Monday, March 29th 2021

QNAP Launches Expansion Card for PC/NAS with Dual M.2 SSD & 2.5 GbE Ports

QNAP Systems, Inc., today launched the QM2-2P2G2T PCIe card which adds M.2 SSD slots and 2.5 GbE connectivity to a QNAP NAS or PC/server/workstation. NAS users can benefit from 2.5 GbE connectivity, improve overall NAS performance by enabling SSD caching, and upgrade NAS storage capacity without occupying any 3.5-inch drive bays. PC/server/workstation users can increase their storage capacity while also boosting overall IOPS performance by offloading bandwidth-demanding tasks to SSDs to minimize application loading times.

The QM2-2P2G2T features dual 2.5GBASE-T Multi-Gigabit (2.5G/1G/100M/10M) network ports to boost bandwidth-demanding tasks. M.2 SSD thermal sensors allow real-time temperature monitoring, with a quiet cooling module (heatsink and smart fan) to keep the SSDs running within optimal temperatures.
Specifications
  • Dual M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe SSD & dual-port 2.5 GbE expansion card
  • Connector: 2x M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe SSD slots; 2x 2.5GBASE-T ports
  • PCIe and Lanes: PCIe Gen3 x4
  • Transmission rates: 2.5G/1G/100M/10M
  • Controller: Intel Ethernet Controller I225-LM
  • Bracket: Low-profile (default). Low-profile flat and Full-height brackets are also included.
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 152.65 x 68.9 x 20.6 mm
  • Cable: RJ-45; over CAT-5e class cable
Supported operating systems
  • QNAP NAS: QTS or QuTS hero (for greater compatibility, ensure you are running the latest version).
  • PC/Server: Windows 10 (1809 or later), Linux (stable kernel 4.20/5.x), Windows Server 2019.
Note: Windows and Linux require the Intel I225LM driver.

Pricing & Availability

The QNAP QM2-2P2G2T PCIe card is now available to purchase from the QNAP Accessory Store for 187 USD.
Source: QNAP
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15 Comments on QNAP Launches Expansion Card for PC/NAS with Dual M.2 SSD & 2.5 GbE Ports

#1
_JP_
FYI, while being a new product, QNAP has more variants of these expansion cards with different configurations of the PCI-e bridge and yes, you can use them in your regular rig (though these are not cheap).
Posted on Reply
#2
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
I love the irony of a 2.5Gbps network being way faster than what a HDD can handle. Heck, even 1Gbps is a challenge for them.
Posted on Reply
#3
_JP_
@qubit IIRC, that has been the norm for ages now in the consumer market. 10BASE2/5 was around at the time ATA was too. :laugh: Only SCSI in its original form was fast enough to "wait", if you had it.
Posted on Reply
#4
Patriot
qubit
I love the irony of a 2.5Gbps network being way faster than what a HDD can handle. Heck, even 1Gbps is a challenge for them.
Hence NAS raid array + nvme cache...
Posted on Reply
#5
Tigerfox
qubit
I love the irony of a 2.5Gbps network being way faster than what a HDD can handle. Heck, even 1Gbps is a challenge for them.
Eh, nope? My harddrives can do above 250MB/s sustained, as can many contemporary drives with platters from 1.5TB or above. Of course it will often be lower, I don't know how low for sustained transfer in a NAS, but certainly well above GbE in most cases.

The Lane-routing in this card is crap. Why would a 2.5GbE-NICs be connected with Gen3x2 when even Gen1x1 would be sufficient? All 2.5GbE (and 5GbE)-NICs I know have only one Lane. But both M.2-slots only get Gen3x2 to so you can't use the full speed of any SSD. The only reason for this can be that they reused their 2x10GbE + 2xM.2-card and just replaced the 10GbE-NICs.
Posted on Reply
#6
Patriot
Tigerfox
Eh, nope? My harddrives can do above 250MB/s sustained, as can many contemporary drives with platters from 1.5TB or above. Of course it will often be lower, I don't know how low for sustained transfer in a NAS, but certainly well above GbE in most cases.

The Lane-routing in this card is crap. Why would a 2.5GbE-NICs be connected with Gen3x2 when even Gen1x1 would be sufficient? All 2.5GbE (and 5GbE)-NICs I know have only one Lane. But both M.2-slots only get Gen3x2 to so you can't use the full speed of any SSD. The only reason for this can be that they reused their 2x10GbE + 2xM.2-card and just replaced the 10GbE-NICs.
Optane 800p x2 lane drive is perfect for this application. I got 2 for my 10gbit variant of the card, would honestly prefer they give 4 lanes and a single drive.
Posted on Reply
#7
Mussels
Moderprator
That is quite the multipurpose card
Posted on Reply
#8
TheLostSwede
Tigerfox
Eh, nope? My harddrives can do above 250MB/s sustained, as can many contemporary drives with platters from 1.5TB or above. Of course it will often be lower, I don't know how low for sustained transfer in a NAS, but certainly well above GbE in most cases.

