Reviews, Windows Home Server

Hands-On: Tranquil PC SQA-5H Home Server

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Model: SQA-5H Home Server Manufacturer: Tranquil PC
Website: http://www.tranquilpc-shop.co.uk/ Price: From £439 (ex VAT)


Britain’s Tranquil PC were the first manufacturer to release a home server to the general public in September 2007. Since then, the company have continued to release a range of home servers in  a variety of single and multi-drive configurations. Their latest model, the SQA-5H, is their first home server with hot swappable drive bays and a few new additional hardware innovations which make using Windows Home Server even easier. Our review hardware arrived late last week and we spent the weekend taking a good look at what the Squash had to offer.

What’s Available?

Tranquil PC offer two base configurations, both of which can be upgraded with additional options. Models and specifications are as follows:

SQA-5H-1000 SQA-5H-2000
Processor 64 bit ready Intel Atom 330 (2×1.6GHz) Dual Core 64 bit ready Intel Atom 330 (2×1.6GHz) Dual Core
Memory 1Gb 1x DDR2 533/667MHz 2Gb 1x DDR2 533/667MHz
Storage 1 x 500Gb Western Digital Green Power Hard Drive 1 x 1Tb Western Digital Green Power Hard Drive
USB 2.0 4 Ports (Rear), 2 Ports (Front) 4 Ports (Rear), 2 Ports (Front)
eSATA 1 (Rear) 1 (Rear)
Power Consumption 29w (1 x Hard Drive) 29w (1 x Hard Drive)
Acoustics 23dB (1 x Hard Drive) 23dB (1 x Hard Drive)
Dimensions 213 (W) x 221 (D) x 195 (H) 213 (W) x 221 (D) x 195 (H)
Price £439 (ex VAT) £499 (ex VAT)

The key differences between the units are the available memory and size of hard drives supplied. 1Gb is certainly sufficient for a basic home server, but if you want to take advantage of the wide range of add-ins now available for Windows Home Server, we’d recommend going for the 2Gb option.


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Rarely for a home server, two colour options are also available – a piano black or high gloss white finish. I’ll leave you to decide which looks better according to your individual tastes.

What’s in the Box?

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The SQA-5H arrives well protected in a branded carton – unless UPS decide to have an impromptu game of football with your home server, there should be very little risk of the unit being damaged in transit. In the box you’ll find:

  • The SQA-5H Home Server
  • Power Cables for your country
  • Ethernet Cable
  • Software CDs (Home Server Connector, Home Computer Recovery and Home Server Recovery)
  • USB Boot Key
  • Quick Start Installation Guide

It’s good to see Tranquil PC now bundling their home servers with ethernet cables – it’s a small addition but one that makes a big difference to a new home server owner that may not have spare cables knocking around. The USB Boot Key is also a new addition (in it’s credit-card sized format) to Tranquil PC’s offering. More about that a little later.

As we’re seeing increasingly nowadays, Tranquil PC do not offer a printed manual in the box (they quote waste reduction reasons, although I’m sure the print cost saving is also compelling) and instead offer a short printed quick start guide and an electronic manual on the Home Server Connector CD. The quick start guide does a very brief job of explaining how to set up your home server, which is fine for the geeks amongst us, but may leave a new home server user feeling a little unsupported. As Windows Home Server sits at the heart of your home network, new users may be a little nervous setting up and connecting the home server to their network – the installation of Windows Home Server is different to installing other devices in the home – as a result, I’m not a big fan of leaving the user to print off their own manual. Full installation and usage guidelines should be included in all new home servers – if Tranquil want to reduce waste, then at the very least, manual inclusion should be an option when placing the order.


First Looks

Tranquil PC sent us the white version of the SQA-5H. It’s a very compact, cube-shaped home server with five individual, hot swappable drive bays. The white chassis we received certainly creates a big statement, and if you’re home server is going to be on show (perhaps surrounded by a lot of Apple gear) it looks the business.

