QNAP TS-459 Pro: Web Interface And Functionality
QNAP offers a solid lineup of features, including Web, MySQL, FTP, print, iTunes, and UPnP Media servers, as well as a VMware-Ready certification for interaction with a vSphere VMWare ESX/ESXi Server. Alternatively, you can use Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V. Additionally, the TS-459 Pro supports features like iSCSI LUN masking to ensure safety and multi-path I/O load balancing and failover.
Some of these features mainly pertain to professional environments. In semi-professional environments, and especially for use in a home network, the relevance should be minor or negligible. Consumers will care more about QNAP's support for Apple's Time Machine and the network protocols CIFS/SMB, FTP, NFS, AFP, HTTP, HTTPS, Telnet, and SSH.
Off to the Cloud
An interesting feature that we'll probably see from other NAS manufacturers is the possibility of direct transmission from the NAS to Amazon's S3 cloud data storage service. Whether additional providers of cloud storage services will be supported in the future depends on the popularity of this type of data management. Users who don't want their data or backups to leave the house have the option to use the TS-459 Pro as an Rsync server/client and replicate the data onto another server.
The browser-based administration interface is probably one of the most comprehensive implementations found in a NAS device today. The number of available settings is huge. The menu structure is straightforward, but the large number of configuration options might initially overwhelm some newcomers.
Professionals are likely to love the GUI. You can, for example, control fan speed manually, set up a visual alarm if disk space runs out, or access the extensive log files. If all of this isn't enough, you can access a large software repository and use the QPKG feature to install additional modules, such as the blog solution Wordpress or the forum software phpBB.
For a live demonstration of the QNAP's interface, click the following link: QNAP live demo.