Under the Covers
Figure 18 shows the main board of the TS-209 Pro.
Figure 18: TS-209 Pro Main Board
In this phto, you can see that the main processor of the unit is a highly-integrated ARM-based Marvell Orion 88F5182, which QNAP advertises to run at a relatively speedy 500 Mhz. In other details, since I have command-line access, I can see that the TS-209 is running a Linux 188.8.131.52 kernel, has 128 MB of RAM, and uses ext3 for the file system.
I really liked this product. It's clear a lot of work has gone into the internal software, the user interface, and the documentation. For a power user like me, this NAS has a lot going for it. On the downside, however, the unit is significantly more expensive than its rivals. The cheapest I found the TS-209 Pro online was $370, and that doesn't include disk drives. In contrast, you can find the dual-drive Iomga StorCenter NAS online for around $400, which includes a Terabyte of storage.
But sometimes you get what you pay for. If you're a power user shopping for a NAS, The TS-209 Pro outclasses the Iomega unit in every respect. The TS-209 has many more features, is a much better performer, and seems to be generally better thought out than the StorCenter.
It's also interesting to compare the TS-209 Pro to the Synology DS-207. Both are BYOD units with a nearly identical feature set. The Synology NAS has a slightly lower price at around $310, but as you can see in the performance charts, it gets handily beaten by the TS-209 Pro in almost every case—a fact I would attribute to a processor that's around half the speed of the TS-209 Pro. Also, it doesn't hurt that the TS-209 Pro has twice the RAM of the DS-207.
If you need the extra performance, want the extra functionality it brings, and are willing to pay a bit of a premium, the TS-209 Pro will make a powerful addition to your network.