The Lane-routing in this card is crap. Why would a 2.5GbE-NICs be connected with Gen3x2 when even Gen1x1 would be sufficient? All 2.5GbE (and 5GbE)-NICs I know have only one Lane. But both M.2-slots only get Gen3x2 to so you can't use the full speed of any SSD. The only reason for this can be that they reused their 2x10GbE + 2xM.2-card and just replaced the 10GbE-NICs.
It could be a limitation of the PCIe switch/bridge they're using.
Posted on Reply
#9
dinmaster
more cards need to be purple, reminds me of the good old ati days
Posted on Reply
#10
TheinsanegamerN
Tigerfox
Eh, nope? My harddrives can do above 250MB/s sustained, as can many contemporary drives with platters from 1.5TB or above. Of course it will often be lower, I don't know how low for sustained transfer in a NAS, but certainly well above GbE in most cases.

The Lane-routing in this card is crap. Why would a 2.5GbE-NICs be connected with Gen3x2 when even Gen1x1 would be sufficient? All 2.5GbE (and 5GbE)-NICs I know have only one Lane. But both M.2-slots only get Gen3x2 to so you can't use the full speed of any SSD. The only reason for this can be that they reused their 2x10GbE + 2xM.2-card and just replaced the 10GbE-NICs.
Eh, what? The only NAS drive I'm aware of that can hit 250MB/s is the seagate ironwolf 7200rpm disks, and those typically peak around 225 MB/s, not 250. The WD reds are slower, in the 180-190 range, and most consumer drives are not hitting over 200, the only ones that reliably do are the WD blacks.

The 2.5 Gb NICs use two lanes because *shock* there are two of them, so one lane per NIC. That leaves two for the M.2 drives. Math is hrd.
Posted on Reply
#11
efikkan
qubit
I love the irony of a 2.5Gbps network being way faster than what a HDD can handle. Heck, even 1Gbps is a challenge for them.
So, are you sticking to your old hard drives from the 90s then? ;)
Good hard drives today can easily saturate the ~270 MB/s offered by 2.5 Gbps Ethernet.

The problem for 2.5 Gbps Ethernet is lack of good switches. There is the 5-port Qnap QSW-1105-5T, but 5 ports is too little for most home networks, unless you use multiple networks. The best option I'm aware of is Netgear XS508M, but that's a 10G switch, so at that point you might as well go all 10G. (And a good file server with RAID can saturate a 10G link.)
Posted on Reply
#12
Tigerfox
TheinsanegamerN
Eh, what? The only NAS drive I'm aware of that can hit 250MB/s is the seagate ironwolf 7200rpm disks, and those typically peak around 225 MB/s, not 250. The WD reds are slower, in the 180-190 range, and most consumer drives are not hitting over 200, the only ones that reliably do are the WD blacks.

The 2.5 Gb NICs use two lanes because *shock* there are two of them, so one lane per NIC. That leaves two for the M.2 drives. Math is hrd.
Exactly, I'm using two iterations of 8TB Ironwolfs, but as regular harddrives, not in a NAS, because after the discontinuation of the Seagate Desktop HDD-Line and before the very reent introduction of a 8TB WD Black, there were no cost effective non-NAS-drives above 6TB anymore.
Both of them regularly hit above 250MB/s when transfering big files between themselves or from or to a SSD.

The schematic at the end of the article clearly shows each NIC being connected with *shock* Gen3x2, as well as both M.2, for a total of 8 lanes uplink an 4 lanes downlink. Reading is hrd.

EDIT: The answer is simple: QNAP may be using the same Renesas/IDT 8HPES10T4G2-Switch with 10 Lanes and 4 Ports as on the QM2-2P10G1TA-card, because there is no switch available with less Lanes but still 4 Ports (there would be 6 Lanes needed). I still don't get why it makes sense to use two M.2-SSD with Gen3x2 instead of one x4.
Posted on Reply
#13
chodaboy19
I could really use this on my current QNAP TS-670. I have upgraded my switch and PC to 2.5Gbe and was waiting to replace the whole NAS, but this can buy me a few more years out of the current one.
Posted on Reply
#14
sam_86314
I hope to see more hybrid expansion cards like this in the future. Those would be great on ITX/SFF systems.
Posted on Reply
#15
Patriot
sam_86314
I hope to see more hybrid expansion cards like this in the future. Those would be great on ITX/SFF systems.
Aside from this being their third+ iteration of this card... They have a sata and nvme 10gbit card.
There are quite a few accelerated nics FPGA and GPU + 40-200gbit nic.

Not sure any of these would be useful on a SFF PC...
I would like more bifurcated risers to split the x16 into dual 8 or 4x4x8 especially as we move to pcie gen 5.
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