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NAS How To

The Benchmarks

All benchmark tests are run with the NAS under test connected to the V3 Testbed via a NETGEAR GS108T 10/100/1000 switch. A single Gigabit link will be used for tests unless otherwise noted.

Each benchmark test is run three times and the average of the three runs is used. Tests are mixed to eliminate "warm cache" effects, i.e. each test is not run three times in a row.

For products supporting RAID 5 or higher, RAID 1 tests are not run.

For multi-drive NASes, the benchmarks without a RAID designation, (Write File Copy, for example), are run in RAID 0.

About the Intel NAS Performance Toolkit (NASPT)

The NASPT is a file system exerciser and analysis tool designed to emulate the behavior of an actual application. NASPT uses a set of real world workload traces gathered from typical digital home applications.

NASPT reproduces the file system traffic recorded in these traces onto whatever storage solution the user provides and records the system response.

You can obtain more information about NASPT and download it from here.

The benchmark tests include:

  • Windows File Copy: This is the only test common to the previous NAS test suite, but is run using Windows 7 instead of Vista SP1.
    The tests are done using the robocopy command built into Win 7. The benchmarks consist of Write and Read transfers of a single test folder containing a single non-compressed ripped DVD. The 4.35 GB (4,680,843,264 bytes) folder contains 38 files of various sizes ranging from 1 GB to 10 KB. Transfers are executed to and from the dedicated RAID 0 volume on the NAS Testbed, which is capable of 200+ MB/s transfer speeds.
  • Intel NASPT File Copy To NAS: A single 1.15 GB windows backup file is written to the NAS.
  • Intel NASPT File Copy From NAS: A single 1.15 GB windows backup file is read from the NAS.
  • Intel NASPT Directory Copy To NAS: 236 MB consisting of 2,833 files in 44 folders is written to the NAS.
  • Intel NASPT Directory Copy From NAS: 236 MB consisting of 2,833 files in 44 folders is read from the NAS.
  • Intel NASPT Content Creation:
    Scripted routine simulating a user creating a web advertisement from various content sources including video and 3D modeling software. 95% writes with mix of 1k, 4k & little reads. Wide range of writes up to 64kB, mostly sequential.
  • Intel NASPT Office Productivity:
    Common productivity applications: e-mail, spreadsheet, etc. running scripted routines.
    Balance of reads & writes, mostly 1k & 4k reads with a large number of smaller reads.
    Mostly 1kB writes, mostly sequential accesses.
  • Intel NASPT HD Playback and Record: Simultaneous "playback" (read from NAS) and "record" (write to NAS) of approximately 500 MB 720p HD files. Both read and write are sequential.
  • Intel NASPT 4x HD Playback: Simultanous "playback" (read from NAS) of four approximately 310 MB 720p HD files. Read is sequential.

Attached Backup

We test backup performance to an attached drive using built-in NAS backup features. The test used an Iomega UltraMax Pro Desktop Hard Drive configured in RAID 0 as the backup device up until September 2012. The test now uses a Startech USB 3.0 eSATA to SATA Hard Drive Docking Station (SATDOCKU3SEF) containing a WD Velociraptor WD3000HLFS 300 GB drive as the backup target.

The drive is attached via USB 2.0 and, if supported, eSATA and USB 3.0. Tests are performed with the drive formatted in FAT, EXT3 and NTFS, depending on the formats supported by the NAS under test.

The test copies the same 4.35 GB ripped DVD test folder used in the Windows File Copy tests from the NAS to the attached drive. Throughput is calculated using NAS-provided timestamps for the filecopy start and end.

Network Backup

We have added a network backup test for NASes that support this function, which is generally implemented by rsync. We use the same 4.35 GB ripped DVD test folder used in the Windows File Copy tests, which is first copied to the NAS under test.

The network backup target is a folder on the RAID 0 volume on the NAS test bed. Since Windows does not have a built-in rsync function, we run the DeltaCopy server to handle rsync.

A network backup job, with no encryption or compression and a full copy of the folder is then executed. Throughput is calculated using NAS-provided timestamps for the filecopy start and end.

iSCSI Target

To test iSCSI performance, a 10 GB iSCSI Target is configured on the NAS under test, using RAID 1 for dual-drive NASes or RAID 5 for multi-drive NASes that support it. An iSCSI initiator using an unencrypted connection is then configured on the NAS Testbed machine and connected via Gigabit Ethernet without jumbo frames to the NAS under test. Our standard Windows File Copy test is then run for read and write to the iSCSI target.

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