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Written by Bruce Normann   
Monday, 28 November 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
IOCELL NetDISK 351UNE Network Storage Device
Closer Look: IOCELL NetDISK 351UNE
Insider Details: IOCELL NetDISK 351UNE
IOCELL NetDISK 351UNE Features
IOCELL NDAS Software Features
IOCELL NetDISK 351UNE Specifications
NAS Testing Methodology
Basic-Disk Test Results
Non-Traditional NAS Test Results
NAS Server Final Thoughts
IOCELL NetDISK 351UNE Conclusion

Network Terminology

Benchmark Reviews primarily uses metric data measurement for testing storage products, for anyone who is interested in learning the relevant history of this sore spot in the industry, I've included a small explanation below:

The basic unit data measurement is called a bit (one single binary digit). Computers use these bits, which are composed of ones and zeros, to communicate their contents. All files are stored as binary files, and translated into working files by the Operating System. This two number system is called a "binary number system". In comparison, the decimal number system has ten unique digits consisting of zero through nine. Essentially it boils down to differences between binary and metric measurements, because testing is deeply impacted without carefully separating the two. For example, the difference between the transfer time of a one-Gigabyte (1000 Megabytes) file is going to be significantly better than a true binary Gigabyte (referred to as a Gibibyte) that contains 1024 Megabytes. The larger the file used for data transfer, the bigger the difference will be.

Have you ever wondered why your 500 GB hard drive only has about 488 GB once it has been formatted? Most Operating Systems utilize the binary number system to express file data size, however the prefixes for the multiples are based on the metric system. So even though a metric "Kilo" equals 1,000, a binary "Kilo" equals 1,024. Are you confused yet? Don't be surprised, because even the most tech savvy people often mistake the two. Plainly put, the Kilobyte is expressed as 1000 bytes, but it is really comprised of 1,024 bytes.

Most network engineers are not fully aware that the IEC changed the way we calculate and name data chunks when they published the new International Standards back in December 1998. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) removed the old metric prefixes for multiples in binary code with new prefixes for binary multiples made up of only the first two letters of the metric prefixes and adding the first two letters of the word "binary". For example, instead of Megabyte (MB) or Gigabyte (GB), the new terms would be Mebibyte (MiB) or Gibibyte (GiB). While this is the new official IEC International Standard, it has not been widely adopted yet because it is either still unknown by institutions or not commonly used.

NAS Testing Methodology

All the NAS devices we test cannot accommodate all the different disk configurations, so our current test protocol has been based on two of the most popular setups: a basic (single) disk and RAID-5 configurations. Since this single-bay device does not support RAID 5, I only tested the single-disk mode. I used the current IOCELL Networks NDAS driver, v3.72.2080, which was available on the included CD-ROM. It matched the latest driver package available on the manufacturer's website, which is always a welcome situation.
Connected directly to the Realtek 8112L Gigabit LAN controller in the test-bench system by a ten-foot CAT6 patch cable, each NAS product receives one test transfer followed by at least three timed transfers. Each test file was sent to a single Western Digital Caviar Black 750GB (WD7501 AALS hard drive installed in the NDAS for a timed write test, and that same file was sent back to a Western Digital Velociraptor 150GB 10,000 RPM (WD1500HLFS) hard drive in the test system to perform a read test. Each test was repeated several times, the high and low values were discarded and the remaining results were recorded and charted.

We are continuing our NAS testing with the exclusive use of Windows 7 as the testing platform for the host system. The performance differences between Win7 and XP are huge, as we documented in our QNAP TS-259 Pro review. The adoption rate for Win 7 has been very high, and Benchmark Reviews has been using Win 7 in all of our other testing for some time now. It was definitely time to make the jump for NAS products.

