QNAP TL-D400S Review 4-Bay SATA JBOD DAS Enclosure

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QNAP TL D400S Front Angle
QNAP TL D400S Front Angle

The QNAP TL-D400S is a 4-bay SATA DAS enclosure from a well-known vendor. The primary market for this DAS enclosure is to expand the storage of QNAP NAS units. At the same time, since it operates with standard interfaces, it can easily be used as a DAS for PCs and other systems as well.

QNAP TL-D400S JBOD DAS Hardware Overview

The front of the unit has a power LED, status LEDs for the four drives, and then four 3.5″ hot swap drive bays.

QNAP TL D400S Front
QNAP TL D400S Front

We tried the bays and our Windows system recognized inserted drives while the system was on.

The drive trays are tool-less for 3.5″ hard drives, which is a nice touch. If you use 2.5″ SATA SSDs, for example, you will end up using screws.

QNAP TL D400S Tool Less Drive Trays
QNAP TL D400S Tool Less Drive Trays

The rear has a big fan, and then the I/O

QNAP TL D400S Rear
QNAP TL D400S Rear

Here we get a nose switch for alarms, a SFF-8088 port, a fan speed port, a power switch, and a power input.

QNAP TL D400S Rear Ports And Switches
QNAP TL D400S Rear Ports And Switches

The unit came with a SFF-8088 cable. We commonly see SFF-8088 being used for older SAS generations, but in this case, it is SATA-only. One nice feature is that SFF-8088 was designed for high-end external connections, so it is a robust locking connector.

QNAP TL D400S SFF 8088 Cable
QNAP TL D400S SFF 8088 Cable

For either QNAP NAS systems or general-purpose PCs, the DAS comes with the QNAP QXP-400eS-A1164.

QNAP QXP 400eS A1164 Front
QNAP QXP 400eS A1164 Front

Onboard, this as an Asmedia ASM1164. That ASM1164 is a PCIe Gen3 x2 SATA controller. Something to note is that this controller does not support a full 24Gbps to the host (it is 16Gbps total) so if your HDDs or SSDs can saturate their interface, then you will be limited by the controller if this is what you use. On the other hand, most 4x HDD setups are not fast enough to be limited by this.

QNAP QXP 400eS A1164 ASMedia ASM1164
QNAP QXP 400eS A1164 ASMedia ASM1164

The port is a SFF-8088 port, which is often used for SAS, but this is a SATA-only card. There is not much going on on the back.

QNAP QXP 400eS A1164 Back
QNAP QXP 400eS A1164 Back

With that, let us get to performance.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Is this unit SATA-only just in terms of the internal wiring and connectors and the supplied card, but amenable to being plugged into an SAS HBA; or is the use of SFF-8088 just a convenience(it sure is nicer than eSATA) but the only thing the enclosure should be compatible with is the included card?

  2. Does this require special drivers or software to operate in windows? Do drives get recognized in the OS just like any drive connected over SATA? I’m considering adding this to my pc, but I use backblaze for backups. Backblaze doesn’t backup NAS drives. Not sure if DAS drives work for Backblaze.

  3. Hello!

    Did y’all test and get this working reliably with an LSI HBA in, e.g., a TrueNAS Core or Scale system?

    I tried to use this enclosure with an LSI 9207-4i4e in a TrueNAS Core box and … it did not go well. Apparently, the SATA controller inside the enclosure cannot keep up with TrueNAS Core, and Core ends up generating a ton of SCSI errors and randomly restarting the controller.

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