Rackmount NAS units introduced in recent days have been mostly based on the powerful Intel processors, but there is a market demand amongst small workgroups and SMBs for low power NAS devices in that form factor. In order to serve this market, QNAP is launching the TS-421U and TS-420U, both of which are based on the tried and tested Marvell 6282 CPU.

The 420U runs the CPU at 1.6 GHz, while the 421U cranks it up to 2.0 GHz. Both units have four hot-swappable bays in a 1U rackmount form factor. There are two GbE ports, two USB 3.0 ports, two eSATA ports and a single USB 2.0 port in front. The PSU is built-in. Internally, the units sport 1 GB of DDR3 DRAM (double that of the amount usually found in the Marvell-based 4-bay units with a tower form factor).

iSCSI (with think provisioning) support exists and the dual LAN ports can be configured in various port trunking modes. Windows AD and LDAP directory services can help in easy account setup from a AD/LDAP-based directory server. Backup strategies available in the new units include Real-time Remote Replication (RTRR), backup to cloud storage and support for third-party backup softwares. Time Machine is supported and QNAP provides the NetBak replicator for backing up PC data to a Turbo NAS.

More details about the two new rackmount products can be found here.

Source: QNAP

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  • JFish222 - Saturday, March 23, 2013 - link

    If I found the right specs, the Marvel is an Armv5 in order architectural. I'd think something like this would get bogged down pretty fast.
    More than a couple of users, or worse a couple of hosted applications (ex: VPN) I'd expect performance to drop fast. Any word how this thing will scale? Does the extra RAM improve this situation?
  • Daniel Egger - Saturday, March 23, 2013 - link

    The smaller version should have about double the punch of my trusty lgnas which uses a 6192. However the 6282 does not support USB 3.0 and the datasheet doesn't say anything about SATA port multipliers that the 6192 supports -- my guess is that qnap puts external USB 3.0 and SATA on the two PCIe ports. However I'm not sure what that would do to the hardware acceleration of the software(?) RAID.

    This announcement is *really* light on essential details, it's more a press rerelease which I really hate.

    FWIW the price is really not so hot. The pre-release price in Europe is € 760,78 without storage which is f*ing expensive for a Marvell based system.
  • K1wi - Saturday, March 23, 2013 - link

    Not that QNAP boxes are ever cheap but...

    Whenever anyone provides something in the rackmount format with hot swap drive bays they always bump the price correspondingly high and call it business/prosumer.
  • Daniel Egger - Sunday, March 24, 2013 - link

    Right, but those are rather low-endish. Even an Atom-based NAS should provide better performance.

    And you can get a Netgear ReadyNAS 1500 without drives for € 530. There're several non-Intel devices for around € 600 including vendors like Synology without drives. And Atom based ones from Thecus start a little above that.

    Heck, for the same starting price you can get a Thecus N4510U-S with 2x2TB drives.

    Or why not buy a PROLIANT DL120G07 with Xeon E3-1220 and hardware RAID for € 630 and run e.g. FreeNAS.
  • jamyryals - Monday, March 25, 2013 - link

    The price would be way more palatable if the power supply wasn't built in... I don't want to have to dismantle the damn thing if the PS blows up.
  • EricZBA - Sunday, March 24, 2013 - link

    Of course they announce this 2 weeks after I broke down and bought the cheap Qnap 4 bay desktop unit for our backup system. Would have loved to use something rackmount instead :(

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