QNAP_TS-419P_II_Turbo_NAS_Server_WD_750_in_Tray.jpg

The two transfer tests: read and write, were conducted on each NAS appliance using the 1 GB file and then a 10 GB file. Additionally, a second set of tests were conducted with Jumbo Frame enabled, i.e. the MTU value for the Ethernet controllers was increased from 1500 to 9000. All the NAS products tested to date in the Windows 7 environment have supported the Jumbo Frame configuration. The Ethernet controller on the NetDISK 351UNE was not directly configurable, so it's unclear how well it will work when the MTU value is adjusted on the host controller. I also include a baseline of sorts, which is the internal file transfer from the Corsair P64 SSD to the Western Digital 150GB VelociRaptor installed on the Intel P55 motherboard SATA connections, where the Intel P55 chipset provides the SATA 3Gb/s interface, and a Marvell 88SE9123 controller provides two ports of SATA 6Gb/s connections.

NAS Comparison Products

Support Equipment

  • (4) Western Digital Caviar Black WD7501 AALS 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
  • 10-Foot Category-6 Solid Copper Shielded Twisted Pair Patch Cable
  • 1 metric Gigabyte Test File (1 GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes)
  • 10 metric Gigabyte Test File (10 GB = 10,000,000,000 bytes

Test System

  • Motherboard: ASUS P7P55D-E Pro (1002 BIOS)
  • System Memory: 2x 2GB GSKILL Ripjaws DDR3 1600MHz (7-8-7-24)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-750 (OC @ 4.0 GHz)
  • CPU Cooler: Prolimatech Megahalems (Delta AFB1212SHE PWM Fan)
  • Video: ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB GDDR5 (Catalyst 8.840.3.0)
  • Drive 1: Corsair P64 SSD, 64GB
  • Drive 2: Western Digital VelociRaptor WD1500HLFS 150GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
  • Optical Drive: Sony NEC Optiarc AD-7190A-OB 20X DVD Burner
  • Enclosure: CM STORM Sniper Gaming Case
  • PSU: Corsair CMPSU-750TX ATX12V V2.2 750Watt
  • Monitor: SOYO 24"; Widescreen LCD Monitor (DYLM24E6) 1920X1200
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate Version 6.1 (Build 7600)



 

Comments 

 
# RE: IOCELL NetDISK 351UNE Network Storage DeviceMack 2011-12-01 20:38
Pretty cool device. Its good to see some creativity out there.
Thanks for the review!
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# AgreedBruce 2011-12-02 07:33
Yeah, I was sorta caught off-guard by this product. I wasn't really expecting something this unique and this good. There's so many me-too products out there, and it can be tough to spot the stand-outs.
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# RE: IOCELL NetDISK 351UNE Network Storage DeviceAthlonite 2011-12-05 23:20
Me likes I've been looking at getting a small NAS to plonk on the GB switch but I seriously wasn't interested paying 2~300 bucks for the ability.... This product is just what the disk space shortage ordered
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# Look for the bargains.....Bruce 2011-12-07 04:59
"The models with 1TB and 2T drives preinstalled are better bargains now that the Thailand flooding has driven the price of bare HDDs up through the roof."
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# Where have you been all my life.Mergatroid 2011-12-06 17:54
Wow, I sure could have used this a few months ago. I have a NAS with a single drive, not very good but serviceable for file streaming and storage. I have a dual drive NAS in RAID 1 backing up the first NAS, and backing up my system backup drive. I didn't really need a RAID1 for backing up my NAS and system backup, but it added redundancy as you mentioned. One of these network drives (or two) would have been just what I was looking for. I hope they're still around when I need more storage. I really like the transfer rate and the universal nature of the added ports (USB and eSATA). I think this is an amazing value at the price mentioned. Nice review too. Good breakdown on what the drive does and what it doesn't do.
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# It's a great alternative...Bruce 2011-12-06 20:41
It's a great alternative to some of the other solutions out there. There's no doubt that it's the most cost-effective choice for several usage scenarios, where it performs as well as devices that are 5x the cost.
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