|QNAP TS-419P II NAS Network Storage Server|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Network|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Tuesday, 01 November 2011|
Page 10 of 14
1GB Single-Disk Test Results
The bottom line for any storage device is the combination of capacity and transfer speed. For a network attached storage server, the differences are all about the infrastructure that is placed around the basic HDD array. Since capacity is something that's easy to define and measure, the real question for any NAS product is how fast will it Read and Write data. For this reason, Benchmark Reviews measures NAS performance as the bandwidth achieved during a file transfer test. The first tests we perform utilize a single 1GB (1000 megabytes / 1,000,000,000 bytes) file in a transfer to and from the NAS.
Since we started testing NAS units exclusively with Win 7, there aren't as many prior test results to compare with. We'll try and build up the NAS testing as best we can in the next year. In the meantime, we can compare several units from QNAP that we have on hand now. With all the NAS units operating in single disk mode, all of the units have broadly similar performance. The TS-419P II comes in slightly ahead of the TS-219P+ on the 1 GB Read tests, primarily due to the faster CPU clock. The Intel-based (TS-x59) units pull ahead by a couple of MB/s, but it's nothing to get excited about. Most people don't care too much about single disk performance, but it's useful to get an understanding of any possible issues with the basic architecture of the system. In this case, none of them have issues, and they all turn in comparable performance numbers.
Moving on to the 1 GB write bandwidth test, our results suggest that while it may sometimes be faster to read files from a hard drive than it is to write files onto it, the opposite is true more often than not in a NAS appliance. The good news is that the TS-419P II turns in very strong numbers here, compared to the TS-219 P+, with the slower (1.6GHz) CPU. The TS-419P II splits the difference between the two-bay TS-219 P+ and the six-bay TS-659 Pro II pretty cleanly, showing a clear advantage for the faster (2.0 GHz) CPU in the new TS-x19P II series. The bad news is that the TS-419P II suffers from the same degraded performance that I observed when writing 1 GB files to the QNAP TS-259 Pro, with the standard MTU of 1500. We'll have to keep an eye out in the remaining tests to see if there is a consistent performance gap when Jumbo Frames are not enabled.
The thing that impresses me is how close these NAS results get compared to the internal transfer speed between an SSD and the 150 GB VelociRaptor, running directly off the motherboard chipset. Yes they are all slower, and the speed goes up with price, but for anyone who is used to USB 2.0 transfer speeds, or multi-drive towers using SATA port replication, these results are sure to offer a pleasing alternative.
Next up is 10 GB (1000 metric megabytes / 10,000,000,000 bytes) file transfer testing. Using the single-disk configuration in each NAS, and a single Gigabit connection, network throughput will be put to the test, and the effect of any system or hardware caches will be minimized.
10GB Single-Disk Test Results
Examining 10GB basic file transfer speeds, the QNAP TS-419P II delivers slightly better read performance than either of the two-bay units. These small differences aren't going to make anyone's day, but they do show a clear, steady evolution of NAS infrastructure performance as time goes on. The TS-219P+ even shows a small advantage over the older TS-259 Pro, but don't forget that several of the more advanced NAS applications are only compatible with Intel-based units and the TS-x19 units all run a Marvell CPU. The TS-659 Pro II is built to handle the higher throughput of a six-disk array; it has all the advantages, of course, and it shows! The TS-659 has some of the best transfer speeds we've ever encountered during our testing and the single disk results are actually comparable to the RAID 5 performance. Of course, you get none of the advantages of redundancy with a single disk or JBOD, so most NAS users will go for one of the RAID configurations.
In our 10GB write performance tests, the performance of the TS-419P II is the complete equal to the two Intel-based units, at least when using Jumbo Frames. However, just as we saw in the 1GB Write testing, the standard 1500 MTU setting really cripples the single-disk write performance with this unit. Even with that performance hit, the TS-419P II gets a major jump in performance compared to the TS-219 P+, with the slower CPU clock.
Next we're going to look at RAID 5 performance, where the TS-419P II will have to compete with one of its bigger, stronger brothers in the QNAP product line, the TS-659 Pro II. Since the QNAP TS-259 Pro and TS-219P+ don't support the RAID5 configuration that we normally use to test large format NAS products, we won't be able to include their results in this comparison.NAS Comparison Products