QNAP TS-2888X NAS Hardware Review

The QNAP TS-2888X – A BIG Job requires a BIG NAS

I talk about alot of NAS here on NASCompares, but when I found out I was going to get my hands on the rather unique TS-2888X, I can honestly say I was looking forward to it…ALOT. Like any technology, what was once groundbreaking, fast becomes mainstream, then normal and then just ‘meh’. NAS drives have been around a long time and alot innovators find new and exciting ways to push the hardware and software in better ways every year, the form of the average NAS drive rarely changes – a box that has a bunch of media bays on the front and a bunch of ports on the back. Then the QNAP TS-2888X NAS for AI arrived – and then everyone lost their minds! It is not just that it is a big piece of hardware (which it is), it is that although there have been developments of portable and personal AI development in recent years (with QNAP pretty much being the lead NAS server brand on this), this is by far the most impressive. Arriving in its own mobile frame, this rack cabinet sized NAS chassis features killer unique features for artificial intelligence development, such as:

  • A hugely evolved processor in the Intel Xeon Series (ranging from 4 to 18 cores) with liquid cooling
  • Upto 512GB of DDR4 EEC Memory
  • 28 Media bays covering SATA hard drives, SATA SSD Bays and hugely enterprise NVMe Speed U.2 SSD Bays
  • 8 PCIe slots, Supporting up to 4x 330mm length graphics cards for machine learning and virtual environments
  • a 2000W PSU with power feeds to all those PCIe slots
  • Multiple 10Gbe and 1Gbe ports
  • AI Sandbox handling software with QuAI included
  • All the features and functionality of the QNAP QTS NAS platform.


In short, this is by far the most powerful NAS, with the greatest potential, I have ever had here on NASCompares. Let’s find out why this device exists and why, if you have the budget for it (starting at £4800+ ex.VAT) it could be the gamechanger in your network environment in years to come. The future is here!

Engineered for Machine Learning for Model-based Services

The combination of system and software, the TS-2888X packs everything required for machine learning to help organizations quickly and easily implement AI applications. If you are looking for a simple storage device, this may all seem rather overwhelming, but for those looking at AI supported systems to aim production, or just to develop and further your own AI, the TS-2888X has your back. Supporting requires, such as:

Vast Storage Requirements

Data is the key to AI, and the TS-2888X provides the potential for huge capacities to remove the storage bottleneck from AI development. As your AI learns, the data will really pile up. Have a systam that is big enough to house it, as well as features varied speeds fo storage to move the priority data to the fastest locations.

AI Environment Ready Requirements

QNAP’s QuAI computing platform reduces the time and complexity of implementation and management. Supporting numerous maps and environments

Every Evolving GPU Requirements

The TS-2888X supports multiple graphics cards to empower data-intensive machine learning. So whether you are housing multiple versions or want the power to grow your AI within, the 4 top spec GPU card support is hugely comforting to your future.

Private Access without the risk of cloud interlopers

Public cloud training is not suitable for confidential or sensitive data. Keep full control over all your data with the TS-2888X and the history that QNAP has in private cloud history. Why pay monthly for cloud space, that is less secure than a 1-time purchase of NAS hardware that you have the ultimate lock and key access too? It’s a no brainer.

Multi-tiered Backup Requirements

Flexible backup tools and snapshots protect your data while also allowing efficient disaster recovery, as well as RAID support, USB Backups, AES-NI encrypted cloud backups and NAS-to-NAS backups with RSync and Real Time Remote Replication (RTRR).

The Core. The Power. The Lead.

The Intel Xeon W processors in the TS-2888X provide up to 18 cores/36 threads and up to 4.5 GHz with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0, combined with up to 512 GB DDR4 ECC RDIMM 2666 MHz memory to deliver rapid workload loading and processing.

Powerful CPU with liquid cooling

The TS-2888X is powered by a next-generation Intel® Xeon W processor, available with up to 18 cores/36 threads of uncompromising processing power on a single die. An Asetek CPU liquid cooling system delivers unparalleled cooling performance for the 140-watt Xeon CPU, effectively absorbing and transferring heat to ensure maximized performance.

DDR4 ECC memory

The TS-2888X supports quad-channel DDR4 ECC memory running at 2666 MHz, with eight memory slots that support up to 512 GB to deliver rapid workload loading and processing. ECC memory also decreases the risk of computational errors, providing a higher level of reliability for complex tasks such as machine learning.