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Underneath the home server, you’ll discover the Windows Home Server license key, plus a label explaining what the front LED combinations mean. This seems a slightly odd place to locate such a label (the rear panel would provide easier reference) but it does a good job explaining what’s happening out front.

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Around the Front

The front of the unit is a colourful affair, with multi-coloured drive bay latches attracting the eye, and a series of LEDs positioned at the bottom of the front plate. A power, manual backup and Mode button are also located at the bottom of the panel. Completing the front panel are 2 USB 2.0 ports which provide easy access for external hard drives used for additional storage or as home sever backup devices.

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The drive trays themselves are of a decent quality with the coloured latch releasing an aluminium lever which is used to release the drive tray. All drive trays are screwless – to expand storage, you simply slot the hard drive into the tray, and the tray into the home server. Nice and easy.

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Around the Back

The rear of the unit is dominated by a large fan which extracts heat from the unit, predominately cooling the hard drives (the processor itself is passively cooled with a heat sink). On the right hand side you’ll find a eSATA port (with built in port multiplier), 4 USB 2.0 sockets for adding external storage, gigabit ethernet socket, a desk lock and a power cable input. A blanking plate covers mouse, keyboard and monitor ports, so if you wanted to attach these peripherals to the home server, you could.

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Under the Hood

The SQA-5H is powered by a new dual core version of Intel’s Atom processor, which is 64 bit ready and therefore ready to take on any future 64-bit version of Windows Home Server. The Atom replaces Tranquil’s previous inclusion of VIA C7 processors, and offers strong performance at a low cost and with low power consumption. Tranquil PC quote a consumption of just 29W when running with a single hard drive. Adding additional drives will, of course, increase power consumption, which the company attempt to mitigate by the provision of Western Digital’s Green Power drives. As stated above, we’d be tempted to spend the extra money on the 2Gb version of the Squash server – it may be overkill for today, but will provide plenty of grunt when running Windows Home Server with multiple add-ins, and, more to the point, upgrading the memory on this home server is no trivial matter.

Access to the SQA-5H’s internals is relatively easy by removing a series of screws on the back plate and unscrewing the server’s feet. However, from there, things get a little more complicated. Much like the HP Mediasmart Server, the compactness of the Squash’s internal design means that accessing the motherboard is a matter of major surgery. If you’re looking for opportunities to upgrade the server’s memory and processor, then they won’t come easily. Here’s a few shots of the Squash’s internals.

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The Front Panel Explained

The SQA-5H’s front panel looks a little complex at first, but is in fact pretty straightforward, providing a range of useful operating information about your home server at a glance.

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The multi-coloured latches on each drive bay actually have a purpose beyond aesthetic appeal. Red tabs denote drive bays which are not hot swappable. Blue and green tabs are hot swappable drive trays.

Above each drive bay, a small green LED lights up when it contains a hard drive – so it’s easy to see which bays you can use to extend your storage.

led2

At the bottom of the front panel, the power light is self explanatory, whilst the Health light indicates the current health state of your home server. This light will switch to amber and red depending on your home server’s status. The Boot light will flash red when the system is booting and then should remain green during operation. LEDs at the bottom of each bay replicate the LEDs above each bay denoting that a hard drive is installed in that bay. Should a drive fail, the corresponding LED will turn red.

To trigger a server backup, you can simply press the backup button on the front of the unit, and the server will be backed up either to an external drive, or to a dedicated backup drive inserted into the fifth drive bay. The Backup LED will flash yellow when a backup is in progress, turn green when the backup is completed and red should a backup fail.

The Mode button has two usages – pressing it once will toggle the brightness of the front panel LEDs, whereas if you hold it down, you will see a visual guide as to your current storage capacity. A solid red LED denotes 10% of your storage has been used, whereas a flashing red LED denotes 5% usage. So if you hold down the button and see two sold red LEDs and one flashing LED, that means 25% of your storage has been utilised. This is somewhat tricky to get your head around, but if you need to see your storage capacity displayed on the server itself, it can be done. I guess a VFD display would be an easier option in the future.

