|EonNAS 1100 NAS Network Storage Server|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Network|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Wednesday, 05 December 2012|
Page 11 of 15
1GB RAID 5 Test Results
If you've got more than three HDD spindle to put in play, it makes sense to use one of the more advanced RAID configurations. RAID 5 is one of the most popular setups, primarily due to the balance it exhibits between capacity and redundancy. Not surprisingly, most NAS units that can support more than three HDDs also support RAID 5, so it makes sense to use it for test purposes. Most NAS products that can support RAID 5 go beyond the minimum number of drive bays, to a total of four, so that is the number of drives that I typically use to test with, even though I could get by with only three. The Thecus N5550 has five bays and the QNAP TS-879U-RP has eight, which could offer increased performance over four-bay systems, but we want to test comparable configurations here. So, all systems are tested with the standard four disk contingent.
The results for RAID 5 Read testing show the EonNAS 1100 still slotted below the mid-range QNAP products. All of these NAS platforms do a credible job here, though. None of them could be called a poor performer in a typical READ scenario; it's typically the Write performance that separates the men from the not-so-men.
The 1 GB RAID 5 disk write test shows more clearly the strain that this particular RAID configuration puts on the NAS infrastructure. It's well known that RAID 5 write performance can be a weak point, with all the computation overhead involved and the extra parity bits that need to be calculated and written to each of the drives. The only way to overcome that is with raw computational horsepower, which is why the ARM-based models lag behind both the Intel Atom and Core i3 units. The EonNAS 1100 once more shows off its strong write performance, beating the Marvell-based NAS devices by 30-40MB/s. It's still a bit behind the top-performing models from QNAP and Thecus, but it's still playing in the same league as those NAS devices.
Next up is 10 GB (1000 metric megabytes / 10,000,000,000 bytes) file transfer testing. Using the 4-disk RAID 5 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 RAID 5 Test Results
Looking at Read tests with a single 10GB file, the EonNAS continues to show that Write performance is its strong point, not reading. That's not necessarily a bad thing, especially for a device that's going to be doing a lot of backup duty. The results still favor the more expensive models, even though it's not a 1:1 ratio of improvement with higher cost. In order to do substantially better than this, you have to upgrade the network connection; GbE is only good for 125 MB/s, on a theoretical basis.
Looking at Write tests with a single 10GB file, the results are not all that different from the 1 GB tests. The Thecus N5550 runs at almost exactly the same average speed, in fact the Jumbo Frame results are identical. The same goes for the QNAP TS-879U-RP; the 9000 MTU write speed is the same, whether handling 1 GB files or 10 GB ones. The EonNAS 1100 has the same average write speed with 10GB files, but the 9000 and 1500 MTU results are just a little closer to one another when handling the very large files. The TS-879U-RP just laughs at the additional load of four hard drives; the CPU utilization never got above 25% during this test. The EonNAS had to work a little harder, and the CPU was maxed out often during RAID 5 testing. The Marvell-based units always had the CPU maxed out in Write activity, and it really hurts their RAID performance.
As we wrap up the simple file transfer testing, it's pretty clear that the EonNAS 1100 is much better at writing large files to disk, than it is reading them. We may see different results as we look at other tests, because these 1GB and 10GB files used in this portion of testing are much larger and more highly compressed than what a typical SOHO would feed their NAS. That's one reason Benchmark Reviews has expanded our testing protocol for NAS systems, to use a wider range of test data that's already in common use. Let's take a look at one of those tests, developed by Intel specifically for testing NAS devices. Oddly enough, it's called the "Network Attached Storage Performance Test"; NASPT for short.
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