The TS-659 Pro II supports PC-less installation. As soon as it is powered on, the LCD display indicates the status of the unit. On an average, the unit took around 3 minutes to complete booting up. Various characteristics such as the Volume Configuration (RAID type) and Networking Configuration could be set up using menus on the LCD display. Depending on the network environment, it might not even be necessary to install and use the QNAP Finder software. We will cover our testbed setup in a later section. In this section, we will look at the various features available in the administration web interface.

The TS-659 Pro II has a web server service which is disabled by default. Hence, visiting the IP of the NAS through any web browser automatically leads to the administration web interface. Otherwise, it can be explicitly entered into by visiting the URL with the 8080 port number tagged on. The gallery below presents screenshots from the initial pages.

The default login and password combination is 'admin'/'admin'. The flow interface also links to other services, customer support and online help wikis. The initial screen shows a list of available wizards which aid the administrator in getting up and running with creation of users, user groups, shared folders etc.

Next, we look at the various options available under System Administration. Under General Settings, one can explicitly set the server name and administration port (default is 8080). Under Network Configuration, one can configure the settings for the GbE ports. The two NICs can be configured in a number of ways to provide adaptive load balancing, fault tolerance or just dynamically aggregating the bandwidth.

One of the more important options under the Hardware subsection is the ability to enable write caching for EXT4 formatted volumes. This needs to be disabled if the NAS is used in virtualized environments. There is also the option to turn off the buzzers for various types of events. In addition, the user has control over the fan speeds. Power management options, system logs and firmware update support (direct from the Internet or from the local disk) wrap up the System Administration section.

The Disk Management section provides options to manage the volumes and inspect the current configuration of the physical disks and logical volumes. RAID management allows operations such as capacity expansion and bitmapping on the already existing logical volumes.

The HDD S.M.A.R.T subsection helps the user in checking up on the S.M.A.R.T status of the disks and also allows for periodic scheduling of S.M.A.R.T tests (a feature not supported by Synology). The iSCSI subsection allows for enabling the iSCSI service and includes a Quick Configuration Wizard to get a iSCSI target and LUN set up. The firmware also includes an iSCSI initiator to configure virtual disks (i.e., iSCSI targets resident in another network appliance).

The Access Rights Management section provides options for Active Directory support, configuration of users and user groups, shared folders and managing user disk quotas.

The Network Services section provides options to configure Samba, Apple Filing Protocol and NFS. FTP, Telnet / SSH and SNMP settings can also be modified. The web server service can also be enabled and configured in this section. uPnP and Bonjour services can also be enabled.

The TS-659 Pro II provides a rich set of application servers as evident in the gallery below.

The Web File Manager provides an AJAX interface to the file system on the NAS. The uPnP media server also enables the unit to act as a DLNA server. Multimedia Station organizes the photos and videos in the NAS in a single easy to use page. A caveat for the users is that the Multimedia Station doesn't use the same login credentials as the one used for the administration. The surveillance station supports upto four IP cameras. The streams can be viewed in real time or recorded for archival purposes.

The firmware web interface also supports a host of other options like configuring backups on the Amazon S3 service and ElephantDrive. The One-Touch Copy button in the can be configured to either copy from the USB drive to the NAS (default behaviour) or copy over a specific directory in the NAS over to the USB drive. The button can also be disabled if necessary.

The TS-659 Pro II can also be configured as a network UPS slave. QNAP also provides the MyCloudNAS service (dynamic DNS) which helps users to access the unit over the Internet. Users can also configure the various services which are visible over the MyCloudNAS service. Of course, the appropriate router ports need to be opened up, and the firmware provides options for auto configuration. The last section allows the users to check up on the information about the system, the currently turned on services and monitor the resource usage.


Unboxing Impressions System Teardown and Analysis
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  • Toadster - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    the specs on page #1 show 43W max power, but in the SMB, ISCSI and NFS page - you show 72.3W usage - which is it?

    also - why the heck are they using a 350W PSU when only 72.3W max? I could see maybe a 100W PSU which may remove the need for the PSU fan (thereby reducing noise?)

    overall, very tempted to get this device!
  • ganeshts - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    That spec on page #1 is QNAP's claims (and that is with 500 GB hard drives -- mentioned somewhere else). We measured 72.3W and stand by it :)

    Echo your sentiments on the PSU.. And QNAP claims 350 W PSU when the internal PSU is just 250W (not that it matters when the max power consumption is around 70 W only)
  • MichaelD - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    It's sad that a state-of-the-art, $1K+, SMB NAS device still is unreliable when it comes to rebuilds. I stopped using my D-Link DNS-343 (not in the same class as the QNAP) because of all the issues I had with it. Dog slow access speeds, lockups, you name. FW flashes fixed nothing.

    Granted, the web interface is very attractive and it has a lot of high-end features (and the display is nice looking) but when it comes down to brass tacks, data integrity and availability are all that matters. If I can't rely on this device to successfully rebuild after a drive failure, what good is it?

    I built my own NAS (server) out of a mATX mobo/RAM/CPU/HW RAID card I had laying around. I own a copy of Server 2003. I also owned the 5-drive SATA enclosure. Been up for almost 18 months now with a reboot roughly monthly for Windows updates. Zero issues.

    These "shoebox NASs" just aren't ready for prime time. STILL.
  • saiga6360 - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    Windows updates? LOL
  • jimr1234567890 - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    What are the effects of going from 1 GB to 3 GB memory? Any better performance? Faster rebuild time? Is there any benefit and if so what are they?

    BTW: like the article I like the fact you took out a drive and made the system rebuild a disk. Most articles I have read just gloss over any real world test and just regurgitate the products propaganda.

    I wonder how well this would work as source of video files from my DNLA complainant TV?
  • ganeshts - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    uPnP media server works fine as a source for your DLNA TV.. But, this one doesn't do transcoding.. so hopefully your TV's DLNA profile is good enough for your videos.
  • jimr1234567890 - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    What would be a good one that can effectively handle transcoding then?
  • ganeshts - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    I am evaluating something in the ReadyNAS lineup which has Orb inbuilt. This is supposed to have a transcoding engine, but I am yet to test its effectiveness.
  • saiga6360 - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    Why transcode at all? Get a proper media player. TV media players are crap.
  • DanNeely - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    Even if the box on your TV has enough computational power to play arbitrary modern formats without special purpose hardware low power handheld devices (phones, and tablets) are unlikely to be able to do so any time soon. Over longer terms unless we eventually reach a point where throwing more hardware at the problem stops yielding better quality images for a given file size I don't expect this to change.

    Also the number of playback points you have is also a factor. If you only need to stream to one or two TVs spending an extra hundred bucks per screen for more powerful decode isn't a big deal; if your McMansion has a tv in each of a dozen+ rooms then consolidating all of your transcoding into a single location and using dumb hardware at each TV will save significant amounts of money.

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