USB Boot Key

The credit card sized USB key enclosed with the SQA-5H is actually a Boot key, to be used in the event that the home server itself needs to be reinstalled. This places the Squash into a recovery mode, with reinstallation being completed over the network by placing the Home Server Recovery CD into one of your home computers and following the on screen wizard.

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Easy Home Server Backup

Windows Home Server Power Pack 1 delivered a number of improvements to the platform, including the ability to create a manual backup of the home server itself – a useful function for those looking for true peace of mind. Usually, the home server is backed up to an External USB Hard Drive, offering the ability to take the backup off-site (in case of fire, flood or theft).  Tranquil PC have built on this functionality by allowing the user to dedicate one of the five drive bays specifically for home server backups. This drive does become part of the overall storage pool, but is used purely for backups. The drive dedicated for backups is denoted on the Squash’s front panel by an alternating green and yellow LED, so you can ensure you don’t remove the wrong drive for safe keeping!

Home Server backups can be performed on an ad-hoc basis, simply by pressing the Backup button on the front panel – you then have the option to leave the drive in situ, if you just wish to protect against drive failure, or remove the drive for safe-keeping elsewhere. It’s a great piece of hardware innovation that makes protecting your data simpler and, as internal hard drives are cheaper than their external cousins, more cost effective.

Using the SQA-5H

Tranquil make a point of not shipping systems with any bundled software, so you’re provided with a sparkingly clean, vanilla Windows Home Server installation – as if you installed the software yourself on a home-built PC. So managing the home server and installing the Connector software on you home computers is as you’d expect – boot the home server, wait a few minutes for it to become ready (first boot is always a little longer as the home server needs to be prepared for use), then slip the home server connector CDs in each of your home computers and follow the on screen wizards. Nice and easy.

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Configuring the backup drive (if you choose to use one) is simple – insert the drive into a free bay, and run Windows Home Server’s “Add a Hard Drive” wizard. Let the system know you wish to use that drive as a backup drive, give it a name and then select which of your shared folders you wish to have backed up. Windows Home Server will recognise the drive each time it’s inserted, and therefore future backups are very easy to perform, simply by pressing the backup button on the Squash’s front panel. You’ll see the drive LED flash yellow as the backup is performed, then green once it’s completed, before switching off.

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Swapping drives around is relatively straightforward, although there are a few guidelines to follow – Bays 1 & 2 are not configured as hot swappable bays, so your primary hard drive and any drive in Bay 2 are there for the duration. However, bays 3, 4 and 5 are fully hot swappable, so you can move drives around as you wish (remembering, of course, to let WHS know you’re removing them through the server storage tab).

The combination of 2Gb of RAM and the Atom 330 processor ensured that the system is responsive out of the box, and thanks to the Western Digital GP drives, you’ll find the system runs very quiet indeed.


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If you’re looking for additional storage (that is, if 7.5 Tb maximum storage isn’t enough for you!) for your Squash server, Tranquil PC are also now selling the SQA-EX, a storage enclosure which uses the exact same chassis design as the SQA-5H. The EX connects to the the Squash via its eSATA port, and offers another five bays of storage goodness.

The Verdict

So, what’s the verdict on the Tranquil PC SQA-5H? Well, as with most of Tranquil PC’s servers, you won’t find the SQA-5H in the bargain basement, and if you’re looking for the best deal on a home server, there’s cheaper options about. That said, the Squash’s hardware specification is pretty strong – the 64-bit ready Atom 330 processor is quick enough for a home server and if you go for the 2Gb of RAM there will be very little need to upgrade the hardware for some time yet, so it’s a decent investment.

The chassis is certainly Tranquil’s best to date, and Tranquil PC do very good chassis design, so don’t take this lightly – the Squash is well designed and finished, feeling like a high quality piece of kit. Five drive bays should keep all but the most heavy of users happy for quite some time, and the storage expansion options available via External USB hard drives and the optional SQA-EX will ensure you’ve always got plenty of storage available for your growing digital life.

It’s great to see Tranquil PC continuing to innovate in their hardware design – the one-button manual backup feature builds nicely on new functionality provided in Windows Home Server Power Pack 1, and provides simple, convenient protection for your shared folders.

