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Linux SOHO NAS offers iSCSI

May 5, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 30 views

Qnap Systems announced a network-attached storage (NAS) device, aimed at SMB/SOHO users, that supports two 2TB hard drives. The Linux-based TS-239 Pro Turbo NAS is notable for its iSCSI (Internet SCSI) target service, enabling the NAS to be configured for expansion or backup for other servers.

(Click for larger view of the Qnap TS-239 Pro Turbo NAS )

Like other recent members of Qnap's TS line of NAS devices, the TS-239 Pro runs embedded Linux on an Intel Atom clocked at 1.6GHz, and supports Linux, Windows, Mac, and UNIX desktops. The TS-239 Pro is based on the TS-439 Pro that Qnap released in February. This in turn was based on the six-bay (9TB) TS-639 Pro announced in January, which was Qnap's first Atom-based NAS.

TS-239 Pro, with open bays (left) and rear view
(Click on either to enlarge)

Like the TS-639 Pro and TS-439 Pro, the TS-239 Pro is equipped with a 1.6GHz Atom N270, matched with an Intel 945GSE + ICH7M chipset. It likewise offers 1GB DDRII memory, as well as a 128MB “disk-on-module” (DOM). Qnap claims that NetBench test results show 350MBit/s of throughput when 20 clients are accessing the TS-239 Pro simultaneously.

The device offers two trays, each of which can hold up to 2TB capacity, for 4TB total of hot-swappable storage, says Qnap. The TS-239 Pro is said to provide three USB 2.0 ports and two eSATA ports for external storage and backup. The system's dual gigabit Ethernet ports can be configured as failover, load balancing, or serving two different subnets, says the company. Like its other Atom-based siblings, the TS-239 features a redesigned chassis with vertical drive orientation, for cooler operation.

TS-239 Pro, detail view
(Click to enlarge)

Other than capacity, size, and weight, the TS-239 Pro appears to be almost identical to the earlier Atom-based models, with the same RAID 0-6 support and a wide array of servers. It also shares with these more capacious systems a feature that is rare among low-end NAS devices: the ability to act as both a NAS and an iSCSI target server simultaneously, supporting backup or expansion from up to eight iSCSI devices. By carrying SCSI commands over existing IP networks, iSCSI provides small businesses with an affordable way to build IP-SANs (Storage Area Networks), the company says.

TS-239 Pro in iSCSI network
(Click to enlarge)

Earlier Qnap TS models were based on Marvell Orion processors running the Feroceon architecture, and are still popular, especially among Linux hackers. These include the SoHo-oriented TS-109 and TS-209, as well as the four-bay, SMB-oriented TS-409 Pro Turbo and TS-409U. All of these Feroceon-based devices come pre-installed with Qnap's own Linux implementation, but can be easily switched to Debian for more experienced Linux users.

Stated Jerry Deng, Qnap Product Manager, “The Intel Atom-based TS-239 Pro Turbo NAS is an excellent network storage option for small business and SOHO users who require a power-saving and silent server that has to be turned on day and night.”


QNAP did not provide pricing or availability information for the TS-239 Pro Turbo NAS. More information may be found here.

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