QNAP GM-1002 TNS-h1083X-E2236-16G Node Overview
In the rear of the system, there are two nodes. Although the PSUs are shared, we illuminated the A side node in Blue and the B side node in Green just to help with the orientation here. Something we will note is that we swapped the nodes successfully between the slots so the A/B is determined by where they are placed in the chassis.
The nodes themselves have a latching mechanism and are around 2U tall each. We are going to start our overview at the connector end that is placed into the backplane.
First, one can see the connectors that provide power and data connections. One of the two connections may look somewhat familiar to our readers. The big benefit of this connectivity is that the units can be swapped in/ out without the need to remove cables. If one needs to upgrade a node, send it in for service, or simply to remove it for another reason, this can be done without having to fiddle with cables.
Each node has three fans. These fans pull air through the front drive bays and then through the node. Some multi-node chassis have chassis fans. Others adopt fans on each node. The benefit to having fans located on each node is that one can swap fans without removing the entire chassis from a rack.
Just behind this, on the TNS-h1083x-E2236-16G NAS node, we have an Intel Xeon E-2236. This is a 6 core / 12 thread CPU. For an 8-10 bay NAS, this is plenty of CPU power to run NAS functions as well as some apps and virtual machines.
For those who want to use the QNAP app and virtualization functions, there is 16GB of onboard memory. By default, we get two 8GB DDR4 ECC UDIMMs. With the Intel Xeon E-2236, we can get up to 128GB in a 4x 32GB configuration.
We are going to quickly note that the GM-1001 uses TNS-h1083X-E2234-8G nodes that have an Intel Xeon E-2234 and 8GB of memory.
Behind the fan opposite the four DDR4 DIMM slots, we have dual M.2 slots. These are M.2 2280 PCIe Gen3 x2 slots. One can add two x2 NVMe SSDs here. These are both connected to the PCH.
Behind those slots, we have a DOM that has the firmware for the unit.
Behind that DOM we have two PCIe slots. Both are PCIe Gen3. One is an x4 (PCH) and one is an x8 (CPU) electrical slot. QNAP has a number of add-in cards including external SAS controllers and SATA controllers to connect JBODs, 32Gb/16Gb FC cards, or additional NICs. One is limited slightly to the electrical connections and the low-profile designs, but QNAP has a fairly large ecosystem here and has partners such as Marvell and ATTO with products qualified in the system as well.
On the rear of the unit, we have two 2.5″ bays in each node. These are PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe drive bays for two U.2 drives. Alternatively, they can be used with SATA drives. Given what we have seen with the Kioxia CD6-L PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD Review Ending Data Center SATA, we think it is time to focus on U.2 storage for these.
Underneath those drives, we have two RJ45 ports. These are Realtek-based 2.5GbE NICs. We are really excited that QNAP went the extra step with 2.5GbE instead of 1GbE NICs. This just felt a bit more modern. Under those NICs are four 10Gbps USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A ports. Those offer a lot of connectivity which is a nice touch as well. Building upon a Xeon D-1500 series or Atom C3000 series, these Gen2 ports are a feature we would not get.
The other major feature on the rear of the chassis (aside from the power button / serial port) is dual 10GbE. Specifically, these are NVIDIA-Mellanox ConnectX-4 Lx SFP+ ports. We were a bit surprised to see that QNAP went with a higher-end NIC than many of the other 10GbE solutions out there.
Something that would have been perhaps more interesting is if QNAP used the CX4 variant that supports 25GbE. As we saw in our Mellanox ConnectX-4 Lx Mini-Review, it is a popular 25GbE solution. Adding 25GbE would not fit with QNAP’s line of SFP+ 10GbE switches, but it would likely have been a lower-cost upgrade but a feature propelling the solution onto more lists. After all, if someone is looking for a NAS with 25GbE, this does not have 25GbE even though the ConnectX-4 Lx series has a very popular 25GbE variant. We understand the decision, but it would have been a nice feature to have.
Hardware is only part of the equation. Next, we are going to look at the QuTS hero ZFS-based software solution.