The SQA-5H is easily Tranquil PC’s best home server to date – in fact, if you’re looking for a compact, quiet, multi-drive home server with good looks, great performance and a myriad of expansion options, the Squash is just about perfect.

You can purchase the SQA-5H from Tranquil PC direct or a variety of online retailers including www.ripcaster.co.uk in the UK, www.domoq.it in Italy, and www.digitalsources.de in Germany. If you’re in the Netherlands, visit www.degrund.nl

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Terry Walsh is the founder of We Got Served. He started the community in February 2007 with a mission to help families, tech enthusiasts everywhere figure out the technology needed to run the modern home and small business. He's the author of a number of guides to Windows, Windows Server and OS X Server and runs his own successful publishing business. Born and raised in Liverpool, England, Terry has been awarded Microsoft's prestigious Most Valuable Professional Award each year since 2008 for his work on We Got Served.
  • Joni

    Thank you Terry for the review! Sounds like a perfect home server device: small, silent and with low power consumption (except for the rather steep price). The only reservation and possible deal breaker for me is whether it can stream Full-HD or HD-ready resolution video to my HP mediasmart connector directly from the home server… if not, then I guess I will go and build my own home server.

  • Squash-1

    The SQA-5H (during our test routines) transfers files at the rate of 32-42 MB/s (subject to file type / size) over LAN – so transmitting multi-channel HD video files should not be a problem.

    There are however different HD video standards, and the following link explains a little more : http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/howto/articles/UnderstandingHDFormats.aspx

    An important fact to note is the difference between bits (b) and bytes (B).

    When you look at some sites / data you will see the term Mbps (Megabits per second), and sometimes MBps (Megabytes per second).

    Mbps is normally referred to for data transfers ie video files
    MBps is normally referred to for file access ie HDDs

    Here’s the thing – there are 8 bits in 1 byte – ie 8b equals 1B

    So when you hear a server can transfer say, 40 MBps – it means 320 Mbps

  • OneSmalStep

    The only thing that concerns me about Tranquil as a company is their on-going support for a product. Only a few months back they launched their M1 server and Sage Extenders which has since disappeared into oblivion without any explanation. As an M1 owner I’m a bit worried about long term support for this product.

  • Bingomaster

    I just got one of these units and I am quite impressed. A few summary points:

    * I wouldn’t call the way it looks stylish, but it solidly built of high quality materials
    * It is very quiet. The fan cannot be heard over the hard-drive noise, which itself is very low. I have it in my bedroom and can’t hear it at all. It is much more quiet than the WD MyBook NAS which it is replacing.
    * The Atom CPU seems pretty nippy: it easily saturates the 100 Mbps Ethernet transfer rates that my router allows for
    * I have put Squeezecenter on it to serve my music: the scan completes quickly and the web browser interface is very responsive

  • Martin H

    I’am still not sure if I shoud get one of these or build my own server :(

  • http://www.tranquilpc.co.uk Squash-1

    If you look real close at the revised specification, you will note that the ModC versions (as shipped from 18th November, include Squeezecenter and also an iTunes server !)

    Windows Home Server PP1 pre-installed
    Media Pack, with Connector, Restore CDs and Installation DVD
    System / Data recovery system included
    iTunes Server
    Logitech Server

    Also – for those interested, the ecommerce team have offered the 2GB option on the SQA-5H-1000 unit – cheers !

  • GarthMan

    I’m interested in a “quiet” server. How loud is the fan?

  • Lee

    Originally Posted By Squash-1Also – for those interested, the ecommerce team have offered the 2GB option on the SQA-5H-1000 unit – cheers !

    Any chance of an incentive for those interested in the 2000 model? Maybe a 5-10% coupon code for readers of this rather good in-depth review?

    Thanks

  • WhatBackHand

    Minor point: it looks like there’s an addition SATA controller fitted onto the MB and not a port multiplier. Although the controller (if I’ve identified it correctly) does itself support port multiplication. This controller also supplies the eSATA port.

