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Cisco NSS326 6-Bay Smart StorageThe Cisco NSS326 6-Bay Smart Storage has been added to the NAS Charts.

The six-bay member of Cisco's NSS300 line, the NSS326, uses QNAP's TS-659 Pro hardware, i.e., the same board (labeled TS859 Pro V1.2) as the TS-459 Pro (and Cisco NSS324) in a wider case that accommodates two additional drive bays.

Cisco NSS326 6-Bay Smart Storage

The hardware platform includes an Intel D510 Atom clocked at 1.66 GHz, 1 GB of DDRII RAM, 512 MB IDE DOM (Disk on Module), ITE IT8718F "Super I/O", two Intel 82574L Gigabit Ethernet Controllers and Intel 82801IB (ICH9) I/O controller rounding out the rest of the design.

Like the NS324, the NSS326 didn't share the NSS322's bad habit of spinning its fan up to full speed as I ran performance tests. The 326 runs surprisingly quiet for having six 3.5" SATA drives spinning away. Still, you will hear it in a quiet room.

Power consumption measured 68 W with the six 1 TB Samsung HD103SJ Spinpoint F3 3.5" SATA drives that came with the NSS326D06-K9 model that Cisco sent for test and 27 W with the drives spun down after a programmable idle period.

Cisco NSS326 6-Bay Smart Storage rear view

I loaded up the latest 1.1.0.6 version firmware before running the new Version 4 NAS Test suite. I performed all tests with all six drives configured into RAID 0 and RAID 5 arrays.

The Windows File Copy test. RAID 5 write ranking is shown in the screenshot below. At 81.4 MB/s, the NSS326 sits a bit lower than the four-drive NSS324 and significantly lower for RAID 5 read at 69.8 MB/s.

Cisco NSS326 RAID 5 Windows File Copy Performance

An interesting point of reference is that Cisco's previous-generation NSS3000 four-bay system sits at the very bottom of the chart at 12 MB/s.

The new Directory Copy To and From NAS tests from the Intel NAS Performance Toolkit (NASPT) suite copy 236 MB consisting of 2,833 files in 44 folders to and from the NAS under test. On the "To" test, the NSS326 lagged slightly behind the NSS324 at 13.9 vs. 14.7 MB/s for RAID 5. "From" tests showed a more significant performance hit for the NSS326 yielding only 10.3 MB/s vs. the NSS324's 14.8 MB/s.

A full suite of backup tests for USB and eSATA and FAT, EXT3 and NTFS formats were run. Best results of 89 MB/s were obtained using an NTFS-formatted drive connected via eSATA.

The network backup benchmark, using Delta Copy running on the NAS Testbed system as an rsync target, showed results that were essentially the same for the NSS322 and NSS324, i.e. 40 MB/s.

iSCSI write and read to a 10 GB target created on a RAID 5 volume was in the same ballpark as the NSS324 at 92 and 74 MB/s, respectively.

This concludes the performance testing of Cisco's NSS300 series. You can explore the NSS326's performance further using the NAS Charts and check out the family review.

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