Testing and analysis by Tim Higgins
Tests were run with 1.0.2 firmware using our standard test process. Write and read performance with a Gigabit LAN connection are plotted below. Cache boost at lower file sizes is moderate, but performance falls off considerably at file sizes 256 MB and higher. Read speeds also fall off, but not as much as write.
Figure 13: LaCie Network Space 2 Throughput vs. file size
Average write performance using a Gigabit Ethernet connection averaged 40.3 MB/s for file sizes between 32 MB and 4 GB, with cached behavior not included in the average calculation. Average read performance was slightly higher, measuring 43.4 MB/s. This performance is in line with other Marvell Kirkwood based single drive NASes including the Buffalo LinkStation Pro LS-XHL.
File copy write performance of 14.7 MB/s using our Vista SP1-based test was much lower and more reflective of the speeds for larger file sizes indicated in the iozone-based tests in Figure 2. Read file copy was also reflective of the iozone results, coming in at 46.9 MB/s.
Figure 14: File copy write ranking
Since the NS2 can do manual backups to an attached USB drive, I copied the file copy test folder over to the NS2's internal drive, then ran backup (Copy) jobs. With the USB drive formatted in NTFS and FAT32, I measured 4.87 and 4.92 MB/s respectively—not very impressive. Use the NAS Charts to further explore and compare the NS2's performance.
All NAS manufacturers face tradeoffs in design between features and ease of use. For the home user, I think that LaCie has struck the right balance. I like that private shares are automatically created when you create a new user account. The much-improved performance is very welcome, as are the new features of easy-to-use Time Machine storage support, built-in UPnP / DLNA and iTunes media servers and Torrent download client.
In an office, the six user limit might be a problem, as could be the lack of user quotas. But for the home environment, those aren't really limitations, nor are the lack of jumbo frame support and Active Directory integration.
Aesthetically, I prefer cases with a more textured "vapor blast" surface that don't show fingerprints or scratches. In just the week that I've had the NS2, it's loaded with fingerprints and needs to be cleaned - something that's not required by any of my other NAS devices. I'd also prefer a case that could be easily opened. But again, most home users probably won't care.
In all, the Network Space 2 has all the essentials a home user needs, with an easy to use interface and at an affordable price.