Up to 4 high-end graphics cards

GPUs are the heart of AI and machine learning, making training a machine learning data set possible in hours instead of days. The TS-2888X provides eight PCIe Gen3 slots that can accommodate up to four high-end graphics cards to unleash tremendous computing power. With enough space for cards up to 330mm in length, the TS-2888X can accommodate almost every type of graphics card on the market.

Hybrid-architecture storage, and more flash

Machine learning demands not only GPU power but also a dependable storage infrastructure that provides huge capacity potential for storing growing datasets and meets small file I/O requirements for AI workloads. The TS-2888X utilizes a hybrid architecture with support for high-capacity hard drives and high-performance SSDs to meet these scale and performance requirements.

U.2 SSDs offload data preprocessing workloads

Data must be preprocessed before it can be provided to machine-learning algorithms. Data preprocessing can consume a lot of memory, which has the potential to impact system performance. To maintain high performance while tackling data preprocessing you can install up to four U.2 SSDs in the TS-2888X. By configuring a RAID 0 for all four U.2 SSDs, you can obtain maximized bandwidth and higher capacity for preprocessing workloads, leading to improved quality, performance, and higher cost- efficiency.

Even with the best graphics cards at hand, the bottleneck for AI model training tends to be determined by IOPS as data sets grow and the training data comprises of many small data sets (usually more than 10 TB). The TS-2888X supports SSD caching to accelerate IOPS performance and reduce latency for storage volumes, providing many benefits for the metadata-intensive, small file I/O requirements of AI workloads. Qtier™ technology can also empower the TS-2888X with auto tiering to help strike a balance between performance and storage.

Versatile I/O connections

The TS-2888X provides various I/O connections to support applications and services that supplement your AI tasks. Besides Gigabit Ethernet ports, two 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports provide high bandwidth for accelerating large file sharing and intensive data transfer. The USB ports also allow you to connect to different types of external devices.

2000W Platinum PSU

The TS-2888X features a 2000W Platinum power supply, providing the ability to easily handle multiple high-end graphics cards.

Compartmentalized smart cooling

The front-panel LCD display provides at-a-glance system status information. Behind the huge air inlet screen, there are six smart fans that separately detect temperatures in different zones (CPU, PCIe slots, power supply unit, and storage) to provide smarter, quieter, and energy-efficient cooling.

Ready for AI. Built for intelligence.

Built around AI optimization with GPU-accelerated computing, hybrid-architecture storage, and a ready-to-use software environment, the TS-2888X greatly reduces the time and complexity for implementing and managing AI tasks with cost efficiency. It will help your organization drive more intelligent usage and identify business opportunities at every level. QNAP’s exclusive QuAI enables data scientists and developers to quickly build, train and optimize machine-learning models running on QNAP NAS.

Backed by high-performance machine-learning algorithms, the ready-to-use AI environment enables a range of open-source tools and frameworks (including Caffe, TensorFlow, and more) for the AI workflows readily available to you. The combination of system and software helps reduce time and complexity for setup and maintenance of AI environments.

Verify deep learning inference using OpenVINO™

The Intel OpenVINO (Open Visual Inference & Neural Network Optimization) toolkit helps to streamline and accelerate deep learning inference, bringing computer vision and deep learning capabilities to edge devices smoothly. With the heterogeneous support for inferencing pre-trained models on Intel® architecture hardware targets (CPU/GPU/FPGA/VPU), the OpenVINO™ toolkit allows you to optimize and verify the trained models developed by the TS-2888X before inferencing, and economically distribute vision solutions leveraging AI.

Making AI accessible to your business blueprint

The TS-2888X integrates AI-focused hardware and software to reduce the time and complexity for implementing and managing AI tasks, making it the ideal AI solution with great cost-efficiency for most organizations and industries.

Why Should You Care about the QNAP TS-2888X AI NAS?

It is a very valid question. Although the use of Artificial Intelligence and deep learning is fast entering our everyday lives (on the roads, on our social media platforms, in CCTV and in our homes with the likes of Amazon Alexa), it is hardly mainstream to most non-enterprise users. However, that is exactly why a device like the TS-2888X from QNAP is important, as it is a big part of the process of bringing the benefits of a private AI into the home, as opposed to public shared services. The argument of cloud services like DropBox and Google Drive, versus a NAS has always been one of Public vs Private – a public cloud is just not as safe from brute force hacking (with a widely available platform) or reverse engineered backdoors, whereas a NAS can have a completely bespoke and uniquely designed security levels for every deployment, as well as the simple option to disconnect from the internet.

