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Synology DS408 4-Drive SATA RAID Gigabit NAS E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Network
Written by Olin Coles   
Tuesday, 07 October 2008
Table of Contents: Page Index
Synology DS408 4-Drive SATA RAID Gigabit NAS
Closer Look: Disk Station
DS408 Detailed Features
Disk Station Features
DS408 Specifications
NAS Testing Methodology
NAS Testing Results
RAID-5 Test Results
Disk Station Final Thoughts
Synology DS408 Conclusion

NAS Testing Results

When I first began testing our collection of NAS server products, I wasn't sure how well the Synology Disk Station DS408 NAS server would compare to the already-impressive Synology Cube Station CS407. I knew the D-Link DNS-323 NAS Server wouldn't be posing any real threat since it's rather old technology, but the newest QNAP products looked impressive when we tested them a few months back. In the charts below, we compare our five test products in a Basic Disk configuration (single HDD).


Starting with the 100 MiB (100 binary megabytes / 104,857,600 bytes) read test the Synology Disk Station DS408 Gigabit NAS proved to be a real contender. Boasting a phenomenal 2-second transfer time at 50.0 MiB/s, I was stunned at how quickly the test ended. With Jumbo Frame enabled, the read performance was identical to the older CS407 it replaces, and closely matched to the QNAP TS-409 Pro. However, in normal 1500 MTU mode with Jumbo Frame disabled, only the DS408 could perform at 50 MiB/s. While the D-Link DNS-323 does not offer Jumbo Frame configuration on the NAS itself, there was also no improvement to be had by adding Jumbo Frame settings to the system-side NIC for its tests. The Synology DS408 was the clear winner in the 100 MiB read bandwidth test.


Moving on to the 100 MiB write bandwidth test, the collective results confirmed that it is still faster to pull a file from the NAS servers then it is to push a file onto it. The Network Attached Storage servers we tested did not degrade bandwidth performance by much, when compared to their respective read test results. The Synology Disk Station DS408 kept it's 50 MiB/s performance with Jumbo Frame enabled, but reduced to 33.3 MiB/s at standard 1500 MTU. The next closest competitor was the QNAP TS-409 Pro, which reached 27.5 MiB/s write performance using Jumbo Frame, and 16.5 MiB/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. Again, the Disk Station DS408 prevailed, giving a substantial performance boost over the nearest competition. Let's move on to the larger file chunk testing...


Next up was the 1 GiB (1024 binary megabytes / 1,073,741,824 bytes) read test, which was offered results very similar to the 100 MiB read tests. Using only a single hard drive for testing in each NAS, network throughput would be put to the test.

Right away the Synology DS408 pulled ahead of the pack with 48.8 MiB/s in normal mode, and improved to 56.9 MiB/s read performance with Jumbo Frame enabled at both ends. The QNAP TS-409 Pro was close behind, followed in step by the Synology CS407 and QNAP TS-209 Pro; however all three were still trailing behind by 57% or more. The D-Link DNS-323 was the slowest performer, offering its best at 18.6 MiB/s.


Finishing off our Basic Disk bandwidth readings was the 1 GiB write test. Unlike the previous three benchmark tests which proved that all five products would perform at about the same ratio irregardless of file size, the 1 GiB file chunk write-to test indicates a different story. The Synology DS408 clearly dominates the field with 49.4 MiB/s write performance utilizing Jumbo Frame, while the next nearest competitor is Synology's own CS407 at 20.9 MiB/s. QNAP's TS-409 Pro manages to settle a very close third place position, with 20.3 MiB/s Jumbo Frame performance.

Taking the entire test section as a whole, one thing becomes abundantly clear: Synology has raised the bar for NAS performance with their Disk Station DS408. So with the competition out of the way, our next section will focus on the benefits of RAID-5 over Basic Disk configurations in terms of bandwidth throughput performance.

NAS Comparison Products


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