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Written by Olin Coles   
Monday, 22 March 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
QNAP TS-459 Pro NAS Network Storage Server
QNAP Turbo NAS Features
QNAP TS-459 Pro NAS Hardware
QNAP TS-459 Pro Software
QPKG Center Software Expansion
Closer Look: QNAP TS-459 Pro
QNAP v3 User Interface
NAS Testing Methodology
Basic-Disk Test Results
RAID-5 NAS Test Results
NAS Server Final Thoughts
QNAP TS-459 Pro Conclusion

1GB Single-Disk Test Results

With so many features available to offer a broad range of functionality, NAS server products can be daunting when you try to nail down performance. In this article, Benchmark Reviews will refer to performance as the bandwidth speed results of a file transfer test. The first tests we perform utilizes a single 1GB (1000 megabytes / 1,000,000,000 bytes) file in a transfer to and from the NAS. On products that support the feature, tests using the EXT3 and EXT4 file format will be included. Using an FTP tool so that exact transfer time could be captured, each NAS was tested for transfer bandwidth.

As you can see for yourself in the chart below, QNAP has certainly set itself apart as the dominate force in file transfer speed... even without the aid of Jumbo Frame support on their NAS products. The TS-809 Pro is built from similar hardware found in the TS-509 Pro, and even without the extra Jumbo packet size we see that QNAP products are designed for optimal transfer performance. At 62.5 MB/s read speed (using EXT4) the TS-809 Pro competes on the same level as the QNAP TS-459 Pro. With 55.6 MB/s read speeds at 1500 MTU and 66.7 MB/s at 9000 MTU, the QNAP TS-459 Pro could very well be the top contender here.

Next in line is the TS-509 Pro with 58.8 MB/s using EXT3, matching the 58.8 MB/s read bandwidth of the QNAP TS-509 Pro. The single-drive QNAP TS-119 and Synology DS408 coming in close behind with a best of 55.6 MB/s each with Jumbo Frame. The Thecus N7700 comes in right behind the top three leaders, with a best of 50.0 MB/s, matching performance with the Synology DS209. Although the QNAP TS-419P shares the same hardware as the TS-119, for some reason it didn't post the same performance numbers and dropped back to 50.0 MB/s with Jumbo Frame support.

Bandwidth_Test_1GB_Read_Basic.png

Moving on to the 1 GB write bandwidth test, our results suggest that while it may sometimes it will be faster to read files from a NAS server then it is to write files onto it, the opposite is true more often than not. The Network Attached Storage servers each have their own strengths, with some being more robust in write-to performance when others conformed to the traditionally impressive read-from performance.

At the top of our charts the QNAP TS-809 Pro offers the highest performance with EXT4, as it did in 1GB read tests, and yields 76.9 MB/s. Formatted with EXT3, the TS-809 Pro offered 71.4 MB/s, followed by the QNAP TS-509 Pro which maintained 62.5 MB/s without the comfort of Jumbo Frame support. Next came the Thecus N7700 which produced a best of 62.5 MB/s, which finishes out the list of top-performers.

The QNAP TS-459 Pro NAS server produced 41.7 MB/s at 1500 MTU, and remained relatively unchanged with 41.8 MB/s once 9000K Jumbo Frame was enabled at each end. The Synology Disk Station DS209 narrowly beat the larger DS408, and scored a swift 43.5 MB/s write performance with Jumbo Frame enabled. A single-drive QNAP TS-119 held a steady 33.3 MB/s speed, scoring the same with and without Jumbo Frame enabled, and was tailed by the Thecus N3300 at 32.3 MB/s.

Bandwidth_Test_1GB_Write_Basic.png

The lower-end spectrum consists of all the remaining NAS products, with the next closest competitor being the QNAP TS-419P which scored a noteworthy 25.6 MB/s. The QNAP TS-409 Pro reached only 20.3 MB/s write performance using Jumbo Frame, and 16.5 MB/s without it. The older Synology CD407 performed at roughly half the speed of its newer predecessor, and the remainder of the bunch trailed distantly behind. Let's move on to the larger file chunk testing, because next up is our 10 GB (1000 metric megabytes / 10,000,000,000 bytes) tests. Using only a single hard drive for testing in each NAS, network throughput would be put to the test.

10GB Single-Disk Test Results

Examining 10GB basic file transfer speeds, QNAP's TS-459 Pro, TS-809 Pro, and TS-509 Pro continued to impress us with the high-bandwidth read performance. At 56.2 MB/s standard and 65.4 MB/s with Jumbo Frame enabled, the QNAP TS-459 Pro delivers phenomenal performance. The QNAP TS-809 Pro and TS-509 Pro both provide 55.6 MB/s without the use of Jumbo Frame. QNAP's single-drive TS-119 offered the same performance once Jumbo Frame was enabled, but reduced to 47.6 MB/s at 1500 MTU. The Synology DS209 and DS408 maintained a close relationship with peak performance around 47 MB/s in normal mode, and improved to 49.3 and 48.3 MB/s read performance with Jumbo Frame enabled at both ends (respectively). At 50.3 MB/s with Jumbo Frame support, the QNAP TS-419P offers very good large file transfer speeds, but without JF support the speed slows to 39.8 MB/s. The Thecus N7700 was able to sustain 44.5 MB/s using Jumbo Frame, and 41.5 MB/s without it, which was very similar to the N3200 Pro.

