QNAP TS-873A Storage Performance
The storage performance of these systems is very dependent on the disk configuration including drives used, cache SSDs, compression/ deduplication, and even RAM/ other applications running on the NAS. We used 8x 8TB Seagate IronWolf drives in the QuTS hero configuration.
Here is another view looking at the file transfer speeds.
Overall performance was good and is on par with what we have seen with other ZFS solutions from QNAP using 2.5GbE.
Power Consumption and Noise
The power consumption is dominated by disks and add-in cards. We debated whether we should test this in our 208V data center lab or in our 120V embedded edge data center lab. In the end, we are using 120V edge lab at 17.7C and 70% RH. Our testing window shown here had a +/- 0.3C and +/- 2% RH variance.
- Idle empty: 26W
- Max observed: 58W
It seems as though the 250W power supply configuration is ample for this unit. We did get a bit of variance in testing, but the key here is that this is fairly low power. We also need to remember that these units can have expansion cards such as NICs, SSDs, GPUs, and more that would add to power used.
In terms of noise, we saw the following in a 23dba ambient environment as measured from 1m in front of the chassis:
- Idle: 25dba
- Moderate Disk Activity: 31dba
The disk activity is probably what would make one put this a few feet/ meters away rather than directly next to their chair. Still, this is not a unit that most will find needs to be located in a data equipment closet.
Next, we are going to discuss the market impact of this solution, along with our final words.
Reviewing a QNAP system these days is much different than even a few years ago. It almost seems as though QNAP has NAS enthusiasts designing these products. Five or six years ago an 8-bay NAS from a NAS vendor was a relatively closed and proprietary system but generally had easy-to-use software and often with proprietary storage engines. The TS-873A still uses a proprietary motherboard and a few features like that but it has a lot of engineering behind those design decisions while offering a lot of flexibility in the configuration. Even the ability to switch to QuTS hero and get a ZFS-based solution feels like it was driven by market feedback.
We like the inclusion of 2.5GbE over 1GbE. At some point having 2.5GbE is nice. We do wish there was onboard 10GbE, but one can add additional cards and that is really the point of this type of solution. Beyond that, QNAP also has some NIC + SSD hybrid cards making the two slots found in the system tantalizing for configuration options.
The other side of this solution goes beyond simple storage. These systems are now designed to do much more than just provide NAS functionality. One can run VMs, containers on the NAS and use these servers as local servers for a home or small business. There are both templates to make setting up common applications easy as well as allowing one to build their own solutions based on fairly standard technologies.
Pricing wise this unit is around $1049. There is certainly a premium being applied to the NAS that goes towards the engineering of the cooling solution, chassis, assembly, and also software. Some may balk at valuing those at a few hundred dollars while others will see a solution that one can order, and have up and running in a few minutes with a web browser as a great trade-off. Pricing feels right to us given what other vendors are offering at similar price points.
Overall, this is a great unit and a fun one for those who want an AMD-based storage solution.