Articles: Networking

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Basic Functionality

Every NAS from QNAP offers a user-friendly multilingual setup interface that uses modern web technologies. Besides choosing the administration mode, the start screen allows you to access extra features such as file download or video surveillance systems, if you have them enabled on your NAS. You can also see links to a wiki and a forum focusing on the TS-419P II.

Despite a lot of new features, the interface has retained the same structure. We've got a menu tree on the left and a page with setup options in the center. There are a few dozen items on the menu, but the logical structure helps you find your way easily enough. The start screen offers links to frequent tasks such as creating user accounts or network resources. News from the manufacturer's RSS feed is shown at the bottom of the screen.

QNAP’s firmware has long expanded beyond NAS functionality proper and offers a lot of extra capabilities and services, e.g. streaming of multimedia content, backup copying, downloading of files, and video surveillance. The recent additions include cloud services, an antivirus module, RADIUS and Syslog servers.

The TS-419P II connects to a LAN via two Gigabit Ethernet ports with support for Jumbo Frames up to 9000 bytes. The two ports can work independently (on two LANs) or jointly (in different modes including 802.3ad). You can also use a wireless USB adapter to connect the NAS to your WLAN. An integrated DDNS client is available; IPv6 is supported in auto configuration mode.

You can distribute the NAS’s services among its interfaces. For example, you can make its FTP server available on your office LAN and the video surveillance server on a dedicated LAN with video cameras. Security features allow building “black” and “white” lists of clients by individual IP addresses or their ranges. The NAS can block attempts to guess a user password and allows loading your own SSL certificates.

It supports UPnP and Bonjour for easier access on Windows and Mac OS networks and SNMP for integration into corporate network monitoring systems.

Modern NASes often require that HDDs be reformatted when installed into them. This helps build a universal partitioning scheme which allows to move HDDs between different devices (from the same maker) or upgrade RAIDs without losing your data. The TS-419P II having four disk bays, you can have several RAID arrays simultaneously, choosing from JBOD, RAID0, 1, 10, 5 and 6. You can assign replacement disks for RAID1 and RAID5.

Although you can install up to four HDDs into this NAS, you may eventually find out that you need even more storage. In this case you can upgrade your fault-tolerant array by sequentially replacing its HDDs with larger-capacity ones. There are also other migration variants, e.g. from RAID1 to RAID5. Refer to the manufacturer's website for details.

You can check out the file system on a disk volume for errors. There is an integrated bad block scanner for individual HDDs. SMART is supported including built-in tests in manual and automatic mode.

The iSCSI support has been expanded. This protocol can be used for virtual machine storage and other business applications. Disk volumes of the iSCSI type are created on existing partitions. You can now limit LUN access by client names and back up a LUN to local folders or to network resources via SMB or NFS. The TS-419P II can also connect to remote iSCSI volumes for creating network folders for user files. Different file systems, including NTFS and HFS, are supported by iSCSI disks.

The NAS allows to access its data via the standard protocols: SMB/CIFS, AFP, NFS, FTP and HTTP/WebDAV. When on a Windows network, the TS-419P II can be an autonomous or domain-integrated server but it is also able to provide WINS and Master Browser services. LDAP is supported here.

The FTP server supports passive mode. You can specify its port numbers, enable encryption, limit the number of connections and session speed. Unicode is supported for non-Latin filenames.

User access control is based on a standard username/password system. It can be a local, domain or LDAP database of users and groups. Besides usernames and passwords, you can specify disk quotas. If you’ve got a lot of users, you can employ the integrated mechanism for creating multiple accounts in a batch. Importing and exporting of user accounts is supported, too. The administrator can increase the complexity of user passwords by specifying certain requirements to them.

Shared folders are created on disk volumes for storing data. The NAS has a few predefined folders but you can add your own ones. The listing of folders indicates their current size, which is handy for analyzing disk usage. You can provide access to a folder by putting users and/or groups into the no-access, read-only or full-access sections in the folder’s properties. The access rights are the same for SMB, AFP and FTP. For Windows networks you can additionally specify a list of IP addresses from which the folder can be accessed. With NFS, you can allow full or read-only access for IP addresses or their ranges. A separate user database is used for the WebDAV protocol.

The TS-419P II supports extended access rights for subfolders but you should use this feature with discretion. A network recycle bin can be enabled for SMB and AFP.

There are two new features in the network resource section: creating a virtual network folder out of an ISO image (with read-only access) and collecting up to ten remote network folders into a single shared folder on the NAS.

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