for another update that brings a new interface to QNAP products. QTS 4.2 is on track for a late June release. QTS is QNAP's GUI operating system. The company updates the software with major updates around once a year, with incremental updates peppered in to increase the capabilities of the NAS products. QTS 4.2 looks very good, and we're excited to test the new software. For years, QNAP has led the charge for ease of use and integrating advanced features.

Last year, QNAP released Virtualization, which allows users to run a virtual operating system on the NAS outside of QTS. Users can think about this as QNAP's version of Hyper-V or ESXi. The virtualization world is going ga-ga over a newer technology called containers.

Container Station integrates LXC and Docker for users to operate multiple isolated Linux systems on a QNAP NAS. This approach reduces the virtual OS footprint by sharing some files and resources among the virtualized installations.

QNAP's new Qsirch tool was released prior to Computex, but we spent some time with the add-on at the show. Anyone who has searched for a file on an NAS with multiple directories understands the need for a local search tool. QNAP delivered what users needed -- a Google-like search tool that quickly finds files and allows users to sort the results by file extension. This is a great addition for everyone. Your Need-to-Sort folder will finally be manageable.

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Chris Ramseyer
Chris Ramseyer is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews consumer storage.