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The SBS-R8 was tested with firmware using our standard NAS test process. Results are shown below in the Benchmark Summary below.

Benchmark Summary

Benchmark Summary

Like other top-end NASes, the SBS-R8 bumps up against the limits of a single Gigabit Ethernet connection. Seagate says the NAS "delivers incredible file transfer performance of up to 200MB/s" and it just may be able to to that with both Ethernet ports aggregated and a few machines moving data. Like other machines in its class, the SBS-R8 could benefit from a 10 GbE option, but Seagate doesn't offer one for now.

All the Windows File Copy tests checked in at over 100 MB/s both write and read. NASPT File Copy writes for RAID0, 5 and 10 all came in over 130 MB/s, some of which is obviously caching. NASPT File Copy reads were more like Windows File Copy, coming in around 100 MB/s.

The attached backup results are very good—chart-topping in fact. Both FAT32 and NTFS results set new USB 2.0 backup chart hights of around 50 MB/s!

iSCSI performance was also impressive with 103 MB/s write and 94 MB/s read. Although these are not chart highs, both are within four places of their respective chart tops.

Closing Thoughts

The NAS Ranker slots the Seagate Business Storage 8-Bay Rackmount NAS in the #7 slot out of 70 products tested. If you narrow the field to NASes with general-purpose dual-core processors, the SBS-R8 ranks fourth, just below NETGEAR's Intel's i3 powered ReadyNAS RN51661E. In fact, three of the four NASes (two are tied) ranked above the Seagate use Intel i3 processors. But the top-ranked Thecus N6850 Top Tower uses an Intel Pentium G620.

The Ranker Performance Summary clearly shows that the NASPT Directory Copy tests indicate a weakness in handling multiple folders containing smaller files. The Content Creation benchmark that uses a mix of reads and writes with smaller file sizes also tested the Seagate's mettle. On the other hand, the SBS-R8 had two first-place sub-rankings in the Video and iSCSI benchmarks.

NAS Ranker Performance Summary

NAS Ranker Performance Summary

This NAS makes me optimistic that the sum of Seagate and LaCie may be greater than its parts. If they could produce a NAS this good in a desktop package, add a diskless configuration and knock about $1000 off the price, Seagate might finally be ready to give the other guys some serious competition in that category. In its current form as a rackmount, however, the Seagate Business Storage 8-Bay Rackmount NAS may already be there.

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