Taking advantage of multiple disks to provide not only performance enhancements, but redundancy for data protection, network-attached storage (NAS) devices are a great way to expand the amount of storage available to multiple devices on a network. Most units offer not only their file and resource sharing benefits, but they typically also provide other great features like automated backups to cloud services and fault tolerant disk configurations that can be of great benefit to business users. Many companies offer NAS devices spanning the gamut from single or dual-drive systems, all the way up to rack-mounted enterprise solutions capable of supporting dozens of local disks. One of those companies, QSAN, was founded on 2004, and works to provide enterprise-class storage systems to the world. QSAN’s XCubeNAS XN5000T series of NAS units are designed for the workloads of both workgroups and SMB environments. Given that direction, you won’t find a plethora of consumer-oriented applications like multimedia transcoding, media servers, or the like. Instead, the XN5004T we are reviewing today offers a solid base of tools and features for getting work done in an efficient and reliable manner. Follow along as we take a look at the QSAN XCubeNAS XN5004T NAS.
QSAN provides a full list of specifications for the XN5004T on the Specification tab of their product page, but we are going to focus on a few of the things that our readers will most likely be interested in learning about. The XN5004T utilizes a dual-core Intel Celeron processor running at 2.9GHz, which we found to be more than capable of providing enough horsepower for our file storage and transfer needs. Eight gigabytes of DDR4 RAM are available for system and application use, and can even be expanded to a maximum of 32GB. There are four main drive bays on the XN5004T that support not only 3.5″ drives, but 2.5″ drives as well. An additional 2.5″ drive slot is a bit hidden, but can be populated with an SSD to support caching. The maximum raw capacity listed by QSAN is 58TB, figured as four 14TB drives in the 3.5″ bays, and a 2TB drive in the 2.5″ slot, though this could increase as larger consumer and SMB disks become available. Multiple RAID levels are available and include the following options: Single Disk, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 5 + hot spare, RAID 6, RAID 10, and JBOD. File systems support spans the following options: ZFS, EXT2, EXT3, EXT4, FAT, and NTFS. Four 1 GbE ports offer network connectivity, and can be linked to provide extra network bandwidth and throughput. A single PCIe Gen3 x8 slot is also present and can be populated with components like a 10/40 GbE NIC, Thunderbolt 3.0 card, or an SAS adapter.
The XN5004T arrived on our doorstep in a sturdy cardboard box, with retail markings and stickers, indicating this is probably what you would see on the shelf in a brick and mortar store. Shipped in this way, the box was a bit banged up, but overall in good shape. A few of the unit’s features are listed on a sticker indicating that this is a four-bay unit, but other than than, the packaging is void of any product details.
Opening up the box shows that the NAS has been placed within the confines of multiple foam protectors. An additional box with accessories sits on top, giving quick access to the necessary cables and paperwork needed to get up and running.
QSAN has packed the accessories box with your standard arrangement of NAS gear, including two network cables, a power cable, screws for securing 2.5″ drives in the 3.5″ bays, a “key” for gaining access to the memory and 2.5″ drive bay and 3.5″ bays, as well as a quick installation guide and software information.