Public AI use versus Private AI use is much the same. Although an AI in your home or business may still require the internet to interpret data, this can be moderated with VPNs, encrypted and more. Otherwise, it can be set up to only use private, in-house resources to neatly close any backdoors for intruders to exploit. The QNAP TS-2888X is still a £4,800 – 23,000 device, BUT what it really does for everyone is help bring the development of deep learning and AI to much more affordable devices in the QNAP NAS portfolio. Alongside this, with even moderately powerful QNAP Rackmount and 12 Bay Desktop Storage coasting in excess fo £4,000, deciding to opt for such an innovative and future proof device as the TS-2888X is not as crazy as it sounds, even for non-AI targetted businesses.

Where Can I Buy the QNAP TS-2888X AI NAS Now?

As the QNAP TS-2888X is a specialist piece of kit, it should come as no surprise that you need to visit a specialist NAS vendor, and for that, you cannot find a better source than SPAN.COM- The NAS experts. They are the best source for all things QNAP NAS worldwide (don’t believe me? Just google them) and with their free pre/post sales tech support, build and test services and extensive knowledge of data storage, they are the team for you!

Why not check them out below to find out more about them and the QNAP TS-2888X NAS for AI and deep learning. Below are the specs for the TS-2888X Range:


CPUs Intel® Xeon® W-2195 18-core 2.3 GHz Processor (burst up to 4.3 GHz)

Intel® Xeon® W-2175 14-core 2.5 GHz Processor (burst up to 4.3 GHz)

Intel® Xeon® W-2145 8-core 3.7 GHz Processor (burst up to 4.5 GHz)

Intel® Xeon® W-2133 6-core 3.6 GHz Processor (burst up to 3.9 GHz)

Intel® Xeon® W-2123 4-core 3.6 GHz Processor (burst up to 3.9 GHz)

CPU Architecture 64-bit x86
System Memory 32-512 GB LRDIMM DDR4 ECC (8 x 64GB)
Maximum Memory 512 GB (8 x 64GB)
Memory Slot 8 x DDR4 RDIMM/LRDIMM
Flash Memory 4GB (Dual boot OS protection)
Drive Bay 8 x 3.5-inch + 20 x 2.5-inch
Drive Compatibility 3.5-inch bays:

3.5-inch SATA hard disk drives
2.5-inch SATA hard disk drives
2.5-inch SATA solid state drives

2.5-inch bays:
U.2 slot: 2.5-inch U.2 NVMe Gen3 x4/x2 solid state drives
SATA slot: 2.5-inch SATA solid state drives

Gigabit Ethernet Port (RJ45) 4
10 Gigabit Ethernet Port 2 x 10GBASE-T
PCIe Slot 8

Slot 1: PCIe Gen3 x8 or x4 (CPU)
Slot 2: PCIe Gen3 x4 (CPU)
Slot 3: PCIe Gen3 x8 or x4 (CPU)
Slot 4: PCIe Gen3 x4 (CPU)
Slot 5: PCIe Gen3 x8 or x4 (CPU)
Slot 6: PCIe Gen3 x4 (CPU)
Slot 7: PCIe Gen3 x4 (PCH)
Slot 8: PCIe Gen3 x4 (PCH)

USB 2.0 port 4
USB 3.0 port 6
Audio Input 2 x 3.5mm microphone jacks (dynamic microphones only)
Audio Output speaker, 3.5mm line out jack (for amplifier or headphone amplifier)
Form Factor Tower
LED Indicators 3.5-inch HDD, 2.5-inch SSD, 2.5″ U.2 SSD, Status, LAN, USB port status
Buttons Power, Reset, USB Copy
Dimensions (HxWxD) 612 x 374 x 448 mm
Weight (Net) 26.7 Kg
Weight (Gross) 31.46 Kg
Operating temperature 0 – 40 °C (32°F – 104°F)
Relative Humidity 5-95% RH non-condensing, wet bulb: 27˚C (80.6˚F)
Power Supply Unit 2000W PSU, 200-240Vac,
Fan 1 x 9 cm fan (12V DC) 9 x 12 cm fan (12V DC)
Sound Level 33.6 dB(A)
 

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