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Hardware Thread, Visit to see a QNAP NAS? in Technical; I've just about finalised a recommendation (TS-859 Pro+) for a company that I support. I've never dealt with NAS before ...
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    Visit to see a QNAP NAS?

    I've just about finalised a recommendation (TS-859 Pro+) for a company that I support. I've never dealt with NAS before and have researched this here as well as by accessing data sheets etc. I would like to see the QNAP NAS in real life, the configuration screens etc., as well as ask some questions about it's use on a day to day basis. I suppose that the QNAPs are all similar but, ideally, would like to see the TS-859 Pro+.

    I'm based in West Yorkshire. Does anyone have a QNAP NAS and would be willing to let me visit for maybe 15 minutes to see it and ask questions? I'm flexible and could visit at one end of the day or at lunchtime, if necessary.

    Thanks in advance.

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    Domino's Avatar
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    We've one...in hong kong ;-)

    I could let you see the config screens via screen sharing if you don't get a better offer though.

    There's not a lot to them mind...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Domino View Post
    There's not a lot to them mind...
    Our QNap device seems to consist of an Atom-based motherboard with on-board SATA ports running Linux software RAID. Well packaged and a nice front-end, but nothing you couldn't put together yourself.

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    I've got one, the TS-639 which is a 6 bay 6TB version. Very nice piece of kit with a lovely front end.

    PM me if you want to come and have a look but I am in Birmingham.

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    We've got a TS-809U-RP, So far am pretty impressed for the price, its nice and simple to use and set up. We mainly use it for storing backups and media streaming. We are based in newcastle so probably a bit far away.

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    Thanks for the offers - I'll book my flight to Hong Kong this week!

    @Tricky_Dicky: I don't know the time scale for the purchase going through (we all know how long that process can take) but I plan to visit Birmingham within the next 6 - 8 weeks so, if this project is still in the air, I might just take you up on your offer.

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    Bought one about a month ago but probably a bit manic here (Wiltshire) at the moment to arrange a visit. Impressed with the hardware (except for the missing drive they forgot to fit) and the web GUI seems pretty good.

    Concerns so far:

    1) No proxy support in BUI which means anything it connects to the internet for (pulling down updates, news feeds, etc.) will fail when behind a proxy/firewall. (minor issue)
    2) Default shares (Downloads, Multimedia, Recordings, etc.) cannot be deleted. They can be hidden but I still find this annoying.
    3) The implementation of Windows ACLs in a domain environment isn't great. I'm still testing this but having faith in the security is difficult when you set up your shares in the BUI to have access by Domain Admins only, yet when you view the effective file permissions in Windows it says all Domain Users have read access. Still looking into this before I start using it.

    Chris

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    I suppose something I would ask is, what do you propose to use your NAS for?

    We have a QNAP TS-412U (I think) and for the moment we're just using it for generic storage (a dumping ground for our crap). They seem to serve our purposes quite well but then again we're not too demanding in terms of features. Having said that, it did seem to support some handy functions (which I cannot remember off the top of my head) but one thing we wanted was LDAP authentication. I think the problem @Duke was having maybe solved by denying permissions to the groups that you don't want to access that particular share. I also briefly used it for dumping images on from our Clonezilla box.

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    Duke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAZZD88 View Post
    I think the problem @Duke was having maybe solved by denying permissions to the groups that you don't want to access that particular share.
    I've just been having play and it does all work properly as far as I can see (you don't need to explicitly deny people, just don't give them permissions the same as in Windows), the only thing is that the ACLs won't show up correctly in Windows. If I give domain\administrator and domain\domain admins R/W access and set nothing else then they can get in a student is just presented with a login prompt. However if you view the ACLs then it does say Domain Users have read access.

    As far as I can see the ACLs work, it's just very disconcerting.

    Chris

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    Thank you for the further comments.

    The unit is has 8 x 2TB storage and will be used for archiving large video files. The company takes a lot of videos and edits them for their clients. Their current storage is a number of external hard drives with about 6TB of data. It's likely to increase by 1 - 2TB per year. Cloud storage of such a large volume of data isn't an option!

    As far as integration with a domain is concerned, the unit will sit in a workgroup (at least initially), but one of the questions that I wanted to ask was about integration with Windows logon accounts. I assumed that a user would log on to the domain and then have a separate account set up in order to access the files/folders on the NAS. I suppose it would be ideal if seamless integration with Windows authentication could be configured so users wouldn't have to have two separate usernames/passwords. I assume that an administrator could configure the password on the NAS but that would mean the user would have to tell the administrator their password ... unless they can change the NAS password themselves?

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    If you wanted to do seemless integration, you'd have to be on a domain, using LDAP to authenticate against AD. If you're only in a workgroup, I think your only option is to set up user accounts on the QNAP box. If there aren't too many users requiring access or you don't need different sets of permissions for each user then you could create one or two accounts and just give users the same accounts for accessing the QNAP box. Hope that makes sense.

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    Duke's Avatar
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    If you have a domain then join the device to the domain and you will have seamless (-ish) Windows ACL permissions. Further to my earlier comments, it does seem like ACLs work properly, and when viewed on a Server 2008 box rather than an XP box the ACLs actually look fairly clean too. When users without permissions try to access a share they tend to get a login prompt rather than an access denied error, but they can't login with their details.

    I would say that the LDAP/AD integration isn't as good as NetApp or Oracle, but look at the price difference. For the amount of storage you'll get from QNAP for 2k, you're looking at 20k from Oracle and 100k from NetApp. But then on the flip-side, I wouldn't run QNAP as my primary storage for home shares for 2000 users.

    I suppose it would be ideal if seamless integration with Windows authentication could be configured so users wouldn't have to have two separate usernames/passwords.
    Basically, yes you can do this and yes it's fairly simple.

    Chris

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke View Post
    Basically, yes you can do this and yes it's fairly simple.
    Thank you - that's useful to know for future reference.

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    I'm finding the ACL implementation buggy and slow applying permissions but you get what you pay for. Proxy support would be welcome just so the built in clamav could update as well.

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    Duke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallwood_6 View Post
    I'm finding the ACL implementation buggy and slow applying permissions but you get what you pay for. Proxy support would be welcome just so the built in clamav could update as well.
    Raise a support case via their site. I wouldn't expect them to fix this any time soon, but their support is generally helpful and responsive and the more customers asking for it, the higher priority it'll be.

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