  • http://www.tranquilpc.co.uk Squash-1

    @GarthMan
    Possibly the better question, is ‘how quiet is the fan’ ? Our answer is biased. Most people say it’s slient, that’s not technically true, but it’s not far off –

    Terry, you are not biased, how loud/quiet is it ?

  • http://www.tranquilpc.co.uk Squash-1

    @WhatBackHand
    the SATA controller on the MB is part of the intel chipset, this component supports HDD1 and HDD2.

    The second SATA controller, the SiL3124, supports HDD3,4 and 5 plus the eSATA port. The eSATA port is PM compliant.

  • Terry Walsh

    Originally Posted By Squash-1@GarthMan
    Possibly the better question, is ‘how quiet is the fan’ ? Our answer is biased. Most people say it’s slient, that’s not technically true, but it’s not far off –

    Terry, you are not biased, how loud/quiet is it ?

    It’s very quiet, but not silent – if you have the server in a room on its own, you’ll just about hear it. If you have the server in a room with another PC, that PC is sure to drown out the Squash.

  • AstroMidas

    @Squash-1
    I have just received my SQA-5H-2000 unit (shipped 21st Nov) and there is no sign of the iTunes or Logitech servers.

  • Squash-1
  • JeePee

    Hi,

    I am interested in this HS, but I am confused about it’s dimensions?

    This topic: 310 (W) x 320 (D) x 290 (H)
    Tranquil box: 310 (W) x 320 (D) x 290 (H) (external)
    Tranquil unit: 213 (W) x 221 (D) x 195 (H) – incl feet

    thx for any reply
    JeePee

  • JeePee

    Originally Posted By JeePeeHi,

    I am interested in this HS, but I am confused about it’s dimensions?

    This topic: 310 (W) x 320 (D) x 290 (H)
    Tranquil box: 310 (W) x 320 (D) x 290 (H) (external)
    Tranquil unit: 213 (W) x 221 (D) x 195 (H) – incl feet

    thx for any reply
    JeePee

    Oh and one other thinh, is it listed in ‘cm’ or ‘inch’?

    Thanks

  • AstroMidas

    @Squash-1
    Thanks for the link – the servers are installed as you say.
    Cheers.

  • Squash-1

    @JeePee

    SQA-5H Home Server

    Packing box 310 (W) x 320 (D) x 290 (H) (external) mm

    Unit dimensions 213 (W) x 221 (D) x 195 (H) – incl feet mm

    Sorry for the oversight on the box dimensions

  • http://www.wegotserved.co.uk Terry Walsh

    My bad – have fixed the dimensions in the review!

  • JeePee

    @Terry Walsh
    @Squash-1

    Thanks both on the reply of the dimensions. Good to see that it is really small, now it will fit in the closet :)

  • Pinnacle

    Are Tranquil products available for the US market?

  • WHSNewbie

    OK folks,

    I received my new SQA-5H 2GB-ram and 1 TB Disk, and have since added a secondary disk. My first thoughts after now 4 days of playing… are simply WOW. TranquilPC has a winner on their hands.

    1) The system is whisper quiet, less then my DB-meter can hear. So less than a value of 10 dB(A). You can barely hear this thing with your face in front of it.

    2) It does come with pre-install software, so go look for it; as stated above. FireFly media Server, SqueezeCentre, and they work well.

    3) I have added a number of add-ins and this machine is rock solid and fast. I have it on a gig-e LAN with Wireless-N and not one of my users have complained about the server not keeping up with the many things they do.

    4) I’ve install my printer onto the server and all print jobs are fast. It makes for a great Print server.

    5) Backup’s are fast.

    6) Heat, this thing does not even get warm. I can barely feel any heat exchange.

    7) Space to Grow, I’ve added an additional 1TB drive which give me 2TB or 1.82 of usable disk space. So far I’ve backed up 4 laptops and 2 desktops and have used less than 10% of disk space….simply WOW.

    8) My wife was so happy that it worked out of the box and did not lose me for a full weekend while I build another new PC. It worked out of the BOX.

