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QNAP TS-453A QTS-Ubuntu Combo NAS Review

Setup – Initialization, Storage, and External


Initialization

There are multiple ways to initialize your new QNAP NAS, but my preferred method is through the QNAP Qfinder Pro tool that also can be used for a lot more than just initializing your new NAS. When launched, the Qfinder will scan your network and attempt to find uninitialized devices and if found, prompt you whether you want to set them up now.

Agreeing to initialize the NAS will open your default browser and guide you through it. The first choice you’ll have to make is whether you want to initialize it for home use or business use. The only difference is what default packages will be installed and you can always add the missing features later on.

I picked business use as I prefer to stay in control of what and when. We need to give the NAS a name and set the admin password next.

The date and time settings are similar to those you find on any device these days. You can set the time zone and specify whether to automatic update the time and date via NTP servers or you can set it manually.

The network connection most likely already is as you want it, but you can change that too. At least in the basics. You get a lot more network options later on.

We also get to choose what network protocols should be enabled and whether we just pick one of the three or all of them, that is down to personal needs and usage scenarios.

We get the choice whether we want to configure our installed hard disk drives right now or whether we want to do it later on.

I need to go through all setup scenarios for my benchmarks anyway, so I might as well create one right away.

And that was the initialization. We get a final view on our settings and the ability to change things we might have done wrong or changed our mind about.

The system will now make all the changes according to the settings you just made and get the system ready.

After the setup is done, you can log into the actual user interface where you most likely will be greeted with a prompt whether you want to update to the latest version. This is highly recommended.

Now that we have the update out of the way, we get to see the normal welcome message where we can take a little guide through QNAP’s QTS operating system and its features.

All done, time to play with the settings and features. And there are plenty of them to play with on this QNAP TS-453A.


Settings

The user interface isn’t just for the administrator, other users with fewer rights can use it quite a bit too and each user has quite a bit of customizability when it comes to both their account and how the interface looks.

For example, you can change the wallpaper to one of the five included ones or upload your own custom image.

You can also enable 2-step verification, but that requires a mobile device capable of running an authenticator app.

Passwords and email accounts can also be changed here.

And last but not least, you get a whole list of available options for QTS itself, such as auto-logout timers and which parts to show and hide.


Storage Options

We made a storage setup during our initialization, but we might want to check up on that, the drives in general, or change and add some things in this regards. The QTS Storage Manager is awesome and provides all these features in one centralized location.

It even includes graphical storage utilization information on both volumes and pools.

Each of the installed drives can be watched in detail and perform smart tests.

All your storage pools and volumes are collected in one convenient page – after all, they belong together. Managing and creating new ones is as easy as everything else in QTS and only takes a few clicks.

As mentioned, you can get a full view on the volumes and t hat includes usage statistics, apps using the volume, and shared folders located here.

Cache acceleration is most likely a thing that will be used when expansion units are in play, simply due to the amount of drive bays the SSDs will occupy. However, it is an awesome feature that can give your centralized server a lot more power for those IOPS intensive tasks.

Centralized is a key word here and we also get that when it comes to snapshots. The vault will show them all, if you’ve enabled that feature.

You might be familiar with creating new storage pools or volumes on QNAP’s systems, by it can’t hurt to show the features again. Select drives, mode, and capacity before you hit the create button.


Virtual Drives

Virtual drives are supported in two ways. You can mount ISO files as shared folders through the control panel and you can also connect to remote iSCSI volumes on other systems. Connect it all for the best experience.


External Devices

The TS-453A only features USB 3.0 ports and all drives connected to them can be seen through the button on the taskbar or here in the storage manager. Format the drives, eject them, or get all the details as seen below.

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Bohs Hansen

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