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QNAP TVS-863+ 8-Bay NAS Review

Software Interface

In the future we will add comprehensive feature stories showing NAS operating systems and GUIs. There are too many pages, too many features and too many add-on packages to introduce in a product review.

There are hundreds of pages in the QNAP QTS operating system but they all start here on the main page. The icons are similar to your Android phone icons -- you can move and position them. There are three pages, so you can organize them by pages if you like. Users can also add or remove icons as needed.

A health check feature on the lower right corner of the dashboard opens up to what we see here. The monitor is a quick way to catch the latest QNAP software news and details about firmware updates, and  to view the status of your system. You can monitor the status of your array, CPU and memory usage, and network traffic activity. There is also a pane that shows if other users are logged into the system. This is useful in an office environment. You don't want to update the firmware and restart the system if a co-worker is using the system for a presentation at a remote location.

Before we even get into the applications the system has a lot of configuration features that are user- accessible. Everything comes configured from the factory in at usable settings. Users can easily configure options to suit their needs giving a custom experience.

Users can elect to disable and hide all of the home/multimedia functions with a single check box. This is a nice feature to save processing power and system memory if the features are not being used.

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In the Storage Manager of the QNAP QTS OS, users can build arrays either in volumes or by pools of disks. Disk pools were introduced just a few years ago and allow the NAS appliance to tackle storage like an enterprise SAN. The same disk in the system can be part of two separate RAID arrays. For example, part of the drive may be part of a RAID 0 array and another section of the disk may be part of a RAID 5 array.

When we test QNAP NAS appliances we use the single-volume option. Systems with seven drive bays and lower are tested in RAID 5, while systems with eight or more disks are tested in RAID 6.

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Users have a lot of options when it comes to the network. QNAP enables several modes of network teaming, including 802.11ad link aggregation. There are a few ways to connect to the system from outside of your intranet. The server is accessible from QNAP's cloud feature, a free service through a specialized website, or through a third-party DDNS service. 

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