Performance - File Copy
The Vista SP1 1000 Mbps RAID 5 file copy write chart (Figure 8) shows the 809 clearly out-performing the other products at 90.4 MB/s.
Figure 8: 1000 Mbps LAN Vista SP1 File Copy Write
Not so much for RAID 5 filecopy read (Figure 9), however, where the 809 is tied for 3rd / 4th place with the TS-439 Pro at around 86 MB/s.
Figure 9: 1000 Mbps LAN Vista SP1 File Copy Read
Use the NAS Charts to further explore performance.
The HD Tune Pro tests I used in previous iSCSI tests weren't doing much for me and I had to decide on something to use in order to create iSCSI Write and Read performance NAS charts. So I settled on using the same file copy test used in the NAS-connected via CIFS/SMB.
Figure 10 shows the Thecus handily beating all the QNAP NASes and the NETGEAR ReadyNAS NVX. The ReadyNAS Pro isn't shown because it only recently added iSCSI support and I have long since sent the Pro back to NETGEAR.
Figure 10: iSCSI Write
The 809 did much better with iSCSI read, topping the chart at almost 94 MB/s and surpassing the N7700.
Figure 11: iSCSI read
NETGEAR has been kind enough to loan me a GS108T ProSafe 8 Port Gigabit Smart Switch so that I can test link aggregation in high-performance dual-ported NASes that support it. Since the 809 fits that description, I ran a quick test.
I first set the 809's Ethernet ports to "load balance" mode, which is supposed to support 802.3ad link aggregation. I then added the two GS108T ports connected to the 809's ports to a Link Aggregation group, then enabled LAG in the GS108T.
I then ran Vista Filecopy write and read tests using the NAS Testbed and another Core 2 Duo system running Vista SP1, but only a single drive (not a dual-drive RAID 0 array as on the NAS test bed machine.)
I first ran the test on each system individually, then with both systems running simultaneously. If aggregation is working properly and if the NAS under test is being limited by the capacity of a single Gigabit Ethernet connection, enabling link aggregation should allow higher net throughput. The test results are summarized in Table 4.
|Product||NAS Test Bed
|File Copy Write||92.4||57.4||149.8|
|File Copy Read||86.7||55.8||142.5|
File Copy Write
File Copy Read
Table 4: Link Aggregation Test
The results show no improvement from using link aggregation. The total write capacity of the two computers is just shy of 150 MB/s. But when both systems wrote to the 809 with aggregation enabled, throughput dropped for both systems and totaled only 97 MB/s. This is only 5 MB/s higher than the highest individual system write, which is within the margin of error of the test method.
Read was a similar story, with only 67 MB/s of total throughput out of a possible 97 MB/s achieved with both systems running simultaneously. This is again, only a slight (6 MB/s) gain over the highest individual system read speed.
I'll await feedback from QNAP and rerun the test if they have suggestions on my methodology. But, for now, it doesn't look like link aggregation will buy you very much performance improvement with the 809.
At $1700, the TS-809 Pro is not a product that most consumers will look twice at. But the performance results are perhaps useful for those DIYers who are basing their homebrew NASes on Intel's Core 2 Duo and want to know what can be achieved.
I suspect most consumer NAS buyers set on a QNAP product will be better served (HA!) by opting for one of the Atom-based models. Not only will you get a lower price, but also eSATA ports for faster backup and jumbo frames to play with for possible performance improvement.