While we had never really heard of QSAN before getting our hands on their XCubeNAS XN5004T, our research indicated that they were becoming more and more prevalent in the US, giving users another option outside of the more well-known names like Synology and QNAP. Aimed at workgroup and SMB environments, the XN5004T has room for up to four 3.5″ drives, and an additional 2.5″ drive. This configuration allows for up to 58TB of local storage space, which is really quite a lot when you think about it. By utilizing various RAID array options, the amount of storage available will fluctuate with regards to disk redundancy, but this NAS offers plenty of options to make the best use of your drives.
Setting up the XN5004T was very easy, and using the available Quick Setup option had us up and running in minutes. This is especially handy, since this option doesn’t require you to wait for the RAID 5 array to initialize, giving you access to your drives immediately. Expanding the capabilities is a breeze, thanks to the easily removable side panel that gives quick access to the two internal RAM slots and 2.5″ drive bay. The XN5004T comes equipped with 8GB of DDR4, but can be expanded to hold 32GB; very handy if using the NAS to host virtual machines, which we were able to do very easily. Adding an SSD to the 2.5″ drive let us take advantage of the XN5004T’s read caching capabilities, though our results were limited to the throughput of the single 1GbE NIC we had connected. Sadly, the NAS requires two SSDs to enable the write cache option, reducing the overall storage capacity of the unit when this is configured. Hardware out of the way, the UI on the XN5004T is very easy to use, and the menu-driven system provides many customization options for the NAS, and can be easily navigated by anyone that has used a modern operating system, or is used to working with this type of device.
The QSAN XCubeNAS XN5004T keeps things business oriented by not offering any “fun” applications or features, and that is just fine. This is a NAS that is designed to give access to multiple users at the same time in an efficient and reliable manner. By using multiple security and account configuration options, the XN5004T ensures data confidentiality, integrity, and accessibility; the pillars of a secure data environment. The multiple RAID array options give users a good choice of data performance and reliability options, while the CPU and expandable memory option let the NAS scale up a bit to take on duties like hosting VMs locally. Keeping the data on the NAS safe and secure can be bolstered by multiple cloud or off-site backup and sync utilities, and their configuration is very straightforward.
The last thing to mention is the pricing and availability of the XN5004T, which is currently $999.99, and only available in the US through pc-pitstop.com. Trying to break into the US market can be a very daunting task, and when your feature set and performance match up pretty closely to the existing competition, one of your best options for success is to beat everyone on price. At the current price point, we think the XN5004T faces a tough battle before it finds its way into the hands of consumers and SMBs. Additionally, the cost of high-capacity drives can exceed the price of the unit itself, though if you are looking to implement a unit of this level, you should be more than aware of the associated costs.
QSAN has really brought a lot to the table with the XCubeNAS XN5004T; there is quite a bit of hardware and functionality packed inside a pretty small footprint. With features that place this unit at home in a small office, the XN5004T is ready to get down to business. At the same time, home users can make use of the file sharing capabilities of this NAS, as well as the backup and cloud sync options to keep their data safe. QSAN did a great job on this first impression, and we give their XCubeNAS XN5004T an 8 out of 10.
- Easy setup
- Up to 58TB of local storage
- Up to 32GB of RAM
- SSD caching option
- Optional 10Gbps NIC
- Optional Thunderbolt 3 add-in card
- Plenty of connectivity options (5 x USB 3.0, 4 x 1Gbps NICs)
- Lacks multimedia features
- Two SSDs needed for write cache