Bandwidth_Test_10GB_Read_Basic.png

In our 10GB write performance tests, the charts were shuffled a bit. The Thecus N7700 makes up for above-average read performance by offering excellent large-file write performance and sustained 56.2/58.8 MB/s in normal and Jumbo Frame modes, and for once QNAP was not the performance leader. Next in line came the QNAP TS-809 Pro with 54.4 MB/s using EXT3 and 48.3 MB/s with EXT4. Then came the TS-509 Pro, which has held a top position for most tests until now, and scored 47.0 MB/s. QNAP's TS-459 Pro dropped to 39.2 MB/s at 1500 MTU and 40 MB/s with Jumbo Frame enabled. The Synology DS209 and DS408 have performed in the middle of the pack for our 10GB file transfer tests, and performed at 42.9/40.0 and 36.8/36.3 MB/s in normal and Jumbo Frame modes.

Bandwidth_Test_10GB_Write_Basic.png

The single-drive QNAP TS-119 and three-drive Thecus N3300PRO both score around 32 MB/s in our large file JBOD tests, and trail behind the leaders by almost 20 MB/s. QNAP's TS-419P illustrates a weakness in write-to performance, and produces only 25.4 MB/s at its best and trailing it's CPU/RAM clone (TS-119) by 7 MB/s. In each and every test the Patriot Corza NAS performed poorly compared to similar network storage appliances, but then again this network appliance costs less than $100.

In our next section, Benchmark Reviews tests these network storage appliances with RAID-5 disk configuration.

NAS Comparison Products



 

Comments 

 
# Benchmark with 2 x gbit bonding^-Super_Treje-^ 2010-03-22 23:58
can have a test with two network cards joined together to double the performance?
gbit + gbit = 2 gbit lan connection
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# RE: QNAP TS-459 Pro NAS Network Storage ServerOlin Coles 2010-03-23 06:56
Network adapters don't work like that, so it can't be done (on any computer).
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# RE: QNAP TS-459 Pro NAS Network Storage ServerJturco 2010-03-23 08:29
I notice there are no Windows Home Servers used in your comparisons. Is there value in looking at these devices in comparison to the NAS units tested? It would be a good data point as these devices are avaliable, have comprable features, and competitivly priced.
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# RE: RE: QNAP TS-459 Pro NAS Network Storage ServerOlin Coles 2010-03-23 20:40
You've got to consider the costs involved. For $900 before hard drives, you get everything needed for a full-fledged server with the QNAP NAS. With a Windows box, you've got to buy the software and licenses, buy the hardware, and build the computer. The cost will be nearly double, without the drives.
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# RE: QNAP TS-459 Pro NAS Network Storage Server^-Super_Treje-^ 2010-03-23 12:54
actually not true because under Linux you can use the same network cards together ( "bonding"), moving at speed 2 Gbit / s
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# Rare exceptionOlin Coles 2010-03-23 13:00
With the exception of Linux bonding, PCs and the NAS itself will not support this feature. I'm not aware of another NAS product that allows for this, either. Additionally, you'd need network appliances that can accept greater than 1Gb Ethernet LAN connections. Presently, only 10Gb will do this to my knowledge.
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# RE: Rare exceptionBarry 2010-05-17 19:44
Netgear ReadyNAS Pro will bind the two gigabit interfaces
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# Netgear ReadyNas Pro^-Super_Treje-^ 2010-05-17 23:26
yes but the netgear can not exceed 50 MB / S because it inside a Windows operating system!
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# Netgear doesn't run Windows OSaponcel 2010-11-12 13:06
Netgear runs NETGEAR RAIDiator Operating System:

Antonio
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# RE: QNAP TS-459 Pro NAS Network Storage ServerJturco 2010-03-24 06:18
If you look at HP's Line of MediaServers I think the costs are comperable to the NAS systems. If you look at using an Old PC and reconfiguring it to host a WHS system the costs could be much better than the NAS.