    9) Power, I can finally power down all of my PC’s and save energy, this thing uses very very little.

    10) I live in Canada and the system took 2 days to get delivered from ship date. It was shipped on a Wednesday and by Friday morning I had received it. No shipping or delivery issues.

    If this does not convince you to get a Windows Home Server, nothing will. This is a good buy and the value is solid. Good construction and well designed. I enjoy the front panel look and feel. It’s a very practical box, small in size, big on features.

  • pablo_paul

    Does anybody know how WHS is going to work with windows 7?

    I have the pre-beta build and think it’s pretty good especially the new media center stuff. I will be buying it to upgrade my HTPC’s and i will be buying a new laptop when it comes out.

    So should i take the plunge or wait it out until it all firms up. The sqa-5 would be a great early christmas present.

  • John

    I have been looking at this and also the QNAP TS-509 Pro (the difference in price is not important). Some additional functions of the QNAP is the ability to wake up over lan and also the timers to go to sleep and wake up (I only need this in the evening when the teenagers return from school). So the first question is the ability to put this to sleep and wake up itself (or via Lan). 30W x 24 hrs while may be needed for business is definitely not needed at home. BTW, I am agnostic between Linux and Microsoft. Any other comparisons that I should be aware would be appreicated. Cheers for now! John.

  • JP

    Originally Posted By JohnSo the first question is the ability to put this to sleep and wake up itself (or via Lan).

    Yes, that should be possible with the LightOut addin
    http://www.home-server-blog.de/add-ins/strom-und-laufzeitverwaltung/lightsout/#en

    I order my SQ5 yesterday so haven’t been able to try myself yet :)

    JP

  • Dan

    Looks like a really good NAS/SAN.
    I want to use it as both a iTune and SONOS music server.

    Can you confirm it can handle both these operations??

    (I usee losless encoding – so my music file sizes are large!!)

    Cheers,
    Dan.

  • JeePee

    Hi,

    I think there is a typo in the review under “Easy Home Server Backup”. It says

    … This drive does become part of the overall storage pool, but is used purely for backups…

    That is actually not the case. The backup drive you add must be configured as a “Server backup Hard Drive”, it must not be added to the Storage Hard Drives.

    Thanks
    JeePee

  • Chris

    Does anyonoe know how this compares to the HP MediaSmart EX485 soon to be released? I’ve got some (probably ill-conceived) perceptions of the EX485’s Celeron Processor being insufficient long term, and it’s also 32-bit which isn’t exactly future proof should MS release a 64-bit version of WHS in the future. In relation to the LightsOut Add-in, does anyone know if this can be setup to work remotely? (i.e. whist away from home) Any feedback would be appreciated.

  • JeePee

    Originally Posted By ChrisDoes anyonoe know how this compares to the HP MediaSmart EX485 soon to be released? I’ve got some (probably ill-conceived) perceptions of the EX485’s Celeron Processor being insufficient long term, and it’s also 32-bit which isn’t exactly future proof should MS release a 64-bit version of WHS in the future. In relation to the LightsOut Add-in, does anyone know if this can be setup to work remotely? (i.e. whist away from home) Any feedback would be appreciated.

    I have the SQA-5H and am happy with it. Don’t know about the HP. The only ‘issue’ there is with the SQA-5H is that it’s front panel (with the status leds) currently does not support waking up from hibernation (which is what happens with LightsOut). This means that the boot led keeps blinking. Tranquil is working on a fix for that. See here for more on that http://forum.wegotserved.co.uk/index.php?s=&showtopic=5163&view=findpost&p=32878.

