|EonNAS 1100 NAS Network Storage Server|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Network|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Wednesday, 05 December 2012|
Page 12 of 15
Intel NASPT Test Results
NASPT brings an important perspective to our test protocol, as it is designed to measure the performance of a NAS system, as viewed from the end user's perspective. Benchmarks like ATTO use Direct I/O Access to accurately measure disk performance with minimal influence from the OS and the host platform. This provides important, objective data that can be used to measure raw, physical performance. While it's critical to measure the base performance, it's also important to quantify what you can expect using real-world applications, and that's exactly what NASPT does. In keeping with the real-world scenario, I only run these tests on the RAID 5 configurations, since that is what most users with a mid-size NAS are going to use. It just doesn't make sense to run realistic test scenarios on unrealistic hardware configurations.
One of the disadvantages of NASPT is that it is influenced by the amount of memory installed on the client, and it was designed for systems that had 2-4 GB of RAM. Consequently, two of the tests give unrealistic results with modern systems, because they are measuring the speed of the buffer on the client, instead of the actual NAS performance. For that reason, we will completely ignore the results for "HD Video Record" and "File Copy to NAS". You can a batch run of 5 cycles through the tests, but my results turned out to be a bit slower than the individual runs. There seemed to be some wrinkles in the batch testing that don't show up on individual test runs, which is a bit of a pain, to be honest. The numbers in the chart below are an average of five separate runs, which I believe are more accurate than results from a consolidated batch run.
With a single, basic GbE interface in place, the results look somewhat similar to the first set of data I have from this test. No individual test gets very far past the ~ 120 MB/s theoretical barrier, but several of them are in the 70-90 MB/s range. Some of the tests have very low transfer rates, and that's due to the nature of the test. The Content Creation test for example, simulates a user creating a web page, accessing multiple sources for the content. The Directory Copy tests use several hundred directories and several thousand files to test a typical backup and restore scenario. That's one of the most real-world types of test, and it's useful for all of us to have a standard set of test data to use, because my directory of 1,000 random small files is never going to be the same as your directory of 1,000 random small files.
To summarize things, here are consolidated charts of the "Fast" NASPT tests, the "Medium-Speed" tests, and finally the "Slow" ones. First, the tests with relatively fast transfer rates. I should also mention that this set of three tests are all based on reading data from the NAS, as they are all HD Video Playback tests. The EonNAS 1100 struggles on this test, just like it did with the basic file transfer Read tests. No surprise here, as HD video files are some of the largest of the common file types that users normally deal with, so this set of tests is very similar to the ones we just ran. As the playback speed increases, the EonNAS gets closer to the performance of the other NAS units. At 1x playback speed, it reaches 61% of the highest result; at 4x playback speed, it gets up to 77% of the highest speed of the competition.
In the Medium-Speed tests, the EonNAS 1100 does much better in the tests that involve Writes to the NAS - HD Playback & Record, and Office Productivity. The File Copy From NAS test is another READ exercise, where the EonNAS slips back, compared to the other units. It's too bad that the NASPT tests that are predominately Write-based give unrealistic results, because that's where the EonNAS 100 really shines.
The "Slow" tests generally are slow because the file transfers are done with data sets that contain a bunch of small files of irregular size. In addition, the Directory Copy tests are accessing the file system index much more heavily than in the other tests. This adds a unique component that could be critically important for some users. The EonNAS puts in a very competitive and consistent performance on the two Directory Copy tests, coming in second place behind the more powerful and expensive TS-879U-RP.
The Directory Copy To NAS and Directory Copy From NAS results show a massive flip-flop on performance between the QNAP and the Thecus. I can't explain how or why there is such a reversal of fortune in the Directory Copy results, but this is a good demonstration of why it pays to look closely at your potential use cases when shopping for any H/W or S/W solution. The Photo Album test is a 100% READ test, using a bunch of small files of varying sizes, arranged in a complex directory structure. This is a very common type of dataset, and the Read performance of the EonNAS 1100 holds it back. I do have a hard time understanding what application or situation would be reading large numbers of photo files from the NAS, in a sequential manner. Plus, the device where they were being transferred would need to support high transfer speeds. But, it's a reasonable synthetic test with a very specific data type, and it shows relative performance, so I can't complain too much. It would have been nice to have a companion test that was Write-based, though.
The Intel NASPT benchmarking tool keeps illuminating nuances among the test specimens that other, less complex tests don't. The DIR Copy results are a good example, where there was wide variation between platforms once pressure was put on the file system indexes. Most of the tests give predictable and meaningful results that represent real-world scenarios, so I'm pleased that we started to use this benchmark.
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