We've reviewed a number of NAS Drives over the years. This one is really quite different. It's easily the most powerful unit we've seen and more like a mini datacenter than a NAS Drive.
Like most NAS Drives you can connect via the network to the device. In fact this unit has two 10 gigabyte per second Ethernet network ports. This is for the traditional file serving function on steroids. Also on this unit you can access the files via ThunderBolt, which offers up to 20 gigabytes per second data transfer speeds. Thunderbolt is well known to Mac users although it's available for Windows users too.
The Thunderbolt is faster and can also be daisy-chained to share the NAS Drive between multiple computers.
The unit lends itself to photography, video production, 3D animation, or businesses with fast data transfer requirements.
It has eight bays on the front for hard drives to be installed into. Generally NAS Drives get shipped with no hard drives included. Hard drives with up to 8 terabytes of storage each are available. So you can setup this NAS with up to 64 terabytes of storage.
You can also connect expansion bays to extend the capacity to 448 terabyte.
The device supports iSCSI configuration over ethernet or ThunderBolt for connecting to a Mac, Windows or Linux server.
In a video production environment the built-in HDMI port is a great way of outputting high resolution video drafts to a TV screen.
Like other QNAP devices it's easily managed via a web browser. Additional apps can be downloaded and installed onto the device easily. Some are business, some entertainment and others just very useful. An example is the Gmail backup app, that downloads all your email to keep a local backup on your NAS Drive.
With use of all the different connectors and different apps available, this unit can become the center of your office environment, doing all these complicated things with easy simultaneously.
Once again Qnap has outdone themselves with an excellent product. It's ideally suited for Mac users in production environments. This is the best performing NAS - storage device we've ever seen.