When we were testing the QNAP QGD-1600P we developed a fitting nickname for it: the SwitchNAServer. This is partly due to a lack of creativity since that is exactly what the machine is. It is a 16 port gigabit PoE(+/++) switch. It has internal storage so that it can act as a NAS. Finally, it runs QNAP’s QTS operating system, so one can run virtualized applications directly on it like a server. If you want a single device capable of replacing multiple common edge devices, this may just be it. With that preview, let us get to our review.
SwitchNAServer QNAP QGD-1600P Overview Video
As with many of our articles this year, we have a video overview of this review that you can find on the STH YouTube channel:
Feel free to listen along as you read or go through this review.
QNAP QGD-1600P Hardware Overview
Since this section is fairly long, we wanted to split it up into two segments. First, we are going to cover the external overview, then the internal hardware overview.
QNAP QGD-1600P External Hardware Overview
The unit itself is a short-depth 1U chassis. QNAP has both traditional rack ears for mounting as well as rubber feet for desktop operation. This is certainly small enough to fit in the majority of racks.
The front of the unit has some rather unusual I/O that one does not commonly find on a switch, a NAS, or a server’s front I/O alone. On the left side, there is a LCD panel that displays status information. It can, for example, tell you what the management IP address is for installation.
There is a HDMI port, a USB 3.0 Type-A, and two USB 2.0 Type-A ports along with a network port that does not belong to the block next to it. This port is what QNAP calls the “host port” which one can use to set up the switch and have an out-of-band management experience. This is a great feature.
Across the front, we find sixteen gigabit Ethernet ports. These are the PoE ports on the switch. The first four ports are PoE++ Type 3 ports that are 60W PoE ports. The next ten are PoE+ 30W ports. Finally, the last two ports are PoE+ 30W ports that have another feature, they can instead be used with SFP cages for optical 1Gbps networking. We are going to discuss this later, but one use case for the QGD-1600P is as a converged appliance so one could use these for SFP optical WAN connectivity as an example.
There is a power button on the front. A slight oddity with this unit is that our QGD-1600P did not boot upon plugging in the power cable and ensuring the PSU was switched on. Instead, one needed to turn on the unit via the power button.
One can see two reset buttons. The left button is the QTS reset button while the right is the QSS or switch reset button. Since it handles so many functions, the PoE switch can remain on while the QTS QNAP OS that services, for example, the file shares is reset. This is useful if one is upgrading QTS and does not want other equipment to lose power while the NAS reboots.
On the rear of the chassis, one can see the PSU power input. There is even a switch for that so one can switch this unit off manually at the PSU. That is actually not a very common feature in this price range.
The three fan grills are not populated so they are just vents.
On the right rear we see the I/O plates for the expansion slots.
We are going to discuss these slots in more detail as we get to the internal overview.
Next, we are going to get into detail about the hardware that underpins the SwitchNAServer solution.