For purposes of evaluation and comparison only the packaged WHS systems like HP or Asus could be compared to the NAS systems. It would be impossiable to quantify the wide variation of surplus "Old PC" configurations and evaluate performance. It would also be interesting to look at a New Build cost for a WHS box using low-cost components.
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# RE: RE: QNAP TS-459 Pro NAS Network Storage ServerOlin Coles 2010-03-24 07:12
I suppose that if all you wanted to do was share files, there are several less-expensive ways to do it... including much more affordable NAS devices that don't offer as many features. Keep in mind that the QNAP TurboNAS series brings a lot more than simple file sharing to the table... just take a look at the firmware demo.
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# RE: RE: RE: QNAP TS-459 Pro NAS Network Storage ServerJturco 2010-03-24 07:54
Ditto for the WHS...It is a Windows Server 2003 core and performs backups, serves media, and uses a more efficient method of file redunduncy rather than a RAID 5/6 setup (definetly a debatable point to say it is equilivant in security).

The HP includes an iTunes server and Twonky media...it can host a website, FTP, print server, and remote access any capable machines on the network (requires XP pro, Vista Pro or Ultimate or Win 7 equilivant).

I am not really debating the merits of either typs but I wonder how it stands up to the speed of these NAS boxes.
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# RE: QNAP TS-459 Pro NAS Network Storage ServerAWoroch 2010-03-25 13:14
So....

* No NIC Teaming
* No 4 Disk RAID5 (to benchmark maximum transfer)
* No NIC teaming on the side connecting to it - like a server connecting to shared storage, at an entry level.
* No testing with multiple clients connected.

Needs more testing guys....
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# RE: QNAP TS-459 Pro NAS Network Storage Server^-Super_Treje-^ 2010-03-25 23:30
no modding the kernel (to overcome certain limitations), and is a Linux kernel!
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# Not the fastestBengie 2010-04-02 13:01
Teaming/Bonding a NIC can be done, but it has to be supported by the NIC & Switch.

As to bonding making the benchmarks faster... no. 1gbit is good for ~125MB/sec minus overhead of the protocols.

My Win7 machine can copy to/from my wife's Vista machine 110MB/sec. 60-70MB/sec doesn't seem all that fast. I can copy my 3GB Win7 ISO in under 30 seconds.
Both of our machines have only a single HD, not raided, and both are low end Dells. Nothing says low end like an i7 with ATI 4850 and a 360watt PSU
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# Not the Fastest?AWoroch 2010-04-02 17:20
Bengie:

We do teaming all the time on Dell PowerEdge servers and switches, and it certainly makes a difference. While Gigabit maxes out at about 90MB/sec (that's the overhead from 125MB/sec), it would be nice to get more. Especially if you had a couple of systems transferring data to/from the device. I'm not saying I expect these QNAP's to be comparable to an Equallogix PS5000 SAN, but it would be nice if we could get them half-way.

While your single PC to single PC transfer is very good, *I* am more interested in full out sustained MB/sec and/or IOPS to determine if these would be good for say shared storage between two ESX servers in a lab, to test out vMotion, HA, DRS, etc.

This is the other reason why I would have liked to see the tests with all 4 ddrives in use, to get a feel for it's max throughput.
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# The RAID would helpBengie 2010-04-02 18:49
The transfer tests they showed were of single copies of large files. While my transfer may drop drmatically with multiple clients, I could buy an SSD and upload a consistent 110MB/sec.

I'd like to point out my 110MB/sec is ACTUAL transfer speeds via windows file sharing and only 4% kernel time to boot.

My plan is to get a server, use my MSDN to drop Windows server on it, plop a few SSDs with a fast RAID controller. I'm thinking I'll have to get a 10gbit card and a nice switch
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# RE: The RAID would help^-Super_Treje-^ 2010-04-02 23:22
switch 'No' Gbit ports and bonding with management and external connection of the same class 10Gbit.
I also use the Dell Power Edge and if I could access a QNAP, which is 4 or 8 slot tower to rack, 2 rather than 1 Gbit Gbit would be great because it saves lots of money.
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# MrNick 2010-07-10 05:11
Hi,
I purchased the unit as a cheap file server to host my website at home myself. with some of these cheap cable internet deals from optusnet I think I will have a verrry cost effective hoisting system that should outperform any shared hosting package anywhere out in cyberspace. WIll update things as it progresses.

Regards Nick Pidoulas
Webmaster, owner and founder of
#showoffyourwheels.com
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# PDU makes buzzsl0n 2010-09-13 10:54
I just bought ARM based TS-410 which has the same PDU as the reviewed device - EDAC EA11351A-120. The first sound I heard having powered on the device was high pitched noise produced by AC/DC PDU, after ~ 20 hours of running the noise is still there ... I'm quite disappointed, going to send it back to the shop where I bought it.
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# add virtual Windows server for appsQnap VM 2011-01-19 14:44
Tested: virtual Windows OS on linux VMware is OK for light applications as license servers and alikes. Don't know if Wine emulator would work or if this is tested on Qnap.
Yet, as you'd probably have to buy a retail Windows OS box (instead of OEM), it is still an over expensive rip-off.
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