Qnap first brought the Virtualization technology to their NAS with the Virtualiation station. Virtualization station was based on KVM – Kernel based Virtual Machine which is an open source alternative of Virtualbox /VMWare. It was a great leap for a NAS server as the Qnap NAS could now act as a virtulization server – run your Linux, windows or Android ON your NAS.
Offcourse Virtualization station was limited to some models as you would have to have intel-VT processor that supported virtulzation.
The Next step as everyone would have anticipated would be to add LXC and Docker support.
Why Another Virtualization technology , Is Virtualization station not good enough ?
Though the KVM based Virtualization station does everything, there is a catch – the CPU and memory overhead. Every additional VM that you run, loads into the memory and need its share of systemm resources.
I own a Qnap TS-470 Pro with 16GB RAM and I can comforably run 1 windows and 1 Ubuntu VM. However as I try to run more VMs, the performance is going to suffer.
LXC is a Lightweight Virtual machine
LXC behaves like a regular VM, but shares the same kernel of the Host OS. Qnap QTS is already running on Linux, so you don’t need to load another kernel into memory. Advtange of LXC is that it takes very little system resouces, smaller in size and very easy to deploy. You can move Container across the systems too very easily.
How about windows on LXC
Windows OS can not run in a container since you don’t have a windows Kernel running on Qnap which can be shared with a Windows Container. If you want to run Windows on qnap you have to use Virtulzation station only.
What can I use LXC and Dockers for ?
LXC can let you have the entire Linux OS ( they have an image of Ubuntu which is just 250MB). Dockers has a great marketplace that can let you download the individual applications.
Qnap doesn’t have a Linux Dekstop, so I couldn’t run an LXC application with full GUI. What am i using it for ? Scrapy with selenium and phantomJS. Now I can leave my scraper running on Qnap all night, while there is another windows VM running on it doing trans-coding.