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I used IOzone to check out the NSL's file system performance and the full testing setup and methodology are described on this page. All checkout was done using a Maxtor One-Touch 160GB drive that Linksys arranged for the review. The 7200RPM drive has a USB 2.0 interface and 8MB cache.

• The flat spots at the left front and right rear of the plots are zero value areas due to the IOzone test parameters that I set and not due to performance problems
• Keep in mind that the maximum raw data rate for 100Mbps Ethernet is 12500 kBytes/sec
• If you want a closer look at the test data or generate your own plots, download the test result file here (WKS format).

Figure 9 shows a 3D surface plot of the NSL's write performance using file sizes from 64 kBytes to 128MBytes and record sizes from 4 kBytes to 16MBytes. Note that the plot is oriented so that larger file sizes are closer to the front.

Linksys NSLU2: NAS Write performance

Figure 9: NSL NAS Write performance
(click on the image for a larger view)

I starting out running the test with file sizes up to 1 GByte in order to ensure that the test covered areas where there were no caching effects from my test computer's 512MB of memory. (Caching is what causes the "mountain" rising out of the plot's plateau.) But as you can see in Figure 9, write performance pretty much leveled off above a 64MByte file size. You can also see that peak performance (aided by caching) of almost 252MBytes/sec occurred with a 1MByte file size and record sizes 512 kBytes and under.

Read performance was an entirely different story. Figure 10 - which has a vertical scale one-tenth that of Figure 9 - shows comparatively little performance enhancement from caching. Peak performance of about 8.3MBytes/sec occurred with record and file size of only 64 kBytes.

Linksys NSLU2: NAS Read performance

Figure 10: NSL NAS Read performance
(click on the image for a larger view)

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