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Performance

The ix2-dl was tested with 3.3.2.18857 firmware using our standard NAS test process. Tests were run in both RAID 0 and RAID 1 modes and are included in the benchmark summary shown in Figure 7.

Windows-based file copy tests for RAID 0 and 1 came in pretty much the same, i.e. 35 MB/s write and just shy of 60 MB/s for read. But Intel NASPT file copy write and read tests in RAID 0 both came in at around 52 MB/s. Oddly, though, NASPT file copy in RAID 1 again shows writes much slower than reads at 51 and 74 MB/s, respectively.

Iomega ix2 Benchmark summary

Figure 7: Iomega ix2 Benchmark summary

I repeat each test three times and the value shown is the average of the three runs. Looking back at the individual test data, I saw big jumps in both write and read, RAID 0 and 1 and Windows file copy and NASPT file copy. My guess is that there may be other processes running on the NAS that are affecting throughput. I also tried RAID 0 runs both with and without write caching enabled (default is Enabled with UPS). The results posted in the chart from the "without" run were actually higher.

The upshot of this is that it's hard to call whether I'd bin the new ix2 as a mid-30 MB/s or 60 MB/s NAS. So let's look at how other NASes with the same processor perform. Figure 8 shows Windows File Copy write for the QNAP TS-219P+, Synology DS211+, Synology DS211 and Buffalo LinkStation Pro Duo LS-WVL. All use 1.6 GHz 88F6282 Kirkwood SoCs and all have better RAID 1 write throughput, with the QNAP TS-219P+ the best performer at 58 MB/s.

Iomega ix2 File Copy performance comparison - R1 write

Figure 8: Iomega ix2 File Copy performance comparison - R1 write

Turning to RAID 1, all the competitors again outpace the new ix2, with the TS-219P+ again at the top with almost 2X faster reads than the ix2 (94 MB/s vs. 59 MB/s).

Iomega ix2 File Copy performance comparison - R1 read

Figure 9: Iomega ix2 File Copy performance comparison - R1 read

So while the new ix2 isn't as speedy as other two-bay NASes with the same Marvell Kirkwood SoC, the two charts above show that the new ix2 is faster than the ix2-200 it replaces.

iSCSI performance, on the other hand, was pretty good—better, in fact than the QNAPs and Synologys just referenced at 52 MB/s write and 64 MB/s read.

USB backup speeds, though, weren't anything to brag about, coming in at 12 MB/s for FAT and 15 MB/s for NTFS formatted drives. The better of comparative NASes can max out USB 2.0 bus capacity in the mid 20 MB/s range. Backup to an rsync target was also comparatively slow at 19 MB/s vs. mid-20 MB/s.

Use the NAS Charts to further explore performance.

Closing Thoughts

The bottom line is that the new ix2 bundles in more features with its video surveillance options, but not a lot more performance than the ix2-200 it replaces. The fact that you can get it in a diskless configuration for only around $180 might make more folks open to trying it. But others may opt for a older QNAP TS-212, for about the same money, but with more features and higher performance.

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