    I have tested the SQA-5H with LightsOut and it did wake up over the internet. When you first try to open your homeserver page you get a ‘page not found’ message, obviously because it’s still waking up. When you refresh that page after 5 to 10 seconds it shows. This may depend on the network card (NIC) and it’s settings as well as your router.
    – NIC 1: LightsOut manual says to enable the ‘Only allow management stations to bring the computer out of standby’ on the power management tab. A router is not a management station, you enable to also prevent the whs to wakeup when the router does a network scan. In this case, you actually want your router to wake up your whs. There is one disadvantage though, and that is that you also have foreigners trying to access your whs webpage and that of course also does wake up the whs. (You see that on the LightsOut uptime diagram). Some interesting reading on that is here: http://www.wegotserved.co.uk/2009/01/06/how-to-analyze-website-log-files-from-your-whs/. I did not yet try to enable it to see what happens.
    – NIC 2: the NIC has an advanced tab for ‘Wake-on-Lan capabilities’. The LightsOut manual says to choose ‘Magic Package’. On mine there is also a ‘Packet Match’ option and a combi of both. LightsOut uses the magic packet, but I chose the combi option. More on that here: http://forum.wegotserved.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=5469. I did not yet try to use only ‘magic package’ to see what happens.
    – Router: when you visit your whs webpage, the request comes in on your router and then forwarded to the whs. I don’t know how it works, but is somehow needs to send a magic package or patern match or something for the whs server to wake up. I have a Zyxel Prestige 2602HW-61.

  • JeePee

    @Chris – I have the SQA-5H and am happy with it. Don’t know about the HP. The only ‘issue’ there is with the SQA-5H is that it’s front panel (with the status leds) currently does not support waking up from hibernation (which is what happens with LightsOut). This means that the boot led keeps blinking. Tranquil is working on a fix for that. See here for more on that http://forum.wegotserved.co.uk/index.php?s=&showtopic=5163&view=findpost&p=32878.

    I have tested the SQA-5H with LightsOut and it did wake up over the internet. When you first try to open your homeserver page you get a ‘page not found’ message, obviously because it’s still waking up. When you refresh that page after 5 to 10 seconds it shows. This may depend on the network card (NIC) and it’s settings as well as your router.
    – NIC 1: LightsOut manual says to enable the ‘Only allow management stations to bring the computer out of standby’ on the power management tab. A router is not a management station, you enable to also prevent the whs to wakeup when the router does a network scan. In this case, you actually want your router to wake up your whs. There is one disadvantage though, and that is that you also have foreigners trying to access your whs webpage and that of course also does wake up the whs. (You see that on the LightsOut uptime diagram). Some interesting reading on that is here: http://www.wegotserved.co.uk/2009/01/06/how-to-analyze-website-log-files-from-your-whs/. I did not yet try to enable it to see what happens.
    – NIC 2: the NIC has an advanced tab for ‘Wake-on-Lan capabilities’. The LightsOut manual says to choose ‘Magic Package’. On mine there is also a ‘Packet Match’ option and a combi of both. LightsOut uses the magic packet, but I chose the combi option. More on that here: http://forum.wegotserved.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=5469. I did not yet try to use only ‘magic package’ to see what happens.
    – Router: when you visit your whs webpage, the request comes in on your router and then forwarded to the whs. I don’t know how it works, but is somehow needs to send a magic package or patern match or something for the whs server to wake up. I have a Zyxel Prestige 2602HW-61.

  • Chris

    Thanks for the feedback JeePee, all interesting stuff!

    There are obvious plus points for the SQA-5H, it can hold 5 disks, and that it’s out in the UK now (which is important as I’m impatient!)…but I like what I see with the EX485 and the seemingly more polished software provided! Guess I’ll just have to see how long HP take to make the unit available in the UK…if it looks like a lengthy delay then the SQA-5H may well get my vote!

  • None

    If you are looking at Tranquil, my experience of the hardware is good. Unless of course you need power saving, they do not officially support it. The Panel buttons and LED software they support is poor as it does not work properly, if you do manage to get it to sleep and save power. The program actually exits. Therefore i recomend another brand. They use the STOCK, “we do not support that feature”, therfore you are on your own.

    At least other companies do offer power saving solutions and take it seriously.
    WOL is supported if you manage to get the correct graphics driver as it’s not even got that from the factory proper;ly configured. The motherboard i have with the D510 does not allow WOL for standby or hibernate as the port is disabled in those low power modes.

    But remember, i am very happy with the build quality. Just for me the after sales customer experience is bad.

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